We have a boat! – S/Y Carmen

As we indicated several times, not even that we were going to buy a boat but we already chose it. During our August vacation on Orlik dam (see our previous blogpost) we liked one of the sailboats which were chartered there. We started asking about it to the owner. He told us whole story and we fell in love with this boat. Sailboat Carmen has interesting history and its proportions exactly corresponds to our needs. Steel boat built in Czech Republic but constructed for use on ocean – robust so called battlecruiser. Just little bit bigger than we were looking for but we decided that it would not be an obstacle.So shortly about the construction. Previous owner Zdeněk Bařina in 70’s bought a design sheets with drawings for the steel sailboat from boat contructor Van de Stadt. This dutch man belongs to world top class of boat sailboats architects. But unfortunately communist party confiscated Zdeněk’s passport in 1974 before he finished the boat so he couldnot travel anymore. Works on Carmen also slowed down for these purposes. The return of passport was not expectable as he also signed the Charta77. Boat moved several times during the years. From original place under Prague bridge in Holešovice went to Troja mansion, where Zdeněk was employed. Than another comrade intervened and boat under construction had to leave this area again in 87. Carmen (still called Vera in that ages) went to yachtclub Císařská louka in Prague. Carmen was not the primary objective as the building of marina was but however Carmen got a new three cylinders engine Zetor. Zdeněk made complete interior. Basically “only” the sails, coating and equipment were still missing. Finally came the year 1989 and Zdeněk got his passport back.

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of America in 1992 held a big regatta of sailingboats and yachtclub was looking for a proper boat. This was the right opportunity for Carmen. It was possible to quickly equip the boat by first class sails (Rogalo), good quality mast and rig, etc.. with support of several sponsors. Carmen was sent to Poland for six weeks due to these adjustments. Than the time for the first wet proof came and finally the christening. It took a current prime minister Jan Stráský. Boat got a name Carmen for the request of sponsor and publisher of the same name. Immediatelly after the christening Carmen was transported by truck to Lisbon and launched to the sea. Carmen was the smallest boat of the whole regatta, mostly composed of replicas of huge historical sailing ships. Carmen was just 6cm bigger in waterline than limit. So she cross the Atlantic ocean for the first time to the America. Even the czech boat won one of the lap of the regatta. There was also documentary movie shot by Czech national TV about this regatta and Carmen called “Čeští Kolumbové”. After successful return to Europe using the more difficult northern way, Carmen was sailing in Notrh and Baltic sea and than moved to mediterranean for sailing around the Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Turkey. Last six year Carmen spent on Orlík dam in Czech Republic where we found her.

We have to mention for sure that for owner Zdeněk Carmen is issue of his heart but he likes our plans so even if he had to say goodbye to his love, he is happy that the Carmen will get back to sea, what she is built for.

Specific numbers and parameters:

Type of boat: Maid of Erin, architect Van de Stadt, Netherlands

Length over all(LOA): 37 ft – 11,3 m
Length on waterline(LWL): 30,1ft
Hull: Hard chine deep “V”
Material: steel
Max width: 10.33ft
Draft: 5.47ft
Displacement: 7,2 m3
Basic sails: 71,1 m2
Engine: Nanni diesel 21 HP
Tanks: diesel cca 80L, divided; water 300L, 2 divided tanks
Height of mast: 42.5ft
2 300 kg of lead in keel

Equipment we already have:

6 berths (2 in front cabin, 4 in salon), toilet, frigerator, ethanol cooker, compass, radar reflector

Must have:

Depthmeter, speedmeter, change cooker for gas, solar panels, new ropes and lines. Navigational devices. We are waiting for VHF radio which is already ordered. New lights are needed and also the anchor with chain(at least 20m) but maybe we will inherit some. New batteries, new bayboat. This is just necessary basic, which we remember now but there will be a ot of toher stuff.

Last but not least we have to buy also safety equipment (lifeboat, jackets, harnesses, net on deck, flares, EPIRB buoys for easier localisation in case of need).

Than there are some other thinngs which are not absolutely necessary but it would make the life on boat easier. Thinking about the windpilot, autopilot and salt water filter equipment.

Works on boat which awaits us next year:

Completely rebuild electricity, change cables. Alena’s father will help us with this. We have sails including the storm jib, but we will have to order new mainsail and the original we will use as backup. All paints are commonplace. We will be sanding minimally as the hull is in good condition. Clean all tanks. Overhaul the engine to get know it in detail. Same as we have to overhaul the toilet and water system including renewal of all gaskets. We will install slip-resistant mats on deck. We will create construction for bimini and solar panels.

Most of equipment on boat is manual. No jib furler, no steering wheel but lever, no anchor winch. It seems to be less comfortable but it is practicall as everything is simply repairable.

We would like to have the work done during the year 2015 as we would like to set off in spring 2016. Maybe start to Mediterranean or Baltic sea. If everything will go well we would like to try the cross the Atlantic ocean in November 2016 and than it depends on the direction of wind…
Stay with us on this blog.

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