Wednesday 30 July 2008

Hanse Yachts at the Sydney International Boat Show

Hanse Yachts will be on display at this years' Sydney Boat Show from 31 July to 05 August. Eight variants of this extremely popular marque will be on the water.

Hanse yachts have become popular in recent years with their sailing abilities, clean lines, fitout and very importantly in the current climate, reasonable prices.

Hanse have recently launched their new flagship the 630e which has incorporated a hydraulically operated variable telescoping keel. Here is an extract from their website discussing this exciting innovation:
With a new keel construction the draught of the Hanse 630e is now hydraulically adjustable between 3.10 and 2.35 metres. To the crews and owners this means additional access to smaller harbours and shallower waters without loss of the fine sailing characteristics of the Hanse – whether it is the Aegean or Antigua! The new telescopic keel is now available as an option.

HanseYachts continues to pursue the target, which they set for themselves. That is to find particularly innovative solutions for the owners. So far the draught automatically increased with the size of the yacht limiting access to many interesting sailing areas of the world unless the choice of shallower draught and a reduction in sailing ability was made.

Solutions, such as the short or hoisting keels had either a negative effect on the speed and performance or required valuable space in the yacht's interior. In cooperation with the construction office Judel/ Vrolijk & co a new telescopic keel construction was developed, which does not require any space in the interior, and which enables the owners to cruise in the shallower waters of the world.

The largest yacht ever built in series in Germany provides more flexibility with simple handling at the same time. Even a small crew can sail this yacht safely, fast, and now in significantly more areas. Above the water everything remains as it was – and under water there is more space!

Reproduced courtesy HanseYachts

Local agents 'Windcraft' of Bayview will have eight boats ranging from the Hanse 320 up to the Hanse 540e 'on the water' at the Show. They are in marina berths M16 - 26 and will be very happy to show you around these yachts.

They will also have full details of the magnificent new 630e.

You can read more about shallow water cruising in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website

Sunday 20 July 2008

Sailboat Towed Generator for More Onboard Power

The debate between wind generators, towed generators, solar power and the so called 'gensets' has been raging for years.
The fact is that in these days with all of the environmental issues surrounding us, installing a genset is just a non issue. A combination of air, solar and water power generation is the only solution for most cruising sailboats. By most we are referring to yachts up to 50ft. approximately which would comprise 90% of cruisers sailing our oceans.
All these options draw their energy from the natural elements we are passing through whilst sailing - with a nil carbon footprint. They take up little room and are silent - perfect!
Stack this up against the diesel generator which is noisy, requires a lot of inboard space, uses diesel fuel, needs constant attention(servicing), and with a poor power output - you do not want a diesel generator running all day!
I personally used a combination of a wind generator and a water towed generator. The wind generator is fine when sailing to windward, but output drops off a lot when sailing downwind. So the back up was a towed generator which produced 9 - 11 amps constantly when sailing downwind at 8 - 9 knots.

This pumped in enough power that would run all the boats' power needs effortlessly, including the refrigerator and water maker, which enabled us to arrive at every port with full water tanks.
I ran it during the day, retrieving it onboard again at sunset.
Technology has moved on and the units you can now purchase are even more efficient.
Here is an extract from the website The Green Blue in which the benefits of towed power are discussed.
The Green Blue - Energy Saving Tips - Towed Power
‘Another way to charge your battery while cruising is by a towed water generator. These devices are easy to use and are powered through a rotor towed on the end of a 33 metre line. An example showed that 3 Amps/hour was produced at 4 knots and 5 Amps/hour at 5 knots.’
As discussed in the May energy saving tip on wind turbines, the average yacht these days, is more often than not fitted out with a wide range of electrical equipment to help make navigation simpler, safer and more enjoyable for the skipper and crews onboard.
Anyone who owns a yacht actually already owns a large wind energy generator, and that is the yacht itself. The average wind turbine suitable for mounting on a yacht may span 7 - 10 square feet of air stream, whereas the sail of a typical cruising yacht will of course intercept an area far greater than this.
As a result an easy and efficient way to maximise power generation for your battery whilst cruising is by drawing energy from the yacht's movement through the water rather than directly from the wind.
This is where a towed generator comes into its own. Many yachtsmen consider towed water generators too much trouble, but this is an efficient way to get a lot of energy out of the wind, particularly when on long passages.
Originally the generators we designed just for towing but since the first was developed things have changed and there are all sorts of varieties available to choose to suit your needs. The most modern designs can be used as a towed generator whilst moving and can then be adapted to work as a wind generator when anchored and stationary.
Article reproduced courtesy 'The Blue Green' with image from Ampair.
You can read more about power generation and towed generators in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website

Monday 7 July 2008

Deck Maintenance when Cruising

When cruising it is vital to keep on top of maintenance on a regular basis. Deck maintenance is part of this and on passage I always carried out a 'Deck Check' daily. This way you find little things that need attention and can be fixed in a few minutes before they become bigger things. prevention is far far better than cure when at sea.

The following is an extract from a feature article on Bluesheets Marine Directory:

Deck fittings need to be checked regularly, because the safety of both boat and crew often depends on them. The first items on the checklist should be load-bearing fittings such as winches and standing rigging: a rigging screw that fails can bring down the whole rig. Check their condition, operation and the security of the deck fixing.

Some items don't carry much of a load under normal circumstances, but need to be able to do so in an emergency: stanchions, guardwires and the like. If the motion of the boat throws you or if you trip and fall against a guardwire, you want to know it will be able to prevent you going over the side. So inspect it carefully for broken strands, and give it a good strong tug to ensure it's anchored firmly. Stanchions will often be a little loose in their sockets, but the base itself should be firmly fixed to the deck.

Hatches may be your only way out of the cabin in an emergency, so it is very important that they can be opened easily. Check that they don't leak when closed, and also do the same with fixed and opening windows, lights and ports.

Almost any through-bolted deck fitting can let water into the cabin, because the bolthole provides a convenient channel through the laminate for rain or sea water. Check that the fixing is secure, and that the sealant around the base of the fitting is not cracked or missing.

Sails: Anyone who has ever stood on a foredeck with a jib flapping round them knows the huge forces that can be generated by a sail. The rigging that harnesses those forces to drive the hull forward is only as strong as its weakest point. Sheets can chafe and part, a block can seize and fail, the sail itself can split at the seams: what's more, if anything's going to happen, it will happen at the most inconvenient moment when the loads are highest.

Blocks, sheaves and furling gear should be inspected regularly and if there is any sign of sticking, free and grease them. Anything that squeaks under load needs attention.

Look after your sails. A sail is actually a shallow bag rather than a flat panel, carefully designed and cut to hold and distribute loads efficiently. It should be folded and bagged sensitively, so that the fabric retains its shape and isn't bent in a direction that it's not designed for. Don't just stuff the foresail in the sailbag, but roll it so that the luff wire is not kinked or twisted.
If possible, hose sails down after use to get the salt off, and then let them dry before bagging them. If you have to leave the mainsail on, fold it over the boom and put the cover on.

Finally, check the condition of all cordage regularly, especially the sheets.

Reproduced courtesy Bluesheets Marine

You can read more about daily maintenance when cruising in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana', downloadable from my website

Friday 4 July 2008

New Oceanis 54 from Beneteau

With an increasing interest in sail as opposed to power, being generated by all the environmental issues currently facing us, we are going to see the ratio change between the two genres in favour of sailboats, in the future.

Here is the new Beneteau 54, to be launched shortly, and she looks to be a beauty.
You will note that apart from all the necessary qualities required and expected in a yacht of this nature, a big focus is also on liveaboard values.
The Océanis 54 continues with everything that has made the new generation of Océanis successful and brings a magnificent yacht with flowing lines designed by Berret-Racoupeau to those who travel the oceans.

Sea views: The Super Yacht expertise of Nauta Design is very clear in the interior space and accommodation of the Océanis 54. The hull ports together with the long deck plexiglass windows bring natural light and give a view over the sea which will delight aesthetes.

As to the deck, access to the sea is by means of a wide, very comfortable stern skirt.
Handling: Thanks to its well-sized deck gear and a wisely designed running rigging plan, the flagship of the range remains a boat that is extremely easy to handle and, in particular, can be sailed short-handed. Also of note is the capstan type windlass, the arrangement of which is inspired by the Super Yachts.

Accessibility: The OCEANIS 54 is generous with its real living spaces (saloon, cockpit) in an Owner’s layout version (3 cabins + forepeak cabin).

In addition, BENETEAU makes a 54 footer more affordable than ever thanks to a powerful pricing position for a boat of this size (indicative list price ex tax: 249,900 Euros).

Principal features:
• Balanced, comfortable hull for good average daily runs whilst cruising
• Easy access forward: wide, safe side decks, coachroof shape, handrails etc.
• Deck gear and running rigging plan designed to allow short-handed sailing.
• Twin steering wheel positions, a large table for a very friendly cockpit.
• Spacious sea galley built-in beneath the companionway capable of accommodating any appliances needed for comfort.
• Long cruising range: 970 litres fresh water and 475 litres fuel.
• Two levels of trim for real luxury: ‘Avantage’ and ‘Elégance’.

Technical caracteristiques:Length overall: 16.7mWaterline length: 15mMaximum beam: 4.9mLight displacement: 14,450 kg
Draught (shallow keel option): 1.8mDraught (standard deep keel): 2.3m
Sail area - mainsail: 69m²
Sail area - genoa: 85m² (135%)
Sail area – asymetric spinnaker: 170m²Design: Berret RacoupeauDesign and interior design: Nauta Design
Engine : Yanmar 110HP diesel
Fuel capacity: 475 LFresh water capacity: 970 L
Sailing categories requested A12/B13/C14
Indicative list price: 249,900 Euros ex tax

Reproduced courtesy Beneteau Yachts and Voiles News Magazine

With the upcoming Sydney 2008 Boat Show commencing July 31st. local agents Beneteau Vicsail(marinas 187-97) will have all details available on their stand.

You can read more about cruising and cruising sailboats in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website