“Sundart” is a spacious and comfortable 37 feet masthead sloop built by Dehler to German and British Lloyds standards in the 1980’s, being designed as a comfortable, stable and well founded cruiser by the legendary Dutch designer van der Stadt. The boat has a high ballast ratio (for stability) and a relatively long waterline length. The hull is a traditional fin keel and semi-balanced spade rudder design and is made of hand laminated polyester/fibre glass construction with an iron keel. The rig is almost entirely controlled from the well protected cockpit. The boat carries an inventory of four sails permitting a range of configurations to suit a wide range of conditions. Wheel steering is fitted and is provided with an electric auto-helm linked to an electronic self steering system for short-handed sailing. The cockpit is set relatively high and is dry under most conditions. Additional weather protection is provided by a deep spray-hood set over the companionway to below decks.
Below decks Sundart is comfortable with plenty of space. There are three separate double berth sleeping cabins and a large central saloon which can convert into a three berth sleeping area. Galley, heads and navigation area are all amidships, where the movement of the boat is a minimum. Deep topsides provide ample headroom and a dry ride on deck. A good range of domestic equipment is carried including a twin burner galley & oven, refrigerator and a hot water calorifier run off the waste heat from the auxiliary engine. We carry 66 gallons (300 litres) of fresh water in two tanks plus 2 Gaz cylinders (for the galley). An FM radio and CD player are fitted in the main saloon.
The auxiliary engine is a Beta 3 cylinder diesel (that has recently been replaced), connected to a Brunton self-adjusting propeller for better efficiency under sail and power. The engine provides electric power to re-charge the two batteries and hot water for the calorifier heating. A 240 volt shore line can be used when in port to provide domestic power and heat the water. 190 litres of diesel can be carried.
A broad range of navigation instruments are fitted including GPS, DSC radio, radar, AIS (Automatic Ship Identification), barometer, sextant and Navtex (for weather forecasts etc). For the round UK trip we have added a Yeoman chart plotter to act as our primary method of plotting our course and a Navionics chart package on a Samsung tablet for supplementary information. A full set of charts are on board to cover the whole trip (totalling over 150 charts), updated to the latest Admiralty chart corrections. In addition, we carry the Reeds Almanac for northern europe, numerous pilotage books, tidal atlases and list of signals to supplement the chart and Navionics information.
We expect to anchor in quite a lot of locations so we have added a new Knox 16 kg bower anchor for the trip to supplement the standard 20 kg CQR anchor. 40 meters of 9.5 mm chain are fitted to the bower anchor with a further 20 meters of 8 mm chain and 50 meters of nylon cable to supplement the ground tackle. An inflatable dinghy with outboard is carried for shore trips when at anchor.
Safety equipment includes 6 self-inflating life jackets with safety lines that clip on to the jack stays set around the deck. Two life rings are fitted on deck with supplementary dan-buoy, lights and throwing line. A full complement of flares is carried including white, red and smoke. A 6 person self-inflating emergency life raft is fitted and the boat also carries an emergency grab bag with crucial items such as hand-held radio, GPS, flares, etc.
The boat is owned by a syndicate of 5 co-owners and was purchased new by the syndicate nearly 30 years ago. Sundart has been kept up to date and in good order throughout that time and we are very grateful to our co-owners for agreeing to us using the boat this summer and for all their support and help.