Sunday 24 August 2008

My Dream Cruising Sailboat

Having lived on, sailed half way round the globe and many sea miles in between on 'Tere Moana' (a Ron Holland 43), I came to understand the excellent qualities of this fine vessel.

She has lovely lines, gorgeous sheerline, fine bow and looks great from any angle. Strongly built with acres of teak down below and on her decks, she loved sailing to all points of weather. Twenty years on she still retains all of her grace and turns heads wherever she goes. Sadly, I am no longer her owner, but I still get to sail on her with my friend Patrick who is her current master.

So when I am looking for my next yacht I will find it hard to go past a Ron Holland design. My dream yacht is his Discovery 55 and the following is an extract from their website :

The Discovery 55 is the ultimate world-class cruising yacht - strong, safe, fast and beautifully balanced. She is a thoroughbred from the board of the renowned yacht designer Ron Holland. Designed for effortless handling by just two people, she offers impressive performance and reliability. The Discovery 55 is a yacht that you can sail across oceans or soak up the peace and tranquillity at anchor in your favourite bay. She is a truly luxurious home to enjoy in different locations with family and friends.
Experienced sailors, who know just what works on a yacht, have designed every detail of the Discovery 55.

Naval architect Ron Holland, famous for his numerous successful racing yachts, is now legendary for his design of elegant, fast cruising yachts and superyachts. By applying his extensive experience and expertise to the design of the Discovery 55, he has created a classic thoroughbred, that is a sheer pleasure on the water and that will take you anywhere you choose to go.

Achieving the best in terms of total speed, simple handling and easy motion was essential. Drawing a hull that incorporated a reasonable forefoot, high performance bulb keel, moderate sections aft, and a semi-balanced skeg-hung rudder, Ron Holland has delivered a boat that has power and performance and that is fast on all points of sailing, tracking well both up and downwind. Above all she is a boat that looks after her crew in all conditions.
Reproduced courtesy Discovery Yachts

There are a number of these hulls already on the water and Discovery Yachts will have them on show 'on the water' at this years' Southampton Boat Show which runs from 12 - 21 September.
A very few of these vessels have come back onto the market and are available to the discerning buyer, but don't expect to pick up a bargain.
You can read more about the sailing qualities of 'Tere Moana' in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website

Monday 18 August 2008

Volvo Penta Greening up their D-series Sailboat Engines

The big talk out of Volvo Penta of course is the IPS driving and docking system. However, they are not idle on the environmental front are making some major changes on their D1 and D2 small diesel engines which are installed universally in sailboats.

Volvo Penta is launching new versions of the D1 and D2, the smallest diesel engines in its program. The biggest news is on the environmental side. Particle emissions have been reduced by as much as 50 per cent. The engines satisfy future, very comprehensive US emission regulations.Six models of the Volvo Penta D1 and D2, ranging from 12 hp to 75 hp, are available.

These engines are used in sailboats and other displacement boats and are bestsellers for Volvo Penta. The same engine family will be installed in all the boats in the next Volvo Ocean Race where they will be exposed to the toughest imaginable conditions.
New versions of the D1 and D2 will be available very soon.
“In principle, everything inside the engines is new, about 150 components in each engine. The result is better control over fuel injection and combustion, which has enabled emissions to be reduced from a level that was already very low,” says Fredrik Christborn at Volvo Penta’s product planning department.
The new D1 and D2 satisfy the future US emission requirements EPA stage 3, which will be introduced for this category of engines in January, 2009. These regulations are far more comprehensive than the emission requirements in the rest of the world, including the EU. Volvo Penta’s policy is to develop engines that satisfy the most comprehensive international emission requirements and then market these clean engines worldwide, even when such low emissions are not required.
The newly developed engines offer the additional bonus of lower noise and fewer vibrations. “Here, our engines were already best in their class and the new engines are even quieter. This is something we know the customers appreciate, being able to use the engine without being discomforted by noise.

The Volvo Penta D1 and D2 come with a very powerful generator – 115 A and 12 V – fitted as standard. In the case of the two largest models, the D2-55 and D2-75, which are often installed in large yachts, additional charging is needed. The engines are now available fitted with additional combinations of 12 V and 24 V generators as options. With a 24 V generator, it is easy to have both a 12 V and a 24 V system on board.
D1-13: 9.0 kW /12.2 hp

D1-20: 14 kW / 19 hp

D1-30: 21 kW / 28 hp
D2-40: 29 kW / 40 hp
D2-55: 41 kW / 55 hp
D2-75: 55 kW / 75 hp

Reproduced courtesy

You can read more about diesel engines and maintenance of them in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Delphia Yachts at the 2008 Sydney Boat Show

Cruising along the boardwalk at the Sydney Boat Show I ran into my old friend Dave Wilkinson. He is with the master agents for Delphia Yachts of Poland. Delphia Yachts have a by-line which runs ' Quality you expect at prices you don't', and this personifies this fine range of yachts.

Dave took me down to meet Geoff Pearson who heads up the Australasian Master Agency for Delphia and we then proceeded to have a good poke around the Delphia 40. The cockpit layout is excellent with a convenient step through in the stern.

She has fresh, clean hull lines and sturdy construction - she obviously slips through the water quickly. Her coach roof design is also pleasing - nice lines all round. Standing and running rigging is as you would expect on a yacht of this size, with top quality Selden mast and boom and Lewmar winches and hatches fitted as standard.

A fully battened main with Rutgerson cars comes standard along with a very efficient lazy jack and bag system on the boom. The jib furler is a Furlex.

But it is when you go below that the space and light strikes you. The cabin area gives the impression of a much larger boat and the cheery brightness is great - even on the dullest day there would be plenty of light to please the most fastidious skipper.

The Delphia 40 nestles a 40hp Volvo Saildrive, neatly accessable under the companionway steps.

Refrigeration is the excellent performing and compact Isotherm 12v water cooled unit. I installed one of these on 'Tere Moana' and it kept lettuce and cabbage fresh and crisp for up to ten days which meant we were still eating fresh vegetables arriving at the next port. Water cooled is the key here.

For her sailing qualities and handling we turn to Bob Ross whose extensive article in the May 2006 issue of Cruising Helmsman can be viewed on and click on 'media'.

With twenty five of these vessels on the water to date, Delphia Yachts have stamped their mark on the Australasian yachting scene in a very short space of time - the future looks very good indeed and expect to see many more hitting our waters in the years to come.

You can check out more on these boats and their exceptionally keen pricing by visiting or calling on Geoff and Dave personally at their office on Middle Harbour at the Spit, Mosman, Sydney.

Published courtesy of Delphia Yachts(Aust) Pty Ltd

You can read more about sailing and water cooled refrigeration on passage in my ebook 'Voyage of the Little Ship 'Tere Moana' downloadable from my website