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Chamade NW Passage

In 2011 the S/V CHAMADE sailed the Northwest Passage

The Boat

Type: full aluminum dinghy 
Length: 11.94 m 
Hull Length: 11m44 
Waterline length: 10.67 m 
Width: 3m92 
Draught: 0.77 / 2.35 m 
Mainsail area: 31m2 
Furling jib: 40m2 
Staysail furling: 14m2 
Surface area: 71m2 
Displacement: 8.8 T 
Engine: Volvo 40hp 
Water tank: 350 liters 
Fuel tank: 360 liters (180 liters extra) 

FAQ-What are the formalities to winter in Iceland? 

Very simple. Upon arrival in Iceland, we called the Coast Guard by VHF. They have warned of the Harbor Master Seydisfjördur and customs. 
On the customs form, we indicated that we would stay one year. That is enough.Note that we had regular visits by Customs during our stops, and each time the bill of entry has been verified. 
Recall that Iceland is not an EU member, and that payment of VAT is payable for local off more than one year.

- How do you do with the gas: How does one find there?

4 years since we operate with propane, the only sale in the north country, and the only one that works in the cold. No problem with our fully compatible burners (ENO). Only the regulator should be adjusted. And this is where things get complicated! 
Many countries, so many brands, so many different systems. We have now on board a French regulator, one British and one Norwegian. 
Cylinder filling: We gave up trying to fill bottles abroad. Every time we change system (bottles and regulator). 
Advantage: simplicity. 
Drawback: the price, since we lose every time the amount of instructions, 50 € / bottle in Norway for example. But over time this is not more expensive than chasing a hypothetical filling solution, not to mention the possible costs of cab ride to a suburban plant, where it exists. 
3 years and we use Norwegian bottles. We have four of 6kg, we providing a range of 4 months. Seen our itinerary, whenever we could exchange the bottles of Finnish or Norwegian territory (same system). We were able to go in Spitsbergen or through Russia without worrying about the gas. Same this year through Sweden, Shetland, the Faroes and Iceland.

- What batteries have you, how do you do during the winter?

We have four lead-calcium batteries Freedom from 95 AH to bondage, and one for the engine. They are now 4 years of service and many charge-discharge cycles.They still work well, but begin to "tired". They could probably take a couple more seasons. But we think the place next summer. 
For winter, we cut everything, after fully charged. We do not leave charger in place, given that we are not there to supervise. And all is well. Last winter, Finland, Chamade remained six months to land, including more than a month with temperatures from -30 ° to -35 °. Upon arrival in April the batteries still showed 12.1 V. Not bad for cheap batteries. When changing I wonder, Is there a need for AGM or GEL that cost double. Will they last twice?

-How to fight against humidity during the rainy season?

There, experience is lacking, since the winters in Tromso and Turku were very cold, and therefore little wet. Contrary to what one might fear, the cold keeps the boat dry and in good condition. But be careful to weatherproof coating of the entrance, to prevent snow from accumulating on the slip cover. 
And of course, must be drained very carefully all the fresh water circuit, including the water heater to prevent damage. The water tanks are completely drained.

Winterizing-How You watermaker?

We have a Katadyn water maker Powersurvivor 80. 
For winter, after treating the membrane in biocide, we dismantle and store in a frost free place. Note however that a program on North, the maker is not very useful and above all does not work very well because the water temperature.

-Are you happy with your new regulator Sterling A2B?

Very pleased with this new installed this year: This is probably the easiest solution and the most effective battery charging with the engine. The principle is simple: It's actually a device that "fools" the engine alternator, by indicating a battery voltage less than the reality. Moreover, as a charger dock "smart" it recharges the batteries with a sequence of "boost" followed by a sequence of "floating". And the charging voltage is 14.2 V, better suited to a good charging than 13.5 V provided by regulators usual. For who has known these currents and the charging voltage supplied by the seedy series regulators after an hour of engine, it really is a revelation. Last advantage, it replaces the distributor. Price: around € 450 depending on suppliers. I rode him myself without difficulty, taking up the wiring from the old distributor. It took just add a big negative cable.

- What do you do with your wind during the winter? 
We do not dismantle, but with a bit bloquons.

-Are you happy with your new propeller Kiwiprop?  Yes.

But things make clear: 
Initially, Chamade was equipped with a three-blade perfectly suited to the boat and the power of 40hp Volvo. Its effectiveness in reverse as forward was remarkable. Steady economic 1800T / m, we walked six knots in calm seas. 
So want to do as well or even better with a controllable pitch propeller is an illusion. Its main advantage is of course under sail. I think we gain 0.5 knots in light air and medium. (But it is difficult to measure). 
Other advantages: 
-The price. 
-The ease of changing a blade on impact with an object floating in the water. 
-The lightness, the total absence of vibration and the end of the dilemma "not allowed to turn the propeller while under sail." The Kiwiprop gives an impression of softness. 
But there are drawbacks: 
The helix-lack of impact, especially at startup. The "blow ass" very useful in the maneuver is soft. Reduced-power also going up in a rough sea, the boat is more hampered by the waves. -Slight loss of yield: 0.2 knots steady economic 1800T / m. (5.8 n instead of 6)

Following our comments on our propeller Kiwiprop, the French importer Rene Pierre Magne sent us some details:

According to my records Chamade is equipped with a Volvo D2-40 30mm shaft ratio of 2.14, we provided a propeller Kiwiprop 17 inches to 23 with a pitch. I believe the loss of speed observed, two tenths of a knot forward compared to the three-bladed fixed is perfectly recoverable by a small set of steps. There would be only 0.75 degree angle in addition to the blades is a quarter turn adjustment stop screw, it is very simple and can be achieved even snorkeling. I also understand that for two tenths of knots, you have not found it necessary to put yourself in the water in these latitudes

Our response: Thanks for the indication, we will try next summer.

Regarding the speed under sail, we made ​​tests by blocking the blades of the artificially Kiwiprop then releasing them, first on a 35'' by 12 to 15 knots of wind, it resulted in a significant gain of 0.9 knots average and a bar with noticeably softer feather the propeller. 

Our opinion: The gain is real, but difficult to quantify precisely only. 

Improved composite gave birth to a new generation of blades provided since 2010. They are now loaded with 50 percent fiber instead of 30 percent at the time. This change has improved the performance of the propeller Kiwiprop in rough sea conditions or pure acceleration from 0 to 6 knots. The blade has lost the slight flexibility of the material which reduces its performance in the revival of the boat

Our response: We will be testing in 2011 in the Northwest

You forget to mention the qualities of the reverse Kiwiprop, it's a shame because the general opinion of users, this is a very remarkable point of this helix.

Our opinion: Very good indeed reverse, but the one with the three blade was already good. 

The additional interest of Kiwiprop installed on a vessel as Ovni aluminum is the material chosen for its manufacture, stainless steel, quality identical to the propeller shaft, a galvanic potential near the aluminum, negates the problems of bimetallism or galvanic corrosion usually associated with traditional propellers in bronze or copper-nickel, genuine batteries in an aluminum boat. 

Our Opinion: All-in-fact agrees with Mr. Magne we thank the same time the careful monitoring of its customers.

Staysail: furling forestay or furler or flying?

Your boat is equipped with a furling staysail. Is this the right solution? I hesitate because I wonder if it does not complicate tacking the genoa and if it is useful to reduce the surface of the staysail which is already small. 
Again this is a matter of navigation program. Yes, clearly complicates the staysail tacks. In light winds you need someone on the foredeck to get the genoa, and over a dozen nodes, we must roll up the genoa to each transfer. Thus, when 15 knots of wind, rather than tacking with the genoa and one reef, we keep the mainsail full and move to the staysail. Tack easy for a minimal performance loss. 
But given our program, being able to maneuver while the cockpit is an obvious security. Make a flying shore station or Hoisting a staysail in icy spray does not tempt us. As for the size of the staysail, we ended up in Iceland this summer to go upwind, GV to 3 reefs and staysail half-wrapped. It is true that there was 35 knots of true wind. 
By cons for a coastal program or alizéenne crossing, we would not staysail furling.

-Bow: That did it fail? Maneuver the boat he correctly at ports in reverse and with the wind? My current boat is a dinghy Feeling 32 speed without soap! 
We do not have a bow thruster. That does not lack. It is true that we do not manœuvrons often in crowded marinas. That said the UFO 365 can be maneuvered easily in reverse, as far as we take care to keep some speed, and of course do not forget to get the drift.