Wednesday, August 18, 2010

‘Espirit de Moitessier’

'Espirit de Moitessier'

Seen from the port side


Outboard Engine

Here’s another ‘different’ sailing boat where her designer steps outside of convention and comes up with something special. Close examination will reveal that she has a shallow, but wide cockpit where her crew can relax in an almost recumbent position, especially when the yacht is going to windward. The crew’s vision would not be impaired by the low profile cabin trunk, and he would have good all-round visibility.

This vessel has a raised deck that is almost clear of clutter, save for the fore hatch and windlass, which is placed where it should be, away from the bow so that the crew has space for working safely when anchoring and retrieving an anchor. ‘Espirit’s’ stanchions and safety lines are at a good height for giving a person support as he carries out necessary tasks when working on deck. All the gear would seem to be more than adequately strong - things like the winches, pulpit, pushpit and the stainless steel rigging. The fittings are made from top quality materials and they look as though they have been well-engineered.

One thing I’m not so keen on is the heavy outboard supported astern of the rudder. I feel sure an inboard engine would be much more efficient, because the prop would be lower in the water, unlike the outboard’s propeller which could break clear of the surface in certain sea conditions. An inboard engine would act as additional ballast where it is needed, i.e., below the waterline.

The teak decks look great, and they would not take a lot of effort to maintain - nothing more than a scrub now and again with seawater.

‘Espirit de Moitessier’ has a tattered American flag attached to her backstay, which may give a clew to the observer why she is never seen sailing out of Tichmarsh Marina where she is currently berthed. It could be that her American owner, having sailed her across the Atlantic, is not interested in day sailing, but awaits a time when he’ll have an opportunity to sail her back to the US, across the Atlantic in the spirit of Moitessier.


Pete said...

Nice boat Bill. How is she steered? I can't see a tiller or wheel anywhere in the cockpit.

William Serjeant said...

It is just possible to see the rudder stock in front of the outboard engine in the second photo. The tiller was over on the port side, so that it could not be seen in the photo of the cockpit.

Certainly a very nice boat - top finish to all the woodwork.