Offshore Yachting : June July 2008
when sailing with the genoa) the inner forestay steadies the centre of the mast in a bouncy sea, when the motion can cause a mast to pump. Phil Bate rigs the Buizens, and for this boat he recommended the Leisure Furl boom furler for the main, moving away from the usual in- mast furling. The Leisure Furl is a hydraulic system which makes raising and lowering sail a painless exercise. Phil has organised a simple gauge, a fine shock cord led back to the cockpit on the boom’s underside, which determines the optimal angle for the boom so the sail rolls evenly into the boom every time, the weak point of many a boom furler. The boom is locked radially by an hydraulic pin, which fixes a ratchet at the front of the boom. Open the pin to raise the sail; to lower, the ratchet licks over the pin. This system enables you to reef the sail to any area you want. This boat had an Holmatro hydraulic vang, which supports the boom and stops it bouncing in a seaway. Phil says that the vang enables the skipper to open the mainsail leech in a seaway in a stiff breeze, which helps tracking and motion. All these controls are mounted in the cockpit, but there’s a switch for the furler at the mast base as well. The headsail winches are big, two-speed, powered Harken #70s. The smaller winches near the helmsman provide muscle for the main halyard and boom brake (a standard fitting), mainsheet and headsail furler, a Reckmann which Phil imports and reckons has a far superior bearing system which enables him to furl by hand in 12-15 knots of breeze. Phil has added to the mast, alongside the mainsail track, a separate track for the storm trysail. He says you can set up the trysail early, in a turtle at the mast base, sheets on and ready to go, a good idea because when the going gets rough it is hard enough to hang on, let alone change sails. At the same time you can set up the storm jib. The Buizen cockpit seems small at first sight but on longer acquaintance it is the right size, because there is room for enough bodies and handholds are never far away. The helmsman’s seat, and two others, are in the stainless steel pushpit arrangement right aft. This boat has a very smart bimini arrangement; Steve unzipped and removed the centre panel for our sail. The chances of a good sail looked remote. Sydney in early winter had a week of glorious sun and still days after months of mayhem. But the day we set out, the leaves were stirring and a zephyr was tickling the ears. With Steve and Phil in charge, we set out onto Pittwater, one of the few places which stays the same and unspoiled. Handling the Buizen 48 is easy. One squirt on the bow thruster helped us out of the marina, the 150hp Yanmar did its job, the main went up and the jib unfurled. The breeze was moving all over the place. It is was one of those days when it lifts every time you tack, or it least it did when I was steering. How does Huey know these things? We even threw in a false tack to fool it, but that only bought us another minute on starboard before it lifted, backed, gusted and died, all at the same time. Then, as if Huey had decided to take pity on us, a newborn sea breeze moved in and for a while we had glorious sailing. The 48 accelerates well when she’s given something to work with, and suddenly we were seeing six knots-plus over the ground beating into 11-14 knots of nor’easter, but the breeze was is still swinging and aggressive steering was needed to keep the headsail tufts streaming. The hydraulic steering was slowish for this sort of dinghy sailing, but it’s perfectly geared for offshore. Reaching towards home we have 5.3 knots in eight knots apparent, at 90 degrees. The 48 is a lively boat which will make good passage times. Sails down, engine on, the Yanmar did its work. Both engines (the 110 and 150) will push the boat up to 9.5 knots, driving through a four-blade stainless prop. The 110 has a slight advantage in fuel economy, but both units will The boat is rigged as a masthead sloop but there is a removable inner forestay so you can add a jib and storm jib. With the running backstays (not used when sailing with the genoa) the inner forestay steadies the centre of the mast in a bouncy sea, when the motion can cause a mast to pump.
April May 2008
August September 2008