After 35,000 Miles
What would we do offshore on a passage with no sails
to trim? How would we replace the pleasure of sailing
into and out of tight anchorages? And what about the
sense of accomplishment that comes from practicing
good seamanship under sail? We assumed our style of
cruising would change. Less time would be spent under
way, and more of our days would be devoted to tourism.
At the time, we thought these changes would be at best
a mixed blessing.
Now, here we are, a couple years after completion
of sea trials. Wind Horse has accumulated 3,500 hours
on her engines since departing New Zealand, where
she was built. That’s more than 35,000 nautical miles of
cruising (we normally run at 11 knots) in 21 months
of time aboard, with just the two of us as crew.
We put a lot of miles on our sailboats. But the miles
on Wind Horse have come at a much faster rate than we
have ever seen. We have been moving more, seeing more
places, meeting more people, and visiting more varied
environments than in the past.
We’re putting those miles on the boat because we are
comfortable under way. We pay little if any penalty for
moving the boat. Motion is considerably less than we
were used to with our sailboats (and they were very
comfortable). Wind Horse can maintain her 11-knot
cruising speed under all conditions, which has allowed
us, in most cases, to avoid unpleasant weather.
When we’re on a long passage, rather than being
bored by the lack of sailing, we spend time reading or
working on creative projects. We never seemed to have
the time or energy to pursue these diversions under sail.
Photos courtesy of Steve and Linda Dashew
Above: A second, higher rail was added to the stove to give
the pot holders more purchase on tall pots. Right: Our galley,
saloon, and bridge are all in one “great room” with a
360-degree view for all concerned.
In short, we are taking more pleasure from cruising
than ever before, and the miles and time afloat (as
opposed to time ashore) reflect this. Even better, the two
of us are enjoying our time aboard in equal measure. On
the following pages, we offer some insights regarding
the elements of Wind Horse’s design that have led to
this pleasant situation. We are writing from above the
Arctic Circle, on the west coast of Greenland, one of
the wildest and most beautiful places on the planet,
just four months removed from California. With the
exception of 18 hours spent in the Gulf Stream during
a northerly gale, this 7,000 miles of cruising has been
We’d like to point out that we spend most of our time
cruising on our own these days. Friends and family join
us now and then, but 95 percent of the time it is just us.
Wind Horse’s 5-foot draft and her ability to rotate in her
own length have opened up new cruising grounds that