Friday, March 16, 2007

How it all began

Peter and I have always been fair weather sailors. We're not racers, we just like being on the water. We always wanted to be able to go cruising one day and already lived on a sailing yacht. With moving from the Netherlands to South Africa, we came a step closer to this dream. We got really impressed by the sea conditions here in Cape Town; we're both volunteers with the National Sea Rescue and got more used to handle a motor yacht. The idea to start building a motor yacht, to replace the current sailing yacht, wasn't a surprise.

Why the switch from sail to power? For us the ideal motor yacht had to feature a few important items, which a lot of sailors will appreciate as well, and the Passagemaker Lite 46 answers to a lot of them. Our main wishes we're:

Not be limited to coastal passages: we want to be able to cross over to Salvador without refueling, or perhaps go to Australia. The Passagemaker Lite 46 has a calculated range of 8,000 NM when cruising 7 knots. The consumption rate of the Passagemaker has a lot to do with the ability to get this range and we think we can even make it lower when we use the electric engine on passages. You can buy a lot of diesel for the cost of mast, rigging and sails: probably can go around the world three times....

Sound proofed engine room: The Passagemaker has reserved the whole back as a separate engine room, which is quite easy to soundproof and is already separated with a large bulkhead. Further we're investigating the possibility of installing an electric engine as a second engine and to be used on passages, since you need limited hp when cruising at 7 knots.

Large outside area: on our sailing yacht we loved sitting in the cockpit, but we're not always able to due to a lack of shelter there. We still wanted the feel of sitting in the cockpit and the Passagemaker has a great flybridge, that is not too high and neatly sheltered. Even when the winds are howling, we can as an option sit at the back. She features as well an easy accessible swim platform, which I can use to dive from.

Light inside: living below deck for so many years is sort of ok, but we really wanted to be able to sit and look outside. The pilot house will no doubt become the center of a lot of parties. But as well the salon in the back has a lot of windows from which you can look and see outside. The open galley in the salon was on our wishlist ever since we saw our first trawler. We both like cooking and talking, so having the galley in the salon was a requirement. I only wished there was enough space to have barstools as well, but hey, we already get a lot. The size of the shower and heads is luxurious and we no longer need to crawl into a berth. Lockers will be easier accessible, with more hanging space as well. Look forward to finally have a large fridge, sorry can't stop myself, and possible a freezer, so we can stock plenty of food!

Peters wishes are of course different than mine, he has a lot more technical demands, but hey, we're both looking forward to get this project started, now that we have sold our sailing yacht.

Will tell you later more about the pros and cons of the passagemaker, but feel free to have a look at the website of the designer, Tad Roberts: