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Global Solo Challenge: How to modify a boat for a solo circumnavigation?

by Margherita Pelaschier 29 Apr 2023 06:54 PDT
How to modify a boat for a solo circumnavigation? The story of the refit of Effraie 2 © Patrick Phelipon

The Global Solo Challenge has an innovative format: a few essential principles encourage virtuous use of resources and prioritise the re-use of existing boats and resources.

The rules establish a maximum amount of fossil fuel that each participant can carry on their circumavigation to encourage alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectric.

The use of existing boats adapted for the event is recommended and favored by a handicap system designed for the Global Solo Challenge, thus promoting re-use rather than the construction of new boats.

Patrick Phelipon, a French navigator, designer, and builder, has chosen this virtuous path and tells us how he is modifying his boat to comply with the rules and be ready for a solo circumnavigation by the three Great Capes.

Safety and reliability are certainly the top priorities, and Patrick, with four circumnavigations under his belt, has devoted much of his energy to refitting his boat.

"In September 2021, I brought the boat to a shed in Italy, near Pisa, and since then I have been working continuously with a team of four people. I have already sailed the southern seas and I know how important it is to have confidence in the solidity and reliability of the boat."

Phelipon chose an 11-meter boat that he had designed between 1981 and 1984 for an owner who wanted a boat to sail around the Mediterranean. He had built the hull, structures, and deck in his shipyard near Cesena, based on the RINA regulations.

"This boat has had three owners, but it always came back to me. So I decided to use it for my big project of circumnavigating the world solo. While planning the refit, thanks to the experiences I've gained throughout my life, I looked for solutions that revolutionised the initial design. I changed the appearance, and I also decided to change the name (with the necessary superstition rituals!) and the boat will return to the sea with the name Effraie 2, in memory of my first design, the famous Mini Tonner with which I won the first edition of the Mini Ton World Championship in La Rochelle."

The boat was initially inspected to eliminate outdated parts and check the integrity load-bearing structures.

"First, I removed the keel and rudder to carefully check the condition of the hull and deck, which fortunately turned out to be very sound for the age of the boat."

Then, in order to comply with GSC regulations, I removed all the remaining interior partitions and furnishings that showed signs of aging. I replaced them with new composite partitions designed to become watertight bulkheads. So, there will be six watertight bulkheads, three of which have watertight doors.

Then we moved on to making the structural modifications that changed the initial appearance of the Effraie 2 to prepare it for the circumnavigation.

Continue reading the full article here...

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