WE GOT TRIPLETS !
Eleven hundred Nm withBoGi III.
Our old NEPTUNKRYSSARE, lill-EVA, was a wonderful boat. Very similar to the DRAGON class, she was small, easily maneuvered and forgiving to beginners. But after 12 summers with lill-EVA the excitement was gone. We could almost get her to dance a tango. We could twist and turn her in less space then her length. But the limitations became clearer with age. We felt like we were practically wearing the boat every time we climbed into our berths, single berths, when what we really wanted was a double berth! And besides I wanted to sail up to the wild 'High Coast' of my childhood, the Höga Kusten in Ångermanland in the north of Sweden. We couldn't do that with our lill-EVA. We never got to the High Coast in all those 12 years. We sailed only as far as Storjungfrun, an island 1/3 of the way to Ångermanland, but what wild strawberries we picked the last time we were there! We started looking for another boat but the bigger monohulls were too deep, or left us feeling unsure for one reason or another. Then Ib Möller, a DRAGONFLY 25 sailor from our boat club, tempted us with the idea of a multi-hull instead of a keel boat. We thought about it, read about it (in MULTIHULLS MAGAZINE and books), faxed about it, called people and talked about it and remained doubtful about it.
THE FASTEST DOUBLEBERTH ON WATER.
There was the Danish micro Dragonfly, 8m, the Swedish micro GEPARD, 8m, designed by Stefan Törnblom. We could have built a TOMCAT 9m, a Kurt Hughes, Seattle, design, but TOMCAT didn't have a real double-berth. Our goal was to get the fastest double-berth on the Baltic Sea. And all these boats cost a lot of money! Or maybe we could buy a used PINTA, one of the 23 Swedish tris designed by Ib Pors Nilsen (10x7.6, 45m², 1600 kg). Most of them were built by Sweden's Mr. Multihull, Ingvar Lindström. He is now completing his own GEPARD, Nr 5, specially reinforced with carbon-fiber. He plans to sail up to Svalbard/Spitsbergen from North Cape. Lindström also built most of the parts of the two existing GAZELLEs (female molds available for GAZELLE and GEPARD, questions welcome!) and the last 3 of 12 MARAM catamarans.
It's worth noting, with the Swedish crown's present low value, that Swedish-built hulls could be price-competitive, particularly on the American market. Hulls would be built with glass and kevlar, with vinylester or isopolyester resin and cored with divinycell.
The GAZELLE, is the bigger sister to GEPARD and both were designed by Stefan Törnblom. But GAZELLE was, naturally, much more expensive. But when the designer/builder bought a new house, he had to sell the GAZELLE he was working on. Two possible buyers offered the same price. He flipped a coin, and we won! So the end-of-the-season sale price for the monster wasn't any higher then the smaller tri's. So it was triplets. A GAZELLE 11m x 8.3m, 72m², 1800 kg. The designer built the boat for his own use, with the best materials, glass, kevlar, vinylester and divynicell, 15m 'Ridder' mast, Kevlar-mylar sail, Harken blocks, galley and heater, etc. The boat was nearly complete except for some interior woodwork. As these monster hulls were new, we felt we could name the Wonder as befit triplets. The name: BoGi I, BoGi II and BoGi III (or BoGi Tri).
During the winter of 1991-92, all 100 m² of her were lying on shore at our boat-club on Långholmen island in Stockholm, waiting to be finished during the Spring of 1992. Many fellow members from the club visited and there was a long waiting line for Test Sailings.
There was a lot of new stuff to learn for an old NEPTUNKRYSSARE sailor. Lill-EVA's top speed was around 7 knots, and then she was sometimes hard on the tiller, requiring both hands to steer. And she heeled up to 45°. But at least it was easy to keep up with the chart work. The BoGi Tri, on the other hand, can theoretically do 30 knots. (Does that make her the fastest double-berth on the Baltic Sea?) And with the daggerboard down 2.2 m, I think we can make somewhere between 20 - 25 knots. You have to look quickly to find the right chart. An AP-navigator was part of the price. How do we use it? Can one feed it with bananas. Lill-EVA was 1.92m wide and we could get in and around almost anything. Now we're talking about a width of 8.3m! Anyhow, it wasn't any problem getting our tri through the locks at Hammarby and into Lake Mälaren, and to get our triple hull where we wanted it to go. It's comfortable walking along the side-hulls, not at all as slippery as lacquered mahogany. It's odd how a boat that looks so large on land seems to decrease in size once it's in water. And equally odd how large a little, nimble boat appears when it's on land. BoGi III can almost sail on the dew with the daggerboard retracted as she doesn't need more than 40 cm of water. And yet, many times I felt lill-EVA's 120 cm draft was too much.
Elevenhundred Nm with BoGi III.
We managed only eleven hundred Nm that first summer. Our first attempt at sailing away for our vacation ended with a broken daggerboard. This happened at anchor when a brief thunderstorm pulled the anchorline around the daggerboard. All we could do was limp back our sheltered harbor at Långholmen for repairs. Our second try showed that the two of us couldn't handle the big, stiff, 50m² kevlar mainsail without atopping lift and lazyjacks. Back to Långholmen one more time.
Hoisting a one-bedroom apartment
A large boat with a big mainsail has it's advantages and disadvantages. Especially considering that we only had to deal with lill-EVA's tiny mainsail (11m²) before. All we had to do then was to hold the boom with one hand while the sail was hoisted - simple and uncomplicated. But now 50m² of sail had to be raised 15 meters. This was like hoisting the equivalent square area of a small apartment. We began with all of it, 5 meters of boom and 25-30 kg sail out on the net. Then it was time to haul. Until one of the battens hooked up in the backstay. Down we go, and up again. And BoGi III turned and the main-sail felt like a large, yellow, hard and heavy cover over the whole cockpit. And we didn't know where we were . . . . and we couldn't see anything . . . . . and BoGi III was sailing backwards. But finally, the sail went up. Now we have lazyjacks, and hoisting the mainsail doesn't give us anymore trouble. We also have a roller-furling headsail, just unfurl it and sail away. The mainsheet-arrangement didn't work either, so back we went to Långholmen to buy new pieces and rearrange it. She wasn't ready for sailing until midsummer 1992 and by that time half of Gitte's (my wife's since October 1992) vacation was already gone. And we hadn't had time to find out how to sail that monster.
At last the technical stuff began to work. The reefing gear was still lacking, but on the other hand, BoGi III could handle up to 11-12 m/second unreefed, at which point we were working our way forward at about 15 knots into 25-30 degrees of apparent wind. We took a tour around Lake Mälaren from our "Virgin Islands" called Jungfruholmarna to the town of Mariefred to buy some ice-cream and then sailed back to Jungfruholmarna. We covered 52 Nm and hit 16 knots on Södra Björkfjärden - still on Lake Mälaren - the third biggest lake in Sweden - with thousands of green islands and inlets - by Autohelm autopilot and with Per-Erik (a L31 sailor, it's a longkeeled Colin Acher-type ketch) riding like a happy boy on the forward end of the windward ama a few meters above the water.
What? Speedblind? Me ??
The most special thing about BoGi III is that nothing unusual happens when she gets going. She just goes faster and faster, no heeling, no working the tiller, no bracing against the opposite side with your feet to stay in the boat. She just sails on. A few drops of water come blowing over from the lee ama when she exceeds 13-14 knots upwind. Nothing on the table or shelves moves. That's the only sensation beside the speed. When a gust comes, we can feel how BoGi III leans 1-2 more degrees, and then she accelerates and you can feel it in the seat of your pants. Is a big Hallberg-Rassy around? Oh yeah, that's the one there that's leaning 45 degrees. And the family in the Maxi 95 could do nothing but look while we overtook them. Or the guy in the motorboat on the way to Mariefred. We were a bit in the lee of an island when it came upon us. But then we got into the open and overtook the motorboat, while his wife lay sunning herself on the fordeck. He kept his head up through the hatch in the cabin as we neared him. He stepped on the gas but we caught up to him again. He stepped on the gas again and that's when his wife left the deck. And we caught up again. Now he really stepped on the gas - and again we caught up to him until we reached the lee of the next island.
Can any sailor deny, it is lovely to sail faster then other boats!
Finally, we were able to take the last two weeks of August, to sail from Lake Mälaren to the Baltic Sea. As it was impossible to open the Danviksbron we had to sail to the lock in Södertälje. We were supposed to go through the swing-bridge, after VHF-contact, but before we had seen any green signal the bridge closed just in front of us. When we asked why, via VHF, we were told that leisure boats should ignore any and all signals, and just lay in wait and just rush in as soon as it looks like the bridge is opening. I haven't seen this rule in any book on navigation. Have you? We had the wind from the west, heading south, a half-gale of about 10 m/second. We were sailing fast without trouble, until we got to the Strait of Brandal wich was turning west. In the Strait we had to tack for a short time. The wind increased to 12-14 m/second, through the narrow opening. To lower the speed I tried to balance the boat close to the wind and we sailed at a pleasant speed of 5-7 knots. I was going to tack, just as we passed a marker and before we touched land. The bay is very narrow at this point. BoGi III refused to tack . . . . . .
BoGi III refused, for the first time to go about and began to sail backwards. Toward the marker! Having such a low displacement, BoGi III cannot short-tack at reduced speed in hard wind. I first tried to turn the tiller so that we would sail backwards on the sea-side of the mark, but that didn't work. So I turned the tiller in the opposite direction.... We missed the marker by a meter. We manage to slip between the marker and the shoreline and to force BoGi III to turn around and to start sailing in the right direction again. I tried again to get BoGi III to tack, in a more open sea, but she still refused to tack at reduced speed, in a hard wind.
The moral of this intermezzo with a happy ending:
KEEP BOAT-SPEED HIGH !!!
After a quiet night in the well-protected lagoon by Fifång, we went around the tall Landsort lighthouse the next day and turned north. The wind was still westerly at 10-11 m/second. We practically flew the long stretch to the Viksten lighthouse at 14-16 knots reaching a top speed every now and then of 18 knots. At North Viksten the wind decreased and our speed dropped a few knots as we approached Mysingeholm light. As the boat was only doing 6-8 knots we felt like it was standing still. Stockholm's archipelago is really marvelous. Thousands of islands and even more inlets and bays to stop for a well-protected night. We sailed back and forth, north and south, and even up to Sätterfjärden where Håkan Widmark, the President of SCTS (Sveriges Catamaran och Trimaran Seglare -The Swedish Catamaran & Trimaran Sailors Association), was swinging at anchor with his Dragonfly Sport together with four other trimarans in the same lagoon. It was a multihull Center in Stockholm waters. We had a nice forenoon together with a lot of talk about sailing before we departed. We sailed past Waxholm's ferry-boats, overtook keelboats in light wind sailing 8-9 knots.
They thundered along with motors on at 6-7 knots. We sailed past Silverkannan (Silver Trophy) where King Gustav V placed a silver trophy on a cliff. The race started from one point and the winner had to pick up the trophy without leaving the boat. We sailed past every boat that was out sailing that weekend. Even the big 15m German ketch with a huge masthead-spinnaker had to accept being overtaken.
We tried to reach the owner of the other (the first) GAZELLE, "La Differènce", Björn Grönlund via VHF to arrange a meeting over the weekend but it didn't work out. It would have been great to take photographs of BoGi III under sail, as it is almost impossible with only a crew of two.
Unfortunately, the small bakery behind the store at Nämndö, with the marvelous cinnamon rolls, was closed for the season. The whole archipelago seems to close up when school starts.
For a few days with half-gale winds we laid at anchor in the perfectly protected small, round lagoon by Korshamnsmaren. During the second week we tried to sail south again, but the wind had shifted to southwest, mostly still at 10-12 m/second. It was now the last week of August and not particularly warm. In the cold, open waters of Mysingen bay some water splashed over the bow into the cockpit when our speed increased. The cold water of August in the Baltic Sea gets into every opening around the neck and it doesn't feel like a vacation, not even in small quantities. We therefore turned around and sailed up to Käppalaviken (where we picked up the boat in November 1991).
The Danviksbron drawbridge opened again on Tuesday, the first of September, and we went home with jib and motor, in the rain, through the locks at Hammarby and back to the sheltered harbour at Långholmen where we were allowed to stay for only the first summer with a multi. Our club in 1993, GSS has just informed us that we had to move to one of the exposed places in the club-harbour. At first our place was on the outside of the outermost concrete-pontoons, in the most common winddirection. Then, thanks to a member who sold his boat, at the last minute, we are able to stay inside the outermost pontoons, 100% better.
From 1998 and 2001 we have a splendid swinging place in KSSS (since 1830!) marina Saltsjöbaden just in front of the famous hotel GRAND HOTEL SALTSJÖBADEN (around 1900)!.
But before we lifted BoGi III out in mid-November 1992 we had happy memories of all the sailing. One can sail even when it snows. And also some bad memories of a stolen solar-battery and Autohelm 4000 Tiller autopilot.
The 26th of October a friend from our club put BoGi III in order while we visited the photographer and we were wed, with two from our club as witnesses. The wedding cermony took place on Riddarfjärden just outside Stockholm City Hall and was performed by County Official Marianne Wahlberg, (Multihulls Magazine N/D 1992 sid 27.)
There was the only one hour of sun that week. Our hour!
A fine, wonderful memory of a marvelous summer on a wonderful boat !
Bosse & Gitte Malmgren
Bosse Malmgren, E-post = Åter till sida ett.
Bo W. Malmgren is an tailor, of chlothes (Swedish Folklore Costumes) and computerprogram for mailorder.
Gitte Sturk Malmgren is an nurse at ASIH (advanced care at home).