Why to sail offshore with us on board GRYNING ?
First of all because we are very good at what we are doing : show you and teach you how we manage the boat for a long time at sea.
For this we have an excellent tool : GRYNING.
GRYNING is a BALTIC 55, designed by Doug Peterson in the early 80’s for the famous BALTIC YACHTS yard. The first of these boats raced in the Whitbread round the world race, and finished without a single failure while other boats broke masts, rudders, damaged hulls, and so on..
GRYNING was the last of the 9 hulls built in between 1984 and 1989. She has a design in between the classic heavy upwind racing boats and the light planning hulls who race today at terrific speeds and awful comfort. She is a little bit « the best of the two worlds ».
Sails are the engine of a sailboat ; they can be strong, powerful, nice, silent, easy to handle and manoeuvre… or not at all. They suffer when they are used, especially when badly worked with, like engines.
We have really nice and efficient sails, and we change them as often as needed to keep the boat sailing fast and smooth.
They are almost all composite QUANTUM design, for strength and speed. We also have racing sails, carbon fibre, for Jibs and Genoas.
We reduce sails when the wind blows, and for this the cutter rigging is the best combination with a staysail and a yankee Jib : it allows us to sail from 10 Kt. of wind until 40+ Kt.
Standing rigging and mast are high quality, rod rigging with a heavy carbon fibre mast : it is very stiff and enduring. Carbon keel stepped mast also do not conduct cold onto the saloon when air temp drops.
Running rigging is high quality DYNEEMA or ARAMIDE 12-14mm, and also some soft nylon where is is better to use this material ; they are all very resistant, lovely to use, and light ! We do not have any greenish line on board, because green is for land only !!!
We use a mix of Lewmar, Harken & Antal deck hardware, and Lewmar winches.
Where possible, most of our attachments for blocks, strops, etc. are dyneema soft shackles, to save the noises, wear and tear you get from metal-on-metal shackle connections.
In the about 15,000 miles we have sailed in three and a half years on GRYNING, we've had sustained winds over 40 knots thrice, while crossing the North Sea in Winter 2015 with hurricane Barney, in the mediterranée in Spring, and in August 2018 in between Greenland and Iceland. So we know how to get ready if it does blow hard, even in the Winter.
We adhere to the classical reefing in the mainsail, eventually dropping it down : this solution never jams. GRYNING came with a separate trysail track and its trysail, so we keep it onboard, but so far we never used it.
We also use the removable inner forestay with staysail, which we always rig. We also use this sail if we have to heave-to (which we've done on occasion to rest, eat), as we can more easily lead the sheets in such a way as to avoid chafe on the shrouds than with the jib.
Sails we carry on baord
We usually sail with the main (2 reef) and the Yankee jib (similar to a N°3 in size) combined with the Staysail.
For lights wind we also carry the N°2 and a Gennaker tacked on the bow sprit.
One or two spinnakers (Symmetrical and Asymmetrical) are also in our standard set, and nice little Drifter (light composite round Yankee sized).
For better racing performances we can also board two Genoa N°1 (One light, one heavy) and a thin bladed N°4 Jib ; all these sails are carbon fibre.
We also use a small mooring sail which keeps the boat into the wind when it blows hard at the mooring ; it stabilises the boat pretty well.
All these sails are yearly checked and repaired in a dedicated loft, to keep them in the best possible condition.
GRYNING came with a 125HP Yanmar 4JH3DTE engine when we bought her, good one but too powerful and a bit old ; so we are planning replacing it soon with a Beta Marine 90HP diesel, a torquy marinized Kubota tractor engine. This will power our 21", 3-blade Brunton Propeller. 24V power will come from the Beta-supplied 90-amp alternator.
Offshore, GRYNING gets all the electricity she needs ; we rely on our Superwind generator. It works GREAT for us since we're doing so much sailing with good wind!
And if needed, we also have a small PANDA generator who directly charges the 24V batteries bank, 500Ah capacity.
Navigation, Instruments & Comms
Paper Charts & tools
We are quite old-school when it comes to navigation and navigation planning, and tend to avoid video-game nav ;)
For this, we own paper charts for most of our primary destinations, in a nice dedicated place (surprise). As we also practice celestial navigation, so of course we have onboard a sextant, Nautical Almanac & the required sight reduction tables (British and French methods). We of course carry electronic charts for nearly the entire world and use them within our laptop, Crosscall tablets and software. All of our binoculars, plotting tools, watches, barometer are of highest quality.
Electronic Charts & Radar
GRYNING no longer carries a built-in chart plotter. In winter 2017/18, we decided not to upload new maps on the new Furuno, which is now only used as an AIS and Radar system only, mounted below decks at the nav station.
I consider that an efficient navigation has to be done below decks, in a quiet place, good for thinking, planning, guessing and developing a strategy
What we do not want to see is the boat leaving anchor unless we decide she can ; so, as recommended by many, we chose to put the weight in the anchor, and use a normal rode. To that end, we bought an oversized 55kg Rocna anchor to fit on the bow. It holds the ground like a hook. We anchored in more than 30m depth, no issue, and it does not moves an inch even in 50+ kt (we never tried more).
The anchor rode is 100m of 12mm chain, to which another 100m of 20mm" 8-strand plaited polyester rope can be connected, making a total primary rode length of 200m.
We don't carry a second bower anchor, but do carry two additional anchors : a 21lb. Fortress FX-37 aluminium anchor with 30m of 10mm chain plus 100m of 20mm 3 strand nylon ready in the forepeak, and a kedge anchor in the transom.
Right now GRYNING has 30-year-old B&G navigation instruments, including wind, depth, speed angle which came installed when we bought her. They're networked into the B&G autopilot, we try to use as few as possible, as it is more interesting to hand-steer with six crew aboard.
We also added some new B&G electronic in 2018, mostly to use a forward scan sonar when sailing in uncharted areas, like Greenland or Iceland, and to use the new autopilot at its best.
In winter 2018/19 we refit GRYNING with a new Eberspacher diesel heating system…the biggest available, heats like hell!
When not sailing, or motoring, we use a big REFLEKS stove, which allows a bit of cooking if needed and let us admire a nice blue cosy flame in the saloon.
We are also fitting a water/heat exchanger connected to the engine, which will heat the boat with the extra energy coming from the running engine : so nothing is lost.
Our long-distance comms setup includes an Iridium 9555 sat phone handset kept in a waterproof Pelican case, and which can come with us if needed in an abandon ship scenario. We also have an Iridium GO, that can connect to smartphones and tablets through a mini wifi station. This GO is primarily used to download GRIB files and manage emails, and can also be of great use in case of emergencies.