A Rugged Boat For The High Latitudes

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A few weeks ago we met up with our friends Michael and Martina on their beautifully designed and built custom Hutting 54 Polaris. They were kind enough to give me, camera in hand, a tour and to patiently answer my many questions.

Q&A: How To Voyage Safely On A Small Budget?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Question: I’ve been dreaming about my Europe to Caribbean trans-Atlantic trade wind voyage for years, but now I’ve decided to do it in the next 5 years time. I know I won’t have the money to buy an expensive boat so I’m trying to figure out what is the minimum budget to do it without being a fool.

Q&A: Homebuilding A Boat

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Question: I am a novice at sailboat construction, but found a beautiful fiberglass hull on eBay and couldn’t resist the challenge of building my own [boat]. It’s 45’ LOA, 36’ LWL, 5’-3” draft, 14’ beam and 9’-6” depth of hull amidships. The hull is believed to have been built in the early 1970s, but there is no documentation and no plans that go with it. On the plus side, it has remained, since its construction, in a warehouse, protected from the elements. It is really a shell sans bulkheads, frames or stringers, but with exquisite lines. The construction appears to be ½” Airex core, skinned inside and out with ¼” fiberglass. I want it to be a center cockpit schooner and was hoping that you could steer me to some place where can I get some kind of professional help for bulkheads and the like.

Q&A: Sailboat Stability Contradiction

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Question: I recently had an interesting discussion about stability with a cruising yacht owner, and I thought this topic would be of real interest to any high latitude sailor. And I also suspect that you would have traversed this terrain long ago and have an opinion.

After the 1979 Fastnet race, the Joint Committee on Safety from Capsizing made the following recommendation: “The most significant contribution to the resistance to wave-induced capsize would be to increase the roll moment of inertia of yachts”. For a sailing yacht, adding mass at the top of the mast would increase roll inertia more than adding mass anywhere else (hulls are normally designed to support a given keel weight and depth, and adding additional weight to the keel is not recommended).

At the same time, various regulatory agencies and yacht racing bodies have firm guidelines, even rules, to ensure the highest possible Angle of Vanishing Stability (also know as Limit of Positive Stability). For a monohull, removing that same mass that we placed at the top of the mast, would have a more beneficial effect on the LPS than shifting the same amount of mass anywhere else on the boat.

Unless I am overlooking something, there’s contradictory advice here. To prepare a yacht to resist wave-induced capsize, do I favour an increase in roll inertia, or do I favour an increase in LPS? If I favour LPS, I would probably end up doing things that would diminish roll inertia (like keeping weight close to the deck).

Do you favour one approach more than the other, and why?

There’s No Excuse For Pounding

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In this chapter I have a good old rant about one of the most common and unpleasant faults of many modern designs that claim to be offshore capable. Reading this chapter could save you from buying a boat you will come to hate.

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QA&: Is A Macgregor 26M Suitable For A Trans-Atlantic?

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Question: I am a 46 year old professional in fairly good health and in good shape. I am wanting to reverse the steps of my great-great-grandfather, sailing from Belfast, Maine to Bantry Bay, Ireland. I plan to leave June 3rd, 2011. The boat I want to take is a Macgregor 26M. Is this solid enough?

Q&A: Used Colin Archer Design Sailboat

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Question: We have reached a stage now where we want to be cruising very soon (world in 4 to 5 years, local waters well before that), and so we are looking at boats to do this. In two weeks or so we will travel interstate to see this boat: She is a Colin Archer design, 43′ in steel built by a Dutch yard, about 25 years old, appears in very good nick, also very strong (16mm keel, 6mm below WL, 5mm above, 4mm topsides). Safe, too: watertight doors, good helm and fitout etc. (The name and colour are a bit of an issue…) We would have her surveyed of course. But it is her design which I would ask your impressions of, because we would want to take our boat to South Chile and the Horn, and bring her home again.

As a heavy displacement boat she will be slow, maybe 7 knots at best, and I accept this, because her seaworthiness is the most important. But I thought you might have had your ear to the ground about cruising design for a bit longer than I, and am wondering if you could offer your thoughts about her as a boat to go most places.