About Craig McPheeters:

In 2009 I wrote a short blog post on the 'back story' of how I got here.  That post talks a little on how I started sailing and searching for a boat.  The story continues in the post where I describe finding the boat, and from there the remainder of the blog keeps talking about the story.

Since writing those first two blog posts, the story continues (with a high level of detail) with me working for two years on Luckness, improving her in many ways and generally getting her ready for coastal and then offshore cruising.  While working on these projects I also got out sailing occasionally, improving my skills and testing some of the systems that had been added to the boat.  Its important to keep reminding yourself that the work that is going into the boat is going to eventually be rewarded by being a comfortable home 'out there' - or at least it was important for me to keep reminding myself that there was a point to my putting in all those hours on often difficult and tedious projects working on the boat.

Around April 2011 I resigned from the job I had held for 20 years, and then a little later I sold my house.  During the remainder of 2011 up to my date of departure in early September I continued to work on Luckness and generally prepare for leaving for a year of cruising.  I left Seattle on September 1st, 2011 for my first cruise.  The departure is described in a two part post (part 1 and part 2.)

Before leaving Seattle for my first year of cursing, I had not been offshore before (and therefore never single handed offshore before either.)  I had never sailed a passage.  I had never been at sea for longer than a day and a half and so did not know how my planned sleep routine (waking every 20 minutes) would work over a longer period of time.  When I left, my slip at Shilshole marina was still available to me as I had paid for it through September and could have turned around and come back.  However, my first year of cruising was fantastic.  I discovered that cruising was something I greatly enjoyed.  My original plan for my first year was to sail 'out and back', sailing down the coast to California and then Mexico and from there to return somehow back to Seattle.  I hadn't committed to the return journey being via the coast or via Hawaii.  By the time I got to Mexico I had met people along the way who had been to Hawaii in their boats and after speaking with them I decided that the trip back via Hawaii was very doable.  Before leaving Seattle I had considered committing to my first cruise being longer, to the South Pacific or beyond, but that seemed too audacious for a first cruise.  During my first year I met many people who tried to talk me into extending my first year and to not return to the Pacific Northwest.  However I stuck to my plan for an initial one year cruise and now find myself in Seattle, in late October, with cold rain descending all around me.

I plan to leave the PNW again next year, sometime during the summer of 2013.  This next cruise is open ended.  My publicly stated goal is to sail down the coast to Mexico, repeating the first part of my last cruise, and from there head across to the South Pacific.  I wish to then sail through the South Pacific and end up in New Zealand.  Once I am in or close to New Zealand I'll decide on my next steps as there are many options from that area for excellent cruising.  A few of the many options would be to return to the South Pacific for a season or multiple seasons, going back and forth to New Zealand; return to Hawaii; sail around New Zealand and Australia for a while; or to continue around the world.  So many possibilities!

To be continued...

About Luckness:

Luckness is a kick-ass blue water cruising boat, or more technically, a 1990 Pacific Seacraft 37.  The design is well respected and well known.

Every boat represents a series of compromises, as there are many different design decisions that must be made when actually building a sailboat and all those decisions influence how the boat will respond to the many different uses we put them through.  A choice to make a boat more comfortable in an offshore setting may make the boat less comfortable while at anchor.  Choices to make the boat more rugged and sturdy will influence her weight and shape altering her performance in light air or still water.  Choices to make a boat comfortable in larger waves may influence her ability to maneuver in close quarters.  If a boat is being optimized to move well in light air and flat waters she may not be very comfortable or seaworthy on an ocean passage.  I love the series of decisions Bill Crealock made regarding the PSC 37, a boat also known as the Crealock 37.

Luckness' numbers:

LOA: 36' 11"
LWL: 27' 9"
Beam: 10' 10"
Draft: 5' 6". (Shoal draft scheel keel)
Ballast: 6,200 lbs
Displacement: 16,200 lbs advertised (19-20,000 as weighed.)
Gross Tonnage: 12 GRT
Mast clearance: 47' 6"
Water: 90 (45 fwd, 45 stern)
Fuel: 39

Rig dimensions:
I: 41.58' (height of foretriangle)
J: 15.67' (base of foretriangle)
P: 37.42' (luff of mainsail)
E: 14.25' (foot of mainsail)

Sail areas:
main: 267 sq. ft.
100% foretriangle: 326 sq. ft.
genoa: 370 sq. ft. (115%)
staysail: 100 sq. ft.
storm staysail: 75 sq. ft.
storm trysail: 80 sq. ft.
asym spinnaker: 880 sq. ft. (160%)
main+genoa: 637 sq. ft.
main+genoa+staysail: 737 sq. ft.

D/L: 338
SA/D: 14.3 (at 19,000 lbs.)
SA/D with staysail: 16.5 (at 19,000 lbs.)

MMSI: 367 433 820
Station callsign: WDF2954
Ham callsign: KG7BYA