Thursday, December 29, 2011
Micro 10’ Sailboat for Global Circumnavigation Part 2
Following on from yesterday’s blog I have a few more thoughts about the type of vessel Sven may design. For some reason he has decided on a length of 10’ which is small for such a venture. Maybe he has chosen that length because he made mention of the Around in Ten Race which never took place. Originally there were a number of aspirants who intended racing around the world in 10 sailboats, but for various reasons none were able to make it to the start line.
The challenge still remains for someone to succeed in doing a circumnavigation in a smaller boat than the smallest, i.e., Serge Testa’s, ‘Acrohc Australis’. She was 11’ 10” long. Ten feet would be pushing it to the absolute limit, on account of internal space for a solo sailor and his provisions. This would not be a non-stop attempt. On that basis, if Sven were to succeed, he most likely would become the ultimate winner of a world record, but I feel sure he would not be looking for accolades or approval on that account. He says he wants to celebrate 50 years of his life during which time he has sailed across oceans aboard small boats, most of them designed and built by him. A solo circumnavigation in the smallest of boats would be his way of celebrating.
Yesterday I suggested Sven’s new boat may turn out to be a bit like Paul Fisher’s Micro 10. Well, that was in profile, not in terms of 3-dimensional form. Instead of having double chines she may have single chines on each side and she may have chine runners as per his present boat. She could even be a round bilge boat, although I doubt it, because his preferred building method is sandwich composite which does not easily lend itself to multiple curved structures.
I also suggested his new boat may be fitted with a skeg to help with downwind sailing, but I remember that he locked the rudder of his present boat, which in effect became a versatile skeg that could be used in conjunction with the sails to bring about equilibrium for maintaining a steady course. His boat may also dispense with a conventional keel because it would not help when lying to a sea anchor or drogue.
One of the biggest problems with small boats is keeping them dry inside. If the crew is to maintain his health over a period of many months he must keep his body dry and warm. On that account, I doubt Sven will swim in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean as he did in the warmer waters of mid Atlantic. He has already perfected a system of watertight vents for providing fresh air within an otherwise sealed cabin, but for this 10’ boat he will need to insulate the interior for maintaining a bearable temperature. Some form of heating may be required, which could pose a problem for the storage of fuel to power a heater. Top quality thermal clothing may be the solution obviating the need for a heater.
Just a thought – Do you think a scaled-down 10’ version of a John Welsford ‘Fafnir’ might fit the bill for a solo circumnavigation record attempt at being the smallest? I wouldn’t choose to sail south of the Great Capes, however. I suggest this as food for thought - not a recommendation. John would give an honest opinion.
Text for the Day
Matthew 5:37 ‘…….. let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ …………………’
Around in Ten
Serge Testa aboard ‘Acrohc Australis’
Upwind in Small Sailing Cruisers
Solo Circumnavigation Record Attempts
‘Fafnir’ by John Welsford
Boatbuilding Sailing Blog