Aventura’s Logs

Aventura IV – A boat for all seasons

Aventura IV

A long time has passed since my last report on the progress of my new boat and I apologize for the long wait. The reason for the delay is that I felt that there was little to be added to what I had already said before all the design features had been decided and finalized. That stage has now been reached and work on the boat has started.

The main elements that had to be decided with the designer and builder were the propulsion system, steering, and interior arrangement. Instead of the proposed saildrive system, it was agreed that for high latitude sailing the classic in-line shaft arrangement was more suitable. The well-tried two rudder arrangement was kept, but suitably adapted with the same consideration in mind.

As I am determined that my new boat will have as low a carbon footprint as possible, the next step will to choose the most suitable power management system with maximum use of renewable sources of energy.

Most of the other features that have now been decided, such as the cutter rig, were influenced by my previous boats and it is interesting that an email, which I received recently from John Tynan, raised that same question: what elements have been kept from my previous boats and what has been changed or improved? In order of importance they are: aluminium hull, shallow draft and centreboard.

Very early in my cruising days I realised the absolute importance of having a strong hull when the first Aventura ran aground in the Turks and Caicos Islands and spent several hours pounding hard on a coral reef. We came off after several hours with miraculously little damage. That incident taught me two very important lessons which I drew on for the rest of my sailing life. As a navigator, never believe that you are where you think you are; and to have a boat, which can take the kind of pounding that we had been through – and survive.

Already convinced of the advantages of shallow draft on a cruising boat, Aventura II, a Bill Dixon designed 40 foot cutter, had a retractable keel. As for a strong hull, I decided on steel. During our first voyage we had become friendly with Erick Bouteleux, a French sailor who, like us, was on a round the world voyage with his wife and two young children. On his return home he became the OVNI agent for SE France. He had already tried hard to convince me, when I was planning my second boat, to choose aluminium instead of steel and I wish I had listened to him … So when I started making plans for my next voyage, the decision came by itself. Aventura III was an OVNI43, an aluminium centreboard cutter.

Aventura IV thus incorporates all those basic features, but with several significant additions, which fall into three broad categories.

Aventura IV - Salon - 270 degree view

The first are the various elements which, based on my personal experience, should feature in a boat that is meant to be a true all-rounder, perfectly suited for both high latitude sailing, and possible encounters with ice, as well as being a comfortable live-aboard in warmer climes. In other words, a boat for all seasons.

Secondly were the features inspired by Olivier Racoupeau, an impressively open-minded nautical architect who understood my concept well and translated it into a feasible, and highly attractive design.

The third input was that of the builder, Stephan Constance, who brought into play not just his proven experience in building the successful range of Allures yachts, but also a considerable dose of realism in turning all those elements into a workable project. That project is now starting at the Garcia Yachting yard in Normandy, from where I shall post my next progress report in early September.

In the meantime, I enclose some images of the Exploration 45, a name which I chose in the hope that this new yacht will appeal to anyone who truly intends to explore some distant corner of this blue planet.

Aventura IV - Interior - Click on image to enlarge

Aventura IV - Interior - Click on image to enlarge

Aventura IV - Interior - Click on image to enlarge

Aventura IV - Interior - Click on image to enlarge


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