Posts Tagged ‘yacht delivery’

Here is my first experiment with the new GoPro Hero 3 Black edition. The protagonist is Dharma and her crew sailing downwind  at 10kts average flying only the yankee in 25kts of wind.



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End of the season means change of location, migration, farewells and new encounters. I feel lucky I have some time for me. Working as temporary crew allows me not to get trapped in yachts’ schedule. In the Superyacht industry there is little down time. Once something got accomplished there is already something new to come, a passage, guests’ or owners’ trip, yard period. I am glad I have no schedule, it’s enough to have a direction.

My risk as temporary crew it’s excess of down time an uncertainty. For example now I just finished a job but I still don’t know what’s next. I know that there is an opportunity for me to deliver a Southern Wind sail yacht, my favorite on the market today. I have to wait two weeks unemployed and I am evaluating the pros and cons of this decision. It could be time for me to relax and enjoy myself. If it was a “normal yacht” I would have no doubts in looking for something more profitable. But Dharma it’s not exactly a “normal yacht” to my eyes.

There is something that I love about Southern Wind Shipyard. Even if they build 30+ mts amazing sailing machines the impression you have onboard is of simplicity and sobriety. The philosophy of the shipyard is summed up in this sentence.

“We pursue a policy of consistency in building ever better yachts, avoiding technological embellishments that contribute little to the final result but very much affect the final price”

In other words, just what you need, nothing more nothing less.

I will have a taste of Dharma with the delivery to Puerto Rico, then 12days to explore the island. I realized that taking a holiday was something completely out of my mind, always worried about finding jobs and saving money. I found myself back in trip planning modality something that I haven t been doing for long time and something that I love. In Puerto Rico I am looking for beach relax, surfing, and absorbing local culture.

This is also what “end of the season” means.

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New Year new boat delivery! This time I am going to join the Sailing yacht Ngoni, a 97ft (ex Pink Gin) Baltic Yacht built in 1999 and designed by celebrated Judel/Vrolijk. It could definitely be the most beautiful sailing yacht I ever had the chance to sail. Taste about boats are relative but this sloop with three headsails (I don’t even know which rig name is that) is a masterpiece of elegance.

Baltic Yacht 97

The trip will be long, roughly 1000 nautical miles. The idea is to make stops along the way in places like Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, St.Thomas. With a crew of 4 we prefer to do short legs and hide from the worst blows of the trades that are at their maximum in this season.

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It looks like we are finally ready to set sails to Florida. A series of negative and sad events plus some bad weather coming up brought some delay on this trip. Now all is set for a departure on Sunday morning.

Newport has been my home for this summer but the winter is about to kick in for real now. I got the first cold of the season and I’ve been missing the sunny, long summer days that makes this place so beautiful. But most important jobs are heading south as well.

Yachts move towards warm weather and sunny days as birds and other migratory specimen do. The hurricane season is close to its end (1st of November according to insurance companies) and the Carribean is attracting all the boats from NE of the United States and the Mediterranean with the promise of sun, white beaches and crystal waters. Another busy winter season, despite the financial crisis.

Same does Paraiso, a 108 ft Sailing Yacht where I’ve been working a lot this summer. Cleaning bilges, washing hull, polishing stainless steel, climbing masts, fixing electrical, mechanical… A lot of work. And now the mission is to sail down the boat to West Palm Beach, FL where she is going to receive her make-up before the Carribean.

With a crew of 5 we are going to sail the distance of 700 nm into the Gulf Stream. She is the biggest and more comfortable sailing yacht I’ve ever been and the trip will take approximately 4 days. Full prepared food, drinks, snack and hot shower will entertain this very hard work.

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After two false starts (never ever use a Max Prop or similar foldable propeller for very long sailing) we finally left Willemstad for a three days sailing up to Boca Chica, Dominican Republic and we moored in a lovely marina just before some more squalls hit the area.

Willemstad, Curaçao

We had good winds for the first part of the trip and then we had to use the engine for almost half of the time. That was another good test that the old Perkins 4.236 passed with some questions. Is the injection in order? Why is overheating some times and some others not? A good mechanic here in Dominican Republic could be a precious help for these doubts.

We’re still in doubt about our future steps. Everything depends on the boat overall conditions and of course on the meteo.  It is possible that we need three more days in Dominicam Republic to get everything we need for the next leg, the strongest one. From here if the weather will let us we would like to go up to Bermudas and then Azores.

I’ll try to keep a record of the next steps, in the meanwhile I start publishing some pictures of the trip.

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The checkings on Eclipse continue, last update the radar dome is not oscillating because they mounted it fixed to the mast. Genious at work!!

Finally we have a schedule. Leaving on saturday 28th May for the first leg up to Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, almost 380 miles. With a crew of three, me, the owner Furio and the outsider Carlos Andres, we’re supposed to be there monday in the afternoon.

There we have time to have some fresh fruit and vegetables, to welcome onboard Annetta, the most experienced of the four (and definetely the best cook) and to collect informations to decide our course and when to leave.

The last two days in Curaçao are dedicated to last small works, provisioning, fuel and to get the boat ready for sailing.

With a little fear in the heart but great hope we’re leaving soon! BYE

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