The boat – Chimere


Chimere is a 53 feet roundbilge steel cutter built in 1984. She is approximately 25-30 ton and has a draft, (ie depth in the water) of around 1.8 metres, with a retractable keel which increases this to 3m.
The layout includes 9 berths in 5 cabins, with capacity to sleep a few more in the saloon and on deck when weather permits.
Being a cutter rig, she has one mast and three headsails or jibs, of which only two would be used together at any one time.
The auxillary engine is an 85hp Perkins, which can push her along at around 6 knots under normal conditions. There is an additional diesel motor (10hp Nanni) which runs a 240V generator and 12V alternator. (The diesel tanks hold 1400 litres) Plus, as an emergency, we have a 2kVa Honda petrol generator, as an extra power source and for shore work if required.
Chimere has two tenders, a recently purchased 3.4m Zodiac rubber dinghy, (with an aluminium base) fitted with a 15hp mercury and a 2.7m plastic MAC Boat fitted with a 4.5hp Merc.
In the event of emergency we carry over 20 lifejackets, along with two inflateable liferafts, one for 6 persons and one for 12 personas
For navigation, Chimere carries a Raymarine chartplotter (using Navionic software) plus a 24 mile radar and a Raymarine autohelm. In addition there are three spare gps units, plus a laptop carrying MaxSea software. Of course our position will be maintained at all times on papercharts, which we carry for the region.
The galley is well equipped with fridge, freezer and gas stove, with their being two toilets – an ultra modern electric model and a new “manual” unit because no one wants to be reliant on battery power for something as important as this.
Communications aboard include a VHF and HF radio, plus a thing called Sail Mail, which enables us to send and receive emails while at sea. It also enables us to download weather maps and forecasts for the region. We intend to carry a satphone, which, given the cost of calls, will be used mostly for sms and very short calls. For local ship to shore communications we have a handheld VHF and 4 CB handsets.
The freshwater tanks hold around 1200 litres and there is often scope to catch rainwater when it’s available, but still, it’s one of those things we need to monitor carefully. Showers will be short affairs, with rationing being done by way of a 5 litre agricultural hand pressure sprayer, which is fitted with a shower head. Experience suggests that a good shower can be had in 2-4 litres of water – amazing!! Dishes are mostly washed in salt water.
The big dangers aboard mostly include, the boom hitting the head, the winches and lines taking a finger and falling down an open deck hatch. Apart from that, it’s bad cooking and sunburn.