Mast/Get Home/Lifting

There are many opinions on the best option for a powered trawler to "get home" in the event of mechanical failure.  Twin engines are one option, with a doubling of mechanical complexity, a reduction of fuel efficiency for a given total shaft horsepower, and more exposure to props generally not protected by a centerline keel.  Wing engines are another option, again with some additional mechanical complexity, loss of space in the engine room, and cost. 

Our choice was to install good fuel polishing, take advantage of the non electronic reliability of the CAT 3306, and be prepared to hang a sail if worse comes to worse.  True, we wouldn't be beating off any lee shores with the size of sail we could fly, but as long as there was somewhere more or less downwind we want to go, we'll get there (eventually).  And, Delfin had an advantage of a decent mast as part of the design, so taking advantage of this seemed to make sense.  The size of sail (not yet built) we can put up, including a cruising spinnaker, will provide up to about 30 hp, or enough to push Delfin along at 4 knots in a seaway, or so the theory goes.

Finally, the expedition style deck the Romsdal's all have - mimicing the original work deck of the North Sea work boats they mirror - meant that there was room for a good sized tender on deck as long as you could figure out how to get the thing off the deck.  A properly designed mast with good winches and lifting capacity makes that possible.

The original steel mast that was on Delfin before her refit was scrapped, so we had an opportunity to start from scratch.  The drawings and photos to the left show what we ended up with, but the basic features include a topping lift and hoist as well as a telescoping boom so that once lifted, the tender can be extended out over the bulwarks and lowered.  A three part block and tackle allows the positioning of the boom for lifting and stabilization during the process.  Running backs fixed to the mast top allow for stabilizing the top of the stick when running under sail, but more importantly, to provide stiffening of the mast top when lifting the tender - a 13.5 Boston Whaler weighing 900#.  Unless sailing (never happened yet, cause we don't have the sail), these running backs are fixed forward, ready to support the mast during lifting.

When completed but untested, the installation had all the markings of a memorable if dangerous fiasco.  However, the system actually works extremely well, and while not an exercise to be done after the second martini, with normal care the Boston Whaler tender can be launched or retrieved in about 5 minutes.