Kiwi SpiritSep 28, 2012
A circumnavigator in three parts
With his goal of beating the record for fastest and oldest circumnavigation, Paris is having Kiwi Spirit built for speed.
Photos courtesy Aquidneck Custom Composite Fabrication
Like many thoroughbred horses, the Lyman-Morse-built, Farr-designed sloop Kiwi Spirit will be vetted on many levels as it goes through a purpose-driven existence. Speed, strength, endurance, and adaptability are key in its conceptualization as a circumnavigating voyager.
The boat was commissioned by veteran sailor Stanley Paris whose drive is fueled by his previous circumnavigations and desire to break the record of being the oldest person to sail solo non-stop around the world. Dr. Paris is a 76-year-old physical therapist originally from New Zealand, but who now resides in St. Augustine, Fla. Paris describes his use of the boat in three phases. Phase one, the “get-acquainted stage” starts right after the boat is launched in late summer. His plans for the initial shakedown include sail regattas and long races such as the 2012 ARC Rally from the Canaries to St. Lucia, and the Marion Bermuda Race. During this phase, Kiwi Spirit will be outfitted with a comfortable cruising interior, including typical mechanicals and other amenities one would expect to find on a quality 63-footer built by a world-class boatyard like Lyman-Morse.
Stanley Paris reviews the design for his sloop Kiwi Spirit at Lyman-Morse boatbuilding.
Phase two minimizing
In preparation for phase two, Kiwi Spirit, will return to Lyman-Morse for some serious “minimizing.”
The boat will be transformed into an ideal round-the-world racing sled for a seasoned solo sailor. Pounds will be shed through the removal of heavy items, such as air conditioning units, generator, and most of the modular furniture forward of the mast. Even the engine and its running gear will be extracted from the boat and laid aside. This is in keeping with Dr. Paris’ goal to leave no carbon footprint as he makes a fast safe trip around the world. To break the existing record set by Dodge Morgan in 1986, Paris will have to complete the circumnavigation in less than 150 days. His confidence in the boat, the builder, and himself are unshakable.
To build a boat up to the task is no easy feat and a challenge that few boatyards can meet. Paris chose Lyman-Morse because of their reputation for high-quality composite construction, engineering expertise, and superior craftsmanship.
The hull is built out of epoxy-infused carbon, E-glass and Kevlar with a thermo-core that is both stiff and lightweight. There is a hydraulic lifting keel which draws 14 feet, nine inches (down) for excellent upwind performance. The boat draws eight feet, seven inches when the keel is up, allowing entry into most bays.
There are four water ballast compartments to help counter the powerful rig and make the boat more comfortable in heavy air. The hard dodger is deep and wide, providing ample space for crew to stay dry yet within close reach of all sail controls for quick trimming. An easy-to-manage sail plan has been incorporated, with all lines leading aft to the cockpit.
Wind and hydro power
While circumnavigating, Kiwi Spirit will emit no hydrocarbons, as the main engine and generator will have been removed and set aside at the shipyard. Wind and hydro generators will augment a massive array of solar panels that will cover most surfaces. This energy will be stored in the house battery bank which consists of lightweight lithium-ion batteries. The battery bank has been sized to provide adequate power to run all the electronics, including the autopilot, which can have a large power draw, especially in a following sea. The inventive NKE autopilot features a wireless man-overboard remote, which when activated, will cause the boat to round up, increasing the likelihood of a self-rescue. A PC-based navigation system will run MaxSea software.
Interior accommodations for Kiwi Spirit under construction. The interior will be dropped into the boat following completion. For the circumnavigation, modular furniture will be removed to reduce displacement.
Kiwi Spirit’s interior, although capable of being paired down to its essence is none-the-less fitting of a yacht turned out by the expert craftsmen at Lyman-Morse. Perfect varnish and matching red birch veneers compliment the precise joinery. Accommodations include three cabins with the owner’s stateroom aft, two guest cabins, and three full heads with separate showers. The large galley, located amidships, sports a top-loading fridge and freezer. Fresh and salt water are brought to the sink via foot pumps, limiting electrical power draw.
Finally, a family cruiser
When Kiwi Spirit has finished her circumnavigation, the third jewel in its “Triple Crown” will begin; that of a family cruiser. Once again, she will return to Lyman-Morse for a refit. The end result will be an unusual and extraordinary undertaking for Lyman-Morse. Paris was attracted to Lyman-Morse because of Cabot Lyman’s circumnavigations and more than 250,000 miles at sea. This coupled with the yard’s history of incorporating modern technology with traditional methodology, made them the obvious builder of choice. As Drew Lyman said, “May Kiwi Spirit make many safe passages, and may Stanley live long to tell of the voyages.”