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Lots of boats come to Oriental, some tie up at the Town Dock for a night or two, others drop anchor in the harbor for a while. If you've spent any time on the water you know that every boat has a story. The Shipping News on TownDock.net brings you the stories of the boats that have visited recently.

Primadonna
Arrested Departure
July 24, 2013
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That Primadonna survived this long at sea may have something to do with her design. She is the third hull built to Jean Knocker’s “Joshua” design. French sailor Bernard Moitessier sailed the original Joshua to fame in the 1968/69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race.

The Golden Globe Race was a race for solo sailors. The prize would go to the first sailor to sail alone – non-stop and un-assisted – around the world. After rounding Cape Horn and sailing around much of the world – with a good chance of winning the contest – Moitessier abandoned the event. He sailed on to Tahiti, earning, instead of the £5,000 prize and the Golden Globe Trophy, the admiration of sailors and philosophers. He covered over 37,000 miles in 10 months.

Primadonna has logged more sea miles than Moitessier’s vessel sailed in the Golden Globe Race.

Built in the early 1970s – in the same yard where Moitessier’s boat was built – her first owner sailed her around the world via Cape Horn. Twice. Pascal has owned her 5 years.

Her steel hull is built for the rigors of the Southern Ocean, for the latitudes known as the Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties. Her deck beams are extra thick steel. Her hull is welded together ship-lap style. That is, the seams overlap, making for an extra rigid structure.

Like all boats, though, time and the sea have taken their toll. During his stay in Oriental, Pascal wanted to work on Primadonna. Mend the sails. Repair the starter motor. Fill up the fuel tanks. Then sail home to France.

It hasn’t happened.

On deck looking aft. Off the stern, the Oriental Yacht Club dock and shelter.
The Joshua design – on which Primadonna is based – has a reputation for strength. According to Pascal, Primadonna once collided with a steel shipping container. The impact broke the bob stay – the steel strut that connects the end of the bowsprit to the hull. Unsupported, the bowsprit jutted skyward, putting the mast in peril. Pascal made repairs as best he could and the temporary fix saw him to port. Last year, in St Kitts, he made the repair more permanent. He had an excavator put its shovel on the bent bowsprit – then pressed it down – and back in to place. The bent section of steel tubing is wrapped in line.
Primadonna’s boom is heavily built for offshore sailing. This has consequences. Pascal says, “A boom, if they hit your head, you fly overboard. If this one hits your head, it’s your head that will fly out. You will stay here.”
The forward cabin serves as the main living area. Separated from the galley and nav area by a watertight bulkhead, it is equipped with a table, berths and storage compartments.
The bow serves as sleeping quarters. In front of the forward bulkhead, a compartment for anchoring gear.
The navigation station. Pascal plots his course with paper charts, divider and rule.
Above the chart table, GPS, compass and binoculars.
Pascal says he and Monique shower and use the facilities at the home of friends they’ve made in town. By law, vessels aren’t allowed to pump unprocessed sewage overboard. Marine heads, if installed, must be connected to a holding tank. Pascal says Primadonna’s head is connected…
…to this plastic holding tank under the head compartment sole.
While visiting Oriental, Primadonna’s crew picked up a non-standard piece of cruising gear. They adopted Maddy, the canine first mate.

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Posted Wednesday July 24, 2013 by Bernie Harberts


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