Archiv der Kategorie: Windpilot


Morphy BlitzOhhhppps, das ist meinem Oberindianer auch passiert! Es war an einem schönen Tag im Mai des Jahres 2015. Mein Chef blätterte entspannt im SPIEGEL rum, als ihm ein Bericht über den UNIMOG DER ZEITMESSUNG ins Auge sprang.

Halt Stop: zum besseren Verständnis hier zunächst die Chronologie der Geschichte eines Handgelenk Chronografen von meinem Cheffe: WEITERLESEN

SV Irene – Pam + Dick Morris UK


SV Irene

Es ist erst einige Wochen her, als mich folgende Mail erreichte:

Good Morning Peter,
I have had a ‚Pacific‘ for many years and it continues to work to perfection. It has, however, a small problem – the sun has broken down the surface of the worm wheel and the worm no longer engages properly with the wheel. I would like a replacement for both worm and wheel if it is a direct replacement. I do have an alternative ‚plan‘ but would rather keep to the original.

My ‚Pacific‘ is now about 18 years old ( you took a photograph of ‚Irene’s windpilot when we were in the Canaries and kindly left a copy of his book ), and has been invaluable for steering ‚Irene‘ on her short handed extended cruise.
Thank you for any help you can give me.
Dick Morris


Ich sah sofort das Bild der SV IRENE vor mir, ein Schiff, ein Schwergewicht, eine Herausforderung, die mir vor 20 Jahren Respekt einflösste: 30 Tonnen, mit voller Ausrüstung wahrscheinlich noch ein paar Gramm mehr – welcher Schiffseigner kennt denn schon das wahre Gewicht seiner Yacht, solange er sie nicht selbst gewogen hat? Zumal Schiffe stets die Eigenschaft besitzen, in ihren unergründlichen Tiefen ungeahnte Mengen an Ausrüstung und Ersatzteilen, zu sammeln und zu verbergen, die man erst bemerkt, wenn der Travellift wg. Überlast zum Stehen kommt, oder der Kranwagen ins Hafenwasser kippt. Jedenfalls hatte ich Pat und Dick seinerzeit auf der London Boat Show die PACIFIC mit der Zusicherung verkauft: in case the unit might not perform your boat, I will take her back and reimburse your payment. Auf diese Weise habe ich mich im Verlauf von 40 Jahren immer weiter an die Grenzen der Leistungsfähigkeit meiner Systeme herangetastet. Try and Error – zurücknehmen musste ich nie. So sah ich vor einigen Jahren auf dem Cover Foto der norwegischen SAILAS den NEUBAU einer gewaltigen COLIN ARCHER – in Norwegen aus Teak Holz gebaut, was allein eine teure Sensation – mit einem Gewicht im Bereich von 40 – 50 Tonnen – am Heck eine rührend klein erscheinende PACIFIC, die der Eigner / Bauherr des Schiffes von seinem vorherigen COLIN ARCHER demontiert und einfach ans Heck seines Neubau´s montiert hatte. Wie zu hören war, mit besten Erfolgen. I live and learn – dieser Spruch gilt in allen Wirtschaftszweigen. Aber auch die 50 Tonnen Marke wurde später gerissen, denn die SV Wynard, ein Zweimast Schoner segelt seit Jahrzehnten mit einer zierlichen Heckverzierung aus meinen Stall.

Weil Neugierde mein zweiter Vorname ist, entspann sich in den Wochen nach Dick´s Kontakt aus Nelson, New Zealand, ein höchst interessanter Mailwechsel, in dessen Verlauf ich die ungewöhnliche Geschichte von Pat und Dick – und ihrem schwimmenden Zuhause – erfahren konnte. Eine Geschichte, die Mut machen sollte, wenn es darum geht, eigene Träume in gelebtes Leben zu transformieren, ohne ständig den Mangel an finanziellen Mitteln in den Mittelpunkt aller Überlegungen zu stellen, oder gar als Ausflucht zu strapazieren, warum man – leider leider – nicht hat weiter segeln können, weil die Knete nicht mehr gereicht.

Mein Herz gehört stets den stillen Helden, die ihren Lebensweg in gerader Furche gehen, ohne stets und ständig Misserfolge oder Niederlagen dafür verantwortlich zu machen suchen, anstatt Eigenverantwortlichkeit zu verstehen und zu sehen.

Hier ist ein interessantes Interview

Hier mein Schriftwechsel mit Dick:

Hi Peter,
thanks again – any details that you want are for the asking – anything that can encourage people, who may be of ’slender means‘, that cruising is not the sole prerogative of the wealthy. Cruising can still be done on a small budget if as much of the work is done by your own hands and a few sacrifices are made. ‚Irene‘ has no radar, no fridge, or freezer, no water maker, no bow thruster, a hand wound anchor winch, and only a relatively small engine ( seventy horsepower ) for her 30 ton displacement. Not only have I not had to buy all those wonderful ‚Gadgets‘ ( now wide promoted as ‚essential‘ ), I have not had to fit them and then take them out to pay for repairs. We had one disastrous engine re-build in the U.S. and had to have it done again later – but, as we have been away from ‚civilisation‘ for over 17 years now I suppose that is not so bad.

I still say the best bit of equipment we have is the Windpilot – no wires, no amps, no volts, no ohms and no trouble – such small spares as we have needed have been supplied quickly and easily – wish I could say the same for other things that we have had to have mailed to us.

Lighter weather


I am a lifetime ‚Boataholic‘ of the Keep It Simple background where all must be done at minimum cost with simple tools as any other way is too expensive.

I started working life in engineering – tool making, then instrument making ( I have two sextants ( that I made for myself while working for Kelvin Hughes ). I then took up development estimating for production costs – each job interrupted with sailing breaks of a few months to a couple of years.

You are quite right – engineering ( and the dirty hands that go with it ), are a root of your being and the building and/ running of a simple vessel on a very small budget brings continuous challenges.


‚Irene‘ is a ferro-cement Colin Archer type gaff ketch. The design was adapted by J. Benford – some of his ‚mistakes‘ giving some trouble as I did not discover them ( quite by chance ), just before concreting day. One of these left me with no distance at all in front of the engine in stead of the 10 inches I should have had.


Concreting day was in 1977 and, despite promises otherwise, I was forced to move the cured hull – a diversion that was to prove a challenge – but it was done. A rebuild of a house, subsequently lost due to divorce, meant another move – it was as well that I made a good solid trailer! Then the job of rebuilding the very small cottage that I still own, and let, to finance life.

Towards Launching 1985

Just to add to my woes at that time the local council started to kick me out of the new site. I managed to cheat and lie for three years, ( having my workshop burnt out and lost my wooden masts that I had ‚harvested from myself from Wales ). The workshop fire destroyed all my woodworking machinery ( old gear that that I rebuilt for the job ), so I had to do almost everything by hand. These delays were added to by the meanness of the insurance company – I could no longer afford to replace my wooden masts – so, to buy progress, I went to Spencer of Cowes for steel ones. Those provided were rubbish and the subsequent court proceedings gave Spencer time to ‚go broke‘ and avoid reparations. I suffered  none of the legal costs but had to rebuild the masts I had been left with. By this time ‚Irene‘ had been launched and I carried on fitting out. I did, by that time, know more about steel masts ( and could have done a better job the that done by Spencer ), so went ahead and made gaffs, booms and bowsprit to my own designs and then getting all galvanised – none of which have I regretted.


By 1989 I was sailing – North Sea, France, Belgium, Holland, Channel, English South Coast and Channel Islands during holidays from my full time employment. In 1998 I had the chance to leave my job – the cottage was paid for and the boat was ready. Pat said that she would join me for 6 months trial ( she is still with me 17 years later ), and we were off.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARough stops so far: France, Spain, Portugal, Canaries ( where you kindly left us a copy of your book ), thence to Tobago, Trinidad, and cruise up the island chain – which was changed with the failure of the engine. I didn’t want to get caught in the hurricane belt by chancing a rebuild there so carried on without it – to the islands northward, the Bahamas and into Charleston, S Carolina. No easy cure was available so we sailed up the Gulf Stream to Chasapeake Bay. We were kindly taken under the wing of a small village and found somewhere to get the engine rebuilt. I could have easily done it myself but the prospect of getting spares from Europe into America was too daunting to contemplate. I took weeks and subsequently proved a very poor job.
From there we went to Bermuda, the back down to the Caribbean to stop where we missed on the way North.

'Irene' Weather

The Pacific was my aim from an early age and now we were on our way by way of Venezuela and Panama. We escaped the depredations of the villains in Panama and made atypically slow passage to Galapagos. The next ‚leg‘ was to the Marquesas – a good fast run (for ‚Irene) similar to our atlantic run under her running rig of two large headsails boomed out with 20 foot poles), two water sails under them and a pair of old top’sls from the top of the mizzen. The booms are ‚heeled‘ on the back of the anchor winch – this means that the wind can be carried far out on either quarter.

I left off at the Marquesas – a delightful cruise around most of the islands that ran into our ’schedule‘ to be out of  the southern cyclone area. Rather than hurry across the pacific and not ’stop to smell the roses on the way‘ I decided to go North to Hawaii.

It was a slow, light weather passage of about 2000 miles – all on the Starboard tack. This diversion had the advantage of allowing us another ’season‘ in French Polynesia and a more leisurely cruise thence onwards. The return was even slower – but what is the problem with that when there is a well found, well stocked boat under you and all the time you need. By the way ‚Irene‘ has no ‚fridge, no freezer, no radar, no watermaker, no shower – and a long list of ’no’s‘ – but I have not had to buy them, or make the power to run them – nor has any of them had the chance to let me down.


French Polynesia was, of course, a delight – particularly as we went to ‚unpopular‘ places and, generally had anchorages to ourselves. I would like to have gone to ‚Suwarrow‘ but it it was a very wind year thereabouts and there were two yachts on the reef and another in trouble.

The Cook’s were simple and nice and we stopped at Beveridge reef to anchor in th middle of nowhere.

By now we had another choice – hurry through Tonga, Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanu Atu and on to Australia OR cruise, at leisure, through Tonga and then go to NZ and make a separate cruise of the others.

Tonga was lovely but several places were overcrowded with yachts and we would find out where the were going and then have peace and quiet for ourselves.

Eventually it was time to go and we cleared for NZ. We have been very strict to enter and leave everywhere properly documented – there are plenty that don’t bother.

We arrived off NZ with clearing rain and escorted into a lovely green and pleasant Russell, Bay of Islands, by Dolphins. Our cruise to the Southward to spend our first winter out of the tropics for some years boded a cold winter – with a well earned refit for ‚Irene‘ in a strange port – to be carried out by ourselves as cheaply as was consistent with our very slender budget.

A slow wander Southerwards by way of some of the Sounds took us to Nelson – the ideal place to carry out a major refit – which went very well – and even the first threatened ‚winter‘ was no problem as Nelson has a micro climate of it’s own.

As soon as we could we left for a cruise of the Marlborough Sounds and the Abel Tasman region then back to Nelson to stock up for a cruise to the South – Fiordland and it’s sounds then to Stewart Island with stops down the West Coast and up the East Coast.

The next cruise was to Fiji, Vanu Atu and New Caledonia – all delightful – then down to the E.Coast of Australia to Tasmania – for a quick look – and ended up staying for a year! A single handed cruise to the Northwards took me, via the Bass strait ‚Furneaux Islands‘, to some of the higher islands within the Great Barrier Reef – but left out much so as to have another look on another cruise – and sailed back to NZ.

Most recent cruise was direct to Bundaberg and thence North through the reef islands previously missed out. As soon as the first Northerly was forecast we headed South to Tasmania – eventually spending over two years in those waters.

Workshop_engine room


you are so right – I don’t complain – I just like to encourage others to carry on with their ambitions – the greatest of which should be to live slower and better. It is a sad fact that the world is now so “excited“ that even relaxation must done as fast as possible! At high speed there is no time for the small simple ‚adventures‘ that a slower life abounds with – and we have been lucky to have had many of them. One of my favourites is that, when we first lay in Hobart, the local newspaper sent a reporter to us. We are both of the opinion that we should go quietly about the world and to hope that the world goes quietly about us – but I welcomed him with the offer of a beer – warning him that it would not be cold, (a sure way to frighten an Aussie), so he said had I problem with the ‚fridge – no I replied – no fridge. A little later he asked Pat how she managed without a ‚fridge. She simply said that when we got to a port we bought each other an ice cream. The following day, after the paper had been circulated, a lady we had never seen before came along the quay with two ice creams and said ‚When you have finished them come to dinner‘. We, of course, had them to dinner on board – such are our small adventures and they have left us with friends all along the way. We have time for people and they have time for us – it works well for all.

I feel strongly for your research into the low profile sailors and sailing and I lack whatever it takes to have done the same – so, please carry on with the good work and if I can encourage it in any way an email will find me. I will be looking at blog sites very soon – we have poor signals hereabouts but will soon have a ‚House Sit‘ with more signals and data to spare.

Encouragement in your endeavours

This comes with our regards and best wishes in all that you do.
From Both Pat and Dick aboard ‚Irene‘
Nelson, New Zealand

SV Olgalou – Inga + Vassil Beitz-Svechtarov NED

X-Mas 2015fishmas_kl

SV Witte Raaf – Petra+Jan Versol NED

Kerstkaart 2015

You may have noticed in the media: Surinam is in trouble thanks to the Bouterse government’s financial policy of squandering money. In April, Surinam was still going to become a second Dubai; in May Bouterse was re-elected; in June it was clear that things were going terribly wrong; and as of August turmoil is growing as a result of the tripling of energy rates for example. Devaluation of the Surinamese dollar by 25% and disproportionate price rises of 25+% … in short, a dramatic situation for the average Surinamese.

Fortunately in October, returning from Holland, we brought 130 kg of food with us and last month we stocked up on 6 cartons of rum. And in the meantime P has started a vegetable garden! The vegetables have really taken hold: the first cucumbers have already been eaten and with their plentiful flowers and small fruit, we will probably soon be sick and tired of cucumber salad, ratatouille [J1] and gazpacho. We already enjoyed our own callalloo (tasted like super spinach) twice, the tomato plants are blossoming, paksoy and kaisoy are ready to harvest and we are growing 10 eggplants. We are still working on the sweet peppers. On top of these, we have red chilli peppers and bananas and our mango tree is laden with 45 gorgeous whoppers weighing 600-750 grams each. So no need to worry about us! And although at the moment Suriname’s near future seems fairly grim, developments in Venezuela are promising.

We therefore send you this Christmas card showing the golden sunset we enjoy here so often, and we hope that dawn will bring a golden lining. This is our wish for you all and for Surinam – especially now – and all the people who share our love for this beautiful country.

Petra & JanWillem

Oyster Dämmerung


Oyster Dämmerung

Der spektakulären Untergang einer OYSTER 825 im Mittelmeer im Juli 2015 hat viele Fragen aufgeworfen. Das erst im Jahre 2014 einem russischen Eigner übergebene Schiff wurde kürzlich gehoben. Seitdem füllen die verheerenden Fotos struktureller Schäden internationale Tageszeitungen, sowie Fachzeitungen und englische Foren.

Die Sprache der Fotos ist erschütternd. Dagegen erscheinen Berichte, Kommentare oder laue Erklärungsversuche wie Öl ins Feuer einer Diskussion, die uns seit Jahrzehnten begleitet, beschäftigt und manchmal sogar verängstigt: Quo Vadis Bootsbau. WEITERLESEN

SV Sea Canary – Bob Parry UK



This time instead of returning to Cape Town ( from the Canaries via Brazil ), I intend to moor in European waters  (maybe La Gomera ). I am returning to Cape Town in two weeks time to get Sea Canary ready to sail to Brazil and onwards before the end of the year.


If you have me on file The Pacific was bought for „Beluga „+/- 1989 ( by Meyer Bohr GER), and took his family on a Caribbean cruise and back to Hamburg. She was renamed „Sea Canary“ by the new owner and sailed alone to Cape Town by way of the Caribbean, Panama Canal, South Pacific – Fiji to New Zealand, back to Fiji and New Zealand, Australia across to South Africa. I bought her in 1998 and sailed to Brazil with crew, then sailed single handed to Tobago, on through the Caribbean and across to Faial  (Azores ).

DSCF2959 (2)

I cruised the Azores for 2 years, then moved to the Canary Island for 2 years then to Cape Verde to Brazil. Finally I crossed the South Atlantic from The Isla Grande ( South of Rio de Janeiro ) in the winter july/august and experienced severe gales. 99% or more of the steering was Wind Pilot steering. Only rarely did we have to take the helm when the huge seas overwhelmed the wind strength. Just for several hours at the peak of the storms, when sailing with a lashed down Storm Trysail. We did not hove-to, but had to hand steer to keep Sea Canary stern on to the huge waves.

DSCF0774This next crossing I will keep a blog, I have a Sat phone, to use away from land to keep in touch. I intend to take lots of fotos. I might try to get a story published in the UK Yachting press.

best wishes
Bob Parry UK                                                                              

SV Raya – Frans Swart NED

16 YEARS and 70.000 Miles

Koopmans 43 Kopie

Dear Peter,
In 1992 I bought from you a Pacific Plus for our Koopmans 43ft.centreboard. My wife and I are back now from a 16 years sailing around the world trip. We have done around 70.000 miles and the Pacific Plus has done at least a 60.000 miles without any problem under all circumstances.  You hardly can believe it, but its the truth. We are 77 years old and without the help of the windsteering the trip should have been impossible. So, we are very thankfull that you have designed such a reliable piece of equipment.
Greetings Frans

SV Röde Orm – Julia, Stefan, Lena, Annika, Julita Conrad GER



Julia, Stefan, Lena, Annika und Julita Conrad – haben sich monatelang auf einem 28 Fuss Schiff, einer SHIPMAN 28 auf ihrer Reise rund Europa bestens vertragen.

Hier die Geschichte in Bildern und als Text

Cruising advice for Brazilian Coast



Brazil the largest countrie of latin america, offers 4000 miles of coast over the Atlantic Ocean. It is possible to sail all the year because there is no huricane season. The climate is tropical with an average temperature around 26 degrees Celcius. On the south, during winter time little bit cold could be expected. The weather is dominate by the south atlantic high pressure. Cold fronts arriving from Patagonia, affect the weather, carring southweather winds reaching Force -7, occasionally Force-8, but with no danger seas.

SV Golden Hind IV – James Howard CA


SV Mariposa – Michael Leppert GER



Hallo meine Freunde,
Von Vanuatu ging es Anfang Oktober 2014 nach New Caledonien. Eine
Monsterwelle zerfetzte uns da einiges an Tüchern an Bord. Mitte November
2014 dann nach New Zealand ca 1000 Sm im Süden in kühlere Gefilde.
Dort bekam Mariposa nach fast 9 Jahren auf See und über 50.000 Sm eine
große Überholung/Refit was sich über 6 Monate hinzog. Zuerst erwog ich den Kauf einer neuen Yacht, doch im Nachhinein war das Refit wohl die bessere Lösung. Dazwischen war ich kurz in Deutschland, um Mitte Mai 2015 nach New Caledonien zurück zu segeln. New Zealand wurde da schon lausig kalt.

Mitte August weiter nach Vanuatu und jetzt Anfang Dezember 2015, nach
einigen technischen Problemen – erst Motor, dann Hochspannungsleitung am
Mast – wieder in Kiribati, 1200 Sm sehr dicht am Äquator mit entsprechender


Neu auf unserer site Reisebericht Nr. 20 New Caledonien, New Zealand, New Caledonien bis Mitte August 2015.

Für die technisch interessierten ist am Ende des Reiseberichts eine Zusammenstellung des Refits der Yacht samt Bildergalerie, demnächst dann eine bebilderte Zusammenstellung der Ausrüstung, samt Vermerken und Kritik.

Die Zahnklinik hatte in NZ und New Caledonia nix zu tun, weil dort die Versorgungslage gut ist. Ich bin erst wieder seit Vanuatu zahnmedizinisch tätig


Da wir dieses Jahr ein ausgeprägtes El Nino Jahr haben ist es wichtig die
Cyclon Gegend zu verlassen und nicht zu früh am oder nördlich des Äquators
zu sein wegen den Weststürmen. Daher werde ich meine Deutschlandreise erst
antreten können, wenn der El Nino Effekt sich beruhigt hat. Hier in Kiribati
und Marshall Inseln, wo ich ab Ende Januar sein werde, gibt es keine
Yachthäfen, wo man das Schiff ruhig zurück lassen kann. Zu oft muss man
dann flott den Ankerplatz wechseln.

Liebe Grüße und schöne Weihnachten
Euer Michael Leppert


SV Karl – Nike Steiger GER – White Spot Pirates


Nike Augen
Mit einem Video begann die Jagd, um einer jungen Dame mit erstaunlich grossen Plänen, zumindest für ihre Zeit auf See zu Steuerbefreiung zu verhelfen.

Bereits in der ersten Videominute wurde klar, dass es mit diesem Justierungsfehler niemals klappen sollte, weshalb ich die folgende Mail bereits Ende 2014 verfasste: WEITERLESEN