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News from the Guest Dock

By Ibrahim Sargin, Port Captain

A couple of unclaimed kayaks were sold at the swap meet, and the interior of the big shed has been organized a bit better. Everyone will be contacted soon with a request to mark their kayaks and gear with stickers (can be obtained from the manager at the office for free).

We ordered four dock floats, three of which have arrived, and two of which have been mounted under the outer section of the dock. Despite kind oers from the Commodore and Treasurer to dive into the icy waters and assist, the floats were mounted using space age technology, basically a 50 gallon garbage can and some vague knowledge of Archimedes' bathtub theories. The last floats will likely be placed under the big shed section of the dock any day soon.

Recent Guests Apart from a nice feller called Joe who sailed his Pearson 30 to the guest dock for the swap meet, the only other guest was Xavier de Montgros on a fancy aluminum boat, SV Kanoa, which you can read more about below. Incidentally, Joe had just purchased a big aluminum boat in Tahiti, so our dear member Paul Featherston was excited about meeting two other sailors with boats made from aluminium, as it is properly called over there in English land.

More about SV Kanoa Xavier de Montgross was born in Grenoble, France, and sailed since his youth. After a career that involved many years at Hewlett-Packard, he became a partner in ODC Marine, a French boatyard primarily involved with building innovative aluminum diesel/electric hybrid vessels. Xavier singlehanded from Dalian, China, but will be accompanied by crew Anne, Scott and Paula during the trip to Puerto Vallarta.

The Boat Kanoa is the first sailboat Xavier had built at the ODC yard, and it was conceived as a personal project from the start. It was designed by Olivier Racoupeau, probably best known as the designer (along with Jean Berret) of many of the Beneteau Oceanis line of sailboats.

One of the special features of Kanoa is its lifting keel with 4 tons of lead which gives excellent stability at sea. A line can be mounted from a bracket on the bow to the keel bulb to protect against kelp and fishing nets while sailing.

The substantial hard dodger is a second special feature. Xavier wanted something that could hold a large sun panel, provide protection from weather and wind, be stable enough to mount a davit as well as give a view of the sails from the helm.

The hull is left unpainted to save weight, since painting an aluminum hull typically involves large amounts of fairing compound. It is just sanded, except for under the waterline where it is painted with three layers of antifoul.

The Journey In 2021/2022 , the pandemic made it dicult to exit China, but when Korea finally opened up in April 2022, Kanoa could finally leave the ODC boatyard in Dalian, China. After arriving in South Korea, Xavier spent a couple of months waiting in vain for Japan to open up for private vessels, After that he sailed between North Korea and Japan, followed by a foggy and windy passage through the Tsugaru Strait between Hokkaido and Honshu. Next stop was Dutch Harbor, AK, where he got to meet some great fishermen. Then Kodiak, Zitka. and all the way to Ketchikan via the inside passage.

Unable to stop in Canada as that would violate his US visa terms, Xavier planned to sail directly to San Francisco from Alaska, but engine trouble meant he got to enjoy four weeks in Seattle waiting for Volvo to repair his engine, which they turned out not to be able to do in time. He therefore left for San Francisco, where he arrived in November. After a brief stay in Aquatic Park, the winter was spent in Napa Valley Marina working on the boat, before picking up crew Paula and Scott, members of Fair Wind Yacht Club in sunny Marina del Rey.

They arrived at the BYC guest dock on April 1st, and stayed for a couple of days preparing for the trip southward to Puerto Vallarta, MX. Over the next year and a bit, the plan is to sail to Marquesas, then island hop across French Polynesia, visit New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, up to the US East Coast and head East to Denmark (his girlfriend Anne, who is crewing part of the way is a native of that amazing country), and finally Poland, where Kanoa is registered.

Most Dramatic Moment About three days after departure from Dalian, a huge Chinese fishing vessel crossed Kanoa’s bow, and sure enough: seconds later the net got caught on the keel, spinning Kanoa around with some force.

The Chinese skipper took action almost immediately, turning around and speeding up towards Kanoa, then a couple of boat lengths away, he backed the engines to come to a full stop, creating a wave with enough momentum to push the net off the keel. After some friendly waving and shouting back and forth, Xavier could continue on his way with no apparent damage to the keel, and with the only problem being that the autopilot had stopped working.

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