These are the voyages of "Dazzle" (port of registry Toronto, Ontario Canada), a C&C 121 sloop with Dora and Zoltan on board for most of the time and family and friends joining occasionally (Dazzle inherited her name from our family golden retriever who passed on a few years before and we still miss). In 2008 we sailed from Toronto, along the St Lawrence River and its Gulf to Nova Scotia then south along the US East Coast to Florida and the Bahamas. This website captures some of our experiences. After wintering in the Bahamas Exhumas and taking an outfitting break in Florida, we spent the summer of 2009 in New England. In September 2009 we transported Dazzle to Genova, Italy to spend some time cruising the Mediterranean. We spent the winter at Alghero, Sardinia. In 2010 we sailed around Costa Smeralda of Sardinia, stopped by the islands of Palmarola, Ponza, Ventotene, Ischia, Capri; then down to the Aeloian islands and around the boot of Italy to Croatia. We spent the summers of 2010, 11 and 12 in beautiful Dalmatia with winters in Monfalcone (2010, Nautec marina, bad experience) and Milna, Brac (2011, in the water, very nice). Finally, near the end of summer 2012 we left Croatia for Greece. Since 2013 we're back in the Adriatic and have painted ourself in a corner there. We like Dalmatia the most for enjoying the sea, Italy for food, service and storage.
Prior to this cruise, we sailed up the Great Lakes from Toronto to Thunder Bay, Lake Superior and back to Toronto twice, first during the summer of '06 and then '07, but we don't have a web-log of those trips, only a lot of photos and a traditional log. We could recreate the blog, but it would take some time, and time is something that cruisers don't have nearly as much as non-cruisers imagine. We both took most of the sailing and navigation related courses at the Humber College Sailing Centre in Toronto, and would wholeheartedly recommend those to anyone getting into sailing and cruising. The courses are detailed, hands-on and classroom, conducted on large keel-boats, covering all subject matter necessary for extended coastal cruising.
We acquired the boat new (hull #40) in January 2005, just in time (rush - not on our part, but due to our agreement) for display at the Toronto Boat Show. This boat was an "upgrade" from our 17' prospector canoe with which we explored the back-country of Northern Ontario for more than a decade). Most events of the following six months involving the commissioning and minimally (thank god for the minimum decision) equipping the boat for our first summer of boat ownership are now in the category of "i would not do that that way again". In fact, I'd try to convince the factory to have it delivered to some rented barn in Ontario and do the rest myself, and save an awful lot of money, boat damage, and nerves in the process (no dealer necessary). The description of the experience and reasons for this decision would take quite a number of pages (that I haven't written yet) and many photographs (which I have). Some tidbits are sprinkled around in our blog, and I may do a systematic review one day and post it in a separate area. With a bit of distance, all these can be described in a very funny way, exposing the non-standard by which boats are being built, sold and delivered. I wouldn't believe anyone telling me otherwise, and as long as the word "pleasure" is in the description of the product, it won't change in the future either. "Pleasure" is what the guy standing opposite the boat owner feels when he's engaged by an owner.
However, despite all of the above, we love the boat and still can't think of a different boat that would better suit our taste for sailing and cruising. We added most of its additional equipment ourselves and repaired the faulty installations of most items installed during the first six months.
List of what we had installed the first six months:
- ST60 sailing instruments,
- Raymarine SG2 autopilot with linear drive,
- Lewmar V2 windlass,
- Xantrex Freedom 25 charger/inverter (I repaired a broken one and had it installed) with a Link2000,
- custom built freezer/fridge ("spillover" system not very good, the fridge really needs a separate compressor/evaporator),
- Standard Horizon Matrix VHF /w RAM+ cockpit mike,
- stereo (still looking for good cockpiut speakers //with covers// - the original ones are dead already from exposure).
List of what I installed/did since, roughly in order:
- companionway hinged, removable screen,
- cockpit folding table,
- Nico Powervent 2000 (in deck),
- epoxied all floor board bottoms (to avoid rot),
- Raymarine RL70Plus Pathfinder hsb2 with 2KW Radome with HSB2/USB2 interface box (to overlay radar on ships computer,
- Bolted (to a swing tray) ship's laptop with Raymarine RNS navigation software,
- Interphase V90 forward scanning sonar (took courage to drill the bottom of our 1yr baby),
- Espar heater (Airtronic D5 - a few more bulkheads violated and many cubic feet of storage space uncovered and hatches intalled),
- Hard-wired CO monitor,
- Honda Eu2000i generator (installed, like the Espar, cooled by a blower),
- Seagully IV water filter,
- Volvo engine seawater strainer (this is a Volvo "option" and C&C didn't spend the money to add it - instead plumbed the saildrive intake straight into impeller pump as per Volvo's basic install option),
- Engine coolant expansion tank (I consider this a system-design error by C&C - if you have a hot-water heater higher than the engine you //must// have an even higher coolant expansion tank otherwise you loose coolant through the engine cap (and we did in the first year until I read an article about it)
- dual anchor bow-roller (Bruce/Fortress, 150ft/50ft 5/16" chain respectively,
- split the anchor locker for two anchor/chain/rode,
- jacklines (6000lb spectra halyard, run inside the shrouds),
- sea-water washdown with PEX system run fore (bow) and aft (cockpit),
- shelves inside all cabinets for better space utilization,
- cabin fans,
- Ikea stainless shelf with bolted-down Kitchen-Aid SS Special-edition food-processor,
- Removable Force 10 small round BBQ,
- ICOM802 SSB/ AT130 antenna tuner/ SCS PactorIII Modem,
- Raritan holding tank and v-berth water tank monitor,
- water tank gauges,
- solar panels - mounts and wiring (currently 7x85W Shell/GE panels for 35A charging capacity),
- Sonnenschein solar gel batteries (400ah),
- 3KW isolation transformer (with my own soft-start circuit and overvoltage/surge protection),
- Spectra Catalina 300 watermaker,
- second (Powerline marine 120A) engine alternator (my own mount, Volvo asked $1,500 for their mount),
- solar charge controller (my own design),
- Zodiac offshore ISAF liferaft and ACR Globalfix EPIRB,
- Yapalong three-unit communicator (mainly for helm to bow comms during anchoring),
- removable inner stay with spectra running backstays (hence two more sails onboard: staysail jib and storm jib),
- additional, larger size (100mm) Harken footblocks for genoa, original 75mm now used for inner staysail,
- Radiolabs 4' 12dB wifi omni-directional antenna with Wave-Magnum USB adapter,
- smoke alarm,
- Johnson 4000gph emergency bilge pump with flathose out to cockpit (hope never to use, tested by emptying a cooler within seconds).
- 2" Apollo bronze exhaust shut-off valve.
- Class B AIS (ACR Nauticast) -this one had a poorly designed power supply circuit which failed after the warranty period - replaced by Raymarine AIS650 which is working fine
- An CU-200/VD-152 Adler Barbour refrigeration system (replaced the cranky system installed by our dealer's refrigeration "expert")
I planned to embellish and provide some more insight to our experience with the items above some day...
Last and the most - this website was put together by our son Tamas using the Python language and its Django web development framework, and he keeps improving it whenever he can and encouraging us to do and publish more. Our son Zalan is our home liaison, manager and moral support.
Drop us a comment through the contact us tab.
-- Z+D --