Northern Navigator click here to read or make an observation about this  article
By Flemming Seestrandt Sørensen - Klaipeda, Lithuania

Dear Chuck,

As promised in spring here are some pictures of my Navigator;finished in July.

There are many articles about the building already, so I will be brief. I spent around 500 hours building it and except a little more inclination to the stem and bow and the addition of a narrow seat-strip in the forward end of the cockpit that connects to the seats fore and aft, I followed the drawings. The only thing I did a little differently than many is the painting sequence. I tried to paint all parts (except the final layer) before assembly. It postpones the happy feeling of having completed the hull very fast (!) but ensures a better paintjob and fewer hours moving around in the very tight spaces inside grinding and painting.

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Temporary frame supports

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In spite of the very round and curved hull, she is straight forward to build and I did not have any big problems.

Painted inside

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So, what is the verdict? How does she sail? I have rigged it at according to the specified yawl sail plan and as many Navigator-builders I also had problems with the crease in the main, but after some experimentation with the yard angle -which for my sail cut (from JW) has to be almost vertical- it now sets well in most but the very strongest winds and I will keep it that way as it is still easy to store all the masts and yards inside the boat.

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almost finshed

She is a great overall performer! Not the fastest in the pack –the waterline is only little more that 4 meters after all- but even the slightest wind will soon get her moving at hull speed. The width makes her safe and she will carry her 12.6 m2 up to 8-10m/sec depending of the number of crew. Reefing is easy and reefed down she can take you through some really bad weather –wind as well as waves- in relative comfort. Balance is fine and easy to fine tune with the mizzen and the shape of the bow and the width makes her very dry in most conditions. You can sail her alone or as we did during our holiday, with three onboard and the speed does not change much. I have sailed her alone in many various conditions now and I get more and more satisfied.

sailing on the Bering Sea

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Especially enjoyable is that on top of her very good performance in rough seas she goes as happily in shallow water and right on the beach.

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Pulled up on a Bering Sea beach

I have installed oar locks and although the wide hull is not perfect for rowing, it’s fine for harbour manoeuvres and shorter distances. My outboard is a 9 kgs, 0.7kW electrical motor with a 115AmpH battery, which will push her along at 3-3.8 kn in calm water for 2-5 hours depending of course on the speed. As the motor is light I have it mounted directly on the mizzen bumpkin with a small protection piece and no need for any special brackets.

Launching at Saadjarve - notice the electric motor on the boomkin

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The name, V.Bering, is after the Danish explorer (and "navigator"), Vitus Bering, who was employed by the Russian Tsar in the 18th century exploring Siberia, Kamchatka and the north-east coast of Russia and the Bering Sea is named after him.

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"V Bering"

I have enclosed some few pictures of the building process and the summer trips to Raid Finland and around the Curonian Bay here around Klaipeda, Lithuania, where I work at the moment.

The recently completed Navigator at Kurepalu

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On Curinian Bay

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