I first saw her unfolded, sitting on stands in the yard at CSR Marine a year ago. She had the unmistakable seamless Farrier floats of the early F-27s…the ones built in Chula Vista by Ian himself. A long lost F-27 trimaran, she had been left to decay away in a local marina, by her previous owner – who must have come on hard times indeed to have let such a classic beauty rot. The good craftsmen at CSR bought her for back moorage and a bit more, did some minor cosmetic repairs and put her up for sale, hoping to make a profit on the salvage. They offered her as she was, with no trailer, no engine, inoperable electronics, original sails. I looked at her once, ran my hands along her beautiful floats. She reminded me of a long-ago cruise through the Bahamas on one of her sisters – my beloved Little Wing. I called them the next day with an offer. They accepted.
The first order of business was to procure a trailer. I took Farrier’s plans to a nearby manufacturer and had them build one. I intended to take this boat far and wide, and I spared no expense on the trailer. Dual axle, Aluminum I-Beam, Disc brakes on both axles, the trailer is a dandy. As it must be because this boat will be doing some road work. I sold my sports car – a lovely and handy 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe – and bought a 5.7L Toyota Tundra to tow my new prize with ease. With this rig, I could retrieve her from CSR and bring her home for some serious refitting.
I set to work with a will on the rig and interior. Its important to keep any multihull light, more so on Farrier designs and I made the rigging and interior modifications with weight and strength foremost in mind.
I disposed of the ancient and heavy roller furler, preferring synthetic hanks made of Amsteel. The jib was modified for such by the good men and women at Ballard Sails. The boat still had the original single spreader standing rigging configuration, and I hacked and sawed and filed to install new aluminum upper spreaders with synthetic diamond stays and terminations by Colligo Marine. The stainless steel upper cap shrouds I also replaced with synthetic shrouds from Colligo. Stainless whisker stays were replaced with Dyneema and I installed a new synthetic bobstay to support the screacher I intended to buy. A new Tohatsu 6 HP four stroke long shaft outboard lowered into the well and fit perfectly.
I removed and scrapped the old head and holding tank, replaced with a top of the line porta-potti for simplicity and weight savings. An extra battery and wiring were removed from the port side compartment just outboard of the dagger board casing – freeing up needed storage space and reducing weight further. The old inoperable Origo alcohol stove was replaced with a JetBoil back packing stove and the Origo tray converted to a lined and pleasing storage compartment. The boat had no solar panel, so I installed a 100 watt flexible panel on the roof of the aft cabin. It fits perfectly and keeps everything charged even in the meager sun of the Pacific Northwest. I installed an Auto-helm 2000 tiller pilot after much experimentation with the new pivot point. A RayMarine A64 chartplotter with associated depth-sounder transducer provides the latest in touch screen navigation.
I sailed her thru the San Juan islands of Washington last summer, shaking out her systems and identifying needed additions to her capability.
She needs a new anchor and rode – the little fortress anchor while being light-weight and meeting race requirements, does not provide the security I will need in future travels. A plow anchor with oversized chain and rode will serve well and allow restful nights at anchor. New sails have been ordered – main, jib and screacher with a continuous furler will be hoisted when the sailing season starts this spring. A bimini for protection from the sun is on the list as is an expedition type paddle board for use as a dinghy and freight hauler when cruising. These improvements will be made and tested this year.
Next September, when the winter rains of the Pacific come again, I will put the boat on the trailer and head South. I will not look back. I will sail her to the islands off Southern California and then truck her down to the boisterous blue water in the Sea of Cortez. A long cross country road trip will bring us to the warm winds and currents off Florida for a cruise to the Exumas and we will either trailer or sail her down the Western Caribbean coast to Belize.
She is my magic carpet ride, she is my dream, she is my passion. I will use her to seek out hidden and beautiful places of a watery world. She is Maravilla.