Today marks the culmination of 44,000 man-hours of labor and a concise and determined plan to launch one of the fastest cruising monohull yachts in the world. This afternoon, Dr. Stanley Paris will witness his dream become reality, as the 63-foot custom-designed Kiwi Spirit is hoisted into the water at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Maine. It is a yacht explicitly designed for Paris' ultimate goal of sailing solo around the globe, non-stop, unassisted and completely green. He will take on this daunting task at the ripe age of 76.
'I have always sought physical challenges of the endurance type and it has become a healthy habit,' said Paris. 'I see them as challenges and I don't mind failure. I swam the English Channel twice but I have also failed on three other occasions. People are often so afraid of failure in business, sports and other aspects of life that they take the middle road in life - boring.'
Dr. Paris is no stranger to endurance events. In addition to swimming the English Channel twice and racking up some 60,000 miles sailing, he completed the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Hawaii. This year alone, his adventurous spirit sent him racing a motorbike across the U.S. in less than 50 hours coast to coast and completing a half-marathon.
Unlike most sailing endeavors today which consistently seek commercial sponsorship and goodwill donations, Paris will complete his mission in the Corinthian spirit of sailing. Instead of seeking funds to execute his mission, he will fund the entire project personally and ask those interested to support his favorite charity, the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Individuals and companies are able to place their name onboard Kiwi Spirit for a small donation, which goes directly to the non-profit organization.
Kiwi Spirit was designed by Farr Yacht Design, based on a comprehensive brief developed by Dr. Paris for a fast and safe yacht to be sailed single-handed around the world, also taking into account his age. Lyman-Morse was hired to build the yacht, and has poured in more than 44,000 labor hours over the last year to complete the project.
'This is a great purpose-driven project and a real honor to have been chosen as the builder. All of us here at the yard are very excited to be taking part in a project such as this where we have been able to flex our capabilities.' said Drew Lyman. 'It is also a real pleasure to work with someone like Stanley who has such a vision and mission.'
The hull of Kiwi Spirit is built out of epoxy-infused carbon, E-glass and Kevlar with a thermo-core that is both stiff and lightweight. There is a hydraulic lifting keel which draws 14 feet, nine inches (down) for excellent upwind performance and eight feet, seven inches when the keel is up. There are four water ballast compartments to help counter the powerful rig and make the boat more comfortable in heavy air. An easy-to-manage sail plan has been incorporated, with all lines leading aft to the cockpit.
Paris intends for his solo circle of the globe to be entirely green; no hydrocarbons will be used whatsoever. No gas, propane or butane will be aboard during the circumnavigation. Solar panels will line the deck and small hydro generators will be mounted under the vessel to bring power back to the boat. If he succeeds, Paris will become the first person to ever circumnavigate the globe, non-stop using no hydrocarbons.
Stanley Paris blog