Second Sunreef 70 Expedition Power Cat Launched

Sunreed 70 Power Cat ONDIN Launching at Gdansk

Sunreed 70 Power Cat ONDIN Launching at Gdansk

Sunreef Yachts said today it has launched the second in the expedition series of 70 Power Catamarans; this one named ONDIN and sold to a Chilean couple who plan to explore Patagonia. The long-range yacht will depart the shipyard in Gdansk soon and make a transatlantic passage, followed by a Panama Canal transit and final leg south to Chile.

The extreme range of the Expedition version of the 70 Sunreef Power Cat is a function both of the extreme efficiency of its wave-piercing hull design, and its propulsion system, which features twin Volvo Penta 265 HP diesels, fed from tanks holding approximately 4,227 gallons (16,000 L).  Range is 7,000 NM on full fuel tanks at 10 knots. Not only is that more than sufficient for any transoceanic crossing, it’s sufficient to enable the captain to wait for the best price or quality to refuel.

Sunreef 70 Power Cat ONDIN Enclosed Helm Station

Sunreef 70 Power Cat ONDIN Enclosed Helm Station

ONDIN features some changes from the first 70, JAMBO, which is currently in the South Pacific. You can read more about JAMBO and the whole 70 Power series here. Most significant is the modification of the giant flybridge to incorporate the helm station in a covered enclosure with direct access to the interior. The aft section becomes an open area for entertaining or outdoor dining with the addition of tables and seating. The standard interior helm station on the mezzanine level has been removed and the area converted to an entertainment zone with seating and LCD TV.

Sunreef 70 Power Catamaran (Expedition Series)


Year:                                                     2010
Hull:                                                      Composite
LOA:                                                     21.45 m / 70.4 ft
Waterline length:                                 20.54 m / 67.4 ft
BOA:                                                     9.31 m / 30.5 ft
Draft max:                                           1,55m/ 5 ft
Light Craft Displacement:                47 tones
Full Load Displacement:                 65 tones
Generator:                                            28 kVa
Engines:                                               2 x Volvo Penta 265 HP
Fuel tanks:                                            2 x 8000 L
Fresh water capacity:                        1560 L
Range at 10 knots:                            7000 nautical miles on full fuel tanks
Bow thrusters:                                       yes
Guests:                                                    8
Crew:                                                         2

Copyright © 2010 by OceanLines LLC.  All rights reserved.

Posted by Tom in Boats, Construction & Technical, Cruising Under Power, Destinations, Industry News, megayachts, Passagemaking News, Powerboats, Technology

Piloting a Freighter in New York Harbor

“All stop! Rudder amidships!”  The command from the pilot to the helmsman was loud, almost harsh, betraying the pilot’s anxiety.  The M/V Marina Star, a 400-foot freighter, was in the narrowest part of the New York Harbor ship channel, heading south toward the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and the Atlantic Ocean beyond.

But a 40-foot sailboat was passing directly in front of the freighter’s bow, perhaps 100 meters ahead of the big steel ship.  Both the pilot, Capt. Rick Schoenlank of the Sandy Hook Pilots Association, and the vessel’s master, Dunceal Constantin, were on edge, their anxiety about a near collision blossoming into barely restrained anger.  The ship’s horn blasted five times in the international signal for immediate danger. 

New York Harbor is a busy place and the shipping channels are narrow.

New York Harbor is a busy place and the shipping channels are narrow.

This is why I was onboard: to sample life from the other side.  On assignment for Mad Mariner, and with the blessing of the pilot’s association, I had followed Schoenlank onto the Greek-built freighter to observe first-hand the challenges of safely conning some of the world’s largest ships in and out of one of the world’s busiest harbors.

Schoenlank looked over at me, his afternoon ride-along, and said, “Well, you wanted to understand our concerns about how the recreational boaters sometimes get in trouble out here with these big ships?  Here you go.”

The sailboat had been observed for the last several minutes through the binoculars by the pilot, the master and the navigator, and her course had not varied.  She was on track to collide with the freighter. With her bearing unchanged and range decreasing, something had to be done.

It was then that the pilot ordered the big ship to stop – a move not without risk in the relatively narrow ship lane leading out of New York Harbor to the Ambrose Channel and the Atlantic. There were vessels astern of us who would have to adjust their speeds, and if the tide or winds had been stronger the ship could have drifted out of the channel and quickly run aground or into an adjacent anchorage crowded with other vessels.

There was considerable discussion – I’ll spare the coarser details – between the pilot and the vessel’s master about what the sailor might have been thinking.

Ultimately, the freighter came nearly to a dead stop, and the sailboat passed safely in front of her at what must have seemed a comfortable distance to the sailboat’s helmsman.  But without or the freighter’s drastic maneuver, the sailboat would very likely have been run down.


The amount of large commercial traffic in and out of New York Harbor is staggering: more than 12,500 commercial transits a year.  That means the Sandy Hook pilots, with their fleet of 12 pilot boats based on Staten Island, handle more than 35 ship movements a day.  These ships range from small coastal freighters to the biggest ships in the world – supertankers and container ships more than 1,000 feet long.

Schoenlank and I boarded the Marina Star shortly before noon at her pier in the Port of Newark, where she had just finished loading a cargo of steel pipe bound for Houston.  Schoenlank went through a formal routine of introducing himself to the vessel’s master, asking permission to enter the bridge, and then setting up his own equipment and preparing to depart.  Sandy Hook pilots use a specially-configured laptop equipped with dedicated software – Wheelhouse II, in this case – and a portable DGPS receiver that the pilot mounts out on the bridge wing.  The laptop is then connected to the ship’s AIS system through a special port that is required by international maritime law to be installed on all commercial ships that require pilots. 

A sailboat forces the freighter Marina Star to stop dead in the water in order to avoid a collision.

A sailboat forces the freighter Marina Star to stop dead in the water in order to avoid a collision.

The laptop and its software allow Schoenlank and his fellow pilots to have their own reliable navigation system, customized for local conditions.  Schoenlank also had a wireless broadband Internet connection that allowed him to double-check detailed tide and current information online.

Some of the chaos of harbors like New York is minimized by the Vessel Traffic System, a monitoring and advisory service run by the U.S. Coast Guard.  The VTS takes advantage of fixed cameras, radar and AIS systems aboard commercial vessels to monitor the flow of ships into and out of piers and anchorages throughout the greater New York City area.  Harbor pilots talk to the VTS, who can give them notice of traffic in their area and assist with conflict resolution.

But when it comes to recreational boat traffic, they are all but blind. The VTS –- and consequently the harbor pilots –- have no reliable means of monitoring the recreational traffic in the harbor.  On a nice summer weekend, that can mean literally hundreds of small boats of all kinds moving in every direction, into and out of shipping lanes and often, in the case of recreational fishermen, sitting or even anchoring directly in the Ambrose channel.


Schoenlank said many recreational captains don’t understand how restricted large vessels really are.  “They look at this harbor and see a big open area, not realizing that this ship I’m guiding has only a 150-foot wide channel to maneuver in,” Schoenlank says.  “They also have a hard time judging the speed of an approaching ship.  They’ll sit here fishing in the middle of the channel until the last possible second, not realizing that the ship approaching is actually doing 12 or 13 knots.  There’s a kind of optical illusion that makes these big ships appear to be going more slowly than they really are.”

Marina Star is a smaller, lighter vessel with a top speed of about 7 knots, and she slowed more quickly when power was taken off to avoid the sailboat. B ut Schoenlank points out that a fully-laden supertanker will simply not stop in less than a half mile – and often it takes far longer.

“If that fisherman can’t get his motor started on the first pull,” Schoenlank says, “he’s in trouble.” 

The Master watches the Harbor Pilot navigate busy waters into port.

The Master watches the Harbor Pilot navigate busy waters into port.

In recent years, the Sandy Hook Pilots have worked with the Coast Guard and with some of the bigger fishing tournaments to try to reduce the hazards to both commercial and recreational boats.  A program called “Clear Channel” uses Coast Guard launches to clear the waterway ahead of the ships.  But Coast Guard resources are limited and they are not always available to run interference for the commercial ships.

As the sailboat passed off to starboard, Schoenlank ordered the ship to make headway again and we passed uneventfully then under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge and down along the Ambrose channel toward the pilot rendezvous area, where incoming and outbound ships pick up and drop off their pilots.  The rendezvous point is a little farther offshore than the old Ambrose light tower, damaged last winter when a tanker rammed it.  It was recently removed for good and the ship channels and pilot rendezvous zones re-aligned.

As we headed southward toward the rendezvous, the windy afternoon had kicked up the seas offshore and whitecaps were everywhere.  Schoenlank tapped me on the shoulder and pointed in the distance off the port bow where the sun glinted harshly on the rough water.

“Do you see a boat out there?” he asked.

I strained to see, even through polarized sunglasses, and eventually saw a fishing boat glinting in the sun every few seconds, when it wasn’t hidden behind a wave.

“Yeah, I see it,” I replied.

Schoenlank smiled. “Yes, but do you see all three of them?” he said.  “Now imagine they were directly ahead of us, or that the whitecaps were just a big bigger.”


For the harbor pilots of New York, “local knowledge” seems an insufficient term to describe the depth of their understanding of the waterways where they work.  And it is not obtained quickly.  The training and apprenticeship of a harbor pilot involves more time on the job than many doctoral programs. 

Bridge crew of the tanker Sichem Onomichi monitor the vessel's approach to a pier. The tanker was assisted by a tug boat.

Bridge crew of the tanker Sichem Onomichi monitor the vessel's approach to a pier. The tanker was assisted by a tug boat.

Each candidate arrives as a licensed Master – itself an accomplishment – and begins a five and a half year apprenticeship, during which the trainee will operate under the direct supervision of a full pilot.  During these years, the apprentice will gradually move from smaller vessels up to the largest supertankers.  The long apprenticeship ensures that each candidate has plenty of opportunity to experience all the waterways New York City has to offer, in all kinds of weather, traffic and sea conditions.

After that, the apprentice is ready to become a deputy pilot.  As a deputy, the candidate still has seven full years ahead before acquiring the title of Full Branch Pilot.  And even after gaining the full pilot designation, there will be continuing education and training requirements.

At the pilot rendezvous station, our outbound Marina Star was met by one of the Sandy Hook Pilots’ new “America-class” pilot boats, a 53-foot, diesel-powered all-weather vessel built by the Derecktor Shipyard. The rendezvous is coordinated by one of two large, pilot-relief ships: either the 182-foot New York or the 145-foot New Jersey.  In our case, the New Jersey was on station, manned by a crew of apprentice pilots who spend as much as two weeks at a time offshore.

The pilot boat came along the port side of Marina Star, carefully matching our speed and staying as close to the big ship’s hull as possible.  Schoenlank and I said goodbye to the master on the bridge and made our way down to the main deck, where a Jacobs ladder – a rope and wooden slats – had been rigged for us to climb down to the pilot boat.

Sichem Onomichi approaches a pier in New Jersey, where its diesel fuel cargo will be offloaded.

Sichem Onomichi approaches a pier in New Jersey, where its diesel fuel cargo will be offloaded.

While the helmsman of the pilot boat deftly controlled his vessel in the heaving, confused seas between the two boats, another apprentice pilot stood on the foredeck of the pilot boat and helped us time our final steps aboard.  It’s a physically demanding evolution, and not without risk.  Pilots and crewmembers can be injured or killed if things go wrong.

Once aboard the pilot boat, we were quickly transferred to the New Jersey, where we were able to grab a quick cup of coffee and regroup before getting right back on the pilot boat for transfer to an inbound tanker. The New Jersey has a special hatch well down her hull side to ease the movement to and from the smaller pilot boats, but it can still be hairy when the seas are rough.

We pulled along the starboard side the Sichem Onomichi, a brand-new 400-foot Korean-built tanker.  Schoenlank had taken Marina Star from pier to sea; now he would be charged with getting Sichem Onomichi from sea to port.  The apprentice pilot on our boat cautioned me to step onto the Jacobs ladder only when the tanker was rising relative to the pilot boat. To step aboard on a downward cycle would put me between the two vessels and in danger of being crushed.

Sichem Onomichi is a chemical and petroleum carrier and, like most commercial ships these days, she had an international crew that included an Indian master and Singaporean and Filipino mates (all are supposed to speak English on the bridge). Sichem Onomichi was bound for an oil company wharf along the New Jersey banks of the Arthur Kill, where specialized equipment ashore would unload the ship’s diesel fuel cargo. Because of the tightly-constrained waterway there, the vessel would require the additional services of a tugboat and tug pilot, who would take over from Schoenlank for docking.

It was time to do it all again.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines LLC

Posted by Tom in People

New Hunter 50 CC Designed to Appeal to Liveaboards, Bluewater Cruisers

The 50 CC's standard sloop ring has a sail area of 1,277 square feet. It can be configured as a cutter, with 1,316 square feet of sail.

The 50 CC

At the recent Annapolis sail show, Hunter Marine debuted the new flagship in its growing line of sailboats; the 50 CC.  (Editor’s Note — A version of this story of mine appeared on Mad Mariner, a daily online boating magazine. If you haven’t visited Mad Mariner, stop by and sign up for a free trial; or take my word for the fantastic breadth and depth of the stories there and buy a year’s subscription; it’s less than many print magazines and gives you access to an unmatched archive of how-to’s, features and boat reviews.)

The 50 CC is built on the same hull as the company’s successful 49 aft cockpit model, but with a dramatic new deck plan and interior that is designed to appeal to liveaboards and bluewater passagemakers.

I got a sneak peek at the boat the night before it left for Annapolis from a dock in St. Augustine, Florida. And from what I saw, the 50 CC will be an attractive choice for couples or small families looking for serious, long-term liveaboard comfort. Its upgraded master stateroom, larger galley and bright, open interior will raise the standard of living aboard modern sailboats.

While sporting some innovations, this sailboat is undeniably a Hunter. The three-point B&R sailing rig, the stainless cockpit arch, wide side decks and wraparound-windshield styling on the coach-roof windows are all hallmarks of the Hunter keelboats.

Sharing the same proven hull as the 49, with its Kevlar-type armor and specially-designed structural grid reinforcements, the 50 CC moves the sailing cockpit forward and up, and uses dual curved steps to lead down to the transom. Back there, storage lockers abound (including a propane locker), and there is room to easily transition to waterborne activities.

The result is that, while the 49 has a single large gathering area in its aft cockpit, the 50 CC really has two different areas for crew to congregate. It’s easy to imagine the adults enjoying a conversation in the cockpit while the kids swim and play farther aft.


The new 50 CC has an overall length of 49 feet, 11 inches, with a waterline length of 43 feet, 10 inches. The beam, without rubrail, is 14 feet, 9 inches. As with other Hunter boats, there is an option for a shoal-draft keel or deep-draft keel. The shoal draft is 5 feet, 6 inches, while the deep draft is 7 feet.

Displacement varies, depending on whether a shoal keel is used. The shallower keel requires a bit more ballast – 12,500 pounds, instead of the 11,216 pounds on the deep-draft keel. Total displacement for the shoal-keel 50 CC is 36,945 pounds, and 35,661 pounds for the deep-keel boat.

The boat carries a standard fuel load of 162 gallons and 194 gallons of fresh water. Eliminating one of the two standard 38-gallon water heaters increases fuel capacity to 229 gallons. The 50 CC also has a 52-gallon holding tank.

The boat comes standard as a sloop, with a sail area of 1,277 square feet, though it can be configured as a cutter with 1,316 square feet of sail. The B&R rig carries a relatively large standard main sail and fractional jib. This rig is known for its ability to sheet the jib tightly for closer upwind sailing, while carrying a main with a bigger roach. The sharply swept-back spreaders obviate the need for a backstay, but do require some vigilance running downwind to ensure the main doesn’t chafe.

The single steering station in the cockpit is on a pedestal, providing plenty of visibility, given that the boom is above the overhead arch and the mainsheet traveler is on the arch itself. The standard winches are directly at hand.

There’s plenty of seating in the main cockpit area, and there are corner seats aft, bolted to the railings. Walking around the 50 CC is also easy and safe. The side decks are wide, and the standing rigging design keeps both the inner and outer stays out of the way. There are a total of 10 opening hatches on deck, all with screens, yet there’s still room for the sun-seekers to stretch out.


The steps in the centered main companionway are steep but sure-footed, and they curve gently to port, steering visitors away from the expanded galley to starboard. The 50 CC’s interior is a surprisingly large, open and bright space – a function of both the beam and low sole – but also the daylight that streams in through the raised coach roof windows, which are larger on the 50 CC than on the 49. The natural (light) cherry finish adds to the effect.

A large navigation station is immediately to port and has lots of desk space and angled vertical surfaces for chartplotters, instruments and radios. The U-shaped galley to starboard is huge, with plenty of storage and room for liveaboard conveniences. In addition, there’s an exceptional amount of counter space, along with a standard stainless steel double sink and three-burner propane stove. In fact, the galley gains an aft counter as a result of the new master stateroom arrangement. The 49 had two aft staterooms, and one entry was through the back of the galley. The 50 CC has a single entry to port, allowing for more galley storage.

The 50 CC has two exterior gathering areas fore and aft, versus just one aft aboard the 49.

The 50 CC has two exterior gathering areas fore and aft, versus just one aft aboard the 49.

The headroom in the salon is also exceptional: My six-foot, five-inch host had no trouble standing here. But equally important, the way the room is arranged will make long-term cruisers feel comfortable. The U-shaped settee to starboard is paired with a table, while a sofa sits opposite, forward of the nav station. If extra guests are onboard, the table can lower so that the settee becomes a berth.

The standard two-stateroom layout includes a VIP forward, fitted with a large queen bed. A reasonably sized head is to starboard, while a separate shower compartment and hanging lockers are to port. In an alternate configuration, two cozy staterooms with slim, full-size beds and individual heads replace the VIP stateroom. In this arrangement, the port guest cabin gets a bigger hanging locker, but the starboard cabin has the larger head.

This huge, new master stateroom is one of the major differences between the 50 CC and the 49 and one of the changes that make it more suited for long-term cruising and living aboard. The 49’s twin aft staterooms are better suited for shorter cruises with a larger group.

On the 50 CC, the master stateroom aft benefits tremendously from the raised cockpit and seems especially bright and airy. Hatches overhead, combined with side port lights and extensive LED lighting, keep it well lit. The innerspring queen mattress should ensure a good night’s sleep, and the jetted tub in the head, which also features a shower stall, is another nice touch. The rest of the room is also well appointed, with a reclining settee to port, a curved settee to starboard, and an unusually large, walk-in, cedar-lined hanging locker on the same side. A cushioned bench/cedar chest forward is against the centerline engine compartment and can be moved to enhance engine and generator access.


Aft of the galley and on centerline is the engine compartment, with the standard 75-horsepower Yanmar diesel with an 80-amp alternator (a 110-horsepower engine is also an option, as is a 120-amp alternator). Stacked above the standard engine on hull #1 was an optional 11-killowatt Mastervolt generator, and access to both seemed easy for daily maintenance tasks. Also simplifying maintenance is the standard X-Change-R oil-change system.

The 12-volt DC electrical system features three 8D batteries in boxes, with a separate battery to crank the engine. Hunter includes a standard isolation transformer to protect the boat’s systems from flaky shore power. The shore-power system is 240 volts AC, plenty to run all the refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, and even a load of laundry while at the dock.

Hunter also provides a standard Raymarine ST-60 speed and depth meter, along with a DSC-equipped VHF and stainless steel antenna. Offshore sailors can order a special ground-plane system for use with an SSB radio.

The main salon aboard the Hunter 50 CC is bright and airy with headroom to spare.

The main salon aboard the Hunter 50 CC is bright and airy with headroom to spare.


Hunter’s philosophy is to provide a basic boat that can be outfitted simply for day sailing or with redundant systems and safety equipment for true ocean passages. The 50 CC is available for a base MSRP of about $400,000, but most dealers will order it with options that can increase the cost by 20 percent or more. Look for sale prices closer to $500,000.

One technique Hunter adopts is bundling options together. The “Mariner Package” is a good example, combining several popular options for one price. On the 50 CC, the Mariner Package includes the upgraded alternator; a bow thruster; an electric rigging winch; a 110-horsepower engine; an additional top-opening freezer; an in-mast furling system with a rigid vang and vertical battens; a special inverter with battery-monitoring system; a Quiet-Flush head system; Raymarine ST-70 package with autopilot and remote; three color display heads for speed, depth and wind; a bimini; upgraded memory-foam mattresses; a cushion for the aft bench; an upgraded Bose Lifestyle 28 entertainment system for the salon; a cockpit stereo with CD with speakers in the arch; and a larger flat-panel TV in the salon.

Buyers can deck out the 50 CC even further by adding different sails, including an overlapping jib with a special sheeting system, or a staysail, with inner forestay, furler and tacking system. A taller mast is also an option, as are such things as a watermaker and upgraded winch systems.

Copyright ©  2008 by OceanLines

Posted by Tom in Boats