Boat name: Beautiful Swimmer
Designer Michel Dufour
Builder Michel Dufour SA, La Rochelle, France
LOA 35 ft 9 in
LWL 27 ft 10 in
Beam 11 ft 4 in
Draught 6 ft 0 in
Headroom 6 ft 3 in
Displacement 5.7 tons
Ballast 2.8 tons
Thames tonnage 16.5 tons
|So the decision is made. Now the financial reality has to be faced. Planning to sail 20000 miles needs a boat to be equipped much differently than a regular coastal cruiser.|
Now I had dreamed for 30 years of sailing off into the sunset, which is about the time I have been coastal sailing. Although I had never seriously tried to equip Beautiful Swimmer for an ocean passage I had bought her on her pedigree of being a proven fast blue water cruiser. So not without some knowledge of what was needed I set to compiling a list of equipment that I felt we needed to make our voyage successful.
You can spend a million dollars and 20 years equipping a boat to cross an ocean. Not having the money or the time we have listened to advice, read, emailed and joined forums.
We made the financial commitment, bought the stuff, so in a couple of months when we have some spare cash again we will start to refit.So we have 6 projects for the spring.
- Capehorn Self Steering Gear
- Solar Panels
- Wind Generator
- Katedyne 40e Water maker
- Icom 710 Single Side Band Radio
- Water Generator
|Modern Boats need to generate electrical power to function. Radar, GPS, lights, refrigeration, water maker, radios all demand power. Beautiful Swimmer has acquired a wind generator that although used is still capable of producing significant amperage.||How much we will see when we hook her up this spring. This will not be a simple project as we will need to build and erect a very strong pole on the stern of the boat.|
|This design will produce 6 litres of water an hour and use 4 amps. Some would see this as a luxury but a small boat can be too heavily ladened trying to carry enough water to make passages.||Also it allows a freedom of movement and is a hugh time savor, to say nothing of packing 10 gallons of water to an anchorage in the tropics is not that appealing.|
- Solar Panels
These Brand New solar panels are 100 watts each. This will be enough to run the fridge and water maker as well as keep the battery banks topped up.
Solar Panels Installation
August 2012 Put on the solar panels with 4 pieces of wood. We still need to wire a battery chips.
Icom m710 SSB Radio.
Another Piece of Kit that I was not going to bother about. The ability to gather weather information, communicate with other vessels and if we spend another $1000 use email while at sea convinced me to go for a new to us model.
- The instructions stress how important it is to make sure the hole is parallel to the keel and that it is level. It also states that do the hole cutting from the dock is the best way. I gave it a good try. The movement of the boat dock tide wind was too much. So I measured 10 times held my breath and drilled a hole. I had to manufacture a larger drill bit for the mandrill as the one that came with it did not allow for the slope of the stern.
I also decided that it was easier to drill from the inside. Using a level.
- Obviously the positioning is very important. I stared for hours into my lazerete trying to figure out how I could hold all the bits so that I could find the correct position for the supports while keeping the tube level and parallel to the Keel.
For those of you with any engineering sense this will not be remarkable. I figured that if I used a hose clamp to hold the support arms steady I could :
1) I could figure out at which point they would attach to the stern.
2) It also gave me a guide to drill the stainless tubing!
- So here you have the second hole being drilled the foot is held in place by the mounting base supplied with the unit. I moved it down the tube so that as I drilled the hole in the tube above I would not drill into the screw threaded base. So the base is under the bolt in the photo and further down the tube. There is nothing I can wreck when I punch through. ( Of note here is that I used my crappy bits I have had for years. I took my time and the holes are straight and true.)
- In the installation instructions it talks about the 2 plastic bearing caps at each end of the tube being different sizes and the tube clearly marked fore and aft. Not on mine! had a special association meeting called and with various inspections and measuring using tapes and micrometers could find (technically speaking) no bloody marks and no bloody difference in the end bearings..
- OK for the fun part! Getting this TUBE straight and parallel to the keel is wonderful. Eric stressing that this part is critical had me nervous to begin with. Getting the tube centered fore and aft was a royal pain. Not just the measuring but then getting it to hold its position while setting up the support legs. I used red tape on the tube because the tube reflected black lines on the transom so that I was unsure which was a drawn line and which was a reflection.
- Positioning the arms was a royal pain. As everyone knows nothing is square flush or has easy access. In the end I decided to fix one arm in place as close as I could judge and then secured one hole at a time. Once one side was on I set the other side. took a fair amount of time before I was satidfied with the positioning.
I know it would cost more but these rods need turn buckles at each end. To adjust the turn buckle on the Tube end means you have to disconnect the end with the foot which is an arse about backwards way of doing it. Took me hours to getit right.
- So after much enduring the 3 S’s Sweating, Swearing and Sh…….
THe Dock Marine engineers informed me that I was plumb and parellel to my keel told me to stop being a wimp and do it> SO I got out the West Epoxy and started to do my thing. Note the old battery box caught 6 bolts and 3 washers from bouncing to an uncertain future within the bowls of my bilge. Not pretty but bloody strong. This was the first of several layers. I have given too much to ever loose this piece of kit!
- this is the end of the tower that attaches to the axle out of the stern tube. Below is a picture in the instruction manual. Mine is missing a bit, hopefully the black stepped cap does the same job as the welded rod in the next photo does. I assumed that the pointy bit on the axle fits into the round bit on the tower. As the round bit is offset on mine I am not sure if this is important or just how it was welded. Again I spent a long time trying to align the pointy thing for the hole, since you can not judge once you close the 2 parts.
However a voice in my head,after an hour, said Stephen take off the other end and then all with reveal itself to you. Sure enough 30 seconds she was on!!!!!. Beware there is a right and a wrong way to reattach the tiered bottom plate. I got it right after another hour of trying to figure out why nothing would work.
|“So which way, and how far to go before it gets real windy?”|
One of the oldest adages is” nothing is as simple as it first seems.” The notion of casting off the lines and simply sailing into the sunset, as romantic s it seems is fraught with problems. Since I am an educator I am tied to a school year. So the absolute earliest I can leave in any year is July 1st.
The problem is, that due to the Southern Hemisphere Cyclone season kicking in November time is short to reach the recognized safety of New Zealand. 10000 nautical miles at an average speed of 5.5kn= a long time.
Another problem is that the late departure date could have the predominate winds turn against us making our planned initial destination in the Marquises Islands very difficult if not impossible.
So do we go to Hawaii, coast hop down the US seaboard or head to Mexico?
Maybe miss out french Polynesia? Maybe find a Hurricane Hole and on Fiji or ?