This French-built cruiser-racer, designed by Holman & Pye, a British firm, first appeared on the market in 1979, just as the IOR rule was peaking in popularity. The Pretorien 35 thus exhibits features common to many boats of this era: it is beamy amidships with somewhat pinched ends and has a smallish high-aspect mainsail and a large foretriangle. It is not, however, an extreme example of its type. Nearly half the boat's design weight is contained in its lead ballast keel, which makes it rather stiff and stable (its AVS is a very respectable 124 degrees), it does not have pronounced tumblehome along its flanks, and its rakish "wedge-deck" profile, similar to that seen on Swans and Baltics built around the same time, give it a distinctive look many sailors find highly attractive.
The Pretorien as a result is valued as both a bluewater and coastal cruiser and is considered by many to be an excellent value despite its relatively high price. A total of 212 hulls were built before production ended in 1986, and many of these were exported to the United States, so good examples are not too hard to find on this side of the Atlantic.
Boats & Gear
My last missive in this continuing series on plastic boat construction dealt with internal structures within a hull and how they help support and stiffen a boat. This time we'll look at how the two biggest pieces of a plastic boat, the hull and deck, are married to each other.
Almost all builders these days first install a boat's interior and then close up the hull by placing the deck, another very large fiberglass part, on top of it. Large pieces of equipment, such as engines, electrical generators, and water and fuel tanks, are also installed while the deck is off. Sometimes owners later discover they cannot remove such equipment from inside the boat, as there is no deck aperture large enough to accommodate it. A few builders--Catalina Yachts is a good example--install all mechanical equipment after decks are installed to make sure this never happens.
Here's a piece of trivia from the Where Are They Now Department: American Promise, the Ted Hood-designed 60-footer that Dodge Morgan sailed around the world non-stop back in 1985-86, is spending the winter at Kittery Point Yacht Yard, just across the river from where I live. I cycled over during the weekend to pay her a visit and found her nicely buttoned up for the season.
I've been thinking a bit about Promise and Morgan ever since he died in September 2010, and the one thing that struck me most when I reviewed the boat's design and original sail plan is that she had an in-mast mainsail furling system.
This innovative bluewater performance cruiser was one of a series of designs developed by offshore sailing guru Steve Dashew starting in 1978. Dashew's basic concept of a long, narrow, fast boat designed to be sailed long distances by a couple first saw fruition in his Deerfoot line, which he built in fiberglass and in aluminum on a sporadic basis at several locations. The Sundeer line was more refined and focused and consisted of three boats--the Sundeer 64, 60, and 56. These were the only Dashew designs ever built on a true production basis.
The ketch-rigged Sundeer 64 boasted three double staterooms and was arguably larger than a couple would ever need. The cutter-rigged 60 and 56, which were absolutely identical but for an extra four feet of lazarette space tacked on to the transom of the 60, were probably truer expressions of Dashew's original vision. In all there were 27 Sundeers built at TPI Composites from 1994-99, nine of which were Sundeer 60s. I helped deliver the last one built from Rhode Island to Florida through two February gales (including one right off Cape Hatteras) and to this day I remember it as perhaps the most impressive bluewater cruiser I've ever sailed.
When I first stepped aboard the bright orange Gunboat 66 Phaedo while chatting up ARC sailors here in Rodney Bay, I had no idea at first who I was talking to. A soft-spoken not-quite-clean-shaven young man in a t-shirt invited me aboard after I hailed the boat from the dock, and I naturally assumed he must be crew. He eagerly pointed out the skipper (Paul Hand, on the left up top) and some of the other folks aboard, and it was only after I inquired directly as to his own identity that he admitted, a bit bashfully, that he was in fact owner of the boat.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. Lloyd Thornburg (on the right up there) certainly doesn't look or act like someone who has just dropped what must be something north of $4 million to build the boat of his dreams. But he sure does know what to do with it. Since departing Cape Town, South Africa, where the boat was born, in November of last year, Lloyd has raced Phaedo successfully in the Caribbean circuit early this year, in the Transatlantic Race this past summer, and in the Fastnet Race, in which his photo chase boat rescued the crew of Rambler 100 after she lost her keel and capsized just past Fastnet Rock.
All the info I have right now on this new widget from Karver is what you see in these two photos. The concept is pretty self-explanatory. Presumably it was developed for dinghy racers who want to get a better grip on skinny control lines, but I find it's not too hard to think of other things to do with it.
That's right--this is a dedicated cruising boat with a canting keel. Not only that, the keel lifts, too. Not only that--this puppy's for sale right now. All yours for just a tad over $2 million.
It is, needless to say, a quite sophisticated one-off job. The commissioning owner, a big fan of Ellen MacArthur and IMOCA Open 60 racing, initially sought to acquire an existing Open 60 and convert it to a cruising boat, but then turned to Owen Clarke Design, which had designed MacArthur's Kingfisher, to create a new purpose-built vessel. Constructed by New Zealand-based Marten Yachts (which also built Kingfisher), Spirit of Adventure was launched in early 2004 and subsequently was actively cruised by her owner.
Page 7 of 18
Offshore Passage Opportunities
Attainable Adventure Cruising
Blue Planet Times
Father & Son Sailing
Cruising Sailor's BB
Good Old Boat
North American Sailor
Liz Clark and the Voyage of Swell
Onboard with Mark Corke
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