Saturday, March 7, 2015

Multihulls in the islands

We are anchored in Prince Rupert Bay in Dominca today. The sail down from the Saints was in 30-35 knot close hauled conditions. The HFM made the crossing of 19 miles in 3 hours with three reefs in the mainsail and the 1# jib. When tacking into the bay we had to sail into an excelleration wind zone with gusts up to 40. With the jib furled in half we still put the sheer down to the water for the first time but had no problem tacking in and anchoring under sail. We have renamed these the exzilleration zones. There are 93 sailboats anchored here today. Five years ago at the same time there were only 10 yachts. Times are changing. The town boasts new roofs, docks, a half built huge hotel , and is remarkably clean. The place has gone through a clean up act. 
Having asked the boat boys how business is with all the yatchs about they say it is down because not so many charter boats that spend the money, just cruisers that only spend a bit in each island. They understand that our boats are our homes . But they do their best to help out and to see what $ can be earned from this crowd. 
Yesterday , Tim , Gayle, Rachel , I and our daughter Lillian climbed and hiked up one of the mountain peaks here taking 5 hours for this hike. It is mostly strait up on slippery leaves, rocks and mud. Going up the trails is hard but going down is worse as its so steep and slippery.
Today is recovery day so I will post some boat pictures in various categories .
I will be showing cruising multis mostly. A simple nice cat.
A fast looking tri in Guadaloupe sailed by a young couple.
This tri comes apart for shipping.
An oldie foiler. This tri has got to have some tales to tell.
This I belive is a Rodger Hatfield design . Built in plywood. Very simple and very strong.
Going to rot in Guadaloupe as this tri is outdated already.
A nice old Newick wooden tri in the Saints.
Simple plywood catamran . Truth is it takes as much time to build this boat as the HFMS as you have to do every thing perfect. The HFM in plywood could build 3 of these easyily. No lead though.
31' tri in Antigua. Looks fast but not so sexy.

A Nigel Irens tri getting ready for the Caribbean 600. I have had the pleasure of drinking rum and getting drunk  with this great designer talking shallow draft boat ideas and designs a few years back after a day's racing during the Antigua Classic regatta . I was sailing on "Gaucho" a 65' double ended Mario Campos design from Argintina as tactian. We won third place in our class. 
This Dutch tri has anchored in front of our place last spring . They hung out for a couple of days waiting for a good weather window to sail to Bermuda in. They like light winds of 10-15 knots of wind as this tri would sail at 4-5 knots faster than wind speed so in 12 knts they would be doing close to 18 knts. When the wind got up so would the seas and so would the spray, motion and noise. After 18 knts they would then have to slow down to be comfortable. All boats are a compromise.
The Dutch speak such perfect English it makes me feel like I should go back and study my own language again. The woman that was sailing on this tri had built it herself years before with a husband and then sold it. With a new partner she found it again and bought it back. A work of art and a sailing machine.
Here is Lew Mcgregger on his Russell Brown Proa " Cimba" cruising with us on Hogfish 23 years ago. 
What a great concept. So much fun to watch them sail into a bay heading into the fartest Cornner with no room to move, suddenly stop , swing the mainsail around and sail back and out on a new tack and new bow.
This is Rodger Hatfields 31' tri built and designed by him in wood,ply and nomex. Here we are sailing out of Salt Run in St. Croix to go over to St. Thomas to do some warranty work on the first wave piercer power tri. This boat was a dream to sail as it was so fast you could just breeze by any sailboat. We closed reached over the 42 miles at an average of 18 knots an hour. This shot was taken 24 years ago.
This is my own Dick Newick Val  31' trimaran that I salvaged from a remote island in the Bahamas. It was sunk up a very hard to reach creek. I will be bringing this boat back to life when we return from this cruise. It's taken apart now and up high and dry for the Hurricane season.  It should be very fast as I will use all my knowledge to keep her light and strong with today's modern materials. So far I have removed what's not needed and she has risen by 6" . I feel this will be the fastest Val to date when I'am done. I'am looking forward to this project. This boat will be my fantasy speedster if I can handle the pressure. I've told Rachel she will have to share a tooth brush and only wear bikini bottoms with Pareos only. Must stay light and fast.
This tri and my other sloop project are both 31' long have the same size masts and sail area. The tri weighs 1,900 lbs  designed vs the sloop at 9,800 lbs. The tri has one bunk. The sloop We can live in comfortably.
When we eventually sell the HFMS these will be our Bahama sailboats. I hope to live long enough to enjoy these boats.

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