Ocean Hermit – sailing, solitude and stories

My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.

“Kuan Yin” my 32-foot home afloat


Under way in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada, in 2010 Photo by Gaetan Talbot

Home is my sailboat “Kuan Yin” (named after the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion). She’s a 32-foot (37ft. overall) ketch-rigged Tahitiana, built in 1995 of 3/16th inch steel. I bought her in Penetanguishene, Ontario, Canada in 2005, and I’m the third owner.

The Tahitiana design is a “granddaughter” of the famous lifeboat built in the 19th century by Colin Archer to serve the Norwegian fishing fleet in the North Atlantic in winter time. This design of “double-ender” with a full keel is renown for being seaworthy and seakindly even in atrocious weather. She’s a heavy displacement vessel, with a hull speed of about 6 knots and very old-fashioned by today’s designs that are so heavily influenced by racing yachts.

“Kuan Yin’s” sails (the horse-power of sailing vessel) include a new 120% genoa (headsail) fitted on a new heavy-duty Alaso roller-furler. She also has a 40hp Isuzu diesel engine and two fuel tanks with a total capacity of 220 litres (50 gallons), giving a range under engine of about 250 hours/800 nautical miles in calm conditions. Her hull speed is 6.5 knots, but because she’s so heavily built, it takes quite a blow to get her moving.

The boat has four berths and is equipped with propane cooker with oven, halogen lights and toilet. She has been fully refitted with many upgrades in the last two years in preparation for the 2010 voyage. These include all new navigation and radio electronics, four new bilge pumps, storm sails, rebuilt hatches, safety upgrades and a new outboard motor.

[album: http://dennisonberwick.info/wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/dm-albums.php?currdir=/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Kuan Yin – galley/]

[album: http://dennisonberwick.info/wp-content/plugins/dm-albums/dm-albums.php?currdir=/wp-content/uploads/dm-albums/Tah – Kuan Yin/]


Kuan Yin’s big refit

In preparation for the voyage to Labrador, the boat got a total refit over several summers 2007-2009, before leaving Toronto to sail down to the Atlantic Ocean.  Upgrades continue; a total of 30 projects were completed this summer, ranging from big items like a new transmission and new radar, to small jobs that make life easier on the boat, such as better stowage for emergency flares, the boat’s log books etc.

Video of the major overhaul:

One comment on ““Kuan Yin” my 32-foot home afloat

  1. chris cavanaugh
    November 15, 2011

    Congratulations on launching and sailing away.

    My wife and I recently sailed down the St. Lawrence from Montreal on to Halifax. I am very intrigued by the Labrador coast. I have recently read a very interesting and informative book entitled “The Story of Labrador” by Bill Romkey. I highly recommend it. Please put us on your mailing list and let us know more about your Ungava adventure. Thanks.

    Chris Cavanaugh


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