On Monday I was lucky enough to watch the launch of the first of a new line of production boats: Garcia's Exploration 45. It's always exciting seeing a new boat taste the water
for the very first time and even more so when it is the very first
This is a boat designed to be suitable for ice conditions and will be taken through the North Passage
this summer. There are not many production boats that have been designed primarily with long distance cruising in mind, let along suitable for ice, so this is a welcome newcomer
The 14m aluminium hull
is 10mm at the base, then 6 and 5 otherwise. The substantial pilot house is topped by a GRP roof and contains a nav station, main living area with settees and dining table, and a galley
to port. 270 degrees around are double glazed windows, overhung by the roof.
is 5083 and extrusions 6060. The centreboard swings to give a draft
of 1.05m. There are twin rudders and twin steering
wheels. Unusually for this style of boat the prop is shaft driven, well protected behind a stout sub keel
. A nice alteration. Davits
for dinghy storage
, solar panels
(only 140 watts in this case, but could be doubled), D400 wind generator
is via Webasto air system.
It is cutter
rigged with furling
headsails and slab reefing for the main.
Lots of good ideas have been incorporated. 100m of 10mm chain is lead back to the mast
(putting the chain weight low and central) where an anchor winch
is cleverly enclosed in a small recessed locker with clear hatch
(anchor is a 33 kg Rocna). A small pump empties the chamber. There are watertight bulkheads forward and rear and a watertight companionway
door. Through hull fittings are on aluminium standpipes with the valves above water
line. Both water and fuel
can be shifted to act as ballast. There are small protection skegs in front of the rudders.
Jimmy's boat has been set up to sleep 8, but other interior
plan more conventionally accommodates 4 in two separate double cabins with a large workshop/technical area then and more capacious storage
Hulls are constructed in Garcia's factory in Conde-sur-Noireau (we visited the premises and the workmanship is impressive) and fitted out at Allure's premises in Cherbourg.
Lots of construction photos are on the website:
We brought Aussie sunshine and clear blue skies to Cherbourg for launch day
. Here are a few pics.
Two hours before tow: