Jzerro is Russell Brown's design pro who is gearing up for a record 14,000 mile run from New York to San Francisco.
During the great California gold rush of the 1840s and 1850s, more than a quarter of a million people followed the sun in the western United States, each of whom dreamed of making a fortune.
The "49ers," as the first wave settlers of 1849 were called, were mostly ships sailing from New York to San Francisco westward around Cape Horn. It was a difficult and dangerous journey, but in 1849 alone, more than 500 ships made it - from stately clippers to hastily converted whaling ships.
This route is as much a part of the American maritime heritage as the clipper tea routes are part of the British. The benchmark for the fastest sailing between the two cities was set by the 225-foot three-masted clipper Flying Cloud, which circled the world in 89 days 8 hours in 1854, a time unmatched for 135 years.
Since then, there have been over 200 attempts to set the record on all vessels from trimaran to maxi yacht, but never has it been set to proa alone. American yachtsman Ryan Finn claims to be the first to do so without stopping.
Proahs have been around since the brave islanders first pulled cloth on a canoe with a large draft. Early versions were developed by Austronesian navigators to explore the unknown southern seas of the Indo-Pacific about 7,000 years ago.
Composed of one hull and a second ama, they are light, fast and easy to build. Adherents of modern incarnations will praise them for their speed with a minimal sail area and their ability to absorb waves with less flapping and uneven loading than a conventional catamaran. At a short distance, the Jzerro can easily reach a speed of 17-18 knots.
However, the geometry of the Pacific Proa (i.e., with a small windward ama) poses its own problems.
In order to be able to sail with the ama on both starboard and port tacks, the proa must be symmetrical both fore and aft, with two "bows", two lifting rudders and a rotating mast.
On a Jzerro-sized boat, which is 36 feet long, stowage and stowage are severely limited to the single-hull design, and cockpit protection is virtually nonexistent. The attempt to sail proa around Cape Horn against the prevailing winds is extremely challenging.
Ryan Finn says that the idea of traveling to Proa was what first inspired him.
“The boat concept appeared earlier than the route. I was thinking about multihulls that can go upwind without any major design problems, and this is where I learned about Russell Brown's designs. I knew they had successfully covered long distances and realized that I would solve many of the beam design problems that large catamarans and trimaran have, since you are not leaning on the leeward ama - the leeward ama is the main hull. ”
Inspired by sailors such as Tom Follett, who rode his proa Cheers in the 1968 OSTAR from Plymouth to Newport, Rhode Island, Finn embraced the concept of proa. He bought the designer Brown's Jzerro, which he sailed across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Finn worked as a cargo delivery skipper for many years, and before that he participated in Mini Transat races. “I couldn’t raise money for a race in France, although I’ve tried to do it before,” he explains. "I can never compete with their budgets, so I figured I shouldn't try to play their game and just do whatever kind of swimming I want to do."
"The New York - San Francisco record seemed to me very difficult and very long, but possible to achieve, because no one has ever done it alone without stopping, and I decided to give it a try."
Record attempts to climb this route alone were rare: in 1989, Philippe Monnet attempted it in a trimaran designed by Shuttleworth. Monna had to stop and resume swimming after hitting the ice, but managed to complete the journey in 81 days. Meanwhile, the crew record was set by the 110-foot catamaran Gitana 13 in 43 days in 2008.
Despite the capital's start and finish points, much of the 14,000-mile route looks more like crossing the ocean.
“A lot of people don't understand how far east Brazil is. And she's very far away, ”says Finn. To bypass the eastern point, you need to go very far out to sea, making an almost transatlantic crossing, since more than half of the way you need to go across the Atlantic to go around this point. " Then there is the potential for a lot of coastal sailing around Patagonia, and in the Pacific Ocean it will also have to go quite far offshore. "
Solo sailing modifications
Brown had already sailed the Jzerro across the Pacific Ocean with a crew of two, but Finn needed to modify the boat for solo sailing. “Most importantly, I needed new sails and I wanted the sail handling to be completely different.
So I rearranged a lot of halyard hoops at both ends and added middle sails to twist on the halyards, ”recalls Finn.
The Proa do not tack, but instead the sailors perform “maneuvering,” which includes setting up a new head sail, setting and lowering the old one, loosening the mainsail on the leeward side, turning the rigging, re-attaching the boom to the “new aft” anchorage, and raising and lowering the steering wheel on both sides.
Finn claims that he does not lose stability during this process. "Since the mainsail is completely leeward, just like a flag, the boat really stands still, when you maneuver, it's a good time to take a break - the boat is parked and you can actually stop." Maneuvering, however, is not easy in tight spaces.
For simplicity, Finn chose the wind turbines on a static mast on an ama, rather than a rotating armament. However, he notes: “Since you go back and forth, you have to recalibrate the autopilot every time you tack. Everything has to be flipped 180 °, so it's quite difficult. I’m getting used to it, but I don’t know how many autopilot proas exist! ”.
Another important element that needed improvement for the record attempt was cover. “The boat is very, very wet because it is very light and gets a lot of splashes on it. I made a body kit that can be pulled from one end to the other, and it protects the cockpit very well, ”explains Finn. When not required, the body kit can be attached to the trampoline.
Back to basics
Originally, Finn of New Orleans hoped his All-American endeavor would attract sponsorship, but when there was no sponsorship, he decided to pursue the record-breaking bid as a low-budget project, cutting sails himself and customizing parts such as halyard locks.
Finn hopes to inspire others to realize that adventure sailing can be affordable. “I've always wanted to prove that you don't have to have millions of dollars to have a boat that can set an impressive record,” he says.
Seating on the Jzerro is limited to the main hull and the leeward section that juts out overboard, and while the Jzerro's plywood interior has been beautifully crafted, Finn cites the sink as his only luxury. For power, solar panels and a fuel cell were installed, and for communication - Iridium GO!
Finn's first attempt to set the record began on January 21, 2021, but Jzerro was damaged off the east coast, breaking through the leading edge of the leeward, and the attempt had to be aborted early. Finn has returned the Jzerro to Brown's shipyard, where he will carry out repairs and hopes to renew the record claim.
“After I covered more than 10,000 miles in the Jzerro, and in much more difficult conditions than those in which I was during this record attempt, the breakdown was not only a surprise to me, but also a good revelation to prepare for a new try, ”explains Finn.
The main factor leading to the breakdown, he said, was that Jzerro was heavily loaded when he left New York, mainly due to the volume of water he was transporting (he did not have a desalination plant due to budget constraints) ... Finn is currently working on a weight-loss program to reduce stress on the structure, as well as installing a desalination plant and increasing capacity.
News and articles
The Occitania Region has announced the terms of the Avenir Littoral project competition. 2 million euros will be invested by this organization with the support of Pôle Mer Méditerranée in a blue economy company, including water sports.Read more…
To celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, boot Dusseldorf 2019 will be bigger and better than ever. The largest yachting exhibition in Europe will open its doors on January 19, 2019, and will run until January 27 inclusive. It will be a very special 9 days for the entire yachting industry and for the trade fair visitors who come to Dusseldorf from all over the world.Read more…
From May 4th you have the opportunity to go on a cruise on the new Lipari 41 catamaran. We suggest you cruise the magnificent places from Marmaris to Bodrum or visit the Greek Islands. The route of your choice. Cozy bays, beautiful islands, azure sea.Read more…
Photographer Jonathan Jagot, 19, has lived on a boat since he was eight. Although he was born in France, half of his life was spent in French Polynesia and New Caledonia. For almost ten years, he and his family have been traveling the world aboard their catamaran, and Jonathan himself has found another passion in his life ... he takes breathtaking pictures of wild animals, and his work has already received many awards!Read more…
Plunge into the atmosphere of France with us! Experienced travelers will talk about their experiences and the beauty of the views there. Brittany is beautiful and full of surprises!Read more…
Four models of small yachts from eight to nine and a half meters impress not only with their good sailing performance, but also convince with their impeccable performance, high-quality equipment and, at the same time, a particularly favorable price-performance ratio.Read more…
Koriolan founder, creator of the ShipHeart smart electrical panel, Pierre Passé explains the origin of the product, its positioning in the marine power market and the expectations for its use on board pleasure craftRead more…
In November 2017, during the Global Superyacht Forum in Amsterdam, Rolls-Royce unveiled a bold new yacht concept, Crystal Blue, which showcases the most advanced power system and advanced smart solutions in the superyacht building industry - a hybrid engine that uses LNG and uses energy battery.Read more…
The new Fountaine Pajot still only has its working name - New 47. But its name will be announced at the international exhibition during its world premiere on April 19-23 in La Grande Motte (France). In the meantime, the intrigue remains.Read more…
With their great locations, modern amenities, and pleasures such as spas, luxury hotels and homes, bars and restaurants, swimming pools, designer boutiques, golf courses, and many other activities and entertainment, these exclusive yacht marinas offer the best service. yacht owners and sailing enthusiasts.Read more…
People of the 1910-1920 model imagined traveling around the world exclusively in huge airships. Soon, these fantasies were replaced by wings made of wood and fabric that were attached to the hands. So, flapping these "wings", people, like birds, flew. After a very short period of time, real airplanes came into use. But what happens if you combine an airplane, hydrofoils and a yacht?Read more…
Catamarans are rightfully renowned for their spaciousness and comfort - offering pretty much double the footprint of monohulls of similar length. And that, as a rule, means more personal space, the possibility of privacy, and in general freedom of movement, almost like in your own villa.Read more…
We are very pleased to announce that Garcia Yachts has launched the first hull, the Garcia Explocat 52. The 52ft Garcia expedition catamaran is constructed from aluminum, which makes it extremely resistant to damage and very lightweight.Read more…
ACI Marinas will open the new ACI Marina Novalja in western Croatia.Read more…