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The Frustrations of a Custom Built Boat

Kiwi Spirit spent two weeks in Maine to get a long list of things attended to. Many were achieved but not the major ones. I still lack power to the winches due to a mix up in getting the parts, solar panels are still non-functioning and the radar still not operating well due to its location. On the other hand the second autopilot is fixed and the bow thruster works.

With a production boat or car, any faults are no doubt worked out on the first boat or two before they go into full scale production. My Farr 60, which was built in Sweden as hull number six, had few, if any problems at all. I sailed her after three days of sea trials and embarked on what would become a circumnavigation over a five year period. However, with Kiwi Spirit, a fast family cruiser, there have been a surprising number of problems that we have had to work through. Should we ever decide to build a sister ship, I am sure it will go much more smoothly, but here with Kiwi Spirit we are definitely on a learning curve.

I had to leave the yards at Lyman Morse in Thomaston, Maine and head down to Newport, Rhode Island as in one week I start to solo race to Bermuda. The journey was into head winds and so a series of tacks were necessary to make it to and through Cape Cod Canal and onto Newport. Now we shall be busy with last minute preparation, captains meetings and social events.

This will be the first test of Kiwi Spirit, and of me as a solo sailor. The competition will cause me to push her as much as I can at this stage. It will be interesting to see how well or poorly I will do. Regardless of the result, it is a very necessary and helpful step in my progress to be ready for the circumnavigation beginning November 30th.

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