Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shearwater 39 - 3 Boats Seek New Owners

The Shearwater 39 is one of our designs and well-proven as a very capable cruiser. It is a boat with classic good looks but performance of a much more modern concept. Their owners love their boats for their character, handling and ability but there comes a time for any owner and their boat to part ways. That is how it is with three Shearwaters that are currently listed on our brokerage site, boats looking for new owners. All three boats were built in Cape Town, South Africa.

"Skylark II" was built from aluminium by Jacobs Brothers, a boat that has the strength to take you anywhere. She has cruised extensively, including crossing the Indian Ocean at the height of the Pirate operations that were capturing yacht crews and holding them for ransom or murdering them. Her story has been recorded in a book about her voyages. She is now in the Med and her owners need to sell urgently, fully equipped for world cruising. Her price is US$64,000.
"Skylark II"
"Pinta del Sur" was built by Nebe Boats with a moulded GRP hull and custom two-box wooden deck. She is the only cruising version with a gaff rig, this one inspired by the gaff schooner rigs of master designer, Pete Culler. She is equipped for long distance cruising but her owner has had to change his plans. She is lying on the South African west coast and is available for US$80,000.
"Pinta del Sur"
"Bagheera" was also built by Nebe Boats but in standard configuration with moulded GRP deck and Marconi cutter rig. Her owners have bought a bigger sister, Shearwater 45, and need to sell the smaller boat. She is lying on Chesapeake Bay and available for US$129,000.
If one of these boats interests you, please contact me by email.

To see more about this and our other designs, go to our main website or our mobile website.

"Black Cat" Rio Race Report #4

The two fastest boats have finished the race in Rio and the rest of the fleet continues to race as hard as before. The Didi 38 "Black Cat" and her closest rivals are now well into the last 1/3 of the race and anticipating their arrival in Rio.

For those who don't know how ocean racing works, each of these boats has a rating, an evaluation of the theoretical performance of that boat relative to all others in the fleet. So all boats race against the clock and against each other through that clock. The catamarans are racing against the other catamarans on a multihull rating system and the monohulls are racing against each other on a monohull rating system. Complicated formulae that have been developed over many years are the basis of these rating systems.

I have the next report from Dave Immelman, skipper of "Black Cat".

Hi All,

Well, we are under a 1000 miles to go. A few tricky patches to get through in the next few days on our final leap to Rio and the good times!

We have had an eventful few days with the weather and with the boat.

On board we had a little motor disaster as the no 2 cylinder blew it's cylinder head gasket. Not what you really want 1500 miles from the nearest diesel Mac. Time to make a plan and get it running again as it charges our batteries. (We do have a solar panel which has kept us going but not to the point we can run fridge, freezer and water maker.) We started to have compression problems as well as starting issues. This led to diesel in the sump and, worse, exhaust into the sump, building pressure. The motor was running but started to sound bad so, upon checking the sump, pressure was so high it shot the dipstick out and sprayed diesel/oil mix all over the cabin. So, after many hours of jury rigging, we have now converted our 20 HP two cylinder motor to a 10 HP single cylinder. Purring like a dream and charging to our full requirements. In fact it took us as long to clean the mess as to fix the motor. The only thing is we might not have enough HP to drive the boat forward, but that is a post finish problem.

We have also started to be hit by the odd rain squalls. Fun and games. Surfing and broaching. Loads of fresh water, so all on deck in swimming costumes and PFD's enjoying the fresh water shower. Yesterday we were in a particularly heavy storm, so we collected a bucket full of fresh water and had extra water for coffee and tea all night, without digging into our daily ration. Nice!

The crew are all well and enjoying the sailing. In fact it has come to the point where the daily routine/systems are just running themselves. Things just happen. Brilliant.

Most afternoons we sit up on deck with the watch, listening to music and chewing the fat. Especially when yesterday we saw our first competition since we passed the Indian Navy weeks ago. Well guess who, The Indian Navy. It is all well and good knowing where the guys are, but it is really nice to see one.

Well, knowing we have company, I will sign off now and chat soon.


Black Cat"

The reference to "the Indian Navy" is not to a warship but to the yacht "INSV Mhadei", which belongs to the Indian Navy and is crewed by Indian naval personnel

We wish "Black Cat" and her crew continued good sailing and a happy ship.

Dudley Dix Yacht Design 

Friday, January 13, 2017

Match Racing in Mid-Atlantic

The Cape to Rio Race boats are into the 2nd half of their race across the South Atlantic. The faster boats from the 2nd start are easily-drive and very powerful boats, able to sail fast in light winds. They have passed to the south of the more cruising-oriented boats that started in the first start, six days before the main start. Now the bulk of the 2nd start fleet is overtaking those slower boats.

The Didi 38 "Black Cat" is in a group of five boats that has been sailing in fairly close proximity to each other for quite a few days. "Close proximity" is a relative concept, of course. These boats look very close to each other when seen on the tracking map but, on the wide blue South Atlantic Ocean, in reality they are likely not even seeing each other on the horizon except briefly if their courses cross.

"Black Cat" (purple) has been crossing paths with the Stadt 65 "INSV Mhadei" (green) ever since the start of the race, they can't seem to break away from each other for long without coming back for their next meeting. The other three boats in this group are the Beneteau First 447 "Ray of Light" (brown), the Fast 42 "Blue Label Telecoms" (grey) and the Beneteau First 40 CR "First 40" (mauve). The colours all refer to the arrows and tracks shown on the tracking map image below. The other tracks and arrows are mostly boats that were in the first start. Seen in a zoomed-out view of the map it looks almost as though these boats are match racing each other in mid-Atlantic. In reality each boat is gybing downwind to get the best angles for fastest VMG (Velocity Made Good) toward the finish line in Rio. The best angle for each boat depends on the sails that they have available onboard but all are following similar courses and tactics.
Tracking map courtesy of Xtra-Track. Click on the image to enlarge it.
Having sailed this race a few times myself, I know from experience that boats that look close by on a tracking map or plotted on a chart will be far over the horizon and can't be seen from deck level. I have on many occasions gone to the top of the mast in a bosun's chair to look for those boats that are so close but can't be seen.

From deck level you are alone on a big flat piece of blue water. From the top of the mast you can see so much further and the other boats may appear as dots on a much broader horizon. The big flat piece of water grows bigger the higher you go and becomes a massive upside-down bowl, curved all round, with your boat right in the geometric centre of it all. You are at the centre of your own private world, for once in your life. It brings a totally different perspective to sailing out into the wide blue yonder.

It can bring a sense of euphoria, a feeling of wanting this to never end. You feel that you are alone in the world and life is wonderful, that you really don't care a damn about the problems that are troubling the world, who has or hasn't won whatever election, what is happening to your investments in Wall Street, who is making war with whom or other worries of day-to-day living on land. Yet, at the same time, you also yearn for loved ones, for the personal contact with family and friends who are not out there on the boat to enjoy what you are loving so much.

I hope to have another report from "Black Cat" in the next day or so, maybe some photos also.