Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mea culpa. mea culpa ...

I know it has been a very long time since my last confession (er, blog entry), but I do have an excuse - for some time I was very busy with finishing the student book and teacher resource for the second edition of our grade 12 world issues book (it is now out, btw, and would make a lovely Christmas or birthday gift for that special someone). Also there seem to be a never ending list of jobs to do on the boat ranging from the very big to the very small.

Thought it was time to show off Ainia a bit more. First pic is an overview taken this spring. Since the time that photo was taken the canvas (dodger and bimini) have been replaced and the exterior teak has had 11 coats of varnish.

Ainia is a Bristol 45.5 designed by Ted Hood and built in Rhode Island in 1982. The main dimensions are LOA 45' Beam 13' 4" Draft 4' 10" and Displacement 34,500 pounds. The two of these that need comment are the shallow draft - this is because, like many Hood designs, the boat has a centreboard with 12' draft when the board is down. The C/B has both advantages and disadvantages - the shallow draft means that you can get into shallower places like much of the Bahamas while still having good pointing ability with the board down. The main disadvantage is that it is just one more thing that go wrong - either the board can stuck up or stuck down - neither is a good thing.

Ainia is the first centre cockpit boat that I have had. Again, like most things on a boat, this is good and bad. It gives you a private aft cabin, good engine access and better visibility when docking. On the other hand, you end up with very limited storage for big items like sail bags because, at least with this design you have no large cockpit lockers.

Hood designs are quite heavy but he did a good job of making them not look too fat. This was accomplished by having hull shapes that are very full below the waterline - they are sometimes called "whale-shaped". As well as having an aesthetic advantage it means that are lots of places to store stuff below where other boats do not typically places at all.

It is hard to take decent interior pictures without a wide-angle lense but here are a few so you get the idea of what it is like. Bristol built with lots of heavy teak everywhere and use much more substantial construction methods than most builders (which may explain why a) they went out of business and b) their boats have such a good reputation).

Here is June in the main cabin with the picture looking forward. There is a cabin and head beyond the mast and bulkhead shown. To starboard there is a settee with lots of storage. All of the boat's water and fuel tanks (400 + gallons in all) are below the floorboards so it makes the areas below the furniture available for storage.

This is the passageway to the aft cabin with the nav station on the right and storage behind it before the cabin door. You get a sense of the woodwork here. There are no areas of fibreglass liner anywhere - even in the overhead. Instead they just finished the bottom of the very thick deck.

This is taken looking into the aft cabin. You can see about 2/3 of the berth here. Around the corner to the left is the head with a separate shower cubicle.

All for now. Lots more to talk about in later posts.