The Boat

The boats for the Golden Globe race are a select breed. They are boats that are as close to the boats of the original race as possible. The original race in 1968 saw an eclectic selection of craft for the voyage; steel, trimarans, wooden. Other than a Suhaili replica, which is Sir Robins boat in the original GGR, the boats for 2018 must fit into quite a strict criteria. They must be between 32 and 36 foot in overall length, designed prior to 1988 and a minimum of 20 yachts built from the one builder, they must be long keeled and rudders attached to the trailing edge and a minimum design displacement of 6,200kg. The boats approved are:

  • Westsail 32
  • Tradewind 35
  • Saga 34
  • Saltram 36
  • Vancouver 32 & 34
  • OE 32
  • Eric (sister ship to Suhaili)
  • Aries 32
  • Baba 35
  • Biscay 36
  • Bowman 36
  • Cape Dory 36
  • Nicholson 32 MKX-XI
  • Rustler 36
  • Endurance 35
  • Gaia 36
  • Hans Christian 33T
  • Tashiba 36
  • Cabo Rico 34
  • Hinckley Pilot 35
  • Lello 34
  • Gale Force 34

My boat for the race is a Rustler 36. Built in 1995 in Falmouth, from the designers Holman and Pye. I got her in May 2016 and immediately started working to get her ready for my Atlantic loop during winter 2016/17.

10.77 meters in overall length and waterline length is a fraction over 8 meters. A fully encapsulated keel with 3.4 tonnes of ballast making her displacement 7.5 tonnes. A stern hung rudder with a tiller, a very simple arrangement, perfect for an ocean going boat. 

The interior layout is pretty simple, coming through the companion way there's my navigation station to port with a very good sized chart table, and behind it a quarter berth, to starboard is the galley and ahead is the saloon and just in front of the mast is the heads and a fore cabin. For one person she is fairly spacious. Plenty of headroom for me.

To get her ready to sail around the world the jobs list is comprehensive to say the least. She is not ready to sail 30,000 miles and be at sea for well over half a year without stopping. The biggest jobs are strengthening of the hull, deck and rigging to get her ready to withstand the Southern Ocean. She has to be able to withstand being knocked down and rolled over. Taking on the storms of the Southern Ocean the constant beating the boat will get will be endless. I can’t pull in somewhere to get an issue fixed, so everything has to be thought about before hand, every possible weakness has to be addressed. To face a rollover she has to be watertight, 100% watertight. Most boats aren’t, it's always the companionway that will let them down. Aside from strengthening, she needs to be set up for solo sailing and be able to store up to 10 months worth of spares and food.