New Zealand sailor Stanley Paris is a rare character, equal parts doer and dreamer. By profession a highly successful educator and physical therapist, he has also completed the grueling Ironman Triathlon in Hawai’i and twice swum the English Channel. So it’s safe to say his record as a guy who gets things done is well established.
Like all sailors—and with a circumnavigation to his credit, he most definitely qualifies on that count—he is also prone to bouts of reverie, imagining in his mind’s eye his next distant landfall. But it’s also no exaggeration to note that Stanley’s daydreams are much bigger and bolder than your average mariner’s. For a little less than a year from now, he will set off from his home in St. Augustine, Florida, to begin a truly epic voyage, a non-stop spin around the planet that he hopes to complete in 120 days or less.
By the way, when he hoists sail to start his trip, he will be 76 years old. If his dreams come true, when he returns he will be the record-setting, “most senior” sailor ever to complete such an arduous journey.
As I discovered late last month during one of his initial sea trials off Newport, Rhode Island, he certainly has the tool for the job—a stunning, 63-foot 8-inch state-of-the-art offshore cruiser, the Paris 63, designed by the engineers at Farr Yacht Design and lovingly brought to existence with extraordinary attention to detail by the craftsmen at the Maine shipyard of Lyman-Morse.
Stanley’s boat—the appropriately named Kiwi Spirit—is a unique vessel on several fronts. For now, the yacht is fit out as a lavishly appointed cruising boat with full amenities, including staterooms, a powerful diesel, a generator, refrigeration, and just about everything you’d want in a long-range voyager. However, when Stanley takes off for the high seas, almost all of it will be gone.
Yes, nearly everything down below—the modular furniture and the heavy-duty machinery—can be removed via the companionway, and that will be the fate of nearly all the gear and creature comforts before Stanley departs. Among his many goals will be the first-ever completion of a completely green, non-stop and non-assisted passage, with nary a drop of fuel aboard. Instead, for power, he will rely on a suite of solar panels, a series of wind generators, and a quartet of hydro-generators, the juice from which will be stored in a bank of ion phosphate batteries.
Afterwards, all the good stuff will come back on board and Stanley will take his wife cruising. Kiwi Spirit, with a lifting keel and a convertible interior, is most certainly the definition of a dual-purpose boat.
We’ll get into more detail on Stanley and his steed in the February issue of Cruising World. For now, all I can say is, as I drove Kiwi Spirit upwind at 10 easy knots on Narragansett Bay, I had a dream of my own. What would it be like to be a stowaway?
For more on Stanley Paris and his quest, visit his website.