Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A new boat!

Like a hermit crab for a while now I have been feeling like I have outgrown my shell, she feels too small and not exciting enough... Well I have just bought a new boat, or at least I will have in a few days when the bank processes my money transfer!

In my last post I had a list of a bunch of desired features of a new boat, most of which did not make for a cheap boat. Looking back over the list I think I have ticked most of the boxes, or at least the boat has the potential to tick them one day.

Thinking some more about it I guess one of the main goals is to be able to lift my sailing average on coastal passages from about 50-60% up to 70-80% so good light airs and windward performance are important. Also more space for a fully separate toilet and shower and at least 2 separate cabins and room for a kayak and a decent hard dinghy on deck was needed.

Those fellow boat nerds out there will immediately recognize the dreaded lines of an old IOR Two Tonner. yep.. Hrmm OK so they roll like pigs down wind don't they? err yep.. and.. they Broach at the blink of a hat right? (slightly red faced).. Yes so I am told.

Well that's the negative, the positives are the fantastic heavy air windward performance,  the huge amount of room, the strength of all alloy construction and good light air performance. Did I mention that I could also afford her, a big factor for someone with a simple lifestyle and aversion to debt like me, and I can afford to do what is needed to make her a simple fast cruising boat.

She wants a proper interior with insulation (one day), new rigging (urgent), a bigger engine (eventually), a redesign of the cockpit area plus dodger, and the sailing gear sorted for shorthanded work.

Strong 6,5 and 4mm Aluminium, exceptionally
well built by Noel Wilde in Melbourne.
A basic but functional interior. Those chainplate stays look annoying and she will drip condensation everywhere in tassie... 

One day maybe a lift keel could be retrofitted, so I will build the interior to suit a centerboard case in the distant future.

The bad downwind habits may be able to be improved by dropping the spinnaker before the wind gets over 15 knots and reverting to my slow trundling downwind with a poled out headsail. A wind-vane and auxiliary rudder will also help. A friend of mine has a boat with a couple of dagger-boards down aft for running. Apparently they also help considerably...

Anyway no rush, I will sail her for a few years before I do anything to drastic, She is quite serviceable as she is, It will take much time and money but I think she could be a great fast and fun cruiser to sail offshore and inshore.

Oh, by the way I now have an exceptionally tough, go anywhere red yacht for sale at a giveaway price to the right adventurous soul...

Edit, Snow Petrel has just sold, the new owner is Dean, he will cruise around Hobart way, learning the boat before heading off further afield. Sad in some ways, but it opens up a new door, and now I can afford to do some of the improvements to Sunburst.




  1. Sounds a lot like the criteria I might eventually have to satisfy. Congratulations on the result, Shane

    1. Well boats are cheap at the moment, and I think they will stay cheap for some time. Keep your eye out.



  2. Snow Petrel Has sold to Dean, he plans to cruise around hobart way untill he finds his sea legs and heads off.

  3. Hey Ben
    My little battle-ship grey Top Hat (Yagamada) is just near Sunburst. I was checking her out on Sunday. Did you sail her from Adelaide?
    Are you going to use galvanised rigging?
    And the name-are you going to maintain the softdrink-like sound (and the ancient tradition of never changing the name)?

    1. Hi Tom,

      I have admired your boat, but never managed to catch up with you. Those Tophats are fantastic boats. A guy I know sailed one around the world (Posibilities). I met him in the Beagle Channel on his tophat...

      As to the rigging, not sure, I am kind of keen on Dynex Dux. But concerned about keeping the triple spreader rig in tune. I need to run the calculations for 10mm 7x7 wire and see how the stretch will effect things. I may well need to lengthen the upper spreaders to reduce the load on the caps. I also think the load on the lowers might be a bit high for 10mm 7x7, and it is hard to find the high tensile grades in any bigger sizes...

      As to the name.. Well in truth at the moment I am not sure. It sounds like Dean is renaming Snow Petrel. So maybe "Snow Petrel" II? or is that just a cop out? I also quite like "Ivory Gull".

      Mind you I don't think Sunburst is a bad name, I always picture a stormy sky and a foreboding cape with seas smashing into it, Then the clouds part and a burst of sunlight shines through making the scene one of sublime beauty rather than terror.

      Often that happens at sea, It is blowing seven bells and then a shaft of sunlight makes the wild waves glow. The albatrosses and the foaming breakers are stark white against the grey horizon, the spume forms little rainbows, The wave crests look almost translucent green and instead of thinking how scary it is you suddenly feel elation and the shear wildness of the scene is simply awesome.

      Anyway. If you do see me onboard row over and say hello.



  4. Yay!

    Did I read somewhere else that Sunburst was a Doug Peterson 40? Semi-flush decks RULE !

    And well-built alu sounds to me like a "don't get no better than that" situation.

    I've sometimes wondered if a relatively light outer skin couldn't be contrived in the aft quarters of one of the later IOR boats (the ones whose canoe body draft wasn't too deep) to improve the offwind performance, by widening the after sections progressively
    .... retaining the existing hull plating and structure for watertight and structural integrity.

    Probably not that easy with alu construction, though...

    A swing keel could possibly help if you could swing it well aft, because it would track straighter and require smaller rudder corrections... either instead of, or in conjuction with, the running daggerboards you mentioned ...

    As a completely tangential suggestion: Would you consider a "twistle rig" to reduce rolling?

    PS Did you hear Leiv P made really good time across from the Chathams back home to the Falklands?

    Rounding Cape Horn solo clearly didn't rate a mention in his rather minimal 'blog' ..... about three entries in 4000nm ... not your typical Twitter/Facebook junkie ...!

    Cheers from Andrew Troup

    1. Hi Andrew, good to hear you don't think I am a complete idiot for going the IOR route... Actually I was pretty pleased with how she handled downwind. Great control as long as she wasn't pushed to hard with the main up. I found with just a no4 downwind she was extremely docile even at speed. So maybe a twistle rig could be even better. Have you used one?

      As for the stern sections, I have thought about the same idea, but I don't think for me it would be worth widening it, you would have to go so far forward to blend in the new lines to the old hull that it would probably add too much weight. What I am considering though is to get rid of the bustle with foam and bog or a thin welded in aluminium skin. I would pull the whole stern down into a slight V. giving more waterline length, a cleaner run and buoyancy aft.

      Other benefits of the V would be less slapping aft when hove to or drifting and more directional stability. I have been trying to find out about any IOR boats with the bustle removed. Not much on the Web.

      Good to hear Leiv made it home safely. I expected he would. Good on him, I really enjoyed catching up with him in Hobart.

      By the way Andrew where are you based, sounds like you have done some pretty interesting sailing. It would be good to catch up one day if you are ever over in Hobart.



    2. Hi Ben

      No, never been on a boat with a twistle, but there are some interesting 'before and after' stories, and youTube vids which are quite convincing...
      Given that it's not a commercial product, I find it easier to believe that people are telling it like it is...

      I'll certainly look you up if in Hobart, I'm mainly sailing out of Lyttelton but at the moment not doing much on the water...

      Yeah I had the same though about blending probably having to start to far forrard... (for visual reasons more than hydrodynamic, I suspect !)

      BTW I scored (on eBay) a new-old-stock pair of those Dunlop Thermowhatsit boots you raved about - they just arrived, and they certainly live up to your description. Ta for that !

      BTW2: any prospect of the DVD of your trip to Cmwlth B being reissued?



    3. Hi Andrew,

      I had a student who had sailed half way around the world with the twistle rig, he swore by it. I am always slightly dubious about specialist running rigs, having done most of my sailing in the 40's I find no sooner do I get it all set up than the wind changes... So I have always gone with poled out head-sails, at least I have the gear aboard, and the headsail and main are set for when the wind comes onto the nose. But it could be worth a try if the rolling gets to bad.

      A friend of mine, Joe Davison swore by a strange square sail setup that went up on his bermudan cutter. He convincingly sailed away from my folkboat with my MPS set in his tubby 28 footer with just the square and raffee, plus a couple of weird flaps out the side of the square. Sure got me thinking.

      Glad to hear you like the thermo+ boots, I still haven't found better for serious cold. Mind you for around here I prefer my lighter neoprene gummies, even though they tend to sweat a lot more than the thermo+'s.

      I grew up in Christchurch, my folks boat was built and registered there. I also think snow petrel was built there. lots of memories and a few relatives left in the place.

      The video has been re-released by my brother (a new version). You can get it through boat books I think though it is expensive that way. Cheaper to get it from my folks here http://www.nzmaid.com/snow-petrel-down-under-movie/

      They are in NZ at the moment and have a few copies with them.



  5. Thanks for that, Ben, I've dropped your Dad an email.

    I'd be tempted, I think, by the twistle, if I was planning to do a lot of downwind sailing in augmented trades regions (I quite like the idea, with a twin groove headfoil, of being able to reduce/roll sail away symmetrically - and it seems to me the twistle poles would accommodate this quite well, in comparison with twin poles mounted on the mast

    However, like you, I like a poled out genoa with a similar sized main for general use...

    I used neoprene bootees on a four month trip in Fiordland, ending in snow ... but I did find my feet responded badly after a while to being overheated - I think that "pumping" effect you get with freezing worker gummies (my previous cold weather seaboots of choice) is a good feature, as I think you mentioned ...



  6. Wonderful adventure! Great posting. I would like to welcome you to our Sailing Community - Clubtray Sailing on www.clubtray.com/sailing

  7. Letting go of something that you have grown fond of can be difficult. But change can be taken positively, and selling Snowpetrel gave you some wiggle room to make improvements on Sunburst, which is good news! So how are you doing now? Any new updates?

    Kent Garner @ Whites Marine Center