Copyright 2017 - Woods Designs, Foss Quay, Millbrook, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL10 1EN, UK
  • home built Flica 37

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

First I would like to say thanks for designing a brilliant boat, both the build and its sailing qualities.

I moved the boat from the beach in Panama to Balboa YC. as I only lived just up the road but did no long distance sailing, just out to the islands and back.

It also gave me chance to work on it easily though its still not completely finished inside. Anyway decided to return to the UK so went about booking the Panama Canal transit.

Due to the APC s request to maintain a minimum of 5 knts I decide to mount my 6hp Suzuki on a bracket fixed to the transom steps bolted to the boarding ladder brackets to help my centrally mounted 15hp Mercury Big Foot.

Anyway turned out ok with no rush as you can see from the canal pilot relaxed in the cockpit. Picture of motor can be seen in the photo in Hemmingway Marina Cuba. I used it to reverse the boat in a complete circle to face the correct way to leave. Held up in Colon for a few days waiting for a weather window and left early one morning with two other boats,by evening we had lost touch with them.

 

The sea was a bit choppy and we were going to weather but in the whole trip this was the only time I was sea sick for a very short period and this was my biggest worry as I suffer from seasickness. At this stage there were two of us on board sharing the night watch. After a couple of days the wind became very light to non existent over the Honduras banks so we put into the Cayman Islands to top up our water and my crew to find The Bank of America. Alas all the big companies are in the Caymans but only as a file in a draw.

We left the Caymans the next afternoon with a good sail towards the West end of Cuba. Once we rounded the point and started heading into wind along the North coast I really appreciated the sailing qualities as we hit 35-40knt winds out in the Gulf Stream at night.(freak storm) Lost the roller reefing line and ended up having to douse the jib and put the storm jib up, but by morning the winds had eased and we were heading into Hemmingway marina were we stayed for a week before heading out in light winds for Bimimi.

Spent a week in Binimi while a friend flew out to replace my crew who was heading for Miami to find the Bank of America. Tony and I then sailed up to Bermuda again good winds until we closed on Bermuda then had to tack up to St Georges in fairly lumpy seas and stronger winds. Stayed for about a week looking around the island and waiting for a tropical storm to pass. Anyway Tony had to return home so I left on the 1st May in reasonable winds.

Approaching the Azores the winds got very light and as I had plenty of water and food I passed within 40 NM of the northern most island but decided not to stop. Plenty of Dolphins and pilot whales and early one morning a bloody great whale (humpback?) surfaced within feet of my transom then disappeared. Winds continued light and only saw a few big ships passing in the distance except one evening a white light appeared astern and I thought it must be a steaming light heading in my direction. I watched it on and of all night but it made very little gain on me so I went to sleep.

Early in the morning I was awaken by a dump dump dump noise to find a small monohull, its diesel engine ticking over closing on my stern so I changed direction slightly and it passed on its merry way. Never saw anyone onboard and gradually we went our separate ways.

Apart from a submarine which surfaced close to me in the western approaches it was a non eventful crossing.

Usual shipping in the channel and only slept in short bursts. Arrived Studland bay 28th June still in sunny weather so a very pleasant crossing. The boat is now on its mooring at Hamworthy in Poole. Although it is very easy to sail singlehanded I would like a smaller boat now as I don't envisage any long distance sailing,just pottering about and my friend has a Hobie. The photo with the yellow stripes is as the boat is now on its mooring in Poole.