Dulcinea's refit February 2012

Dulcinea's mast lies across several boats in the yard in Chalong

Feb 2012 N7 50 E98 22

Dear friends,

This email is being started from a jet plane somewhere between Korea and Kamchatka. It was 12 years ago that we wrote from a car on the Trans-Canada Highway about all our excitement and apprehensions when Jan & I first left our house & our sons to go cruising around the oceans in the sailing boat Harmonica. Now that seems long ago, Harmonica has been sold, our new catamaran Dulcinea is waiting, but the same feelings are coming back: This is another new start with lots to learn and lots to explore. New boat, new plan, new excitement still mixed with the old uncertainties. Today it is just me, Dave, heading off. Jan took me to Calgary Airport this morning, but she will leave Calgary tomorrow for some more time with our grand daughter and her parents on Vancouver Island. This may have been a foolish move, but more likely buying Dulcinea could be the start of a new adventure almost as novel as it was in 2000.

Dulcinea is a big boat and will be completely different to handle at sea. Harmmonica was one of hundreds of Kelly Petersons comissioned in California, and there are many similar designs; whereas Dulcinea is one of 3 Shuttleworth 64's and there are very few if any other designs like her. We have never made an ocean crossing in a catamaran, but we have read lots and talked to many people who have. We believe that Dulcinea should be very fast and comfortable. Last year Jan & I sailed her 100 miles to Langkawi, and I sailed back on my own. No surprises except for various systems not working and needing attention. Since then Dulcinea has been in the "Coconut Yard in Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand.

We expected some big bills after we bought Dulcinea. She has been in the yard since mid December, and is almost ready - hopefully going back into the water in about two weeks on the next spring tide. I have been learning a new skill - spending money - and am getting quite good at it. The headsail furler was seized and its bearing is being replaced. Genoa cars being repared, Neither autopilot worked. There was a lot of vibration from the saildrives, and both engines are being replaced. The steering system has been removed and rebuilt. The mast is down & the standing rigging seems good (all 8 stays + runners & diamonds). Many jobs done and some new instruments. A few fibreglass jobs reparing trim in the cockpit & elsewhere. Some paint. New dingy, new liferaft. There is new refrigeration throughout. Lots of new solar & wind power so that I plan not to need generator...... I left a list of nearly 100 items and most have been completed well.

Old trim has been replaced

Hydraulic cylinders rebuilt......

From the practical point of view, many boat yards and marinas will not be able to handle Dulcinea's size, but we like spending our time sailing or anchored out where size should just make life more comfortable.

More news will come as we get out sailing.

Love & greetings to you all from Dave