altJust as the mythical “Phoenix” rose from the ashes, reborn to live again, so too was a beautiful yacht launched in September to replace another destroyed by fire.

In 2005, Covey Island Boatyard built a beautiful sixty-three foot classic schooner, “Maggie B” for Chicago venture capitalist Frank Blair. This boat cruised extensively, including a circumnavigation, and was ultimately returned to the boatyard for a refit. On August 12, 2008, disaster struck; a horrendous overnight fire completely destroyed the yard along with the “Maggie B”.

The yard had been operating since 1979 with President John Steele at the helm. Steele, a man whose life has been devoted to boats and boatbuilding, started with a small shop on Covey Island, part of the LaHave group of islands about 25 kilometres from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. They quickly developed a reputation for fine craftsmanship building around 90 pleasure and commercial fishing boats, both sail and power. Success made them expand and move to the mainland at Petite Riviere where they operated until that fateful day.

Blair, now 66, was understandably flattened by the disaster, but it only took him six months to come to the decision that they couldn’t build another Maggie B; it was time to move on. He contacted Steele and the famous British marine architect Nigel Irens to a discuss building another schooner. Irens is considered by many to be the most brilliant naval designer alive today. The new boat was to be slightly shorter at 56 feet and more refined in order to be handled by a smaller crew of four offshore.

However, Covey Island Boatyard needed a new home. Steele discovered that there was huge unused building at the Kraut Point fish plant, in Riverport. Within two months of the fire, a deal was struck to lease this space as the new yard. A head office for Covey Island Boatyard was also set up in Lunenburg.

Four months later, work commenced on the new boat to be named “Farfarer” after the nomadic tribe who were chased out of northern Scotland. They are alleged to be the first whites to cross over to North America, way before the Vikings. Farley Mowat, the acclaimed Canadian author, wrote a book of the same name that gave Blair the inspiration for his new schooner.

Blair’s business success was largely due to his foreseeing the development of all things “green” and set out to follow that concept with his new boat. The wood epoxy hull would be built out of recycled materials. A 136-year-old warehouse, only one block from ground zero in New York, was being torn down. Steele discovered that it was constructed with very old beams of Douglas fir and pitch pine. These were acquired and trucked to the yard where they were milled to create the 1½-inch planks and laminated 3-inch square beams. The hull was built upside down and covered with E-glass in epoxy to a mirror-like finish, then turned right side up (a major feat in itself) for decking and finishing.

The decks are laid with aged pitch pine, salvaged from the warehouse, which is bonded to structural Corcell foam-sandwiched between epoxy E-glass. The interior is constructed of three materials: 1) tongue and groove pine painted white for all the deck heads and bulkheads; 2) trim is all black walnut from the owner’s farm in Illinois; and 3) cabin soles are cork throughout.

The Covey Island workers, all highly skilled craftsmen, are shareholders in the company and were glad to be back to work. Other local labour was added to create a closely knit team of 34.

“Farfarer” is anything but a conventional schooner. She is 56 feet on deck, weighs 35 tons, and draws 6½ feet with the centerboard up (and 13 feet with it down). The centerboard, which floats, swings up on a 4-inch bronze axle into the base of the long keel. A hydraulic pump lowers the board, but doesn’t need to raise it.

“Farfarer” sleeps six with a crew cabin forward and the owner’s suite midship. Blair’s constant four-legged companion “Mac” has his own bunk. The galley is a unique design with an island featuring a truly ancient rock fossil counter.

The masts are of free standing carbon fiber with the mainmast reaching 82 feet into the sky. Blair said of the spars, “they are whippy and more rocket science than I intended”. The rig is very high tech with two loose-footed mainsails and no headsails. The designer maintains that jibs are inefficient and dangerous when crew need to be forward in heavy weather to handle or change sails. The full batten Kevlar sails, crafted by North Sails of Lunenburg are neither marconi nor gaff but rather have a large head about 8 feet long.

The masts are elliptically shaped to act as foils providing extra wing like power and will pivot on their base when tacking. The two sails rise, lower, and reef conventionally with lazy jacks for control.

Power is provided by twin 40hp Nanni diesel engines made by a Spanish firm from Kubota blocks that push her up to 10 knots. There is no genset but rather a large water-cooled DC 350 amp generator mounted between the engine and transmission on one engine, an entirely new concept. As well, there are two alternators, one on each engine, plus solar panels mounted on the cabin roof. The extensive electronics are all state of the art. The yacht has tanks for 200 gallons of water and 300 gallons of fuel.

The custom-designed and hand-built schooner was started in April 2009 and launched in September 2010. When asked the price tag, Blair replied, in good humor, “More than I expected, but less than I feared”. “Farfarer” is an anomaly, being very high tech with the newest and best of rig and electronics, but made by meticulous Nova Scotia craftsmen with a fit, finish and classic touches seldom seen in today’s new yachts. She may resemble a schooner, but she sails like a racing yacht.

After sea trials and final delivery she headed for her home port in Maine and then to Brazil for the winter. Blair intends to have “Farfarer” in the Mediterranean in the spring and the Baltic in the summer of 2011. So, this beautiful new schooner will indeed be another adventurer and explorer.

By Lynn R. Helpard

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Arie and Maribeth sent us this photo from their honeymoon departing Killarney…I think they were in ...
This shot was taken last week by Jessica Lee, a freelance photography pro, Albacore racer and part ...
On a sunny and windless day we led Alicia and another sailboat into New York Harbour. There were ...
It was a trip 2 or 3 years ago, and all 4 boats traveled up to the Killarney area in a ...
My name is Alexandrine GOVAN, mother of a 5 years old girl and I found your contact on internet. ...
John Booth, who passed away just a few weeks ago was one of the most amazingly gifted and ...
We left Vero Beach on Saturday morning with Alicia, a boat from Sweden, following close behind. The ...
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...

DIY & How to

  • Prev
On the Friday before a weekend with a gorgeous forecast, I heard on the news that a boat had ...
A reader suggested we take a look at anchors. Anchoring seems simple enough. A weighted hook with a ...
If you’ve spent any time in a boat yard during spring commissioning season, you won’t find it out ...
As a busy marine mechanic, I tend to have the same or similar conversations often, and they’re ...
This time of year, great deals abound. That boat with the ‘for sale’ sign looks quite attractive. ...
For less than US$2,500, Jim Leshaw, a lawyer who lives and works in Key Biscayne, Florida, ...
Each spring, I tend to notice canvas. I wish it was because it’s been immaculately maintained and ...
I’ve had two emails over the past few weeks with a count-down to launch (47 days per the last ...
Last time we looked at making proper electrical connections – the tools, supplies and methods ...
Winter is a great time to look at some of the hidden spaces on your boat – to take stock of what is ...

Sailboat Under Cloudy Skies

By Joan Wenner, J.D.

Sailboat under cloudy sky by Bill Cox-Unsplash

Have you ever needed on-the-water assistance due to a mechanical breakdown, running aground, taking on water (perhaps from striking a submerged or floating object), having a mishap with another vessel, or have a medical emergency and the authorities are not near, but another mariner answers your mayday or perhaps observes your predicament. Another boater is in the vicinity, but will, or should, that person offer to help perhaps at his peril? What if you were that pleasure craft operator?

Read more about Good Samaritans............

 

  

Monte Carlo 52The launch of the new Monte Carlo 52 will be one of the highlights of the Cannes Yachting Festival 2019. This 50-foot high-end motor yacht is eagerly awaited and will introduce the Monte Carlo “Smart Luxury” generation. The stylish flybridge powerboat has inherited all the superb signature features of a successful range: modern design, elegant lines, distinctive character, incredibly well-used spaces and a careful focus on details, not to mention the iconic large porthole, distinguishing the 15 m (50’) to 18 m (60’) class of yachts made in Vendée. The Monte Carlo 52 has greatly improved all these features.

 

Read more about the Monte Carlo 52..............

 

John ArmstrongOur Canadian Yachting test team, John Armstong and Andy Adams, were at a Jeanneau media event called “Throttle Down” in St. Petersburg, Florida. The media event was held to highlight the Jeanneau Power Boat Line with the emphasis on their outboard models. 

The media event was scheduled to follow their Jeanneau dealer meetings, held earlier at Thunder Marine International in St. Petersburg. The Thunder Marine location is on the water and has a cooperative agreement with Jeanneau to host the full line of Jeanneau power boats in the water for dealer demonstration to their clients.

Read More about the Jeanneau Media Event...........

Destinations

  • Prev
Provincial Boat Havens are those special places to drop anchor in British Columbia’s West Coast and ...
NW Explorations, a Bellingham, Washington-based yacht charter, brokerage, and marine services ...
If you haven’t cruised the Rideau Canal before, you have missed a special treat and even if you ...
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...


ChicagoBy Mark Stevens

Photos by Sharon Matthews-Stevens


From my perspective on the observation deck of 360 Chicago in the John Hancock Building, I have an eagle’s-eye view of this Lake Michigan metropolis.

The city stretched out before us is a forest of concrete. Toward the lake – right below us – there’s a beach volleyball game in progress. White triangles crisscross Caribbean-blue waters in the distance. Sunday morning must be race day – just like home.

 

Read more about Chicago....................

 

Marine Products

  • Prev
The Seabin device part of the Oak Bay Marine Group trial, has had promising results so far while ...
When I took the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV down to Wednesday night racing, the people that came over ...
Protecting your boat from scratches and dents isn’t always easy. That’s why the Big Bumper Company ...
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA - Forespar has just introduced a new smaller size version of their ...
As boaters we all have a very unique connection to the water and all the opportunities it presents. ...
Edited by the Quebec Marine Association under the direction of L'Escale Nautique (producer of the ...
Blue Guard has announced the general availability of the BG-One, a solid-state bilge pump switch, ...
With the introduction of the Ion Power Basic, a safe Lithium Ion battery formulated with Lithium, ...
Finding a car brand that you enjoy while it does what you need can be tough, as they can be ...
Yikes! No boat refrigeration? You’ve Got to be Kidding me!! But then again, true campers don’t use ...