Open 40 By Steve Killing

If you followed the drama of the 1998-99 Around Alone race with its host of mast failures, rudder problems and detailed accounts of human suffering (the most dramatic being Isabelle Autissier's capsize and rescue), then you will know there is nothing trivial about this contest. It is a brutal, sometimes insane endeavour. And yet, Canadian Derek Hatfield is gearing up, with enthusiasm, for the September 2002 start of the next race. Much like those who climb mountains or trek to the arctic, for Hatfield the task seems less extreme if you plan for it in logical steps.

Hatfield has some of the longest-range plans I have seen. The construction process began about 12 months ago in a small shop in New Brunswick and only proceeds when the funds are available. But planning began long before the building began. A passionate sailor for over 20 years, Hatfield got seriously into short-handed racing in 1993 with his entry in the Lake Ontario 300 aboard the J92 Gizmo. Success in the 1995 Bermuda One Two and the single­handed transatlantic race in 1996 boosted his confidence. So it didn't seem that big a leap to plan for the Around Alone.

Hatfield chose designer Bob Dresser of Hingham, MA to draw up this 40-footer with a no-nonsense dinghy hull, typical of the boats used for the event. The bow and stern are vertical and the aft 70 percent of the boat is the shape of a shallow bowl with highly flared topsides. Selecting the beam was a major decision for this project. Although increasing the beam benefits stability, there is a distinct safety disadvantage - a greater tendency to stay inverted after capsizing.

Having seen numerous photos of inverted boats from recent ocean events, sailors are starting to realize that most sailing yachts are stable upside down. Once the heel angle exceeds the limit of positive stability, which for Hatfield's boat can be categorized as heal thy (above 120 degrees), it will invert and stay inverted. Therefore, a solution must be on hand to re-right the boat. Dresser has done three things to give Hatfield a better chance of winning and surviving: he has narrowed the beam (for comparison the Group Fi not 40-footer designed for the same race is more than a foot wider than the 13-foot beam Dresser has drawn), added more camber to the deck, and a canting keel. These three factors reduce the inverted stability of the boat. The greater the camber in the deck and the narrower the beam, the more chance there is of rolling upright. In order to force the boat to return to upright, the keel can be canted 34 degrees to one side with the use of hydraulics. This off-center weight will re-right the boat.

With the severity of the wind and wave conditions in the southern ocean, these safety features may even help Hatfield win the race - if he can stay upright, he can finish. But there a re more positive design features that add to performance. The canting keel will be cocked t o windward while sailing upwind to add to the stability of the boat without resorting to water ballast. The sail plan is huge and includes provisions for a reaching spinnaker; that means more speed upwind and reaching.

The interior is, of course, simple. It 's a big boat for one person and there is, naturally, an aversion to adding weight. A simple pipe berth on either side provides a spot for resting. The focal point of the interior is the central navigation station. Computers, autopilot, radios, emergency communication equipment, and weather fax will dominate this hub of the boat. My guess is Hatfield will spend most of his time here - eating, planning, sleeping and staying in touch with the rest of the world.

The hull construction uses E-glass and Kevlar, CoreCell and West System Pro-Set epoxy. The builders will use a high-temperature post-cure to increase the strength of the laminate.

Hatfield knows the realities of boat construction and, consequently, is reluctant to peg a launch date, but when pressed he settled on "in about a year." This will give Hatfield plenty of time to log some offshore miles on his new vessel and get his campaign in order. It is said that slow and steady wins the race - there is a certain amount of truth to this in the case of the Around Alone. Careful preparation and organised fundraising are key to completing this sailing marathon - that, and a fast boat. Based on this formula, Canada will have a contender on the line for the next Around Alone race.

Originally published in Canadian Yachting Regatta 1999 issue.

Specifications
Length 40'
Beam 13'
Draft 9' 8"
Displacement 9,000 lb.

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
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 ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Stuart Walker a legend in competitive sailing passed away on November 12, 2018 in Annapolis. Stuart ...
“In Grenada, we had about 80 cruiser kids visit our boat...by dinghy of course! Sometimes you ...
Austin Edwards told students and parents at the Saanich School’s “Parents as Informed Partners” ...
As the sole arbiter of the Photo of the Week I, your editor, get to make the choice. This week, ...
Michele Stevens pointed us to this interesting project which recently came to fruition in Cape ...
Our Photos of the week this time come from BC where our friend Rob Stokes sent us a very nice ...
Our little treasure: Montague (Monte) taken at Pirate's Cove in the Gulf Islands. Monte is a ...
It has been a long, hot summer here on Georgian Bay and we miss Adamant 1 terribly. We did manage ...
On Thursday last week, at age 88, Bruce Kirby has been invested into the Order of Canada for his ...
The Olympic Qualification Regatta is now being held in Aarhus Denmark with unlimited entries. That ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.