This looks like something really special. It ticks a whole lot of my boxes, I can tell you that, namely:
2. Watertight compartments
and ice resistance (high latitudes!)
But that is certainly not a boat for the Med – rather, for the Barents Sea! Are you planning to change your cruising grounds?
For whatever (little) it may be worth, here are some items from my wish list which may or may not be any inspiration here or there.
1. Indoor watchstanding station with good access to the cockpit
. No need for a wheel
there – steer with the pilot.
ballast. More to control heel on long passages than for performance, although you get a big performance boost, too. I’m surprised so few cruising boats have this; the engineering is simple.
3. Rig should be designed from scratch considering preventers and barber haulers so you don’t have to jerry rig it later. Sheet leads well inboard and well outboard
. I’m now sold on twing sheet leads versus tracks. All these controls should be led intelligently to the cockpit
and have clutches, etc. A multitude of winches – can’t have too many.
4. If you’re going to have furlers, use electric
ones rather than having ropes coming back to the cockpit, especially for in-mast if you’re going to have that (guess you wouldn’t have in-mast furling
on a boat like that, however). This is something I’ve realized lately; worth a thread probably.
5. Speaking of in-mast furling
– after a lot of thought and a couple tens of thousands of miles with in-mast furling, I think I would probably go that way again despite the several serious disadvantages of this system. At least for high latitudes or anywhere with likelihood of tough weather
. Being able to reef and unreef from the cockpit without changing course is pure gold in hard weather
and/or shorthanded, and always having just the right amount of sail up largely compensates for the loss of performance.
6. Sail locker forward. Lots of deck storage
, even though that will reduce accommodation. I don’t need massive “staterooms”; let the sleeping accomodation be smaller. Deck storage
designed for convenient access to actual things you need to store there. A specific place for ropes, bicycles, fenders, spare anchors, etc., etc., etc.
7. Think about SA/D. I’ve reduced mine, with my blade jib
, from 16.5 to something close to 14, and this is a miraculous transformation for these latitudes. The difference is somewhat misleading because part of the difference is new carbon sail vs old dacron one, but still – Wind
range is extended to about 30 knots without reefing, and the lower range is not greatly affected except downwind (and the standard yankee is not a downwind sail, either). Heel and rigging
forces dramatically reduced. Instead of an overlapping yankee or genoa
, I would rather make the blade the regular working headsail (for these latitudes) and have a Code 0 – tacked to a bowsprit
– for lighter conditions. I am starting to think that I wasted my money
(and a lot of it) on my new yankee.
8. I would not want two headsails on parallel forestays like Discovery do. All that weight aloft and windage. With a decent sail locker forward I don’t think it’s all that hard to get the Code 0 up and down.
9. I would however want poles for the blade as well as the Code 0. Although these sails
work without a pole, there’s nothing like getting the clew out there when sailing downwind.
10. I don’t know if your present boat is cutter
rigged or not, but a heavy dacron staysail on a heavy furler
is pure gold on a cruising boat. Pure gold with so many uses. If you have a permanently rigged barber hauler to correct clew position on a reach, the elliptical self-tacking tracks are ok. Sailing at night in stiff weather short handed – there’s nothing quite like being able to bring the whole rig down to a compact, completely self tacking system like staysail plus reefed main – zero workload for the watchkeeper and no sudden squall can create any problem. Also gold when you need a storm jib
– which is that time when you really DON’T want to be on the foredeck faffing with getting one rigged up. Also gives you one more sail plan option – will work with the full main if that’s the amount of sail you need up (as I recently discovered).
11. If I were ordering a custom boat, I would spend a good bit of time trying to figure out tender
storage and solar
panel mounting – two essentially insoluable problems on a boat less than 60’ or so, but I would try.
12. We’ve talked about fuel
management in another thread. Proper sump with a drain in the main tank; day tank with sight tube. Polishing if you’re into that. Fuel
fill well above deck level and out of the way of green water, maybe double sealed. Tank vent out of the way of green water.
13. Walk in engine
room with workbench and perfect access to all machinery. Don’t know if that’s possible on a 47 footer, but if I ever change boats, this will be a non negotiable requirement. Should have fabulous ventilation, and – NB! – should be sealed with no air communication with the main hull
14. Enough engine
power to punch through wind
against tide and get out of a nasty channel. I discovered this in Borkum Riff. Or to motor
upwind if you need to for some reason (there are good reasons).
15. No hull penetrations in the main hull volume like in Dashew’s boats. Watertight doors. Cassions around rudder
tubes and bow thrusters.
16. For God’s sake, good cockpit drains like my boat DOESN’T have.
17. My boat has heavy Lexan
transparent scuttle and counterweighted washboard. Why every boat doesn’t have this, I have no idea – it’s the tits. Easily doubles the amount of natural light in the salon
18. For cold climates, waste heat recovery from main and genset to be used in the central heating
system. If you can find a place for a solid fuel stove on a bulkhead somewhere – maybe in the pilot house? – this is just lovely and cozy. For a central heating
furnace, you will have the hard choice to go with a non user serviceable type like Webasto or Eber, or a less efficient and much harder to install non-blown type.
19. Small but heavy duty genset like the 4.5kW Northern Lights
. A heavy duty genset utterly transforms electrical
life on board because you don’t mind running it when you need to, unlike a high speed intermittent duty genset.
20. Dual alternators on the main engine and completely separate starting and house systems. The house alternator
should be heavy duty hot rated continuous duty rated school
bus type – worth its weight in gold.
21. Electrical cooking
(see above); no propane
. Induction cooker and convection oven
, microwave/convection combination built-in.
22. You will have to decide whether you are going over to LiFePo batts or not. If so, find a really good engineer
to design the system.
23. At the expense of complexity, cost, and weight, there are still a few things which should be redundant:
. Dual rams and pumps. Let the backup pilot be non-networked.
b. Central heating furnace (if you go with a non-user serviceable type).
c. Inverter/charger. Your whole electrical system
goes down if this unit goes down, and they are not reliable. They can be ganged, though, so that is the answer – two of them.
d. Rudders? Twin rudders have a big downside in that you don’t get any prop wash on them. But rudder
loss (as we’ve seen from discussions on here) is the common terror of all long-distance sailors. If not twins, I would want a spade rudder with absolutely massive construction, like Dashew’s, good bit shorter than the keel
(despite performance loss), not too high aspect (ditto), sacrificial bit on the bottom.
e. Wind instrument, heading sensor, depth sounder
, and other critical network sensors. I would lead two separate N2K backbones up the mast
24. Lots of space for electronics
with perfect access. I guess switch panels
on hinges with lots of volume behind. In general all the electrical and electronic systems should be designed for very well organized, easily accessible cable runs, in large conduits.
25. Consider separate power supply for critical electronics
, a la GMDSS requirement for radios. This is not that hard or expensive – just one extra battery
26. Life raft and grab bag storage. My boat has a life raft locker in the after deck, with a lid. Much better than having it on the cabin
top or in the pushpit where it causes windage, gets in the way, etc.
27. A little, but wonderful thing: Extract ventilation from the galley
. My boat has this and it is splendid. Cleverly designed – there are a couple of blowers with ducts through the transom for ventilating the engine room, and the designer
just added a third one, which he made galley
extract. It makes a huge difference in air quality below, especially in cold weather when the boat is closed up, but in hot weather, too. Electric cooking
will also greatly help with this – eliminating the massive amounts of water vapor and other combustion products released by burning propane
28. Sink drains should go right overboard
, not through a gray water tank, at least the galley sink. Galley sink draining into a gray water tank is a recipe for the hideous stinking mess which I have to clean out all too frequently on my boat – ick! – despite very hard efforts to keep organic matter out of the drain. Alternatively, maybe there could be some kind of macerator, and the gray water tank is drained from the bottom through a sump, rather than through a pickup tube like mine. Maybe a macerator (“garbage disposal”) would help.
29. Make sure there’s enough slope in all the drain lines, gray and especially black water, and that they all drain when the boat is heeled.
30. Storage. A place for everything, and everything in its place. Normal boats are not designed for long-term, long-distance cruising, especially in this regard. Tools, parts
, supplies, spares – should be rational space for everything, and not by pulling floorboards up and cushions
out like on my boat.
That's a few things from my list, off the top of my head