|The start of the Classic Yacht Fleet in Antigua||Our Fleet|
Our "fleet" consists of two sailboats, Encore I and Encore II, plus associated dinghies, a windsurfer and wake boards. We began cruising the Great Lakes on our first sailboat called "L'esprit" (a Hunter 30) in 1977. Next we had a classically designed ketch (two masted sailboat) built in Taiwan called "Yasumi", which means "vacation" in Japanese. While Yasumi was beautiful with lots of teak, the maintenance was constant, so we traded her in for "Moonlighting", (a Legend 47, built by Hunter).
Encore I is our fourth cruising sailboat and is a 45 foot Beneteau First 45f5 designed by Bruce Farr and built in France.
Encore I off the coast of Turkey 1999
We acquired Encore I in 1991 and sailed briefly in the Great Lakes before shipping her to Florida where we began to cruise the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean. We sailed Encore I on our first world cruise starting in 1997 and after essentially circling the globe we shipped her back to the Great Lakes in 2001. We continue to cruise the Great Lakes on her during the summer.
Encore I has a master cabin forward and two double berth cabins aft. The interior styling as well as some of the exterior lines were designed by the Italian firm Pininfarina, better known for their styling of Ferraris and other sports cars. This was their first commission to help design a sailboat.
Displacing 19,000 lbs, which is considered relatively light weight for her length, and with a large sail area, Encore I is considered a "racer-cruiser", and has the ability to be seriously raced while having a high level of interior style and cruising amenities. For instance, she has two heads (bathrooms), hot and cold pressure water, combination fridge and freezer, marble counters in the galley, a mahogany interior with curved bulk heads, and indirect lighting and skylights.
Encore I at anchor at Covered Portage Cove, North Channel, Lake Huron 2002
Encore I usually sails with a genoa jib and mainsail, but carries two spinnakers (featuring large block "M's" for the University of Michigan), a staysail that can be flown on a removable inner forestay, a storm jib, and a storm trysail which would be used in place of the mainsail in extreme weather.
Encore I flying her "Maize and Blue" spinnaker of the island of Mbengga in Fiji on July 4, 1997
During ocean passages, we rarely used our engine, a 50HP diesel, except to charge our batteries. With only 45 gallons of fuel in our main tank, and 50 gallons in two auxiliary tanks we added, our range under power was only about 500-600 miles.
Our second world cruise will be on Encore II, a semi-custom 56 foot blue water cruising sailboat designed by Angelo Lavranos and built in 1992 in South Africa. Originally built for the commodore of the Royal Natal Yacht Club in Durban, then known as Centime, she was cruised and raced extensively in the Indian Ocean before being sailed to Florida where we bought her in 2000.
Encore II in Falmouth Harbour, Antigua
Although Encore II is only 11 feet longer than Encore I, she displaces about 50,000 lbs. This is two and half times Encore I and means we have nearly twice the interior space and a much more comfortable ride.
With a longer waterline, Encore II will typically cruise at 8 knots compared to about 7 for Encore I, however in light wind conditions and in big seas where these boats can surf, Encore I would probably be faster. Nancy has the record for hitting 14 knots once in the Pacific on Encore I.
The main saloon has a large table and settees that seat up to 8 people for dinner. We were told that the table top was constructed from wood taken from the original bar of the Royal Durban Yacht Club. Embedded in it is an exotic sea shell collection, mainly gathered by the original owner as he cruised the Indian Ocean.
We bought Encore II in 2000 expecting to start another circumnavigation someday, and having spent 18 months on Encore I, we really appreciated the features on Encore II and what we could do to even improve on what she had. For instance, in the picture above, you can see two headsails close to each other on the bow. This is called a "Solent" rig, and it allows us to have a larger "genoa" jib on the outer head stay and then a smaller "yankee" jib on the inner head stay. We simply roll out one or the other based on the wind conditions, and if we wanted to, we could have both out, one on each side.
Not visible in the picture above, but shown in the drawing at left, is an additional inner forestay, which can be disconnected from the deck and lashed along side the shrouds (wires going from the mast to the side decks). This inner forestay can be used to fly a storm jib, or simply a smaller staysail. With more combinations of sails to use, we can adapt better to wind and sea conditions.
Similar to Encore I, we also carry two spinnakers which can be used for downwind passages. All of our working sails are relatively high-tech, and were made by UK Sailmakers, using Kevlar tapes for strength, while overall weight is reduced.
In contrast to Encore I, Encore II has three large fuel tanks (1600 liters) and with our 130HP engine, we could motor well over 1000 miles. This is nice when you are in the "doldrums".
Encore II also has an 8kW generator, two air conditioning units, a large fridge and even larger freezer, and a high output water maker. Not to say that Encore I wasn't usually comfortable, but so long as everything works, Encore II makes life even better. (Plus you do get to spend time learning how to maintain and repair everything eventually).
Encore II at Jolly Harbour Marina, Antigua
We kept Encore II in the Bahamas until 2002 while we had major refits performed from time to time in Florida. These included sails, electronics, decks and she went from a white hull to her current dark blue. Since then, we've kept her at Jolly Harbour Marina in Antigua in the West Indies.
To round out our "fleet", we carry Geoff's windsurfer onboard, plus both Encore's have a wakeboard and good size dinghy. Here, Geoff and Jennifer are headed out for some wakeboarding near Green Island off of Antigua
This site was last updated 02/04/07