Kiwi Spirit Solo Voyage
Photo by Craig Baxter, Otago Daily Times
Follow The Kiwi Spirit Journey with Dr. Stanley V Paris
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Dr. Paris will on his yacht Kiwi Spirit depart St. Augustine, Florida in late November 2013 to challenge the record for a solo non-stop and non-assisted circumnavigation on a cruising sailboat. The present record was set by Dodge Morgan on American Promise in 1986 when he departed Bermuda, circumnavigated and return to Bermuda in 150 days at age 54. Dr. Paris will be aged 77 and will depart St. Augustine, sail around Bermuda then the globe, return to Bermuda and thus have challenged the existing record and then back to St. Augustine to set a new record. No small feat. The route after departing St. Augustine and rounding Bermuda will take him past the Caribbean, down the coast of Sth America, under Sth Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He will then round Sth America and return home via Bermuda. His hope is for 120 days. The closest he expects to get to land is when passing New Zealand he will go a few miles off course and head into the southern tip of his native country for a media event. “It will be a media event and my home town newspaper, which did the opening graphic above, will be there. However at no time can I touch anyone or even receive a loaf of bread or a newspaper. It’s unassisted and alone – they are the rules. I will stay just an hour or two and be off and won’t see land again until I round the horn, hang a left and head for Bermuda and thence home to St. Augustine.
In answer to the question “Why am I doing this?” Dr Paris says, “This is the hardest question and I have asked it of myself many a time. I suspect because I know I can do it, I can afford the boat, have my wife’s permission and support, have a lifetime love of water and especially sailing the oceans, the challenge, the excitement of sailing at the edge, the utilisation of advanced electronics and technologies and yes to honour those who preceded me in setting and breaking these records.”
The yacht Kiwi Spirit
Kiwi Spirit is designed to be a fast ocean going cruise boat. Key specifications are:
- Length overall 63’8” (19.4m)
- Length water line 57’5” (17.5m)
- Beam 17’9” (5.4m)
- Keel 14’9” (4.5m)
- Displacement 31,750 lbs (14400kg)
- Height of Mast 88’
- Accommodation 4 berths, 3 heads
Designed by New Zealander Bruce Farr on an Owners Brief prepared by Dr. Paris, the boat is being built by Lyman Morse in Maine, United States. “Being a physical therapist steeped in issues related to safety and ergonomics, I developed an owner’s brief that would define comfort, safety and ease of handling. A circumnavigation, above all, tests the boat as well as the skipper. At my age, it would be impossible to mount a successful challenge if the boat were not designed for speed, sea kindliness, safety and ease of handling. After all being in my 70’s is not like being in my 20’s. Now I like to enjoy a cocktail, and relax watching the boat go fast and easy.”
Technology aboard the Kiwi Spirit is cutting edge:
- no hydrocarbons to propel or generate power – no gas, diesel, propane, butane, no engine
- all electric with power from solar panels, wind generators and water hydro generators
- keel that lowers from 8'7" to 14'9"
- four separate water ballast tanks to affect pitch and trim
- lithium iron batteries to store power
- retractable bowsprit that projects seven feet to increase sail plan
- twin carbon helms
- sophisticated navigation and electronics package
And all this and more to be handled by one person 24/7. Sleeping will be 45 minutes at the most at any one time.
The boat is currently “in build” and will be launched by Dr. Paris’s wife Catherine Patla on August 11th this year. Sea trials and regattas follow to both test and train before departing St. Augustine most probably on Saturday 30th November at noon on the high tide.