I extracted this post from the "What Boat Is This" thread. I'm re-posting it here because I thought a few of the old salts might enjoy a peek, or might want to debate some of the design features of this stout vessel:
This is a Joshua. Designed by Jean Knocker, in collaboration with Bernard Moitessiere, and built of steel, the original Joshua is said to measure out at 39 feet. This example, Samos
, was built in the US and I believe measures out at 42' LOD.
Like Moitessiere's original Joshua, Samos
has its own interesting story. I first encountered Samos
as a young man at the extreme eastern end of the Mediterranean, a stone's throw from Turkey, on the Greek island for which the boat is named. We had tied alongside the quay in Samos harbor, immediately astern of Samos
. At first we did not understand why, but there was a steady stream of visitors pausing on the quay to gawk at her. Some even appeared to be newspaper journalists and television reporters.
When the crowds tapered off that evening, we finally had a chance to talk to her owner Nick and hear his story. Nick was an American citizen, but was a native of the island of Samos, having emigrated as a young boy. After retiring from government service in the U.S., he had ordered a bare steel Joshua hull, then had it delivered to some property in the woods that he owned out in western Virginia or West Virginia (can't remember anymore). He built out the interior, using materials from his property and other hardware.
After completing construction, he launched the Joshua and christened her Samos
, then set out to return to his homeland for the first time. He departed the Chesapeake and sailed, SOLO, and NON-STOP, across the Atlantic, through the Straits of Gibraltar, then all the way across the Med to Samos, where he was being given a hero's welcome when we arrived. Without consulting a map, I'd guess that would be a voyage on the order of 6000 miles.
Nick invited us aboard and gave us a tour of the boat. I do not remember too well what it was like below (this was about 20 years ago). One thing I do remember was the inside steering station, with the bubble top canopy (see detailed photo further below).
That might be the end of the story -- just another interesting boat seen along the way. And if it was I wouldn't have any photos to show you all. But back in the U.S. about 10 years later, after launching our new-to-us boat at our new marina, I motored around the corner from the travellift and practically t-boned Samos
on her mooring. So we were reunited after all those years, and I got to chat with Nick again when I would see him around the docks. Nick had written a book (in Greek) about his voyage in the intervening years, and gotten married, but he was still sailing despite his advanced age. Nick passed away a few years ago and his wife brough his ashes back to Samos, where she scattered them.
Here are some more details of Samos -- a very stout vessel:
Note the windvane below. Sailaway21 will like this story: Nick left the Chesapeake prior to ever having tested the windvane. He set it up enroute. But it wouldn't work properly. He had to helm the boat as best he could, day and night, for many many days on end. He was at his physical limit when a commercial ship hove into sight and he spoke on the radio with them. The Captain asked how he was doing, and he replied "not so well" because he couldn't get the windvane to work so he was exhausted, spent. The Captain asked him what kind of windvane. Then he asked Nick if he had remembered to criss-cross the control lines! Nick did this, and viola it worked. Imagine coming across a ship's captain at such a time of need that not only happens to be a sailor but understands the workings of windvanes as well!!
Check out this "family-friendly" center cockpit, with the convenient "companionways" (round, watertight submarine hatches):
Here is a close-up of the bubble canopy for the inside steering station. Back on the island of Samos, Nick let me try it out -- very cool to sit there belowdecks, strapped tightly in a helm chair, with a wheel in your hand and your head on deck:
The anchor system is especially impressive, and worth showing en large:
A somewhat extreme design for sailing the Chesapeake, but it fulfilled Nick's long ambition of sailing home safely. Add some modern furlers, and this would be a good boat in which to round The Horn!