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"Seahorse", built between 1985-1989 in Cape Town, South Africa features a hardy vessel to sail worldwide. Self- steering wind vane, user- friendly autopilot, hot water shower, electric head with black water tank, two two-person berths, 150 liter diesel tanks (2 tanks) 300- liter water tanks (two tanks) microwave and gimballed stove, fridge and chest freezer. 52 HP Mitsubishi Vetus diesel engine. 440 AMP/hr deep cycle battery bank, back up voltage regulator, 12 V to 220 V inverter. 4 x 125 Watt solar panels & wind generator. 3 electric & 1 manual bilge pumps. Rubber duck, hard shell dingy and four person Viking life raft included with a 15 HP Yamaha outboard. Tons of safety gear aboard. Furuno navigation station and radar with back up GPS, VHF & handheld radio, anemometer, built- in stereo system, EPIRAB, AIS, complete folder of manuals on all electric and mechanical items, plenty electric- and hand tools, spare parts, extra lines, sailing books and bosun chair. Sails include main, two genoas, storm gib, try sail and spinnaker.
There is no windlass, the anchor was always lifted by hand, which even in deeper waters of 45 feet was no problem. There is also no water maker, the owner always managed to fill water tanks while on anchor or by collecting rain water.
- Fix or replace torn Genoa sail
- replace anode
- paint antifoul
- recharge deep freezer
- recertify life raft
- mount wind generator and two solar panels
- replace mattress covers
- solder electric cable leading to radar unit
- paint deck and gel coat hull
- replace flooring
- replace or paint fridge (mini fridge is an old model but still serves its purpose.)
- change engine oil and filter
- paint front bilge
- varnish or wax saloon table and wooden interior
- replace anchor and chain
- repair or replace AIS
- install windlass
- fix possible leak in one water tank
Speed & Distance
The hull was built in 1985 in Cape Town, South Africa and transported by road to Windhoek Namibia, where the first owner outfitter her. Originally, she was equipped with a VW Golf engine, which was not reliable. "Seahorse" was launched in 1989 and did several off shore trips up and down the Skeleton coast before she embarked on her first Atlantic crossing. In 2001, she made landfall in Salvador, Brazil and then sailed south to Rio de Janeiro. From there , the owner sailed her single-handed tracking against wind and current back to Walvis Bay, Namibia.
In 2010, she changed hands. The owner spent a substantial amount of money in upgrades. Mainly redoing the interior, upgrading electronics and the install of the current engine- Vetus Diesel.
The current owner purchased in 2016 with a dream to sail to the US. Rigging was thoroughly inspected and replaced along with fresh antifouling and equipped with the proper gear for ocean cruising.
In May of 2018, the current owner along with his wife, child and one extra person sailed for a month crossing over Salvador, Brazil with a short stop over at St Helena island. Most of the steering was done with the wind vane, while the autopilot helped on downward winds. Seahorse proved to be a very sturdy and forgiving boat to sail in up to 25 knot winds and up to 12 feet swell. The journey continued north up the Brazilian coast and French Guiana, where they journeyed inland via river systems. From there, they sailed to the Caribbean, visiting several islands. They made landfall in the US at Fort Pierce, Florida and then sailed up the coast into Chesapeake Bay. After a year on the ocean, they were ready to settle down again but overwhelmed by the sadness of having to leave the trustworthy boat behind.
Interesting facts from the journey:
The engine only ran for 180 hours in total and rarely ran to charge batteries. The solar and wind generator were almost always sufficient.
In that year, Seahorse only spent three nights in a marina and seven nights on a mooring. All other days, she was either sailing or anchored.
The strongest wind was sailing at night into Turks and Caicos, peaking 45 knots.
The only mechanical malfunctions were in the freezer while crossing the Atlantic, a bilge pump, The AIS and the engine's water pump, which was replaced while on anchor in French Guiana.
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