Sunday, December 6, 2009

Worklist in the Boatyard

While Callisto is in storage in Deltaville, VA, we have arranged with the boatyard to tackle a couple of projects.

Solar Panels
This is a terrific way to generate electricity on a boat.  Our electric needs are small, but running the main engine to generate electricity is a waste of fuel and creates wear and tear on the engine.

We have purchased two 135 watt and one 85 watt solar panels, along with a controller.  At anchor, these should supply most or all of our electricity.  While on a passage, the current required for the autopilot and radar will mean that we will still have to run the engine occasionally.  The solar panels will be mounted above the bimini (sunshade over the cockpit), where they are out of the way of any shadows.

Chartplotter at Helm
When we ordered the boat, we decided to try getting along with a single chartplotter, mounted at the navigation station, below.  This was OK, but it was more than a bit of a pain to run down the companionway when we had a question about our route.  So we are breaking down and buying a second smaller unit, mounted at the helm. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hailing Port

We have gotten a few questions about our hailing port, Isle Royale, Michigan.

For boats with US documentation, the Coast Guard requires that a hailing port be included in the documents, and displayed on the boat. It can be any US location. We chose Isle Royal because it is a wild and beautiful place, and because it is an interesting and challenging sailing destination. And also because it is a bit quirky, with few (if any) other boats using it.

Isle Royale is part of the State of Michigan, and is located in northern Lake Superior almost at the Canadian border.  It is a US National Park.  There are no permanent residents, but some individuals still have leases that were grandfathered when the National Park was established, and live there during the summer.  Here's a link to the Wikipedia article.

View Larger Map

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our "Other" Boat

While we're in Switzerland, it isn't possible to sail Callisto very often.  Luckily, we have a wonderful lake just outside our back door.  The Lake of Lucerne, which is part of the Vierwaldst├Ąttersee (lake of the four forest-states), is an incredibly beautiful place to sail.

After David had acquired his Swiss sailboating license (more about that some other time), we bought "Little Dipper," a Beneteau First 21.7S.  She is 21' long, and weighs 2740 lbs.  Her keel is adjustable, with her draft at 5'11" when the keel is down, and 2'4" when it is up.  Beneteau has been building boats like her since the early 1990's, originally called a First 210.

The Lake of Lucerne is beautiful, but has one characteristic that is not so good for sailing:  very light winds.  If we get up to 5 knots, that is an exhilarating day.  Little Dipper is great for these conditions, because it takes very little wind to make her go.  We carry an asymmetric spinnaker for broad reaching home when the wind is light.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Annapolis Boat Show

Callisto was relaunched in Deltaville on October 1, and was moved by Phil Lambert and Skip Pond of Outbound Yachts to Annapolis, MD.  She will be available this week to prospective buyers who want a test sail, and will be on display  at the Annapolis Boat Show from October 8 through the 12th.  Our daughter, Esther, Gretchen's mother, Lois, and a couple of friends are planning to visit her during the show.

We're just a bit nervous about having a horde of people on the boat, but are also very proud to show her off.  Phil and Skip have done this many times, and we have confidence they will return Callisto in very good condition.  Getting some more miles under her keel will also help uncover any lurking problems.

Here's a link to the show.

We expect Callisto will be back on land in Deltaville by mid-October.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

About Callisto

Callisto is an Outbound 46 sailboat. She was built in Xiamen, China by the Han Sheng boatyard, under the supervision of Outbound Yachts owner Phil Lambert.

The Outbound 44/46 was designed by the late Carl Schumacher to be a fast, comfortable cruising sailboat. Some dimensions:

Length Overall: 46' 4"
Beam: 13' 6"
Draft 6' 6"
Displacement: ca. 28,000 lbs
Ballast: 10,000 lbs

You can learn more at the Outbound Yachts website.  Click here to read a review that was published in Blue Water Sailing.  Click here to see some photos we took in China.

We took delivery in July, 2009 and immediately set off on a shakedown cruise for three weeks on Chesapeake Bay. We sailed her from Virginia to the British Virgin Islands in 2010, and she has been in the Caribbean ever since.