The Birth of Ocean Watch
Before the Around the Americas crew set sail, a liveaboard cruising boat was transformed into their expedition-style workboat. "Hands-On Sailor" from our April 2010 issue
For the new sail inventory, Carol Hasse and her talented team of sailmakers from Port Townsend Sails crafted a 2,300-square-foot sail plan that includes the mainsail (with an extremely deep third reef, negating the need for a dedicated storm trysail), a working 115-percent roller-furling jib/yankee that can be reefed down to about 85 percent or 90 percent, a working staysail rated up to 30 to 35 knots of apparent wind, and a storm staysail. A nifty cruising gennaker from North Sails, festooned with the map of the Americas, rounds out the package.
To handle it all, the deck layout was completely revamped. Several new Lewmar winches (along with new Lewmar deck hatches) were installed, and the old winches were reserviced and upgraded to accept modern Spectra line. The main halyard and all the reef lines were led aft to the cockpit, where they could be controlled easily with a new electric winch and a console of clutches. A 10-man Winslow life raft was mounted just forward of the cockpit.
Finally, all new lifelines were added, the anchor roller was rebuilt and the anchor windlass rewired with new switches and relays, the stern antenna arch was modified to ease handling of the hard-bottomed inflatable dinghy and davits were added for convenience when in port or on coastal hops, and the cockpit enclosure was rebuilt to provide complete protection in cold climates and shade in tropical locales. The team at Seaview East Boatyard blasted the underbody back to bare metal, added a barrier coat of epoxy, primed it, then applied coats of Sealife bottom paint.
With the voyage Around the Americas now well past the halfway point, and with no significant breakdowns after 16,000 nautical miles, including a successful trip through the Northwest Passage, the crew of Ocean Watch considers the refit a solid success, one that's provided them with the right tool for the job.
+ High-Latitude refit Tips
• Inspect or replace everything beforehand.
• Build in redundant systems and keep them as simple as possible.
• Be prepared to repair everything yourself in the middle of nowhere because harsh, extreme climates can inflict significant damage
and wear and tear.
Dave Logan, a cabinetmaker and lifelong sailor, and Herb McCormick, a CW editor at large, are two of the permanent four-man crew (along with skipper Mark Schrader and photographer David Thoreson) aboard Ocean Watch for the Around the Americas expedition.
Partners and Supporters of Around the Americas
Marine-industry and communication partners of the Around the Americas expedition include Euro Marine Trading/Antal Marine Equipment/Lopo Light (www.euromarinetrading.com), Fisheries Supply Company (www.fisheriessupply.com), Iridium (www.iridium.com), Northern Lights/Lugger Marine (www.northern-lights.com), Raymarine (www.raymarine.com), Samson Rope (www.samsonrope.com), Seaview Boatyard (www.seaviewboatyard.com), Stratos Satellite Communications (www.stratosglobal.com), Sure Marine Service (www.suremarine.com), and Winslow LifeRaft (www.winslowliferaft.com).
In-kind supporters of the expedition include Bainbridge Sailcloth (www.bainbridgeint.com), Blue Sea Systems (www.bluesea.com), Chihuly Glass (www.chihuly.com), Freeborn Concepts (www.freebornconcepts.com), Hatton Marine (www.hattonmarine.com), Helly Hansen (www.hellyhansen.com), iBoatTrack (www.iboattrack.com), International SeaKeepers Society (www.seakeepers.com), Jeppesen Marine (www.jeppesen.com), Lewmar (www.lewmar.com), Logan Services, Miller & Miller Marine, Navionics (www.navionics.com), Northwest Rigging (www.northwestrigginginc.com), O'Mega Graphics (www.walldogs.com), Outdoor Research (www.outdoorresearch.com), Pacific Maritime Institute (www.mates.org), Pinnacle Painting (www.pinnaclepaintinginc.com), Port Townsend Sails (www.porttownsendsails.com), Remote Satellite Systems (www.remotesatellite.com), Scanmar International (www.selfsteer.com), SSI Shredding Systems (www.ssiworld.com), Swedish Hospital-Ballard (www.swedish.org), Vi Reno, Reno Law Marine Attorney (www.renolawsea.com), and Warren Light Craft