A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
GRAND PHA ha 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.
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.
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 :
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 :
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 :
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 :
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 :
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 :
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 :
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.