Sunday, January 31, 2016

Notes from my tour of Windward Passage:



A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of going aboard Windward Passage and was given a  tour from her skipper David Johnson. I am going to write this story as if I was making notes on how to take care of my own boat and what to copy someday.

Quite frankly Windward Passage should be placed in the Smithsonian Institution as a work of art. When entering the engine room one feels as if they passed through the pearly gates.

This is what I learned:

Dave “Halfdeck” Johnson is one of the best skippers I have ever met.

The boat is 73’ long, 12’ Draft, 19.6 beam, Perkins Diesel 195 HP 3,200 hours, 8Knots cruising speed, 9 knot max, 3 bladed max prop. 12 KW Northern Lights gen set.

Two years ago the boat went though a major refit. A new Alan Andrews keel and rudder was placed on the boat reducing the wetted surface by 70%. The keel was moved forward and the boat returned to her original lines after she had 18,000 thousand pounds removed. One of the major weight loses areas was in batteries when AGM’s replaced the old batteries. 1,800 pounds was saved. The cabin sole is all foam cored.

The rig was replaced by Hall Spars, the rig and standing rigging is carbon, the carbon rigging is guaranteed for the life of the mast. The mast is polished every three months with Der Shiney Stuff.

All stanchions are custom tapered with their own base. Every pad eye, snatch block, and 6’ at the bow is covered when sailing. All the halyard shackles are soft. There is not one carter pin on the boat, all the clevis pins are custom stainless nuts and set screws. The coffee grinders have rose wood handles.

The boat has crews quarters forward, just aft are two guest stateroom. The salon in in the middle of the boat, and continuing aft down the port side is the galley, that leads into the navigation station and owners stateroom.

Quotes from the skipper, “The boat was originally built as a race boat not a cruising boat”.   “Its a big surf board, theres not allot in the water.

Kim Harting has done all the custom fabrication, Alan Sanders hand painted the interior in white Algrip, Jeff McKenzie has done most of the wood work on the boat, Garry Miltimore has done most of the custom painting.


The boat exterior gets wiped, after a soft water rinse, almost every day. The interior, bilge and up, receives a wipe down every two weeks.

Main Salon

Galley

Navigation Station 

Owners Salon

Owners Stateroom

Electric Panel 

Crew Quarters 

Half Models old and new keel




Bilge





Exterior:


Foredeck



Custom stanchion

Roller Furling

Custom Pins









Rose wood handles


This is the stuff for LP







In Catalina



SEA YA!

4 comments:

mark blackburn said...

Len, thank you for this article about one of the most beautiful and timeless yachts of the last 50 years. I was astounded when I (as a 13-year-old boy) first saw the profile drawings of this incredible Alan Gurney design in a boating magazine. I try to walk down the Ardell Marina Dock to view it every time I visit Newport. The boat is maintained in utterly bristol condition. The owners have really done right by her. During her first few years, I enjoyed reading about her many new course records set. Then, one day while laying on the beach at the Balboa Bay Club, the sky went dark. I looked up and saw 7077 on a gigantic sail that was momentarily blocking the Sun. WP was sailing up the bay. I was dumbfounded! I stole a friend's boat and collected another close friend who was also a WP fan. We were so impressed with the boat, and with the 19.5' beam when seen from behind. Great to see interior photos. What a fabulous yacht!

Anonymous said...

Len--this is an outstanding tour of a dream yacht. I first encountered her in the SORC in 1970. Specifically, the St. Petersburg to Venice Race the last week of January. I was a young chap living in Venice at the time and watched with envy as the "big ones" roared down the coast in front of a blustery norther with Passage leading the pack. And, I waited on the Venice Jetty until the wee hours to see them come beating back up the coast into the 35 knot "breeze". Unfortunately Passage over stood the turning bouy in Boca Grande and let American Eagle slip inside her for the 30-odd mile beat north. Once Eagle started up wind there was no keeping up with her and she was first to finish and first overall. After passage finished in the pre-dawn hours it appeared to me that they mulled coming in the Venice Jetty inlet but misjudged the channel and would up stuck on a sandbar southwest of the inlet. It took a tug to get them off and I seem to recall it bent the keel a bit. Still--she has remained iconic in my mind as I formulated my thoughts of what a great ocean racer should be. She was it and while she may be a bit off the pace now I am glad she is still stout and showing so well. Thank you for this article!

Anonymous said...

Len--this is an outstanding tour of a dream yacht. I first encountered her in the SORC in 1970. Specifically, the St. Petersburg to Venice Race the last week of January. I was a young chap living in Venice at the time and watched with envy as the "big ones" roared down the coast in front of a blustery norther with Passage leading the pack. And, I waited on the Venice Jetty until the wee hours to see them come beating back up the coast into the 35 knot "breeze". Unfortunately Passage over stood the turning bouy in Boca Grande and let American Eagle slip inside her for the 30-odd mile beat north. Once Eagle started up wind there was no keeping up with her and she was first to finish and first overall. After passage finished in the pre-dawn hours it appeared to me that they mulled coming in the Venice Jetty inlet but misjudged the channel and would up stuck on a sandbar southwest of the inlet. It took a tug to get them off and I seem to recall it bent the keel a bit. Still--she has remained iconic in my mind as I formulated my thoughts of what a great ocean racer should be. She was it and while she may be a bit off the pace now I am glad she is still stout and showing so well. Thank you for this article!

Unknown said...

Sailed on many races on Windward Passage..... Notable was the Bermuda Race in 1972 when hurricane Agnes swept through followed by the slow Trans Atlantic Race from Bermuda to Vigo, Spain.... 25+days... ran out of everything but Beck's beer and canned food. She always had a great crew in those days with Don Vaughn, Rex Banks, John Rumsey, Peter Bowker, Kirk Elliott, Dick Haskell and of course chef, Reverand Sandy McKenzie and of course Mark and Fritz Johnson. So great to see her in such beautiful condition.