S/V CoupRider . . . Stem to Stern

This section is dedicated to setting forth the specifications, accouterments and design decisions made in completing a stem to stern renovation in my lust to create a sailing ashram. Once splashed, there will also be a world map interacting with a travel log. I began sailing as racing crew when at 2-years old, bundled up in a bright orange Kapok life jacket, wedged under the deck in a 12-foot Snowbird in Newport Beach, California. Began skippering my own vessel, an 8-ft long plywood dinghy with a leeboard at 4 within the Balboa Island Yacht Club. A yacht club created solely for children; inducted at 4, thrown out at 16. Two adults could babysit 50 kids playing bumper-cars in dinghies for 4 hours, twice a week. After moving up to pilot my own Snowbird at 8, sometimes served on the Protest Committee for the kids to witness a 6-year old quote chapter and verse out of the rule book.

Fast forward 60 years of racing in some 30-odd different classes of boats, winning North American dinghy championships, skippering 12 meters in shake-out races, to at the end campaigning a Nelson-Marek 45 in the SORC and on Lake Michigan out of Chicago. I quit racing upon realizing that you needed $30,000 worth of electronics to be competitive, having the navigator pop up from his computer, demanding you tack, to wet-nursing a crew of 16; this simple seat-of-the-pants sailor got out.

My effort to memorialize this project, my first ever cruising boat, is dedicated to a muse of mine named Gerry O'Donough; a 20-year retired Lieutenant Commander of the Irish Navy, having now morphed over to the other side playing well his new role as a coyote. My inspiration comes from his “The Incredible Hull” (http://theincrediblehull.blogspot.com/) which is an 8-year walk through of his own renovation of a Whitby 42 including 431 blogs regarding his decisions and DIY solutions; sharing his vast knowledge of the marine environment. I aspire to be half as informative as Gerry.

What is now the CoupRider, aka Lady Love was originally named Wanderlust. Her keel was laid in 1974 at Meadville Manufacturing in Meadville, Pennsylvania 16335, the Crawford County seat, of 16,600 back then, now closer to 10,000, Meadville is 40 miles south on Interstate Highway 79 from Erie, PA on Lake Erie. Wanderlust was launched in August 1978; then most likely ferried down the Erie Canal into the Long Island Sound and then into Manhasset Bay, home of Sound Spars on Long Island in Port Washington, where the standing rigging was erected. Being only the second owner, rumor has it that there were five sister-ships built, but no proof of that has been found. The story passed on by the original owner about the designer turned out to be a bit of fake news though I am still trying to suss it out. If any of you can shed any more light on her genesis, please speak up.

After significant changes to the engine room, construction of a pilothouse and a new extended 'sugar-scoop' transom with a portable swim platform, CoupRider is now 55'-8” in length with a 13-foot beam. Her fore-aft dimensions, measured from the peak of the bow pulpit are the bowsprit is 7'-9”, to main mast at 19'-8”, to forward overhead of pilothouse at 31-0”, to the aft pilothouse/mizzen mast at 40'-0”, to aft deck at 51'-0”, to transom 'sugar-scoop' rail at 53'-0”, to swim platform, if fitted, at 55'-8”.

Her displacement is 34,000 pounds with a total sail area of 941 sq. ft. in a double-headsail, cutter configuration; consisting of 283 in the Yankee headsail; 134 in high-clewed staysail, 381 in the mainsail, and 193 in the mizzen. Tankages are 300 gals for fuel, 400 gals for water and 55-gallon 'virgin' holding tank that has never been used. Her layout is 'V-berth' cabin forward with a macerating head, salon, island galley, passageway on starboard to the aft cabin with composting head and shower pan drainage floor.

The main mast is 56'-9” high, single spreader with a 19 ft boom, and a cross-section of 7” x 11” by 3/16” wall. The mizzen mast is 40'-5”, single spreader with a boom of 14', and a cross-section of 5” x 8” by 3/16” wall. Both masts have been retrofitted with running backs.

The hull is all -aluminum, full displacement, hard-chined, full keel with a spade post-type rudder resting in a shoe welded to the bottom of the keel. The motivation for building this vessel was the owners almost losing their lives when their fiberglass boat came apart in a Caribbean storm. Consequently, the boat was manufactured to exacting standards with extra skin thickness, strength and seaworthiness.

Her 1/2” thick aluminum mainstock, sharply raked, non-rounded stem results in efficient wave penetration with minimum noise and maximum speed. Longitudinal 1-1/2” x 2” stiffener scantlings throughout, welded with 5-inch beads at 8” spacings. Rumor has it that the sides of the keel are 3/8” thick with a 1/2” skid plate closing up the bottom. Ballast is provided by lead pigs encapsulated in epoxy. The top half of the keel hold 300 gallons of diesel in a baffled tank while port and starboard of the keel under the salon sole are matching 200-gallon water tanks for 400 gallons total capacity.