MC26C, our assumedly cruising sailboat

A short time ago one of the participants in the Volvo Ocean Race provided with the state of the art navigation equipments went aground in shoals in the Indian Ocean, a navigation flaw that not even the simplest of the cruising sailors owning a hand-held GPS would probably ever do.

The MC26C is as capable of accomplishing ambitious overseas voyages as an one thousand times more expensive yacht, probably with the smaller boat`s skipper feeling much more self-sufficient and with more freedom than the millionaire who owns the mega-yacht.

One of the reasons that compelled us to develop a small budget assumedly cruising sailboat stock plan was our willing to contribute with the less well-off sailors who are fed up with the overcrowded and insecure state of the urban life of nowadays. The seas are so empty and there are so many places where life is still simple and beautiful! However, nobody deserves going out to sea, trying to escape from the stress of modern life and not finding peace and confidence necessary to be relaxed.

Evrensel, the MC26C built in Turkey by the amateur Ömer Kirkal is the purest example of the cruising sailboat capable of accomplishing the most ambitious dreams of happiness.

Lyric celebration aboard Evrensel. Live life!

There are three ways of obtaining a good offshore cruising sailboat: buying a series produced brand new boat from a renowned factory, purchasing a second hand one, or building yourself. The three possibilities have its pros and cons, and it`s up to you to decide which is the best choice in your case.

The great advantage of the cruising boat acquired in a boat show booth is the fact that she will come ready for sailing, the only work required for the first trial being hoisting the sails. However, besides representing a considerable spending, it is also a black box, its systems intended for being serviced by specialists from authorized workshops, much like what happens with cars. No matter how well made a boat is, cruising for a prolonged stretch is a heavy burden for the boat`s systems, for that matter requiring periodical attention. The vendors` intention is that the client comes back some five or ten years later to acquire a new product following the trends in fashion and innovation, once again as it happens with the automobile industry.

The second-hand cruising sailboat might be a good deal depending on the conditions of the boat purchased. Once in a blue moon a really good boat is for sale for a bargain, for some reason with no relation to the state of the yacht. However, a second-hand acquisition should not depend on lady luck only, since this is lottery. The buyer needs to accomplish a thorough professional survey not to get involved with a bug-trap. A well hidden or disguised problem can easily ruin a good deal, since servicing costs are high and it is optimistic to take for granted that the repair will be satisfactory. But the worst in a case like this is that the value of the boat in question will not increase after the repair being done.

Xangô is a MC26C built by an amateur. Our client wouldn`t have the necessary cash to buy a boat in the factory, but had a monthly income which allowed him to build his boat without worries.

Home building, or custom professional construction, is the third option for obtaining a good cruising sailboat, and assisting those who choose this path for getting the right boat is our trade. This option has the implication of representing a benchmark in one`s life. On one hand, it is a lingering and laborious enterprise. On the other hand it allows the short-budget cruising sailor with a reasonable monthly income to build his boat, choosing the pace that suits him/her best.

To develop an assumedly cruising sailboat design suited for enduring a storm with much less suffering for the crew than if it was a cruiser/racer, this is duck soup to do. What is a pain in the neck to stand with is the psychological side related to the marketing point of view. This premise seems to be taboo for the boat building industry, with few exceptions, of course. Brokers and boat show salesmen use to come with the small talk to potential buyers that boats of the cruiser/racer type, which they are dealing with, are capable of winning races and accomplishing long distance offshore cruises. As far as competitive racing goes, this is baloney, particularly nowadays, when the racing machines became authentic enlarged surfboards and are light as a feather, except if the boats they are offering are to compete with others of equivalent pretentions. Besides, these cruiser/racers are well below in comfort, easiness of manoeuvring and stability than a proper cruising sailboat. The authentic cruising machine is within the reach of the average sailing couple, or single-hander, to handle her without hassles.

All compartments of the MC26C interior are equally spacious. When spending a prolonged sojourn on board, be it in a haven, or sailing offshore, this feeling of spaciousness is fundamental for the well being of the crew.

The MC26C heads is very ample for a boat this size. Another unique feature for a twenty-six footer is having a wall to hang a cabin heater for those who cruise in colder climates.

We already informed in other articles, and stated in the project`s description (see the links DESCRIPTION and CLUB in the Multichine 26C home page), that, even though it might be contested by others, we define eight metres as the boundary between offshore sailboats with unlimited scope of seafaring and smaller crafts more recommended for coastal sailing. The most important factors for that, even admitting that they are too elusive to be taken for granted, are twofold: length over all and internal headroom. In our point of view, a boat shorter than eight metres with its corresponding D.W.L will probably lack stability and inertia when sailing close hauled in harsh conditions, and sufficient headroom, like 1.85m for instance, for a smaller boat than eight metres, will make her excessively top heavy and offers too much resistance to the wind. Of course the larger the boat is, the better. However we just manage to fit enough of the required qualities for offshore sailing in our designs when we surpass this theoretical eight metres barrier.

This definition gained significance for us when the sluggish world economy of the last years of this first decade banned many cruising sailors the world over from acquiring a decent offshore sailing craft. It was then that B & G Yacht Design decided to work in favour of these dreamers, which I consider being myself one of them. Before those days the world had profited from a long period of prosperity and cheap credit when the cruising sailboats grew in size until becoming dinosaurs. At that time many referred to forty foot sailboats as small, and all the facilities of modern life became mandatory on board, never minding at what cost, either of acquisition or to keep them running.

This is an unforgettable day in the story of a home construction, as a rule commemorated with a barbecue: the day the hull is turned upside. The boat in the photo is Xangô, shown in this article already floating.

Now that world population surpassed the seven billion inhabitants and the sumptuous yachts are out of the question for the absolute majority of us, the incorrigible dreamers must understand that happiness does not reside in having the mega-yacht, but in letting the dreams come true. In civil architecture the twenty-five square metres apartments are becoming popular, and at sea this attitude will have to happen too. Our role was to work in this direction and the MC26C is our response.

Roberto Barros and his wife Eileen, who have sailed together dozens of thousand miles, and the couple Luis Pinho and Marli Werner, who live aboard the Kiribati 36 Green Nomad, are the most incurable addicts of cruising under sail in the B & G Yacht Design team. If you would like to exchange experiences with them about cruising life-style, you are welcome to contact them sending e-mails to robertobarros@hotmail.com or to Greennomad@gmail.com. Luis and Marli are presently sailing from South America bound for Australia, a trip that started a couple of years ago and has no schedule for arriving. You can learn more about this charming couple entering their blog with link from the top left of our home page: http:greennomadsail.com/

Click here to know more about the Multichine 26C.