Welcome: Entre 2 tours du monde is dedicated to the second life of Inox, famous stainless steel boat built and skipped by Marcel Bardiaux, sailing round the oceans for 40 years.
At 86 years old, Marcel is back home after having sailed across the North Atlantic Ocean, bringing the boat back home to France in one piece, after a memorable stranding on the rocks at "la pointe aux Maquereaux", on the Gaspesie shore, North East of Canada.
INOX remains stranded for three whole days on the granite rocks, before the Coast guards could rescue her.
Taken in and helped by Robert P., Inox was repaired and relaunched more than a year later after her shipwreck.
Marcel died on board in February 2000.
Inox is then sheltered in the quiet waters of Redon Harbour.
INOX joined the OLD GAFFERS, FTBV section (Flotille Traditionnelle de la Basse Vilaine) in 2003, as an exceptional boat. Thanks to warmth and kindness of the team members, paying homage to MARCEL BARDIAUX's work.
LATEST NEWS: (gracefully translated in English by Hilde Albin - graduated sailor & Captain's Sister)
(Work in Progress - see Readers' corners or click 2010 link for latest pictures...)
Eastern holidays 2010
A mea culpa: I skipped the summer of 2009, which had been studious: I completed the onboard fitting: I added an electric windlass and 150kgs of 12mm chain to complete the impressive ground tackle created by Marcel.
The installation has been relatively simple, a very helpful hand from Marc/Quid'Ham was necessary for his help and advice throughout the works. Remains to sort out the problem of the disposal of used water by/through the hawse hole: Marcel had not planned an automatic drainage of the forward crash box (apart from the opening of the head which I will probably use).
Well, nothing is finalized yet and I hope to free myself from a bilge pump; the more straightforward solution which however raises an ethical question: installing a mechanical/electrical system, if I am able to do without it.
Consider this: two lengths (15 and 30m) of handmade stainless-steel chains 17mm thick for a weight in the region of 300kgs, complete with 2 'light' anchors weighing each 40kgs (manufactured each in the same metal and made by the same man), and anchor to cast weighing 80kg. Just enough to keep a beautiful baby of over 20 tons quietly anchored...Marcel did indeed think of the windlass which is integrated at the base of the mast. But, as there is a But...you might have figured it out, the whole lot is seriously heavy to organize - there is no pulley-block, the over multiplied windlass does not allow a rapid/efficient lifting of the ground tackle. I have had on occasion to detach the anchor from the cast (and sail further out, with 7 or 10 meters of chains with their weights at the end and patiently lift them up while under way, at sea, away from the coast and other boats. This is a drawback from navigating solo and having to maneuver with such ...'rustic' means.
The same went for the rigging that I must seriously review: being slightly over fifty (I am starting to talk about myself, it must be my age...!) there are some navigational helping tools which become useful if not indispensable in order to remain in the security margin. I do not feel like staying loafing about on deck when it blows a gale and there is nobody to steer the boat...
There is a transition towards the 2 new Lewmar winches which replace the ancient Goiots, which now grace the shelf at the Café du Commerce at La Roche Bernard, between the works of Marcel and the Receptor Radio using a bulb (and still working!). Self -tailing, - shining, I positioned them behind the Goiots so as to free the catwalk and to reduce the angle of inclination in order to avoid an excess tension of the chain-adjuster. It is there that I start the first transformation: I bring back all the sheets (Genoa sheets, , stayl sails heet, main sail sheet) in the cockpit.
Second transformation stage: the installation of clamceats for the sheets of the sails: the area cockpit/catwalk is too tight to be able to install more than one winch: I have to use the same one for 3 sails. I t is not a problem because all the sails except for the Genoa are self-furling and thus do not necessitate any change when I tack along a same angle port/starboard I noticed it during some earlier sailings - and even though it might be the case, the winches allow me some alterations a lot faster than with the original mountings. Another advantage: the sheets run along the edge and not along the bridge anymore.
Third upcoming stage: to shorten the sail surface by bringing back the stay on the bow like it was originally: the balcony is more a source of problems while coasting and while maneuvering in a harbor and useful on the one hand and, on the other hand, I would like to check the balance under sail with more surface forward, in reducing that of the spanker. Thus one installs a winder and its Genoa on the bow..
And why in the world would he want to change the spanker; for 2 reasons: 1) to raise the height of the boom which today whacks my head every time I tack (it is rather painful in slow motion - so at high speed, I let you imagine what is left of my poor neuronas...) and 2) I want as well change the system for reefing the sail and thus the type of sails.
And there I feel the purists of history starting to complain: but what in the world is he doing there??..!!! He is going to change the whole boat!
Well yes - partially at least: the roller reefing system has its pro and cons camps. The one Marcel installed is over 40 years old - still works today - but is not really adapted to a quick reduction of the sail surface; it deforms the sail and damages the (plan sail) (and the ones from the edge need replacing). So, I am opting for a system of rapid sail reef with a double-roped halyard going thru the boom).
Here are the latest news - I am posting a few shots in the Readers' Corner.
Eastern holidays 2009 : pictures in readers' corner
See you soon – and God Speed!
July 2008: first journeys at sea after 7 years of forced work
We went out twice for two days with two inexperienced crew members, but they managed very well under the stressed Captain during the Arzal lock exercises, and later on at night, while anchoring East of Dumet is land to check for the alignment and the approaching shoreline, a low sea level with hidden rocks mentioned by the sea map Navicarte and SHOM. But apart from some swell and wind squalls during the night, nothing disturbed the sound sleep of my crew...
The Captain was woolly-eyed the morning after, due to our late arrival at about 11 pm, anchoring included, the wake-up call was scheduled for 6:30 am as I had to bring back my nephew to Nantes airport in the afternoon. I was in a semi-comatose condition on the way back and we were greeted by an ULM equipped with floats like a hydroplane. During this trip and the following one, we we re warmly greeted by many passing boaters and friendly signals. I am very grateful to all these people for their befitting tributes to Marcel Bardiaux, thus also rewarding several years of hard toil to refit Inox and enable her to sail again.
I hope to be able to set time aside for the remaining work I have to do, in order to achieve a rigging modernization (allowing for an easier sail reduction - as 500 crank revolutions to roll the main sail and 370 for the artimon). Sailing with the existing equipment might be feasible, but it is still a mystery to me. I am considering using the opportunity of replacing the existing sails, which are more like marine bags than anything else, and replace them with the latest technology in order to reduce sail surface.
Anchoring was really exhausting, particularly when the boat was surrounded by nets placed at night by fishermen, or other boats that were just anchoring close by ; then lifting up 40Kg of anchor and Bardiaux's handmade chain out of 15mm bars (I estimate a weight of 60-70 Kg) by hand is really a nightmare and forced me to run back and forth on the deck between the steering wheel and the front of the boat. Marcel has created an absolutely ingenious equipment which I recommend for all boats: a female "foot" print of a chain anchor fixed on the deck. It is childishly simple to use: you just put a link on the "foot" print and press down on top of it to fix the chain. Then a simple hit down/up frees the chain to anchor or to lift it. S
o the second trip was done alone, I wanted to see if I could sail without any crew member. The answer is yes. BUT – but, as I mentioned earlier, I need to install an electrical windlass (guindeau) to avoid getting exhausted or being in a very bad position (too close to shore or against other boats) and change the handling to reduce sail surface . Later on other accessories such as an automatic pilot and a radar to monitor the traffic will be useful too.
Inox traces a straight line in a stable wind condition close and on the beam, I verified it and it enabled me to take pictures from the pulpit and to admire for a while the stem pitching/plunging through the waves, as I was leaning against the jib. She has, on the other hand, a ‘naughty’ tendency to sail upwind by wind astern especially when there is a little swell and I think that the dimension gap between the mizzen-sail and the jib (I do not have a Genoese is the cause of this behaviour.
The only times that are still delicate are the harbour or lock manoeuvres in windy condition: Inox is much lighter now since 2001 and has lost almost 10 tons (by draining and empy the tanks and equipment lockers and other assorted odds and ends that Marcel accumulated during 40 years of life at sea. The water-ligne went up by 15 cms…The other side of the coin is a more noticeable rolling while riding at anchor.
Marcel had brought to my attention that Inox had a better deportment at sea after the draining of the fuel tanks (1200 litres) which never got used: he then emptied the oil sludge residue. This, however, has impregnated the metal and I am considering applying a layer of paint over it to eliminate the continuing emanations.
I am thus looking for: an electric guindeau, either for the 15mm chain or for one of 12mm (more common and which will serve for the coasting). Some ideas to feed the nerve of war – the onboard kitty – its level is getting low for the modifications of the rigging. See you soon and God Speed!!
part 1 - 1 short week to get 3 new tanks on board : 2 for water and 1 for fuel. after 3 days of hard work water tanks were in place connected together and with the first tap in the former kitchen: Hurra, how exiting it is to get fresh water just turning the tap... instead of pumping with the right of left foot or filling in a basin with bottles to be able to wash hands, face or... dishes.
There is another place for other part of the body located in the front ;-) This part will be installed later on as it requires to fully reorganise toilet create a shower and change the current location of basin.
just to be in synch with Bardiaux lack of luck, the 380 liters fuel tank was full of plastic waste ... discovered after the 2 remaining days to fix it and to connect all the tubes! I became crazy as it could'nt be detected when bought as I had to drill the filling hole exactly when it was adjusetd to the hull. so back again opening the heavy metal roof on the deck to let this big box go out (2mx1,8mx0,40m) of the boat. 2 months later I had to fly for 3 days to get the new one and put reverse the same way, drill again (a bit tense) and - hurra - it was totally neat and ready to get fuel in.
part 2 - next week in La Roche Bernard to finalize tank fixing test fuel tank and check sails... cross fingers.
Well, time has not come yet! I had to make non-skid the slippy deck, which was achieved by pouring sand on a single layer of fresh paint. Simple with it's specific aesthetic, but very effective action. I projected to have installed a table for sea map in the new navigation room, which is done deal yet, with a very large table where a SHOM sea map can lay wide open. Above the table, there is a caisson which will receive all electrical instruments I will estimate necessary. A new sailiong berth is installed within the same room.
A short week to realize in 2 days what I planned to achieve in 5, by changing the rouds of main mast with 8mm flexible cables, fixed with pods as it was really impossible to get exact measurement to order up to date fixes requiring very precise lengths. This will be done for next change!
in the mean time, there are some modifications left and more over the stiffness of the shourds while straightening the mast which have seen much "shocking" situation.
Following activity will be redoing the same for the 2nd mast, with a bit more difficulty: there is no rung welded on the mast therefore cllimbing activity will be exclusively manual...
At last, Inox has a new nose, or balcony, which I fixed after a rude fight to drill and enlarge the nealry 10mm piece of Inox that is used to held the first sail shroud, and the "sous-barbe" piece of metal underneath with liaise with the hull. It's the 22mm bolt that gave me fun all an afternoon laying on the balcony to get the proper angle and whole enlargement size with a small file...
We were pleased of friendly acquaintance, often obliging, and sometime fully opportune, one to help empty the boat, or to clear the petrol circuit which was full of air, due to a brillant idea but horrible execution from the master captain handyman...
INOX is back at La Roche Bernard after a full hard summer work, removing the 40 years' old coat of Polyester, uncovering the deck which is about 5 cm thick of a triple layer of Iroko that is still mainly brand new except the areas where water leaked under the polyester, and where partly rotten.
Now, white painted again, she is appealing all the glances and many people recognized her and I was "harassed" by questions about her, Bardiaux and my intents.
These last ones are very simple: still 4 to 5 year of restoration and comfort work before going making trips on the sea... No big plan now, as you know in sailing, all depend on weather forecast..;-)
Next big investment in work and money is the shrouds replacement (26) which represent a total of more than 350 meters of flexible stainless steel shrouds, to be found (and financed)!!!)
INOX is anchored in the Vilaine River, at La Roche-Bernard Harbour (56 - France), wrapped in tarpaulins to protect its wooden deck from exposure to the weather, looking like an articulated lorry. The climate, or simply, rather the long time exposure of 40 years, broke down the stratification of the wooden deck, which is rotten in places.
After the cleaning of the famous Aegean stables, the second task of Hercules has started, before allowing INOX to be afloat again (renewal of the engine, shaft and propeller change).
I now belong to the large brotherhood of handymen who always seek and find (sometimes) some tricks to achieve their goals...
Out of the river on the wharf, for hull painting, new motor, shatft and propeller and last but not least re-center the axis of the rudder.
Inox purchase and memorable journey where she was ramed by night by a friendly visitor who broke the balcony which I waited 3 years before being able to replace.
ps: Thanks to Hilde & Mike who gracefully helped me to make this side accessible for English readers ;-)
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