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Samoa 34

Samoa 34 Luthier completes the Atlantic circuit

Another important achievement has taken place with a sailboat designed by our Office. This time the boat is the Samoa 34 Luthier, built by the Brazilian couple Dorival and Catarina Gimenes, in their home garden, at the city of Campinas, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Luthier just completed the so-called "Atlantic Circuit", one of the most praised cruising trips for those who live along the Atlantic Ocean shores, never minding if they are dwellers in the North or South Atlantic countries, a clockwise voyage following the prevailing wind patterns. In the case of our clients they started the cruise in Salvador, State of Bahia, Brazil, sailing to the West Indies, Azores, Portugal, and after a sojourn in Europe, returned to the port of departure by way of the classic route, with stopovers in Madeira, Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Going for an adventure of this scope by a relatively inexperienced couple requires good planning and lots of competence, and these virtues the Gimenes couple have plenty to spare, being a good example for those who have similar dreams.

Luthier sailing close hauled in the open sea. This photo was taken from another competitor during the 2009 Recife to Fernando de Noronha Regatta, a popular event in the South American sail-racing calendar. Photo: Dorival Gimenes

Let's face it: perhaps there is nothing more rewarding in life than building your own cruising sailboat, this alone being an immeasurable personal accomplishment. Then imagine if, once the work is concluded, you leave for an overseas voyage as the captain of your own ship taking aboard as first mate the woman of your life! When you arrive in cruising paradises by plane as conventional tourist, even though you might be a seasoned sailor, you probably will not manage to be invited to join that coveted table where cruising sailors join to chew the rag and drink that ice-cold one in the most popular local pub, and if in the most remote case of being invited to join the group, you will probably feel as being an intruder, finding no affinity with those sailors, much less having what to talk with them. With Dorival and Catarina it was exactly this fulfilment, sort of getting a captain's license, that they obtained, the feeling of being the masters of their own destinies, and that of belonging to the tribe of cruising sailors, people with the same tastes and endeavours. We are plainly convinced that the brave couple must be absolutely self-assured about the merits of their accomplishments.

Luthier was built under that shed shown in the picture in front of its stem. Any amateur boat builder would have enough reasons of pride for constructing such a perfect hull with practically no assistance of other people. Photo: Dorival Gimenes

For their show of seamanship and proficiency in constructing and preparing their boat for this extended voyage, it is unquestionable that the Gimenes deserve having Luthier included in the gallery of Hall of Fame of boats from our design. Before departing Dorival sent us an e-mail in which he tells how he got prepared for the trip:

Luthier was launched on the 12th of December, 2008. The construction took four and a half years of dedication and planning. Now my wife and I can live aboard and fulfil our long distance cruising dreams we have nurtured for so long.
Our first month aboard wasn't sufficient to set in order all our belongings, however one of our amusements was hearing the comments of some of our visitors.
The most frequent praise was for the excellent headroom at the saloon and the heads compartment, followed by the opinion of our guest's wives, who praised Lutier's galley above all other things. The aft cabin impressed favourably too, for its spaciousness and the king-sized dimensions of the double-berth.
We haven't really tested the boat yet, but some interesting data has already been obtained when sailing in light wind conditions. We were sailing in a beam reach in four knots winds, our speed being three knots. Then we started the engine and the speed jumped to more than seven knots, despite the boat being loaded with all our belongings and full tank capacity.
 I am in debt with you for a more conclusive report when we sail with more wind and have things more adequately settled aboard, including a more precise tuning of the boat's instruments.
It is still  missing installing a bimini, an awning, curtains, etc…a boat never gets really finished, isn't that so?
However, in spite of a simple joiner-work style, the construction seems to be extremely sound. I am very pleased with the boat. Congratulations for the design.
Dorival Gimenes.

Luthier is one of the most well prepared boats for long distance cruising adventures ever built by any of our amateur clients. photo: Dorival Gimenes

Luthier's path after the conclusion of its construction was a straight arrow towards the the pre-established goal, and not to get diverted one inch from their endeavour, the couple had to show an outstanding determination. The firs timportant sea trial was a one thousand miles trip from Parati to the northeast of Brazil, to take part in the popular Recife to Fernando de Noronha Regatta, a three-hundred miles offshore event, in which Luthier did no less than winning the race in her class. Dorival sent us an e-mail published below telling the story:

Dear friends from B & G Yacht Design. Luthier is a really fast cruising sailboat and you can be proud of having designed her. Since December 2008, when the boat was launched, she has been giving us lots of happiness and good results.  We won the REFENO 2009 in our class, Open B, and we have been calling at many wonderful and worth visiting places in the Brazilian coast.  We have published our sailing experiences in our blog at the website: www.veleiro.net/luthier/ administered by the captain of the yacht Yahgan, a Cape Horn 35, built more than 15 years ago, a boat which sails smoothly, looking as new as Luthier.  These two boats are proof that their building method, strip planking, is very strong and appropriate for amateur construction.  However, it is not only that; during our trip we met a large number of MCs made in steel, home built Samoas 29 , plywood/epoxy MCs28, series produced Aladins, etc, all of them from your design. We encountered a very well built MC28, made by her owner, a deep water diving master from Vitória, state of Espirito Santo, Brazil.  We also met many yachts from your office built by professional boatyards.

Preparing for the start in the 2009 Recife to Fernando de Noronha Regatta, in Ground Zero, Recife's Harbour. At this point they couldn't dream they were going to be the winners in their class. Courtesy: Dorival Gimenes

At each place we go to Luthier attracts attention. Whenever we say we built her, people look at the hull raising their eyebrows, hardly believing it, and usually come the same questions: is she really wooden?  And then we invariably have to show them the varnished apparent internal side of the strips, pictures of the construction, and they look at everything with perplexity. Then they start asking about how long it took for the construction, costs, difficulties, and so on, and finally, if my wife agrees in having to live aboard.

For the duration of the construction, costs and difficulties, I have some ready answers, and I suggest them to look at your website, and others, as reference.  About my wife, I say that she helped in the construction and that she loves our baby, as she calls Luthier.

People say boats have souls, and I believe in that. Luthier is restless, doesn't like to stay lashed to a pier, preferring moorings, or to be anchored, but what she likes most is to be sailing.   Cruising with Luthier is very comfortable.  Our average speed is about 6 knots, and depending on the sea state and weather conditions, we can sail easily at seven knots average without stressing the equipment.  With sails properly trimmed the rudder is so light that the autopilot requires very little energy to steer the boat.  Many of the cruising people we met said that it is a typical characteristic of yours designs.

To build a boat and go away cruising is a worthy experience. Even if only for short-lasting trips, or living aboard on weekends, it is very rewarding, but it requires dedication, planning, controlling anxiety, and to accept the fact that the yacht design office keeps its working schedule and is continuously introducing new designs and updates that will tempt us to change our minds for another design, as happened to me when you introduced the new version of the Cape Horn 35.

Sticking to the original plan paid off.  To finish the constructions is an indescribable experience of joy, and it is in that very moment that your options of leisure will be open to new achievements, having all the oceans to be conquered.

Besides the construction, it is necessary to study and learn many other things, like navigation, meteorology, safety procedures, first aid, etc.  Nevertheless, a good boat deserves a good captain.  We always have something to learn and will always have a new place to visit. You will find plenty of interesting people on the way.

Dorival.

Aboard Luthier

Even though Luthier is home for Catarina end Dorival, having all their belongings on board, she sails very fast for a cruising boat. Courtesy: Dorival Gimenes

To be the winner of the most prestigious ocean race in the South Atlantic with a boat made with your own hands is priceless. Catarina and Dorival receiving the trophy for being the first place in their class. Courtesy: Dorival Gimenes

After the race Dorival and Catarina made the return trip to Parati, their port of register, a tourist town in the west coast of the State of Rio de Janeiro, about one thousand miles south from Recife, considering the test as being sufficient for the more ambitious challenge they were going to try in the next year.

Travelling in a cruising sailboat is like entering places by the social entrance, and not by the back-door, as it happens with those who arrive by plane. Photo: Dorival Gimenes

Finally in 2010 they departed for the so ardently desired tour of the Atlantic, following the prevailing direction of the winds, first going north from South America to the Caribbean, the classic route of the Portuguese Men of War, and after spending the tourist season in the West Indies, sailed bound for the Azores and Europe, entering the Old Continent by way of Lisbon. The articles they wrote in their blog; www.veleiro.net/luthier/ were blockbusters among the list of blogs with links from our site. The texts are not in English, but the photos are sufficient to give an idea of how much they enjoyed their voyage.

The Gimenes receiving guests for supper in the West Indies. The warm-feeling of Luthier's salon is enhanced by the good taste of the pictures in the bulkhead wall. Catarina is a talented plastic artist and the oils are her creation. Courtesy: Dorival Gimenes

The first part of the Voyage, the stretch between Parati and Recife was basically a repetition of the previous year's trip, which served as confidence booster for the uncertainties that for sure they would come across after leaving the already familiar northeast of Brazil behind. One more time Luthier applied as a participant in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Regatta, this time with the heavy burden of having to confirm the outstanding performance of the previous race. However Lady Luck uses to have a wide range of scripts in hands for our destinies, and this time she prepared an unexpected event to crown their participation in the race. When they were quite close to the finish line, and once more very well placed in the race, Dorival was asked to give assistance to another yacht that was in trouble, having lost its rudder. Since the escort boats in the race were all of them busy assisting other competitors which suffered other types of mishaps, and Luthier was the closest in the area, Dorival was consulted if he wouldn't mind to give a hand to the disabled boat. Without a wink Dorival agreed in trying to assist the other yacht, a state of the art composite built racing machine that hada cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more than the sturdy Luthier, and made contact by radio informing his decision to sail towards the drifting craft. When the two boats were at talking distance from each other, taking into account the heavy swell and the fact that Luthier was just double-handed, Dorival suggestd the risky operation of boarding one of the eleven crewmembers of the other boat, who would jump into the water with a heaving line, all this having to be done in a stormy night. After a test drill to ensure all was adequately planned, one of the crewmembers of the other boat dived into the sea and was rescued aboard Luthier. From then on Dorival towed the other yacht to the continent, two hundred miles away, since it was out of the question to try to reach the island with a strong wind on the nose towing a much larger yacht. The flawless operation was toasted effusively by the crews when both boats arrived in Natal and were safely moored side by side in the protected waters of the local yacht club. .

Catarina praised each day of her voyage as the fulfilment of a nurtured dream. There is no other factor that counts more than the enthusiastic wife's participation during a prolonged cruise. Photo: Dorival Gimens

After the successful salvage of the damaged competitor in the ocean race, Luthier left the town of Natal in the Brazilian Northeast bound for the West Indies, with a stopover on the National Park of Lençois Maranhenses, a place of outstanding beauty, where white sand dunes form fresh water ponds in their valleys. From that call they made a nonstop trip to the Caribbean, not without incidents, since, not far from the Amazon River estuary, they were pursued by a stealth craft in a moonless night, much probably with piracy intentions in mind, having escaped from their chasers turning off the engine and all lights aboard, including the compass light. It seems that this fate has something to do with our clients accomplishing long passages in boats from our designs. A few months later, another client of ours, Raimundo Nascimento, who is completing a round the world voyage aboard his Explorer 39 Caroll had a narrow escape when chased by pirates south of Indonesia, only managing to get rid of them, thanks to the ten knots speed of his boat, a performance that couldn't be matched by the pirates' trawler.

Their chosen landfall in the Caribbean was in Tobago, where they stayed for a fortnight, getting acquainted with the international leg of their voyage. From there they went island-hopping in day-sail reaches with calls at most Windward Islands until reaching Saint Martin.

Luthier in Rodney Bay Marina, Santa Lúcia. By then the Gimenes already feltt absolutely at home as international cruising sailors. Photo: Dorival Gimenes

Those who cruise among the West Indies islands have the unique chance of being able to change countries after short passages, most the time sailing in a broad reach in pristine emerald blue waters. The stopovers are done in tropical paradises inhabited by merry and friendly citizens, and you sail together with a crowd of other cruising boats of the most different nationalities. As it happened in the old Paradise with the story of the forbidden apple, in the Caribbean you can do whatever you want, except to stay there when the cruising season is over. Since nobody wishes to cruise the same grounds forever, this doesn't constitute a major problem. The boats use to leave in flocks bound for Europe, North America, and, those dreaming with the South Pacific, sailing to Panama.

The Azores is the perfect "pit stop" in the eastern Atlantic. These authentic gardens in the middle of the ocean are a blessing for stressed crews craving for replenishing their larders with fresh provisions. Catarina close to a cliff in Flores. Photo Dorival Gimenes.

Small world! Dorival & Catarina receive on board the Azorean couple Pedro Pinto and Andreia Aguiar, residents in Terceira Island, who happen to be old friends of ours, having visited the MC28 Fiu in Marina da Gloria, Rio de Janeiro a few years earlier. Courtesy: Dorival Gimenes

In the heart of Lisbon. A voyage to the couple's distant origins. Fhoto: Dorival Gimenes

Columbus Festival. Porto Santo, Madeira. The good side of an overseas cruise is that you see things otherwise you would never suspect they existed. Photo: Dorival Gimenes

Catarina at the waterfront sidewalk in front of Las Palmas anchorage. Photo: Dorival Gimenes

What impressed us most during the time they were sailing was how easily they overtook the unexpected events that inevitably challenge every cruising sailor. Perhaps because they were very well prepared, or for their competence, the fact is that they made the whole voyage having the time of their lives. They must have a good fairy protecting them too, since an expected eruption in the island of Hierro, during their call at the Canary Islands turned out not happening. Now they have planted the seeds for other adventures, leaving a good example for others who have the same endeavours.


Samoa 34 Zait - A single-handed trip to Angra dos Reis

During the late eighties our office started its activities at the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At that time the founders, Roberto Barros, his wife Eileen and their daughter, Astrid Barros, were fiercely decided in building a larger boat for the family to substitute their good old double ender Maitairoa, a sailboat of many adventures (see in our articles section: Maitairoa in the Falklands; an adventure in the Falklands with a happy ending).

The boat we designed with the firm determination of building one for ourselves (we were straddling the fence between the Samoa 34 and the Cabot Horn 35) ended up becoming one of our most praised designs ever, the now renowned Samoa 34, which together with another cruising sailboat, the Cabo Horn 35, are our champions in sales for amateur or custom building. Since these designs were first introduced at the local market, in spite of our first Samoa 34 plan being sold to a Californian, it's quite natural that the first boats of these two classes having been built in Brazil.

With the change of address from Rio de Janeiro to Perth, Western Australia, the tendency is that this scenario might change in the future, but up to now this is the reality. For bad luck, the dreamed Barros' family Samoa 34 was never built, but instead, the cheaper model MC28, was the boat that substituted the fantastic Maitairoa.  

Even though we have no regret in changing our minds, nevertheless we followed with great interest the ascension of the Samoa 34 class, promoting the design regularly in our news section, being one of our latest news the canoe incursion along the Javaé and Araguaia rivers, two important Amazon tributaries, accomplished by Jayme Bubolz, a Samoa 34 home-builder. (See in our front-page: Samoa 34 home-builder goes for a canoe adventure) This time we are reporting fresh notes about the class, among them the e-mail Daniel Sequerra, one of the greatest supporters of the class, sent us about the trip aboard his Samoa 34 Zait he just completed. We had already reported other stories about Zait, so if you use to visit our site, you may already heard about this magnificent thirty-four footer. Daniel wrote:       

I left Rio Saturday, September, 9 before dawn, sailing single-handed bound for Angra dos Reis, a tourist locality sixty miles west. Since there was no wind, I had to motor to reach the open sea, having the main hoisted just to reduce roll.

 

A few hours later it began to blow a northwester that in a snatch reached twenty-five knots. No sooner I saw that it had come to stay I unrolled the genoa. The wind might have looked too fresh for all that canvas, but I decided to leave the boat free to go. And that she did, and at what speed! Soon we reached 8.4 knots in the GPS. Zait resembled a torpedo. The boat didn't take into account the wind strenght, and, even though a bit heeled, never complained about steering a straight course towards our destination. For me it was no hassle in trimming the sails, despite all that wind.

The boat is very stiff indeed! I reached Saco do Céu (Sky Haven in Portuguese; a cove so called because at night it uses to mirror the stars in the water's surface, so flat the place uses to be during the night lulls) before twilight. As soon as I was convinced that the anchor was holding firmly, I jumped into the water to cool down the blood. Coming back aboard, I lay down in the cockpit and collapsed… At about midnight I went to my dry and warm aft cabin, until, at 04.30 a.m., I woke up with the wind whispering in the rigging. I went out in a flash, but could see nothing, since the boat was enveloped in murkiness. I started the engine and hauled up the hook.

For heaven's sake I'm exaggerated. My fifteen kilos Bruce, plus twenty metres of chain held beautifully, giving me the necessary peace of mind to set a way-point in the chart plotter for my final destination, the Angra dos Reis branch of Yacht Club Rio de Janeiro. Now I was sailing in a gale force cold front (35 knots or more in the gusts), and under my faithful auto-pilot I was carried smoothly to the mooring where the boat is going to stay from now on. When I was leaving Saco do Céu I saw two sailboats tethered alongside each other in a raft with one anchor only holding both boats. Some time later, having my VHF on, I listened to a may-day from the crew of these boats, since the anchor slipped and they ended up going aground.

I was lucky to guide the Coast Guard to their actual position, and later I came to know that the boats were rescued practically unscathed. Once more my dear Zait didn't take into account heavy seas or stormy weathe. Congratulations to B & G Design team. That weekend the Samoa 34 stole the show. Cheers Daniel Sequerra (By e-mail)

***

This note is about an amateur construction. Our characters are João Scuro and his wife Maria. João is a lawyer by trade and his wife, a civil servant. They owned a nice house in Sao Paulo, the largest Brazilian city. When they both retired, less than two years ago, they sold their house and changed address to Joinville, a burgeoning industrial town in Southern Brazil, where they built a modern shed, where they work all day long in their Samoa 34 Brasa (means cinder in Portuguese) and sleep in a room next to the shed. Their intention is to rent the shed as soon as they can live aboard and use that income in assisting them to finance the gipsy life they intend to live from then on.

For the neatness of their working area it becomes evident why they managed to produce such a high level craftsmanship.

So far, so good, many would say! But have a look at what they are managing to build!!! Prejudice aside, we use to joke that some of our plans for amateur construction are even within the scope of lawyers to build them. We mistakenly imagine that those involved with communication and rhetoric speech are less acquainted with do-it-yourself activities.

 

Can you believe this hull was constructed by a retired couple who never built a boat before?

Then came João to disavow our premise. He and his wife made such a fantastic work that even a local technical school teacher took a whole class of pupils to show them how to produce first class craftsmanship in wood/epoxy construction. João didn't reveal where so much proficiency came from. It's flying around, however, that it might be Maria who exerts the quality control. What is unquestionable is that in a class where most boats are superbly well-built, their Samoa 34 will be second to none in the perfection of its finishing. Now that they are already building the interior, it will be thrilling to follow their progress. They deserve to be the happiest couple on earth for their accomplishment.    

 

The Scuros have plenty of reason to be proud of their work.

 ***

A few weeks ago we wrote an article about the participation of three Cabo Horn 35 MKII yachts in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Island Race, scheduled for September, 25, 2010. We mentioned then that the Samoa 34 rivals in the preference of our clients with the Cabo Horn 35 MKII class. We don't mind that the two designs are in a tie in the choice of our builders, leaving the dilemma of the decision of which boat to choose for them to solve. In this specific race the advantage belongs to the Cabo Horns, with three inscriptions, against only two Samoas.

However, in the actual race the Samoas might have a leading edge, since they are racier than their counterparts. Nevertheless this is what counts least for us. What really counts is having five wood/epoxy yachts of that size taking part in the same competition, never mentioning the others built in plywood/epoxy, or of metallic construction. Since this event is one of the most enjoyable ocean races in the Southern Hemisphere, we wish to all owners of boats from our design that they have the time of their lives.

One of these Samoas 34 is Luthier, another example of a first class construction accomplished by a couple of amateur builders. Dorival Gimemes is an electronic engineer who for many years lived in Arizona working for a multinational giant of the computer industry. When he retired he went to live in Campinas, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, where in the garden of his house, together with his wife Catarina, built another Miss Universe of the Samoa 34 class. However Dorival had a small advantage over João Scuro. He is a luthier (violin maker) by hobby and for that matter his affinity with woodwork is in his blood..

The greatest similarity between the Scuros and the Gimenes is perhaps their female buddies, Catarina and Maria, with their obstinate purpose in attaining a high level in workmanship.

Luthier won the 2009 Recife to Fernando de Noronha Ocean Race in her class. Their owners had such a pleasant time on that occasion that they are back this year, with the challenge of confirming their good previous performance.

Dorival and Catarina live aboard since she was launched almost two years ago, and they keep up-to-date a blog with link from us: www.veleiro.net/luthier/ . The blog is quite interesting. Dorival and Catarina alternate their entries each one giving his opinion about the same issue. We only regret that they don't make their articles in two languages, since their stories are very nice indeed. However as most of their cruising friends live in Brazil, it is more practical for them to write in Portuguese only.

Dorival and Catarina receiving the prize for their boat being the first in class during the 2009 Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race

 ***

The other Samoa 34 that will be competing this year is Arandu. This boat, the first to be built according to the optional long trunk cabin, was launched in 2009 and this is her maiden long distance trip. Her owner, the aeronautic engineer Geraldo Macedo, is extremely pleased with his boat, and taking part in the race is an endeavour he nurtured since a long time.

Geraldo works for Embraer, the Brazilian aeronautical industry, and, since he belongs to the commercial branch of the company, he travels to the four corners of the globe, and, on doing so, made many sailing friends from other countries. The first one he had the opportunity to invite for a weekend aboard, even though he owned a larger production boat in Belgium, became tremendously impressed by the good performance and comfort of the Samoa 34.

Arandu in a mooring in Angra dos Reis. Now she is going to add two thousand miles in her log-book. It is going to be exciting the match-race she will have to fight against Luthier  

 

Geraldo's daughter is enjoying to be crew aboard Arandu  

The Samoa 34 class is widespread by now with dozens of builders in three continents, some of them being constructed in exotic places, as is the case of our client Jayme Bubolz, who is building in his backyard which is crossed by a tributary of the Amazon.  If you are building one of these boats and want to send us photos of your construction, we will consider publishing them in case you send together a small story about your experiences


Samoa 34 home-builder goes for a canoe adventure

Our client Jayme Bubolz, a home-builder of the sailboat stock plan Samoa 34, is a chemical engineer who left the prosperous Southern Brazil to establish as a civil servant in the recently created State of Tocantins, located in the Central South American Plateau, a place where the typical savannah ecosystem of the central plains borders the Amazon forest. This region has its nature preserved like in ancient times, remaining almost untouched by modern civilization.

Jayme's backyard is the perfect place for an amateur construction. Presently he is preparing the bulkheads of his Samoa 34 for assemblage. Gurupi, State of Tocantins, Brazil

When arriving in Gurupi, being a stranger where he would settle, he acquired a property which in the old times had been the most stylish brothel in town. He reckons that heaps of cattle heads and even farms might be buried there.

Being a lover of cruising under sail, he decided to build the Samoa 34 in his home garden in the secluded area where he lives during his spare time. He is lucky enough to have an affluent of the Amazon meandering in his backyard with direct link to the sea, thousands of miles away, so, when he completes his work, all he will have to do after launching will be to drift his boat downstream until reaching the Amazon River estuary.   

However since life is not only dreaming with the enchantments of distant places praised in books and films, he wanted to profit from the opportunity of already living in one of these places.

This photo shows the Javaé River winding along the natural boundary of the jungle. To the right is the fringe of the Amazon forest. To the left begins the Brazilian central plateau savannah and meadowland (Bananal Island, the largest fresh water island in the world)

However, while his sailboat isn't completed, Jayme decided to make, in the company of Leo and Eduardo, his two sons , an open canoe excursion along the Javaé and Araguaia, this last river being an important tributary of the Amazon. From their account of the adventure, we reckon their experience was something out of this world, an experience to be printed forever in their memories.

We were absolutely fascinated by the description of their journey. What a privilege must have been witnessing the existence of such unspoiled region in the planet! Perhaps our friends and clients from the U.S., Canada and Europe may wish to follow their wake, and this report is intended to promote this suggestion. At any rate, we design cruising boats to take you to the most desirable cruising grounds, and this is a place that might stir your imagination.

***

Even though Jayme is fond of the quiet local pace of life, he admits being fed up of having to listen to country music all the time, and waiting for the frogs to start their preachy croaking during the days after August first full moon, as they did for ages, and will continue doing so if the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world in 2012 isn't to come true.

The long and beautiful trail.  This will be our typical scenery for the next ten days.
Eduardo and Leo ready to start the ten days long journey

Human nature being permanently unsettled, what really counts according to Jayme isn't arriving at your planned destination, but continuously going ahead in order to have a look at what's hidden beyond the horizon.

    

 Jayme (to the left) and Leo enjoy supper at the first camping site. The paraffin Primus pressure stove is identical to the ones used by Amundsen and Schackleton in 1911/1912

The second day of the journey started from this heavenly nook

The report he sent us about the canoe expedition is pure adrenalin, and the gallery of photos attached are enough to let any cruising enthusiast with his mouth watering.  

Actually a cruising sailboat is just the tool to carry you to your endeavour. Notwithstanding, on many occasions you would rather leave your boat stationed in a safe haven or marina and extend your travel employing another type of craft more appropriate for the purpose, which may be your inflatable, in case of short distance gunk-holing, or yet, either kayaks, for leapfrog traveling, or canoes, for longer distance journeys, when camping for the night is required.

Alone in the savage water-world

Going downstream an Amazon River tributary is an amazing experience. The digital photos will help keeping  the adventure forever engraved in our memories. With the employment of two canoes instead o a larger one, the captures became more illustrative, saving for posterity the best scenes of the passage.

Following is Jayme's description of the expedition:

While not being able to sail in salt water, I must find a way of enjoying life with the wonders our backyard has to offer us. From the first to the tenth of July, I and my two sons, Leonardo and Eduardo, had a ball going in a canoe safari exploring the nearby rivers Javaé and Araguaia. We roamed for 230km (125 nautical miles) downstream, starting at “Barreira da Cruz” (Lagoa da Confusão County), reaching the Araguaia at a locality called Caseara, ten days later. We traveled along the west margin of the Cantão Natural Reserve, visiting places of stunning beauty, with a profusion of white-sanded deserted beaches, where wildlife was a stone throw away from us; fish was plentiful, with human presence almost inexistent. For four days consecutively we didn't find a single soul!  During these days we came to know things that we ignored, like discovering a five stars tourist resort encrusted in the jungle. However, we felt so lonely that we only came to know the winner of the match Brazil x Holland of the world cup three days after the venue was over.

In six of the seven camping sites we saw jaguar trail foot prints

Being bitten by the sailing bug, we couldn't restrain our wish to providing some sort of sail propulsion for the canoes, which we managed to do with a  satin rag we found among our stuffs, profiting from then on from the morning breezes to improve our speed.

We made a makeshift sail with a satin rag, a welcome assistance when the wind was favourable

The trip lasted for ten days, seven of them paddling and sailing, and the other three just loafing, angling and drinking tots of white lightning, our favourite tipple.

This catch was intended for lunch; however ended up becoming supper,…hic…hic

The first day's run was quite stressing. We were on the brink of a nervous break-down caused by the weariness of preparation, a forecast of wind storms, and a certain apprehension of camping in places where jaguars reigned. To crown it all Eduardo had a bout of yellow fever and we had to medicate him. After the third day we were already acquainted with the imponderable, and soon our self-confidence was reestablished.

This tiny two metres long aligator (Melanossuchus Niger) followed us for a while. The species can reach one hundred years of age and is capable of surpassing six metres in lenght

We were astonished by the incredible amount of fish, otters and fresh water dolphins. We were lucky enough to be able to sight a rare example of pink dolphin. For two long days we were followed by one of these mammals, and since catching fishes was so easy, we fed it with our own hands.

We were presented with gloamings of rare beauty. In late afternoons we progressed faster due to the lull of the land breeze

On late afternoons, when the choppy waters settled with the wind relenting, was when we progressed most. Our average runs were around thirty-five kilometers (approximately nineteen nautical miles).

The Cherokee canoes proved to be worthy for the task, being able to carry an impressive payload.

There was no chance of feeling protein starved so easy it was to catch a nice fish for dinner. We virtually had a larder following the path of our canoes. All we had to do was to throw the lure and bring the catch aboard.

Gator race…

Watching the local fauna from afar was a constant experience during the days we glided downstream. Large birds flying in couples sometimes landed on tree branches not far from our camping sites, fascinating us with their boisterous shrieks.

  

We saw many birds typical of the Central Plateau. This fowl, the red-chested jacu is an early riser. It started crowing way before dawn, waking us up for the next stretch

Whoops!!! Leo felt like an angling champion

There are nowadays few places left untouched by civilization as the thresholds of the Amazon forest. We felt privileged being able to visit it. The diversity of species is so rich that what we wish most is that the area remains like it is now, being preserved for the next generations as a sanctuary. The “onça pintada”, the South American Jaguar, is one of the dwellers of this habitat. We were lucky enough to have a glance at them from the distance, being pretty sure they watched us all the time

  

I only managed to see one of these pretty girls from the distance at the other margin of the Javaé River. Nevertheless, even though they were concealed, I'm quite sure that they watched us all the time. They are beautiful… and ravenous. The guess-work is that there are 2.35 jaguars for each ten thousand square metres in the State Park of Cantão

Finally we reached the Araguaia River and our journey was coming to an end. We were sorry that the expedition was over. On the tenth day we reached the first settlement since we left, Barreira do Campo, in Santana do Araguaia District. Now the river was so large that in some places we had glimpses of the gibbous horizon of the earth.

Enjoying the last evening away from civilization. Soon we would be back to the rat race. The “mate” bowl is the Gaucho's faithful companion.

The first day brought us a mixture of exhilaration and apprehension. However at the end of the journey we felt like if that was our world. Our canoes proved to be excellent and we learned we could survive with our own resources. Sometimes we fished beyond our needs, and when catching a rare species we turned it back to its element.

Pirarara is a praised fish delicacy. However with the abundant catches we were experiencing, we rather freed this one, saving it for another occasion

Before freeing the pirarara Leo gave it a good luck kiss

The trip was coming to an end but our imagination was breaking loose. Before we reached the settlement an empty thatched roof hut with two hammocks set to be occupied by whoever came there loomed before us. With all that fish in the river, Leo's guitar and those gorgeous gloamings, why not stay in that very place forever? But then we remembered that we wanted to know what was hidden besides the horizon in front and for that purpose the Samoa 34 construction was there to be concluded.     

A hut, the hammocks, the river, what else should we want more? Perhaps, who knows, Leo's guitar.

Jayme Bubolz is a good friend of ours and he is a participant in our forum. Since he is a lover of adventures above all other things, we are pretty sure that if you have an affinity with his way of life and would like to contact him, he will welcome you. His e-mail is: jabgpi@yahoo.com.br

Barreira do Campo, Santana do Araguaia District. I could live here forever if it was salt water. Who knows if Mangue Seco in the Brazilian northeast coast could be the paradise on earth. The neighbour's lawn is always greener!!!


Samoa 34 Arandu

We designed the Samoa 34, initially Samoa 33, during the nineties, when our office still operated in Rio de Janeiro Downtown, years before moving the office to Perth, Western Australia.  Our champions of sale at that time were the Samoa 29, now discontinued, and the MC28, two easy to build and relatively cheap sailboats, both at the reach of an amateur builder and equally fit for living aboard, or to accomplish the most ambitious offshore voyaging plan, even a round the world trip, if  wanted.

This decision had already been taken by two Samoa 29 owners who sailed round the globe in flawless trips reported in our news a few years ago.  A reference to these two trips is made in our Hall of Fame list: Samoa 29 Jornal and Samoa 29 Hypocampus.

The MC28 Class, being younger, hasn't accomplishments of same footing yet, being Access the farthest going representative of the model, having her owner and amateur builder, Flavio Bezerra, sailed single-handed from Rio de Janeiro to the West Indies, where he stayed for two years and now is planning crossing the Panama Canal and travelling around the Pacific.

Arandu and Soneca, (means nap in Portuguese),two Samoas 34 sharing the same anchorage. The design contemplates two cabin trunk styles as shown above

In spite of the success of these two designs, our team was interested in developing a new project, also within the reach of the amateur, but turned towards another profile of yachtsman, one with a bit more resources and wishing something larger with more room to live aboard. It is understandable that for each purse there is an optimum size of boat. Actually, when designing the Samoa 34 we had the north hemisphere community in mind, since Americans and Europeans who venture offshore are more acquainted with yachts from thirty-four foot up. Obviously we were conscious about the little chance of somebody picking a design for later considering the boat too small for his needs.

At the very beginning our prevision was correct. The first person to acquire the new plan was a young man from the State of Arizona who was wiling to sail the Pacific. He liked the design flush deck which allowed him to lash his surfboard to the life-line stanchions without obstructing the traffic forward. However, we have been surprised with the interest for the model in South America, where we had smaller hopes of success. In a very short time after the introduction of the plans we were being invited for a sail aboard Camino, the first boat of the class (then Samoa 33) to be launched. Perhaps for the good impression this boat raised among the sailing community, the class never stopped growing locally.

Arandu's cockpit shimmered by a paraffin lamp. A good occasion for a happy hour

Only recently we began to find supporters for the class in the north countries market we had envisaged initially, while heaps of Samoas 34 were being built in most parts of Brazil, from the Amazon forest to the cold climate southern states of the country.

We reckon the initial small interest for the design was due to lack of knowledge about the project, while our smaller models which we believed had less chances of sales overseas, the MC28 and the Samoa 28, the boat that substituted the Samoa 29, were surprisingly very well accepted by cruising sailors in northern countries. However as soon as the Samoa 34 became better known abroad, the situation began to change, and now we have quite a few Samoas34 being built overseas.

One of the most recent articles published in our news referred exactly to the Samoa 34 class: the report of Luthier, the Samoa 34 that won the three-hundred miles Recife to Fernando de Noronha offshore race, perhaps the most important event in the South Atlantic, being the first to cross the line in its class.

Soon after publishing this article, however, we received an e-mail from the owner of another Samoa 34 which had been launched a few weeks before, belonging to the aeronautical engineer Geraldo Macedo, from Sao Jose dos Campos, State of Sao Paulo. The fact that Geraldo is an engineer and an air force fighter pilot gives him credential for rating the merits of the design, considering sailboats having some affinities with aeronautical technologies.

The Samoa 34 saloon is very cozy.  The prolonged version of the cabin trunk enhances the sensation of spaciousness and improves headroom forward.

There are two versions for the cabin's trunk: the original all windowed pilot-house style small cabin abaft the mast with a huge flush-deck forward and the prolonged trunk reaching the fore compartment, which is Arandu's  option.
Next is Geraldo's e-mail:

Arandu made her maiden cruise during the first days of September. On this occasion she met Soneca, another Samoa 34, when staying in Sitio Forte Cove and later visited various other havens in Ilha Grande Bay.

The Belgian guest considered the comfort of Arandu's galley comparable to his forty-one footer.

We had aboard with us a Belgian yachtsman who owns a Dufour 41 in his country.
He praised the Samoa 34 design and construction while assisting us to tune the rigging and sails. Besides, he presented us with cordon bleu meals typical of French/Belgian culinary skills.

He found Arandu's performanceoutstanding, considering she is such a strong cruising boat. With brand new racing oriented set of sails her performance close-hauled was comparable to that of an offshore racer. He also considered the steering control of the rudder stunning, with instant response to helmsman's demand; something aeronautical engineers know how to appreciate. When under engine the boat practically pivots in its axis,  bliss on those tight marinas, like Pirata's Mall in Angra dos Reis.

Arandu anchored in Ilha Grande during the first cruise after being launched.

We are stationed at Refugio das Caravelas Marina, in Paraty, and you will be always very welcome aboard if you happen to rove in that direction. I spend quite a few days weekly there, going back to my town, São José dos Campos, at least once a week, since I didn't manage to retire and my family isn't totally adapted to living aboard yet.

 
Geraldo's daughter seems to be enjoying the stay on her father's new yacht.

The first gallery of photos shows Arandu after having the upholstery installed and the sails stored aboard. Saco da Ribeira Bay, State of Sao Paulo
   
http://picasaweb.google.com/geraldo.macedo/ARANDU?authkey=Gv1sRgCKrMw7zI9IbqBg&feat=directlink 
 
Trip to Ilha Grande Bay, State of Rio de Janeiro, during the beginning of September:
 
http://picasaweb.google.com/geraldo.macedo/VG20090831A0907?authkey=Gv1sRgCLmmh6LQ79ihbw&feat=directlink
 
Cheers to you all from B & G Yacht Design staff

Geraldo Macedo
Samoa 34 Arandu

***

The reason for so many builders, amateurs and professionals alike, being able to construct such good examples of boats of the class must reside in the simplicity and linearity of its building method. We discovered during our long career of designing boats for one-off construction that the path to success is directly related to the friendliness of the initial phases of the construction, which shouldn't be too demanding not to let the work become irksome. There is not even one builder that feels ill at easy in laminating twelve pairs of cold moulded frames, and later laying strips over them to plank the hull. Once we specify making rings at each station, consisting of frames, superstructure beams and plywood transverse furniture walls, when the hull is sheathed and turned over, the rest of the construction is too linear to represent any real difficulty.
Our clients are unaware of this, and believe all boats designed to be built by amateurs or custom boatyards are equally simple to being built. However, statistically, the number of  Samoas 34 completed surpass by far the average number of amateur builders employing other methods who manage to finish their boats.

To award the efforts of our clients we at B & G Yacht Design like to report their stories  whenever they send us good photos of their construction. Since there are many being constructed presently, you may expect to find other articles about the class in the near future.

Boats built in strip-planking over cold moulded frames are immensely durable, and structurally speaking, veritable battleships. Our clients are so pleased with the result of their constructions that it hasn't been uncommon that as soon their boats are launched they shift aboard to live with their families. These happy owners are our most important publicity.
The simplicity and linearity of the construction method generated an odd consequence: many of our builders construct their boats all by themselves, almost unassisted, sometimes with the help of their wives. Some of our clients are retired, some others are farmers living in remote regions, but all of them have a resolute determination to finish their boats, in many cases being this achievement the main goal in their lives. This profile of cruising people is so fascinating to us that we are listing below a few examples:

Rodrigo Ferher is a physicist from Sao Paulo, Brazil. His Samoa 34 Tanpopo was built by Flab Boatyards, at Campinas, State of São Paulo, www.flab.com.br, a highly recommended boat builder. His boat is already sailing since a few years and he exchanged his activity as a scientist for that of a charter skipper. If you are interested in being acquainted with the Samoa 34 design and would like to charter Tanpopo, his site is: http://tanpopo.com.br. Rodrigo speaks fluent English.
The region where he runs his charter business is one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world and is highly recommended being visited. The level of woodwork of his boat is one of the best in the class.

Arutana Corberio is a retired judge at the high court in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil.  After retirement he substituted his highly intellectual activity for the handwork of building his dreamed sailboat.

This Samoa 34 is being built by the retired lawyer João Scuro, and his wife, Maria, all by themselves, at the city of Joinville, State of Santa Catarina, Brazil. They are applying two pairs of strips daily and intend to finish their boat sometime in 2010. The quality of their work is superb

Daniel Sequerra and his wife Diana always dreamed with having a wooden boat. Daniel's father had owned a classic Sparkman Stephens yacht, the pride of the family, and when Daniel learned about the Samoa 34 design, he decided that the time had come to make his family dream come true. Now Zait is already sailing and is the family's new pride. Zait, like Tanpopo, is a Flab Boatyard construction.

Mauricio and Marcia Iasi are young doctors who live a very demanding life as surgeons in a huge hospital at the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Building the Samoa 34 is their day-off therapy to counter-balance their stressing professional career. They intend to travel overseas with their Samoa 34 as soon as they finish building her

Barco Libertad já ancorado em Angra dos Reis em sua viagem inaugural

Libertad is a Samoa 34 built by Franzen Boatyard, www.estaleirofranzen.com.br  from Curitiba, the capital of the State of Parana, Brazil. This boat is already sailing since a long time and her owner is absolutely delighted with her performance and interior comfort. Zilmar Franzen is referred in the list of boatyards that work with our designs and is a good option for those that would like to have a Samoa 34 but don't have the possibility to build it.

Luthier is a Samoa 34 entirely built by their owners, the electronic engineer Dorival Gimenes and his wife Catarina in their home garden at Campinas, a town in the State of São Paulo. We already published two stories about this amateur construction in our news: “Luthier, the wind calls the tune”, and more recently, still one of the top stories in our site front-page: “Samoa 34 Luthier wins offshore race”.  


Samoa 34 Luthier wins offshore race

We received an e-mail from Dorival Gimenes, an amateur who built the Samoa 34 Luthier in the backyard of his house in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, almost unassisted.  Just after the boat was completed and launched he changed his address for the boat and went to live aboard with his wife Catarina.  The couple and the boat are in their maiden cruising voyage up the Brazilian coast. They planned a trip to the northeast of Brazil with the intention of participating in the 2009 Recife to Fernando de Noronha (REFENO) Regatta.  The e-mail tells some details of this story:

Dear friends designers of the Samoa 34. Luthier is a really fast cruising sailboat and you can be proud of having designed her.

Since December 2008 when the boat was launched she has been giving us lots of happiness and good results.  We won the REFENO 2009 in our class, Open B, and we have been calling at many wonderful and worth visiting places in the Brazilian coast.  We have published our sailing experiences in our blog at the website www.veleiro.ner (blog.veleiro.net) administered by the captain of the yacht Yahgan, a Cape Horn 35, built more than 15 yeas ago, a boat which sails smoothly, looking as new as Luthier.  These two boats are proof that their building method, strip planking, is very strong and appropriate for amateur construction.  However, it is not only that; during our trip we met a large number of MCs made in steel, home built Samoas 29 , plywood/epoxy MCs28, series produced Aladins, etc. We encountered a very well built MC28, made by her owner, a deep water diving master from Vitória, state of Espirito Santo, Brazil.  We also met many yachts from your office built by professional boatyards.

Getting ready for the REFENO 2009 start flag.

At each place we go Luthier attracts attention. Whenever we say we built her, people look at the hull hardly believing it, and usually come the same questions: is she really wooden?  And then we go again, showing the boat, the pictures of the construction, and they look at everything with perplexity. Then they start asking about how long it took for the construction, costs, difficulties, and so on, and finally, if my wife agrees in having to live aboard.

 

Luthier  sailing close-hauled

For the duration of the construction, costs and difficulties, I have some answers, and I suggest them to look at your website and others as reference.  About my wife, I say that she helped in the construction and that she loves our baby, as she calls Luthier.

People say boats have soul, and I believe in that. Luthier is restless, doesn't like to stay lashed to a pier, preferring moorings, or to be anchored, but what she likes most is to be sailing.   Cruising with Luthier is very comfortable.  Our average speed is about 6 knots, and depending on the sea state and  weather conditions, we can sail easily at seven knots without stressing the equipment.  With sails properly trimmed the rudder is so light that the autopilot requires very little energy to steer the boat.  Many of the cruising people we met said that it is a typical characteristic of yours designs.

Even being home for Dorival and Catarina,  Luthier is very fast for a 34 foot cruising boat.

To build a boat and go away cruising is a worthy experience. Even if only for short-lasting trips, or living aboard on weekends, it is very rewarding, but it requires dedication, planning, controlling anxiety, and to accept the fact that the yacht design office keeps its working schedule and is continuously introducing new designs and updates that will tempt us to change our minds for another design, as happened to me when you introduced the new version of the Cape Horn 35.

Sticking to the original plan paid off.  To finish the constructions is an indescribable experience of joy, and it is in that very moment that your options of leisure will be open to new achievements, having all the oceans to be conquered.

Besides the construction, it is necessary to study and learn many other things, like navigation, meteorology, safety procedures, first aid, etc.  Nevertheless, a good boat deserves a good captain.  We always have something to learn and will always have a new place to visit. You will find plenty of interesting people on the way.

Dorival.

Aboard of Luthier

To be the winner with a boat made by your own hands in the backyard of your house is priceless.  Catarina & Dorival receiving the trophy for the first place in the REFENO


Samoa 34 Zait - Launching video

Flavio Rodrigues, owner of Flab Boatyards, www.flab.com.br, from Campinas, state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, proudly announces the launching of the Samoa 34 Zait. We have just published the article - "Samoa 34 Zait, a touch of art in wood/epoxy construction", reporting the conclusion of Zait's construction, and now we are presenting Flavio's son, Ivan Rodrigues, custom video for the event. Daniel Sequerra, Zait's owner, is extremely pleased with his boat and in a few days more he will be doing the sea trial of his yacht, sailing from the launching place, Ubatuba, a town in the north shore of t5he state of Sao Paulo, to Rio de Janeiro, one hundred twenty miles away.

Sorry for the lyrics in the sound track being in a foreign language. It would be asking too much to the author, who composed the tune exclusively for the event, to translate the song into English. Note the incredible gloss of the topsides paint-work. Flavio sent us this communiqué:

To my friends
June 2, 2009 I had the pleasure of launching another sailboat from our boatyard.  Zait, belonging to our dear friend Daniel Sequerra, floated graciously as if she already knew that the sea was her dwelling, and her bows sliced the water effortlessly and with elegance under the command of her skipper.

That was just a short-lasting event; however brief, it served to show one more time how nice this design is. I would like to share with you the emotion this video provided on our spirits, the very moment Zait's keel touched the water

Flavio Antônio Rodrigues
Tel: +55 019 97676161

CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO WATCH THE VIDEO


Samoa 34 Zait, a touch of art in wood/epoxy construction

There must be something ludic about the Samoa 34 Class. For some almost exoteric reason, each new boat from this design stands out as a masterpiece in wood work, to the point to be chosen as cover stories in specialized magazines. A few weeks ago we reported the launching of Luthier, a home built Samoa 34 so beautiful that the most adequate name she deserved had to be that one. The photos shown in our article: Samoa 34 Luthier; the wind calls the tune (see article in all news, rolling the page), are good witness of our words.

Zait, the latest member of the class is another Samoa 34 to give evidence to this tradition. Built by Flab Boatyards, from Campinas, a town two hundred kilometers inland from the port of Santos, Brazil, this new Samoa 34 is reason for great pride, either from part of her builder, Flavio Rodrigues, or the owner, the yachtsman Daniel Sequerra.

Daniel is a lover of classic wooden boats. He solemnly despises clorox-box style fiberglass series produced yachts and when the time had come for him to choose a yacht to cruise with his family, he did not hesitate for one second in choosing the Samoa 34 among our list of plans. Not for the design being a classic one, what by all means it is not, but for being a wooden boat that could bring the reminiscences of his father's yacht cabin bright-work.

When we first met Daniel, it was at our office, then established in Rio de Janeiro. At that time we didn't know about his obsession for classic lines. When he was searching through our list of designs, the first he really liked was the Samoa 34. During his childhood he used to sail with his Dutch father aboard a Sparkman Stephens forty foot classic yacht, the pride of the family, and those pleasant remembrances made him look for something that most closely reminded those pleasant memories. 

He asked our advice about a custom boatyard which we could recommend, and we suggested him to visited Flab Boatyard, to see for himself the high standards of that builder. So he did, and soon after Zait was under construction. It was much later that, navigating through our web-site; Daniel discovered the Aventura 40 in our list of stock plans. Had he known about the existence of that design, the Aventura 40 would have been his inevitable choice. He didn't know yet that we also had a sweet tooth for classic lines, and had designed that classic yacht, much in the same style of his father's, just for fun. But then it was too late, now only remaining for him the possibility of a future upgrade.

But nothing could stop Daniel from expending a terrific effort in creating the most exquisite Samoa 34 ever built. And that is what we are glad to show first-hand to our readers. The fine detailing in Zait's construction is an authentic work of art.

If there is a point of commonsense about the Samoa 34 design, is the fact that its length, sail area and displacement are close to the maximum for a couple to sail in a long distance cruise without being too tiresome for maneuvering. On the other hand its interior layout is that of a small apartment, with comfortable quarters from forepeak to transom. The headroom is excellent, you have accommodation for two couples, the heads is large enough to have a good shower installed and the galley is bliss for a cordon bleu who likes to sail. To crown it all the central area of the boat has a 360° vision to the outside, making the interior airy and well illuminated by natural light.

However, if the Samoa 34 wasn't a really good sailboat regarding its performance compared to most series produced cruising boats of the same size; its fame wouldn't be so widespread. Our clients who own one of these boats never stop praising their yachts for their speed, especially in fresher winds and the highlight of the model behavior is the excellent control and extreme lightness of its rudder in any sea conditions.

Click on images to enlarge them

Samoa 34 Luthier.  The wind calls the tune.

Yacht designing is sometimes a very rewarding activity. We are not meaning the material side of the business, which is like any other one, but a more subjective of its aspects, that of once in a while being presented with photos of just finished boats from our design, when we find in each of them an authentic work of art.

This was the case this January when we received the photos taken by Dorival Gimenes, after the completion of his home-built Samoa 34 Luthier,  an amateur construction accomplished in his home garden at the city of Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil.
Dorival wrote us the following e-mail:

Luthier was launched on the 12th of December, 2008. The construction took four and a half years of dedication and planning. Now my wife and I can live aboard and fulfil our long distance cruising dreams we have nurtured for so long.
Our first month aboard wasn't sufficient to set in order all our stuffs (you can notice this in the photos), however we loved hearing the opinions of some of our visitors.
The most frequent praise was for the excellent headroom at the saloon and the heads, followed by the opinion of our guest's wives, who loved Luthier's galley. The aft cabin impressed favourably too, for its spaciousness and the king-sized dimensions of the double-berth.
We haven't really tested the boat yet, but some interesting data has already been obtained when sailing  in light wind conditions: sailing in a beam reach with four knots winds, our speed was three knots. Then we started the engine, when the speed jumped to more than seven knots, in spite of the boat being loaded with all our belongings and with full tank capacity.
 I am in debt with you for a more conclusive report when we sail with more wind and things more adequately settled aboard, including a more precise tuning of the boat's instruments.
It isstill  missing installing a bimini, an awning, curtains, etc…a boat never gets really finished, isn't that so?
However, in spite of a simple joiner-work style, the construction seems to be extremely sound. I am very pleased with the boat. Congratulations for the design.
Dorival Gimenes

Undoubtedly Dorival accomplished an extraordinary feat for an amateur boat builder without previous experience. His boat is an authentic work of a luthier. The navigation table is only missing the keys and strings to become a grand piano. The galley requires a French chef to take full advantage of such clean ambience. Well, you better see the photos below and check for yourself.

Click on images to enlarge them

Samoas 34 Tanpopo and Libertad, two wood/epoxy boats built to last.

The wood/epoxy Samoa 34 Tanpopo is already sailing. She was custom-built by Flab Boatyards, from Campinas, Brazil. Taking full advantage of the beautiful tropical woods and the excellent level of joinery available in that region, Tanpopo was built with the utmost of care, becoming a dream come true for those who love wooden boats. Our client wanted a very well constructed boat with a level of finishing hard to be obtained nowadays, while Flavio, the owner of Flab Boatyards, www.flab-com.br, a relatively new boatyard, wanted to show all his potential in the fine art of boat building.

We visited the construction a couple of times and were already expecting a very special Samoa 34 to be launched.
We went to the party to commemorate the turning over of her hull. This event was related in the article ‘Barbecue for a Samoa 34’ which we wrote for our news and is presently in Club, Samoa 34. That afternoon, the impressive number of guests who came for the barbecue showed too well the amount of responsibility the boat builder had taken on his shoulders. But Flavio knew what he was doing. Tanpopo became such a well built yacht, that for sure she is going to become a classic of the class when prices of wood and labour will turn wooden boat building an art only accessible to the very wealthy.

The owner has ambitious cruising plans for his new boat, more than a cruising around the world he is planning a long trip for different places worldwide. We bet no matter where Tanpopo calls, she will be considered by those who visit her as a beautifully finished yacht.

Paralel to Tanpopo’s construction, it was being built by Franzen Boatyard, in Curitiba, Southern Brazil, another Samoa 34, equally custom built in wood/epoxy for Nehemias Francisco de Sales, a local businessman. Zilmar Franzen (zfranzen@hotmail.com) and Ziegot Franzen are traditional boat builders with large experience in woodwork and the Samoa 34 he produced for Nehemias compares in every aspect to Flab’s construction. So, practically in the same week, we were informed of the launching of these two extremely well built sister-ships, each one having a promising career of adventures ahead. Together with the photos shown below, Nehemias sent us an e-mail telling us he is very pleased with his boat and wherever he will take his Libertad, he will recommend the design to other potential builders.

Click on images to enlarge them .

If you live in Europe, the U.S. or any other country where labour is too expensive to build a Samoa 34 with a superb standard of cabinetry joiner work employing exquisite tropical woods, you might consider a quotation from one of these two boatyards. If you go for it, while your boat is being built, you can program one or two tourist visits to Brazil. Besides the proverbial Brazilian hospitality, these two boatyards are located not far from the most beautiful Brazilian tourist attractions, as Iguaçu Falls and Ilha Bela. We believe the opportunity is going to be unforgettable and when the boat will be concluded you might sail her back home, saving the cost of freight and enjoying a memorable cruise. Rigging, spars, custom s.s. fittings and sails are competitively priced in Brazil and the boat may be delivered ready for the trip.


BARBECUE FOR THE SAMOA 34

Arriving in Campinas on Friday night at eight o'clock we went straight to a dancing party. There we met Carmen and Flávio Rodrigues from Flab Boat Yard with their friends, clients, and some of the amateur boat builders, all waiting to see the Samoa 34 being turned upright. That Saturday, after a night of dancing, the expectation and curiosity among all present at the party was great.
The barbecue began very early. At the shed, besides Rodrigo Feher's Samoa 34 hull number one, there was also Piqueres and Ivana's Multichine 28, the interior of which being already in the final stages of completion and Álvaro's Samoa 30 with the strip planking completed.
After taking many photos and a lot of technical conversation concerning construction and finishing details, the boat was upturned. With the curiosity of the amateur boat builders present on this occasion, wanting to know how they would upturn their boats when the time arrived, there was far more helping hands than necessary.
Flávio had already developed a system in which two people alone could handle the job without problems. Two shafts were fixed at the extremities, one on the transom, the other on the stem. These shafts rested on bearings. So it was easy, just removing the supports that held the boat, transferring its weight to the bearings and start turning it, using two ropes, one to pull and the other to hold. The great fright was when the boat was at 90 degrees. Nobody could imagine the interior volume as observed from that angle. That boat looked more like a 40 footer.
In less than a minute more than 20 people were aboard, and it didn't seem to be crowded. The hardest job was to convince Rodrigo to leave his new dwelling. To commemorate, another barbecue was served, with plenty of beer and dancing. The turning operation having lasted only five minutes. The party ended up with everybody diving into the swimming pool.

Click on images to enlarge them

Samoa 34 built by Flab Boatyard.

Flab Boatyard from Campinas, Brazil, is delivering another custom built wood/epoxy sail boat. The warmth and beauty of the construction of this superbly built Samoa 34 really impressed us. The builder, Flávio Rodrigues, deserves our sincere compliments.

If you are fond of wooden boats, Flab Boatyard, www.flab.com.br is a great choice for obtaining a long lasting, low maintenance yacht at an affordable price. Their construction blend the most varied types of wood with a superb joiner work and their general quality are among the best you can find anywhere in the world.

Click on images

ANOTHER SAMOA 34 HAS HER HULL TURNED UPSIDE.

First time out
Turning over
Front view
Interior details
Seen from astern
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A DREAM COME TRUE

          Yesterday, after nearly three months without talking to Roberto Barros, I phoned the office for news of the construction of the Samoas 34, to remind him of the plans of the dinghy and to hear from my friend. It's always a pleasure to talk with him. All the family are nice people. His wife Eileen, without knowing her personally, is always very helpful every time we talk over the phone. Like good trees that give good fruit, Astrid doesn't escape this rule, and is a very good yacht designer. Those who have read the book "The fantastic Adventures of Maitaroa", admires and respects this nautical family. The Samoa 34, designed by the family's office and of which I have the pleasure of being one of the first to acquire the plans, is proof of what I have mentioned. Before opting for the Samoa 34, I surveyed all possibilities, fibreglass construction, steel, or yet, wood epoxy. I visited professional boat builders, as well as amateur constructors. I visited constructions in various stages, from hull construction to finishing, nothing pleased me. Finally, I took some holidays and passed by Rio de Janeiro to get to know the Samoa 34. Doing this I killed two birds with one stone. I had the pleasure of getting to know personally Roberto Barros and Sabadear, the first Multichine 28 built in Cabo Frio by the boat builder , Marcos Toledo. A jewel of a boat, but a bit small for two families on a long trip.
When I commented this detail with Roberto, he immediately gave me the solution.
I have a "Samoa 34" in the final stages of being designed. We are finishing the details of construction. Can you wait?
By its simple description, good internal distribution, good head room, a lot of comfort and good ventilation, there remained no doubts, this had to be my next boat! The six months of waiting to receive the plans was no problem except for my anxiety. But one day the plans arrived confirming my expectations. I was the target of family jokes. I couldn't separate myself from the plans. Since then I am taking the plans with me anywhere I go, and at every opportunity , I study all the details of the construction.
The Roberto Barros office really makes good plans for amateur boat building. Even people with no experience, but with some skill and adequate working tools can build this boat. This will be my fourth construction. With the three first plans I got the feeling that I could fly higher. I had never built a boat the size of the Samoa 34, with a complete set of plans, and a construction manual, besides being able to count on the assistance of the designer. At any rate, I am now feeling an increased confidence in my shipwright abilities. I am finishing the frames, floors and beams. The parts missing are the support cleats for the furniture and the finishing of the transverse bulkheads. Up to now the job seems to be quite good looking.. I keep imagining the end of the construction - still a bit distant - but I can feel life in the progress of the work.
They say that boats talk with their owners. Mine is still in the embryo phase. When sawing the strips, gluing each peace of timber to another one, I can feel the vibrations growing as I see the hull taking shape - it will take time till the day arrives when she will be launched, but the pleasure of building a boat with good plans, the warmth of the wood and the pleasure of creating something with our own hands, justifies all the work I still have ahead of me.

Eduardo Guariglia Jr.
Amateur Constructor