The “Dulcinea” made a pit stop at Storeys Beach last week, tying up on the shore in order to fix some damage done to its haul.
“We went into a log just off an island here,” said the boat’s owner, Dave Hutchinson. “We managed to spend a few days on the water getting back here without doing anymore damage, but it needed fixing — We were getting water inside the first bulkhead.”
Hutchinson and his wife Janet have been sailing around the world for 16 years now, and they bought the Dulcinea five years ago when they were in Thailand.
“We sailed back across the Indian ocean and South Atlantic and South Pacific,” said Hutchinson, adding their adventures “started off as a two year retirement project, but at the end of the two years we managed to be in Turkey. I guess we spent the last 14 years coming back again,” laughed Hutchinson.
The Dulcinea is a Shuttleworth 64 catamaran. Three of these boats were built in 1990 by Nick Hallam in Bristol UK.
They are extremely strong. Built of foam sandwich, which is a naturally buoyant composite material, with two carbon fibre cross beams for extra rigidity and strength, and kevlar bottoms to the hulls for impact resistance.
Her first owner named her “Zeepoes” and cruised and raced her in the West Indies. Since then, she has completed two laps of the world and proved her immense strength. Extra buoyancy and safety are provided by crash-bulkheads in the two bows, and sealed engine rooms in the sterns of the hulls.
With a beam of 37ft, this gives her great stability, but also implies high loads on the cross beams.
With a length of 64ft she has a natural hull speed of 12 knots even as a displacement boat. However, the Dulcinea is capable of sailing comfortably at speeds well in excess of this.