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post #1 of 29 Old 12-02-2007 Thread Starter
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Not Your Average Production Boat

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!
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post #2 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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Wow. Just... wow. Thanks, John.

That's no harbor queen. It's built for sailing. I am surprised at how simple and rational the standing rigging seems; even a small-boat guy like me can make sense of it. & that's one beefy mizzen mast!

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post #3 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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The boat is clearly designed for some serious passagemaking, providing crew confidence in recovering from blue water knockdowns. One design downside of course, is that the cockpit is not very accommodating for more than two people (or four who are very intimate).

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post #4 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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Really nice boat. I'm not sure the cockpit could fit more than one though, not two.
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post #5 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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Seeing as my boat seems to share some of the design philosophies of this one, I would say that the cockpit is not really entertainment-oriented, but designed to drain quickly in case of a boarding wave. The size is very similar to several European-designed steel ketches I've seen, particularly the Subrero Petit Prince 40 and my own boat.

View of my deck helm station (I would barely call it a cockpit, but it will be comfortable enough with an added hard bimini to provide shade:


Two views of the cockpit of the Subrero Petit Prince 40 ketch I considered buying in 2004. The philosophy is essentially opposite to that of the production cruiser:

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post #6 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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Actually Val, I like the perimeter benches on your aft deck/cockpit. I considered doing something similar to mine, which has no recessed wheel well - wheel's attached to the aft end of the pilothouse. The raised helm on the poop deck is cambered, but on a continuous plane with the toerail - with no cockpit drains necessary.

Additionally, the pilothouse access doors are on port/starboard sides. Therefore if we're ever pooped, or knocked down, seawater simply washes off the aft deck and through bulwark scuppers at the forward decks.

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post #7 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
The boat is clearly designed for some serious passagemaking, providing crew confidence in recovering from blue water knockdowns. One design downside of course, is that the cockpit is not very accommodating for more than two people (or four who are very intimate).
Wow, I thought that was the glovebox!!

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Note the lack of any companionway as well on Samos.

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-02-2007
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You're right sway, the round deck-mounted hatch is not unlike a submarine's.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdosch View Post
..............
Can I borrow your decoder ring?

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