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Sailing with "GRAND PHA" Tiki46 N°2 Part 1 : From Brest (France) to St Martin (Caribbean)

( Here are the Part 02Part 03 )

GRAND PHA has been launched the Monday 17th September with a trailer which put her near the sea at low tide.
In waiting the tide, I re-stretched the lashings which worked very hard when the trailer lifted the boat under the  2 central beams .


It was a good surprise to see, although GRAND PHA was inclined due to the slipway slope, the stern began to float easily before the water reached the knokle.

When she was completely afloat, she was well floated horizontally and although her weight estimated at least at 9 tons with all the gears , tools , engines, batteries, anchors and chain, etc. the water line on he center of the hulls was almost at 10cm from the knockle.

The Tuesday 18th September 2012 at the end of the afternoon, after to have check the motors , we motored until the anse de l›Auberlac'h at 7NM from the marina using in alternating one diesel engine at 2000RPM in one hull + the electric engine in the other hull.at 5kts. Two NM before to join the anchorage, we motored with only the electric engines quietly at 3kts with a power of 1kw on each engine. At each low tide we grounded on a sand place.

The Thursday afternoon we were ready to hoist the first sail and I was very disappointed to see the difficulty to hoist it because the sail maker or the sail designer made a mistake in putting the eyes at the top of the sail not enough behind the mast line centre, so as the blocks are in the back this generates too much friction around the mast........

The Saturday after to have made temporary corrections to reduce the frictions with the mast we sailed with one sail to Morgat and according the point of sail we helped with one engine when it was necessary to head against the wind with a light wind with speed between 3 and 5kts.


Arriving in Morgat (at 25NM from the anse de l’Auberlac'h) our Manson anchor of 45 pounds was unable to penetrate the hard sand and after 3 unsuccessful attempts we took a buoy for the night.
The Sunday morning, as a storm was predicted for the next night, we sailed back to the rade de Brest in a new anchorage (port du Tinduff) at 27NM with a sailing speed between 5 and 7 kts according the wind. I put our other anchor : a Kobra anchor of 20kg instead the Manson with a lot of chain and the boat hold safely her position during the gusts of 40kts.

The Wednesday 26th September we motored the river Aulne until Port Launay at 20NM from the port du Tinduff, just after the first lock in a nice place along a quay to finish to prepare quietly the boat: climb again at the top of the mast to modify the block hauling system to finish to rig correctly the starboard sail and to rig the port one, to finish to wire the electronic gear and water pipes and to receive more easily family and friends.

We stay during 3 weeks at Port Launay. There was a lot of rain and it was a problem with the sails which keep a lot of water and so I built a support to hold better the sails. 

I solved the problem of the top of the sail according the idea of my friend Robert in fixing one pulley at the top of the sides of each sail with separate pulleys at the top and after the sail have a better look after to have haul up it :

The Saturday 13th October we left Port Launay until the rade de Brest. The Sunday morning we've a test with sails with a light wind and at the end of the afternoon with a NW wind of 15-20kts we sailed outside the rade de Brest until the anse de Bertheaume for the night with a good test of the rig.

The Monday 15th October in the morning, we were sailing north heading in the Chenal du Four with a W-SW wind of 15-20kts to join the isle of Wight.
We sailed at 60° of the wind with a speed of 10kts. When the wind become abeam I opened more the port sail and we heard a sound of broken wishbone. So we immediately dropped the sail to don't damage it and I decided according the wind and currents to stop in the Aber Wrac'h river in sailing only with the starboard sail.
But a few miles latter when changing of heading after passing the light of the Four, we were downwind and after to have adjusting the sail I looked below the sail to see the inside in order to check if all was OK when the wishbones broke suddenly pushing me violently outside. Happily the handrail stopped me and we dropped the sail to continue under power.

Although I have oversized the section of the wishbones ( the plan said to use an aluminium tube of only 25 mm, the same as for my previous Tiki30) they don't accept a wind of 20kts with gusts of 25kts and even the upper articulated wishbones at the top of the sail were broken.

For me it was a cold shower because after my tests aboard our Tiki30 PHA I had a very great confidence in the Swing wing rig offshore, but unhappily for a bigger boat this system is not enough reliable and as I've now any confidence with it I decided to give up the wishbones with articulations to get sails able to accept heavy conditions offshore sailing without damages.

Since GRAND PHA is grounded at the end of the river in waiting to get new wishbones.
The rig will be from outside very similar with the Galant rig with aluminium wishbones without articulations. The main difference is that each wishbone will be connected to the sheet system.

Sure the sails will not be so much powerful than with my previous articulated wishbones, but they will be very reliable with strong wishbones.


The wishbones have been made by a professional brazier and I have finished them to smooth the ends to don't damage the sails. As we wanted to be ready before the end of the next high tide to be able to leave the ground, the last days were very busy.

Here are the first wishbones finished with protections to don't damage the masts :

View inside a sail :

View facing a sail in the new harbour of Roscoff :

The Sunday 18th November 2012 at 08h30 there was just enough water to leave the bank where we were grounded since one month.

Unhappily there was no wind and we motored until the new harbour of Roscoff we joined at 17h45 before the night.

The next days were very windy with storms and as Marie-Helene was afraid and sick to sail in the cold season with short days, we decided to sail back to Brest to stay in the marina du Chateau until the end of March.

In the new marina of Roscoff Bloscon :

We have had to wait until the Thursday 29th November after north storms. The north wind decreased very quickly and with a  strong sea we motor-sailed with the starboard sail only. When heading south at the entrance of the chenal du Four I hoisted the second sail, but with not enough wind and with cross waves at downwind the two sails collided and the starboard sail has been damaged with the end of a wishbone. We haul down the two sails and with the two diesels we motored against the current and we entered in the marina at night after 75NM in 10 hours.

In the marina du Château in Brest :

Since we've had only a short sailing with family at mid December with light wind and in looking inside the sails I saw the protection on the wishbones made from strap to don't damage the masts was cut at two points and I'll replace them as soon as possible with plastic pipes on all the wishbones.

To hoist easily the sails we'll replace the 2 little winches with self tailing winches and new larger blocks and a few other improvements....to be ready at the beginning of April to sail to the isle of Wight before to join the south Portugal.

The 31st March we left the marina as the prices increases quickly in April. The weather was not good to join the isle of Wight, so we anchored at different places in the rade de Brest waiting a good weather to sail away.

It was easier to test the boat each day with moderate or strong wind. One day after to have sailed with wind of 20-25kts with all the sails, I was unable to drop the starboard sail. We anchored Grand PHA in the anse of l'Auberlac'h and I climbed inside the mast to see one pulley with balls has been damaged and blocked the haylard. After to have solve the problem I descent with the sail and next days I replaced the pulleys with other larger ones without balls.

Climbing inside the mast :

The damaged pulley :

During this waiting in the rade de Brest it was raining very often and we refiled easily our water tanks :

I was very disappointed for me to have to wait a so long time after the launch day to begin our voyage around the world.

It's not so easy to leave a big family for a so long time and Marie-Helene was very anxious to sail away and sorry to don't see our grand children very often and this psychological obstacle was in fact more difficult to solve than all  the technical problems!!!

Map showing the beginning of our sea people voyage : from The Fret in the rade of Brest the 14th April 2013 to Bayona (NW Spain) via the isle of Wight :

The Sunday 14th April 2013  at 10h20 in the morning we weigh the anchor with a 15kts wind just after the passage of strong SW winds. At the mouth of the rade de Brest their was gusts until 30kts and we motor sailed with only the starboard sail with 2 reefs. A big swell was facing Grand PHA and after to be out of this narrow passage we put the second sail with 2 reefs so and switch off the diesel engines . At the entrance of the Channel after to have passed the chenal du Four we were downwind pushed by a long swell and 20kts wind. We don't put all the sails because we preferred to sail quietly during this first sailing night.

The Monday  9h00 AM we were approaching the traffic lane corner offshore of the Casquets and we changed our heading in order to cut perpendicularity the traffic track. The first climbing track was empty when we crossed it, but the descending track was crowded and as we had a speed of 7 to 8 kts we passed quickly, only one big tanker turn a little to increase the separation. More we sailed to the north more the wind was vanishing and due to opposite tide current and lack of wind at 17h40 we started the diesel engines at 15NM from the Needles. We reached  the Needles when the current began to be with us. It was night when we anchored at 22h00 near the entrance of Newton river on the isle of Wight.

The tomorrow morning we motored until Folly inn pontoon on the Medina river to finalise our propulsion hybrid system.

Grand PHA along the pontoon of Folly on the Medina river isle of Wight :

As Graeme of Hybrid Marine was busy a part of the week, we have to stay until the next week to finish the tests.

The Thursday we walk along the river until Newport for shopping and to get cash .

The Friday 19th April we sail slowly until Bembridge (SE of the isle of Wight) in order to clean the botom hulls and to change one of the propeller for the next tests.

We fixed nets in front of the boat :

In waiting the warm seas :

The Saturday we sailed until Newton river to meet Chris, a friend who was waiting us aboard his Freedom 28 junk rigged:

Grand PHA anchored in Newton river :

We stayed quietly in this nice place until the Tuesday morning to sail back at Folly pontoon.

The Friday evening we motored from Cowes to the Hamble river to meet friends and as soon as we entered the Solent, a very thick mist was coming quickly. Happily we have an AIS transponder to see all the other boats. We crossed very big boats as  this one just before to penetrate the fog :

After we crossed the high speed ferry (30kts in the fog!!!) and other cargo boats.

The Saturday afternoon we sail back to Newton river and the Saturday morning we sailed to Lymington for the AGM of the Junk Rig Association :

The market of Lymington :

Grand PHA along the Dan Bran pontoon of Lymington with friends of the JRA  :

The Sunday 28th April we had a sailing with other junk rigged boats in the Solent :

We anchored for the lunch in Newton river with friends aboard and after to have left Stieve and Sally Peake and Edward Hooper who sailed to Yarmouth aboard Amiina we motored at first until the Needles and next motor sailed with all the sails due to SW wind until Swanage where we anchored waiting for  a better weather forecast to sail away south of Portugal.

Arriving in Swanage bay :

The Tuesday 30th at 2 a'clock in the night we weighed the anchor with the tide and a 10-15kts NW wind.

Marie-Helene is relaxed :

The Wednesday 1st May at 11h00  in the morning we turned around the outside traffic lane corner (offshore of Ouessant)  (48°57'N 5°54W ) after 185NM :

The visibility was very good and we saw a lot of cargo boats :

After the wind turned to North increasing enough to increase our spead to 8-9kts and so to  left behind us the changing of winds. Their was a NW swell on which Grand PHA enjoyed to have acceleration until 15kts.
The Friday 3rd May as the weather forecast predicted the wind we'll become very weak in the next hours we decided to have a stop in Bayona. I made the mistake to don't cross the traffic lane in the morning. I only waited to approach the traffic lane corner offshore of Cap Finisterre to cross. To cut the traffic lane at 90° I had to close the wind at 70° and the wind increased with gusts at 30kts, so we hauled dawn all the starboard sail to continue onlly with the full port sail. We sailed between 7 and 9 kts with waves abeam. It was a good test for the mast and the boat who passed very well on the waves (which cleaned very perfectly the decks) and the mast didn't have too much bending ( the only problem was the friction of the wishbones with the mast it's the problem with this rig). After to have crossed the traffic lane the wind decreased until 20kts and the next hours until  to have no wind. We motored one hour until to get an east breeze of 10 kts. After the sunset the wind dropped again and we finished the last 10NM under engines alternating in one hull the diesel engine and in the other hull the electric engine. When approaching Bayona we motored under electric engines only to put the anchor in a wonderful place surrounded by little mounts under a blue sky.
We sailed 653NM in 4 days and 8 hours at an average speed of 6.2kts.

View of Bayona :
The Sunday to have showers and to get an internet connexion we moved to the Monte Real Club de Yates de Bayona.
According the last weather forecast if no changes we'll continue our voyage to the isle of Culatra near Faro next Thursday.

Grand PHA on the pontoon of the Monte Real Club de Yates de Bayona :

Tomorrow Tuesday 7th May we'll come back at anchor until our departure, waiting the end of bad SW weather with rain.

From BAYONA (Spain) to CULATRA (South Portugal)

At 09h15  the Thursday 9th May the 2 sails are hoisted  before to pull out the anchor and at 10h00 we passed the cabo Silero in sailing downwind  quietly at 7kts with a 15kts north wind.
The tomorrow morning at 9h00 we are abeam Peniche. In the afternoon some dolphins play  with Grand PHA during a long time.  In the evening the wind increase to 20-25kts  giving top sped at 15kts. To sail quietly during the night we drop the starboard sail to keep only the port sail between the masts.
At 03h00 in the night, the Saturday 11th May we turn around the cabo de Sao Vincente. We are now heading to the east, the wind become  unstable between a few knots to 25 kts.In the morning we have only a light north wind becoming  SW. It's a very good sunny day  and we appreciate to sail slowly along the coast until the isle of Culatra :

At 16h00 we enter under engines in the channel  of Faro at high water  and we motor until the village of Culatra to anchor . From Bayona to Culatra we sailed 372 NM in 54 hours at an average speed of 6.9 kts.

Anchorage in the channel of Culatra :

The tomorrow  morning with the tender I visited the little cove at the SE of the village to know how to enter and where to ground and at 17h30 at high water we ground Grand PHA in a beautiful empty place :

Grand PHA is grounded just in the NE corner of the cove (represented by a monohull symbol) :

The best grounded area, well sheltered near the village, is very crowded with a big majority of catamarans including about a dozen of Wharram cats. But very few are able to sail, the majority is used as a home and I met only two owners, the others were empty :

Here is a Tehini :

With an old ferry we shopped several times in Olhao 2NM north of Culatra where each Saturday morning is a beautiful market with a lot of people selling fruits and vegetables :

In Culatra we met a French Guy "Alain" who bought in the Canaries an old  catamaran named "SARGO" with hulls made of thick GRP who looks very near of a Tangaroa :

Detail of how are fixed the shrouds :

The owner Alain (named so "Ma Poule") is a man always very happy, living on a very small budget. As he plan so to sail until the Pacific ocean we'll be very pleased to meet him again :


We enjoyed very much this place and as I though it was not too late to join the Caribbean,  the Tuesday 28th May we left the cove to anchor in the channel to be ready to sail to Gran Canaria.


*Route Grand PHA  Juin 2013 Culatra Canaries

The Wednesday 29 May at 06h40 in the morning we leave Culatra. The wind is abeam  15kts , speed 6.5kts.
At 15h00 we are out of the traffic lane and as the wind is increasing to 25kts from W-NW we drop the the port sail and reduce a panel in the starboard sail.
Marie-Helene is bad due to a persistent seasick and I assume alone the night watches.
At 19h00 after the impact of  a big wave abeam the hulls, the electric pilot shut down. Happily it was only an heavy object on the chart desk which slid and switched off the NMEA switch.
As the Friday the seasick of Marie-Helene didn't decrease, we decided to stop in Lanzarote. The Sunday 1st June we drop the anchor  at the east of the marina Rubicon in front of la playa de las Mujeras. The average speed was 7.2kts.

The Monday 03 June to visit the island we go in the marina Rubicon : very good welcome and services but the price is 109 Euros for 2 nights.

The Tuesday we visited the island.

 The volcanoes :

View of the island of Graciosa just at the north of Lanzarote (now we need to get an authorisation to anchor ) :

The Wednesday 05th June we come back at anchor in front of the playa.

Since the boat has been reassemble last September, I live on board, but for Marie-Helene it has been very hard to leave our house, family, friends etc. At a time I was afraid after so many years of building she gave up  our sailing plans and to sail alone on a such big boat. It's why we change our plan and stayed in Brest during the winter. And now with the time she feels better enjoying more and more our new sea people life after to have passed more of 30 years with children.
In fact the technical problems are easier to solve than the human problems....
So we decided to visit the Canaries and Cap Verde islands in waiting the good time to join the Caribbean next November giving more time to enjoy this islands, to know better the boat and to feel well when sailing.

The Sunday 9th June at 18h30 we left Lanzarote to Las Palmas of Gran Canaria we reached the tomorrow morning at 11h00.


It's a very big marina, and except during the ARC from mid September it's prohibited to anchor near the marina. The marina is cheapest than Rubicon (about 20Euros/day for the 102m² of our Tiki46 but all the boats above 12m have to pay  a tax for the month even if you stay only a few days!!!! 120Euros for us).
The life on the pontoons is very good and we met a lot of new friends. For the boat you can find almost all what you want.
We stayed 3 weeks. I put epoxy  at the point of contact on the mast with the wishbones and re tensioned the lashings.

We visited so the island :

The Tuesday 2d Jully  at 11h40 we left Las Palmas to find an anchorage in the south. We sailed with Tobi, a German friend we met in Brest . We begin with a light 10kts wind with all the sails but 2 hours latter the wind has increased to 25-30kts and we drop the port sail alone pushing us until 16kts in the gusts + waves  and we reduced the sail of 2 panels.
Half an hour latter no wind, so I start the diesel in one hull and electric engine in the other. The anchor is drop near Puerto de Anfi del Mar. It's not a good anchorage due to littles waves coming from offshore.

The Wednesday 3d Jully we changed of anchorage to anchor at the foot of a big cliff near Puerto de Mogan. It's a nice place but the sea in not smooth, mainly due to a lot of little ferries  and many water boat activities for the tourists and so due to a thermal wind from the sea during the day.

A catamaran for the tourist industry :

In almost all the places where we stop in harbours or anchorages we are able to get a free or cheap WIFI connexion. It's very important for Marie-Helene to keep a contact with our grand children in France and in Australia with Skype :


The Monday 8th July at 8h30 with a light SE wind we leave our anchorage near Puerto Morgan heading to Tenerife.  30 minutes latter the wind disappears and we continue with electric engines until to join the North main wind which climb quickly at 25 kts. The port sail is drop  in a few seconds, keeping only the full starboard sail.
Initially we wanted to anchor at Bahia de Abona, but the wind is more NE than expected, it's not protected and we continue to sail downwind along the coast heading south. We drop the anchor behind the punta Montana Roja. The best place is occupied by big steel boys for tankers which bring kerosene for the airport and as we don't feel very comfortable we continue until the puerto de Las Galletas. We are at anchor beside  "Samsara" an old English gaff boat we have already met in Brest and Las Palmas.

The tomorrow we entered in the little marina of Las Calletas to rent a car and to visit the island.
The town is quiet with no tourist industry and the marina is welcoming, but the price for us is 50 Euros per day.

The Saturday 13 July we put again our anchor beside the harbour.
The Wednesday 17 July we moved a few miles forward to anchor near the puerto de Los Gigantes at the foot of gigantic cliffs! The harbour is mainly used by motorboats and our cat is too big to get a place. But I'm feeling more free at anchor that in an harbour.

The Friday 19 July we move 2 miles further to anchor in front la playa de Masca at the foot of 600m cliffs.


The Monday 22 July at 07h20 in the morning  we put off the anchor using the 2 electric engines using 1kw on the  port hull and 1.2kw on the starboard hull, getting a speed of  4 kts .
At 8h45 we get a wind of N-NE 15kts decreasing 1 hour latter to 10kts allowing to have a very quiet crossing. We were able to see clearly  Tenerife, Gomera, El Hiero and La Palma. At 17h30 we reached  la  Punta de Fuencaliente with  a few drizzle.
The wind vanished with a short facing NW swell and waves with a light opposite wind. The 2 sails are drop and we motor : diesel +  electric  until the puerto de Tanzacorte. We anchored in the south of the harbour  on a flat sea at 20h15. It was the first very quiet anchorage since we are in the Canaries.

The Tuesday 23 July  we enter in the marina which has a lot of free place . It is a very quiet marina at 30 minutes of walk from the village with a more reasonnable price (38 Euros per night for us). We rent a car for only 20 Euros per day to visit the island.
This island don't develop the tourist industry , it products a lot of  fruits thanks to the rain water and we were surprised to don't see more voyaging sail boats here and in Santa Cruz de La Palma.


The Sunday 28 July 2013 we came back at anchor .  As the temperature of the sea is 25°C, it's a pleasure to clean the  hull  bottom which is protected by a Coppercoat paint .

The Thursday 01 August we sailed to La Gomera we reached at the end of the afternoon. We anchored in the south of the Puerto de Vueltas (Valle Gran Rey). We were the only boat along la playa de Argayal surrounded by very beautiful cliffs :

View from the puerto de Vueltas, we can see Grand PHA in the background :

The Sunday 04 August we motored around the south of La Gomera. After a short stop at the entrance of the puerto de Santiago due to a too big swell we continue until a desert anchorage at la playa de la Roja.

The tomorrow morning we continued to motor to the puerto de San Sebastian. As soon as we reached the long jetty, the wind increased suddenly from 5kts to 20kts and to enter in the marina I started the 2 diesels. But the starboard engine had no power. At the entrance of the marina we stop along an old gaff boat in waiting to know where we can go. I descended quickly in the starboard hull to see what's happened and I saw the top of the silence exhaust box was pierced and a jet of water was thrown across the engine room. I stopped   immediately the 2 diesel engines and we finished the manoeuvre without problems with the electric engines. I was lucky to find a new exhaust box of the same size and after to have replaced it and to check all is OK, during 3 days we hired a car to visit this very beautiful little island :

View of the marina from the cliff .

Visit of the giant laurel forest :

The Sunday 11 August we motored back via the south of la Gomera with no wind to Valle Gran Rey . During 2 hours we motored under electric engines and after alternatively with on one side the diesel + generator and on the other side only the electric engine but the starboard diesel had not a good sound because no water were going threw the exhaust pipe. So I stop it and used the port diesel + the starboard electric engine  until the anchorage. In fact the impeller of the water sea pump loosed 3 blades on 6!!! The engine has only 60 hours of run but in fact the engine has been built since more 4 years and the rubber was damaged. So now I"ll replaced them each year.

Along the beach there was the Finca Argayall center who welcome guests and workshops around the yoga, tantra, healing, dance, etc and each afternoon during one hour we join them for yoga or meditation. Sometime it was very difficult to land on the rocky beach due to the swell.. As you can see the life was very pleasant and we met a lot of people on other boats or at land.

The Sunday  8 September we sailed again to Tazacorte in La  Palma to take the 2 impellers we've order via a friend of La Palma and the Wednesday  18 september after a long waiting we sailed back with a light across wind. To arrive before the night I switch on the port electric engine but after 2 hours of working at low power the main electric box control refused to work and I used the starboard one to continue to help  to sail quicker

The Wednesday 25 September after to have try to repair myself with the help of Hybrid Marine via email, we sailed to Tenerife until the marina of San Miguel to bring the main box control to the DHL office of Santa Cruz.

Happily on route we've had the pleasure to meet dolphins :

During 3 days we visited again this big island and moored at the entrance of the harbour, we've had the surprise to see the Pahi 63 MOANA who has been built in Austria and now his third or fourth owner is a French couple and their children. Unhappily they were not on-board but I take a few pictures :

Grand PHA in the marina of San Miguel :

We were very disappointed to in different parts of the Canaries these big tourist building centres unachieved and as you can see we have so bought folding bicycles :

The Monday 30 September we left San Miguel to La Gomera with a light NW wind. We anchored in the little cove of playa de Avalo at 1.5NM in the NE of San Sebastian. The tomorrow morning we motored a few miles after San Sebastian  around the south of La Gomera untilthe anchorage in front of la playa del Cabrito in waiting the wind turln again to NE to be able to join again our favourite anchorage in the south of puerto de Vueltas because the ground is good and according the wind it's possible to find other good anchorages around La Gomera. The Friday 4 October we dropped the anchor at a good place in front of the playa Argayall to be able to receive the Wifi from a restaurant in the puerto de Vueltas.

Initially we wanted to sail to Cap Verde but due to these problems with the engines  we decided to cross directly to the Caribbean as soon as we have repaired the hybrid system.And as our friends Ann and Nev from Peace4 announced us it was their last  cruise before to sold their boat, we want to met them in the north Bahamas.

The 17 October we've had the good surprised to discovered the Tiki 46 Apatiki from our Belgium friends Cynthia and Jean-Paul en route to Mindelo (Cap Verde) :

APATIKI sailing away to Cap Verde from La Gomera Valle Gran Rey :

After to have analyse the failure, Hybrid Marine decided to send to us 2 control boxes of new generation to replace the damaged one and so the other to prevent a future failure.

The parcels arrived in the ice cream shop of a French friend the Tuesday 29 October and a few days later all was working perfectly after to have installed the new boxes, and we thank Graeme of Hybrid marine for his work,and help.

After to have said good bye to a lot of friends, the Monday 4 November we sailed to a little cove on the SE of Vueltas at la cala Candera where is living a little community with Sylvain our ice cream friend. The swell was big and we were obliged to hang our tender to the too short jetty :

Sunset with El Hierro in the background :

The tomorrow morning we had a short stop along the quay of puerto Vueltas to disembark Sylvain and her friend and we continue to sail to Tazacorte in La Palma to embark our friend Robert who will cross th Atlantic with us. He owned a Tangaroa who burned a fw years ago in the north of the Venezuela en route to Panama.

Yesterday and today we shopped and prepared the boat :

Our friend Robert helping us :

Tomorrow morning, the Saturday 9 November 2013 we'll anchor at the entrance of the harbour to wash slightly the bottom and at the beginning of the afternoon we'll sail away to Saint Martin and next to the Bahamas to have a new Tiki46 meeting with Peace4.

November 2013 : Crossing the North Atlantic :

Initially we planed to cross without crew but as Marie-Helene is not very well offshore, especially during the nights and that a few days before our departure our friend Robert written us on all our e-mail adresses he was free, we decided to take him on board without to know how long he will stay with us.

Leaving the Canaries without wind :

The Saturday 9th November 2013 at 14h45 we leave the anchorage near Tazacorte heading 240. The main wind of NE was deviated by the mountains and as I made the mistake to don't head south at first to recovery quickly the wind, we have had to motor sail during about 30NM before to find a good trade wind of 20-25 kts.

In the first days the wind was not very strong and according the weather forecast I chosen to don't sail too much in the south.
The days run quickly. The night watch was devised in parts of 2 hours for each one and each 4 days I readjusted our clock with the sun time.

Marie-Helene reading in her comfortable nest :

Before to use the water to drink or to cook it is filter:

Before our departure we keep some fresh water in buckets :

Marie-Helene enjoy the flat sea :

The 14th and 15th November the wind droped and the weather become stormy with winds changes completely of direction in a few seconds. Happily the gust were not too strong. The only problem was as at downwind I hold the sail with a rope to limit the movements with the waves, when the wind turn suddenly of 180 degrees we have to free quicly the sail.

Filing buckets with rain water :

Dolphins :

To kill the insects in the cereals, we put them in plastic bottles which are after closed and exposed to the sun :

Bertrand taking a sea shower :

In approaching the Caribbean the wind of E-NE increased. The 27th November there was some squalls with gusts at 30-35 kts during 30 minutes. We were under only the starboard sail and with the help of the swell the speed reach 16 kts and more. No worry for the mast which bent only slightly its top, but the starboard propeller which was engaged in reverse run twice the diesel engine at high RPM speed! Happily the engine was no damage but some air was in the diesel pump and it was not easy to put off all the air bubbles.

The Thursday 28th November Robert can see the first land since or departure, it was the island of St Barthelemy and a few hours latter just before the sunset we dropped our anchor in the bay of Marigot 19days and six hours after our departure to sail 2690 NM ( average speed of 5.8kts).

Arriving to St Martin :

The town of Marigot :

Here we wanted to buy some gears for the boat and with the help of friends from Martinique who live now here we shoped and visited this island which has a French and a Dutch part.

Grand PHA anchored in the bay of Marigot :

The Saturday 30th November we entered the lagoon via the French bridge near Marigot.

Approaching the entrance of the lagoon :

In the lagoon the French part :

In the lagoon the Dutch part :

Anchored near the home of our friends ::

View from the top of one mast :

It is a bigger dinghy we have bought in second hand here :

The Sunday 8th December we motored out of the lagoon and waited at anchor the good time to continue our voyage toward the Bahamas.

As the bridge can't be completely vertical when opened, in leaving the lagoon I was a little afraid to hit one mast with it :

Since Panama we have this new manual tracking system of Grand PHA with comments (in French) which works with an Iridium.

Part 02 : From St Martin (Carribean) to the San Blass (Panama)

Part 03 : From the San Blas (Panama) to ?

Views: 11010

Comment by Andrew Harris on October 8, 2012 at 8:37am


Congratulations on your masterpiece. It really looks just like "big brother" to your Tiki 30. I'm intrigued by the shape of the pod and cabins, they look similar to your Tiki 30 ones. I haven't seen any Tiki plans yet, but are they standard in that design or did you make some changes to give you more space?

Comment by Bertrand FERCOT on October 9, 2012 at 3:59am


Thanks. I increase the roof of the central cabin hulls to get more space, larger windows on the sides and ventilation hatches on front and behind. The pod is so my own design. Have a look on my blog about her building.


Comment by marc on October 23, 2012 at 5:51pm

Plus de peurs que de mal. Heureusement.

Comment by Thomas Mallunat on January 5, 2013 at 12:52pm

Hello Bertrand and Marie-Helene,

I just saw your pictures of the damaged wishbones today. I had not imagined, that it was that worse! What a pity, and you have put so much work in it! But the good think about this is, that it happened now in the beginning and not out on the crossing of the Atlantic.

We hope your work to improve the sails is making good progress and we want to congratulate you for the great work you have done with Grand PHA - it is a beatifull boat!

See you on the seas!

All the best from

Susi & Tom

Comment by Mike Haromy on January 24, 2013 at 10:59am

Hi Bertrand,  i saw something familiar on youtube today.   have you seen this?


Comment by Ann and Neville Clement on January 25, 2013 at 2:00pm

Hoorah for Grand PHA and Bertran and Marie Helene!

     She is a beautiful and original boat and I think we should all forgive the minor problem with the wishbones and list it as new boat learning curve.  It is good to get this problem now and not mid ocean.  Peace IV will be waiting to greet GP when you come over to our side of the ocean. 

     Neville is recovering from his second total knee replacement which went well but he will have much physical therapy now.  We expect to sail south in September and hope to have a 10 year old boy with us for the entire winter with home schooling on the boat.  It will be nice to have a youngster aboard full time and we will also have our friend John James (Tiki 30 in build) at least half way to Bahamas. 

     And so, Bertrand, the dream has been made into a reality for you and your family.  We are remembering your many visits to us when we were building P4 and how exciting it was each time to greet you.  The next greeting will be fantastic!  

     Love,  Ann and Nev

Comment by Bertrand FERCOT on January 29, 2013 at 2:33pm

Hello Susi &Tom

Yes all the first parts of all the double wishbones broke due to too much curve (which generate a very high force in the middle of the sail) and due to a  section not enough big to absorb the efforts.

I was tired with this too long time to build the boat and at the end I haven't taken enough time with too much certitude to be OK with the good experiences with our Tiki30 PHA. But all is very different with the efforts on a 30' and a 46'....

After this incident I realized without wishbones I can't use the sails, so I had to rebuild very strong wishbones. It's why I gave up the swing system to choose one part aluminium wishbones.

During the same time Marie-Helene was afraid and sick to sail in bad season and wanted to stay in Brittany to see our grand children from Australia who visited us in December. So we decided to put Grand PHA in the marina du Chateau at Brest until next March (for the visitors, same price as for the mono-hulls!). In April we'll sail in UK and after to the south Portugal to get more heat in waiting to sail more south and cross the Atlantic in December hoping to meet you again .

Hi Mike

Thank you for your link. As I said, present time I choose a less powerful system more simple and stronger to sail offshore but perhaps in the future I'll study again a new system....

Bon courage to end your Tiki46.

Hi Ann and Nev.

Thank you for your encouragement. We are happy to know Nev is well recovering from his second total knee replacement and you plan to sail south in September.

Present time the live is very complicated with a such big family and with old parents who don't accept our departure and for Marie-Helene who want to see her grand children........Last week we were in Compiegne for the 90th birthday of my father.

In order to visit our Grand Children in Australia, we think to passed the Panama canal in February or March 2014 and before we hope to meet you somewhere in the Caribbean or Bahamas.

We have 2 months to prepare the boat and to study quietly our voyage. Tonight it's very windy, a new storm is coming and I hope next week to have a better weather to work on the sails.

Love, Bertrand and Marie-Helene

Comment by Mike Haromy on July 31, 2013 at 1:36pm

In fact the technical problems are easier to solve than the human problems....

That is the truth!!

Thanks for the update.

Comment by paul anderson on July 31, 2013 at 3:03pm

Bravo Bertrand.

Comment by wakataitea on August 23, 2013 at 9:22am

hoho... you arre fast... too fast ... in February, march to panama.  and before to the bahamas. when will you cross the atlantik? i did it in early december in 1999. and i cross the panama canal in end of april. the crossing of the pacific i did in mai i remember... 33 days single hand on a 31 feet 50 year old wooden  boat. (john alden design...)

we are in madagaskar now. is great here... we  try to be in the caribiean in march,april and cross panama in mai. we will stay in the south of the carib. grenada, ABC islands etc... maybe we will meet you...

famely is nice and important but don't forget... it is your time now. your famely likes for sure that you enjoy your time after all this work. don't get in stress... enjoy, be happy and this will make all your grand kids and famely even more happy... getting a heard attack on sea because grand daddy is rushing over the oceans does not help anybody...

look at your father... wow 90 years... you have to beat this record, not the nonstop sailing around in a wharram record...

last week, i am now 14 years on the way...

Bertrand and Marie-Helene, we wish you all the best.... and have fun....

 hans and isabelle


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