The Naked Cruiser
Cruise the world on half a litre of diesel per nautical mile.mzsp
The dream of cruising single-handed around the world usually features a sailing boat, but the UK owner of the new Artnautica LRC 58 (Long Range Cruiser), which debuted at the Auckland On Water Boat Show, plans to motor around the world.
The LRC 58 Broadsword, built at Dickey Boats in Napier, is the second to this design from Dennis Harjamaa of Artnautica Yacht Design and naval architect at Dickey Boats.
Harjamaa designed the LRC concept about seven years ago. The first boat he launched for himself in May this year from Dickey Boats' yard. Meanwhile, the UK boatie looking for a suitable vessel to base in the Mediterranean and Caribbean commissioned the second.
Jason Dickey says it's ideal for a solo circumnavigator. It's robust, seaworthy and self-righting, easy to operate and comfortable to live on. It even has a man cave.
Starting at $850,000, its affordability is enhanced by the boat's extraordinary fuel economy.
In flat water, lightships, on this 58ft, 14-tonne vessel, we recorded:
• 7.2kts using 0.55 litres diesel per nautical mile
• 8.1kts using 0.67 litres diesel per nautical mile
• 9kts using 0.84 litres diesel per nautical mile.
Of course, you need to be happy with a top speed of 10.5kts and a cruising speed of 8-9kts. The engine is a 90hp Beta.
"Nine knots is a nice speed," says Dickey. "If you were going to Fiji, the difference between eight and nine knots is an extra two-hundred litres of diesel and you get there a day sooner."
With more horsepower, the Artnautica LRC 58 could do up to about 18 knots, Dickey says.
A West-Mekan variable pitch propeller (VPP) such as that on Broadsword gives optimum fuel efficiency and engine longevity.
Unlike most boats which spend much of their time on a marina, Broadsword is set up to run constantly. As a liveaboard, there will always be food in the fridge to be preserved.
A few steps from the for'ard end of the saloon leads to an amidships saloon. It's private with a comfortable, L-shaped settee which converts to a double berth; a pull-out ottoman provides a foot rest. Windows just above sea level let in the light.
A small desk and chair provide the office space. The chair is perfect for boating with a grippy surface in contact with the floor. A large en suite head with separate shower is off this area. For'ard, through a bulkhead, is the master cabin.
But let's get back to the cockpit because you are going to love what lies beneath: the ultimate, maritime man cave.
It's under a hatch in the forward part of the cockpit to starboard; a ladder leads down to a workbench with a vice, power points and tool box. Aft, on rollers, is a freezer and behind you is a washing machine.
Being close to the engine, this area is warm but it's separated from the engine room by a solid watertight/fireproof door.
The engine room has plenty of space to best display pumps, filters, dials and switches which operate the ship's systems: the engine fuel filters; fuel polishing, diesel transfer manifolds to move fuel between tanks. Everything is well labelled.
From its Rocna 36 anchor and 100m chain, with spare chain and anchor to its robust rubbing strake – "It's a single-hander," says Dickey, by way of explanation – to its hard chine transom, the LRC 58 is robust, tough, no-nonsense. It is stiffened with 8mm transverse frames and 8mm longitudinals run through the forward area and aft. The keel provides directional stability, and a tunnel enables a shallow propeller shaft angle of only two degrees.
The boat's low centre of gravity makes it a stiff boat underway at sea. The hard chines provide the stability; there are no stabilisers or flopper stoppers, and the boat is claimed to be self-righting.The booms, like cranes, on the upper deck can carry a mainsail and foresail. They are there as back up, to provide the relaxation of sailing with wind abaft of the beam and would even help steady the boat in some seas or at anchor. No one's pretending this shallow draft boat would point well to windward.
For our jaunt out of Napier, starting at 0600 to get the warm-gold light of dawn, we had a typical Hawkes Bay chop and the wake of a pilot boat heading out to meet a container ship coming in. The boat's stability was evident in its quick correction to the waves.
In big seas, Dickey says, the boat has a nice motion underway. "Nine and a half knots is quite quick going into a sea, so you slow down a little and it's nice. In a big swell it's really nice because it doesn't wallow."
At a time when expedition cruising is becoming more popular, the Artnautica lRC 58 is an ideal vessel for long range cruising in comfort, without need for late-night sail changes.
You've got to love the easy living, easy handling – and never having to repaint the topsides ever again.
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- Boating NZ