Log Book

Reaquainted and She Looks so Good-Part Two

Posted by Ted Fontaine on 1 May 2012 | 0 Comments


Part Two of "Reacquainted and She Looks so Good" by Ted Fontaine.

Peter Island was a welcome stop, dinner on land and a very quiet night in the marina was just enough civilization for the week, the rest of the trip we vowed would be at anchor or mooring… but first there is that issue of work and the meeting onboard Tenacious…. But oh, where to park?

 Turns out it was not that difficult to find a parking space for the meeting…Wednesday mornings on Peter Island are not as busy as I had expected. I dropped anchor, got in the dinghy and made my way over to TENACIOUS. 

 At 115’, TENACIOUS is not that hard to find, you just look above the tree line for the tallest black mast on the horizon.

 TENACIOUS was launched in 1995, and at that time she was the largest composite-built sailing yacht built in the United States. She was a large boat for 115’ featuring four staterooms aft in the owners party and three double cabins for the crew. She was designed for the Bahamas and had less than an 8’ draft. In 1995 she won awards for being the “Most Innovative Design.” Her carbon fiber in mast furling system was originally designed to not heel beyond 18 degrees, a rig that in very light air just did not have the power that her new owner wanted.

 The result of the meeting: Fontaine Design Group was commissioned to design a taller, higher aspect rig. The mast is to be replaced with a High Modulus carbon mast built by Southern Spars. The new rig is expected to be 4.5 tons lighter than the original in mast furling system. The new rig will have composite standing rigging which significantly contributes to the overall weight savings. The new mast when stepped will be 18’ taller and carry 30 percent more sail area than the original rig. The net result will be a much more powerful sail plan with longer genoa luff length and more efficient fully battened mainsail. This new plan will definitely get this boat up to speed in the lighter air expected of her summer home in Maine.

 After meeting with Captain Duncan Hipkin and Master boat builder Marty Ford to discuss the winch placement, new chain plate configuration and modifications to the existing hard top it was back to the grueling task of direct marketing of the Friendship 40. With scheduled overnight stops at Pusser’s Marina Cay and Jost Van Dyke we began our journey back towards MANAAKI’s home berth at Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbor before heading back home.


It had been a bit more than three years since I had seen MANAAKI, the Friendship 40 that led to so many good times for so many people. I was most impressed at how well MANAAKI has weathered three full season in the Caribbean environment. She looks as good as she did the last time I had sailed on her in 2009. Her varnish had been routinely maintained and she was always stored under a custom built cover when not in use. Her Awl Grip topsides looked fantastic as did her sails and interior joinery. This boat, hull number one of the Friendship 40’s has seen countless miles. Here in New England in her first years she made weekly commutes from Newport to Nantucket and the Vineyard, she has been back and forth from Newport to Annapolis several times and from Annapolis down the coast around the Cape of Florida and up to Marco Island. I have personally experienced countless offshore miles on board. Of course, like all sailing stories over the years, some hours I would prefer to forget. Being 65 miles offshore in 45 to 50 knot winds for some 30 or so hours, hand steering on a cold October night was not what I envisioned when I designed the Friendship. But because of her true offshore capabilities and sea-kindly hull shape, the Friendship 40 has never once caused me any concern as to her strength or her sea worthiness… she is one strong yet comfortable girl and worthy of every compliment she gets from Nantucket Sound to the Bitter End. She is a sight to behold.         Ted Fontaine,  April 2012


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