Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Allure

So, our weird split approach to the short-term future continues.  On one hand I'm packing up everything to ship to California if the boat goes through, on the other hand we're looking for housing in Hobart if it doesn't.

I'm getting insurance quotes, and shipping quotes, and talking to lawyers and a mechanic and surveyors and the broker and equipment rental stores.

And every now and then I take a break from all that and consider the route before us if we do end up sailing out of California.  On the internet I read that the boreal spring will see La Niña or neutral conditions, which bodes for reduced hurricane activity in the eastern North Pacific, and enhanced trade winds.  In the storage unit I go through charts, surely the favorite "job" of any sailing romantic.  I come across mysterious atolls that I've never heard of, find myself scrutinizing passes through coral reefs that we'll likely never visit.  And I see our old positions, faithfully penciled in, from our last crossing that has receded far into the misty realm of Things That Happened Years Ago.

Alisa and I agree that if things do work out with this boat, and we do manage to navigate all the craziness that lies between now and the start of hurricane season, then we have some serious fun ahead of ourselves.


  1. Perhaps I missed something. Have you sold Pelagica?

  2. Well, that is a potential fly in the ointment... we haven't sold Pelagic, but have arranged financing to bridge the gap until we do. We'll see how wise this decision turns out to be, but the whole process has been so slow that we decided that we would move forward if we found the right boat...

  3. Howdy,

    My wife and I live in Seattle and have built a 32' steel cruising sailboat. Our twin boys are 7 mos. old now but we follow your blog and are planning on voyaging soon. I wanted to let you know that our boat is a steel tahiti ketch and weighs 26K lbs. The perkins 4-108 is a fabulous fit for a boat of this size. Parts are available worldwide as it was used in forklifts and industrial equipment for 30+ years. It is NOT too small. Modern high speed diesels like yanmar have high HP ratings but do not develop the torque that the perkins will. Perky, our engine runs strong like a tractor all day long and has pulled 6 boats at a raft-up here in puget sound without even breathing heavy. Happy to discuss more if you are interested. Good luck with your purchase and happy new year.
    Tor Bjorklund
    PS Im not stalking you folks, I just get excited about folks interested in steel boats and had to look it up online.

  4. Hi there...I remember reading an article you published in Pacific Yachting magazine a few months ago, and I had your site bookmarked since then, reading about your cruise. Just noticed that you're contemplating buying a steel boat and have some concerns about uninsulated frames above the waterline.

    Our 33' Gilbert Caroff designed Chatam Arctic 33 was professionally yard-built in 1983 or so (and owner built inside). The hull was zinc flame sprayed inside and out, and had several coats of 2-part polyurethane paint applied, which has lasted, more or less, two decades. The boat has 2" sheet foam insulation above the waterline, with the insulation set off from the hull/deck surfaces with thin (3/16") strips of wood tacked in place with dabs of silicone on the ends. There is no insulation on the stringers (i.e., the insulation is not sprayed in the boat anywhere). As far as I can determine, the boat has no corrosion problems. (After buying the boat, there was a tiny bit of rust in the bilges, and I grinded and painted the bilges with 3 coats of a 2-part epoxy some years ago...very tough job!

    I'd say that (1) proper preparation and coating of the hull in the first place is especially critical (having the bare steel hull zinc coated is very helpful); and (2) galvanic/electrolytic corrosion is something to be very aware of. Uninsulated frames much less so. All this being said, "rust never sleeps", as has been pointed out by a former steel boat owner (see )

    Oh, well, it's all an adventure, right!


  5. Hey Tor - Thanks for the insight on the 4-108... We heard from the owner of the sister ship to Taiko, and they report 4.5 knots at cruising rpms, which is pretty slow on a 40' waterline, and a cruising displacement of 40,000 lbs. So, part of us says that we'll just treat the 4-108 as an auxiliary and sail more. But then I think about things like trying to make the next harbor by nightfall as we're hopping down the Australian coast, or endless motoring through the fjords of Patagonia, and I start to think that a repower might happen. So we're just trying to think about things critically at the outset.

    And thanks for the insight on insulation/rust/galvanic corrosion, Jud. We have a good electrical/metal boat guy lined out for the survey, so we should get a good handle on the galvanic corrosion issue. There's a tradeoff for everything, and I think that our tradeoff with putting up with all the downsides to steel will have to be lots of sailing in the ice!