Presentation on theme: "Vagabond Heart, TP4955, completed her second circumnavigation in November of this year when she sailed into Bundaberg, on Australias east coast. Built."— Presentation transcript:
Vagabond Heart, TP4955, completed her second circumnavigation in November of this year when she sailed into Bundaberg, on Australias east coast. Built for Bill and Mary Moore in 1985, she has been a bluewater traveler all her life. The Moores cruised extensively in SE Asia and the Pacific, before passing her on to the Stone family who circumnavigated over a seven year period from 1995 to 2002. Taking over the baton, the Hawkins family kept her in Sydney for a couple of years, refitting a few key systems, before leaving for our own circumnavigation in 2005. We have just returned to Australia and will be back in Sydney by the end of 2009. Bill and Debbie, and our 3 children, Edward now 13, Alice 11 and Wil 10, spent the first year of the trip exploring the east coast of Australia before sitting out the cyclone season in Mooloolaba. This was all about getting used to liveaboard life with three young children as well as enjoying some of the best cruising areas in the Pacific. Next season we headed north round to Darwin before leaving Australia for Indonesia. Our route then took us up through Singapore to Malaysia and Thailand before crossing the North Indian Ocean to Sri Lanka. Taking the Red Sea option we sailed to Oman via the Maldives, then on to Aden and up the Red Sea, exploring the reefs and coast of Sudan and Egypt. Vagabond Heart second circumnavigation From Hawkins Family
We entered the Mediterranean in May 2007, spending two seasons, primarily in the eastern half, before heading to Gibraltar and then south to Morocco, the Canaries, Cape Verdes and then across the Atlantic to Martinique. After a relatively short stay in the eastern Caribbean we headed west to the San Blas, through the Panama Canal and on into the Pacific for the Coconut Milk Run home to Australia. That trip took us to the Galapagos, Marquesas, Tuamotus, French Polynesia, Northern Cook Islands, Tonga, Fiji and New Caledonia. We crossed our path off Fraser Island, 38 countries and 32,000nm after leaving home 5 years ago. It has been an extraordinary, life changing experience for all of us, and we are so glad we had the good fortune to find Vagabond Heart. She has proved to be the perfect home, carrying us in comfort, style and safety everywhere we have gone. She has been a fantastic boat for us in our adventure, and I know the previous owners felt exactly the same. Finding the right boat was not easy; in fact, it took nearly 2 years of searching. We found many good cruising boats, but they were mostly designed with a couple in mind, accommodating 2 adults with room for friends to visit but not necessarily stay for long. With three growing children, we needed 3 cabins and plenty of storage. We also needed a safe, dry boat, with a decent sized cockpit, we could use in most weathers, gunwhales and strong life lines. That way the children would not be confined below and could venture on deck in safety. Good sea handling and strong sailing ability both upwind and downwind were also important because, at the end of the day, the sailing should be fun and shorter passages are safer passages.
Then we found Vagabond Heart. The fact that she had already circumnavigated with a family was a very good sign and even a cursory inspection showed she had all the right boxes ticked. Here was a proven design, she looked great and the interior fitout was not only good looking but extremely practical. This latter, in particular, stood her apart from many of the otherwise good cruising boats we met in our travels. A walk-in engine room allows easy access (much appreciated by mechanics), and all the main systems, plumbing and wiring are accessible through removal panels. Whether you are maintaining your own boat or paying a professional to do the job, this becomes so important. For us though the real standout only became obvious as we began to travel, to undertake long passages and to meet a huge variety of cruising boats along the way. She is a great sea boat - dry, steady and very easy to sail short-handed. She regularly cruises at 6 to 7 knots, and we sail her very conservatively with the three kids on board. On the long passages we have been making this year, we have had really fine sails and gone very well in comparison to many of the boats in the "fleet". She is built to eat up the miles in comfort and also provide a lovely home for a family wherever we drop the hook. Many times others would report having had an unpleasant, uncomfortable passage when we arrived rested after a good trip. Our most common rig is twin headsails, genoa poled out to windward and the mizzen. With the wind greater than 120 degrees, we can run forever like that; the jibs support one another, counteract the roll, and the mizzen is far enough away not to interfere. It is also one of the fastest points of sail and very easy to handle (no main and roller furling on both jibs). Almost no weather helm at all. We can carry this up to 25kn when we then drop the mizzen. At 30kn we furl a piece of each jib as needed. She feels safe and balanced, and we have done many 1000s of miles like this.
Having said that, with genoa, main and mizzen, she will sail well to windward when needed and with staysail and mizzen alone she can handle heavy weather with confidence. With her cruising weight we need about 12/13kn over the deck to get her up to boat speed, and below that, if we need the pace, the large Ford is a beauty - we have the 135hp Lehman. 6 cylinder, large, slow revving (cruising at about 1500rpm) and relatively frugal - we carry 950ltrs so have over 200hrs range. So you can probably tell we love our boat. Apart from a few minor upgrades I wouldn't change a thing of her design. The only alternative for us would be a catamaran and then we would be talking a lot more money for an equivalent boat. In fact more than one of our cruising friends with cats have said that this is the only mono they would ever consider. So what next for Vagabond Heart? We will continue to live aboard her for several months, enjoying the Sydney summer cruising and also easing the transition back to shore life. She will then be looking for a new owner, hopefully another family, with a new adventure planned and sea salt in their veins. This is not a boat to sit on a mooring, to be sailed on the odd weekend. She needs to be out there doing what she was built for. If you would like to learn more about our trip go to www.vagabondheart.comwww.vagabondheart.com