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Thread: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

  1. #1

    Default My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Paul asked all of us to make a thread on the catamarans that we sail. So here goes.

    MY DREAM MACHINE

    Dream-machine-1.jpg

    Dreams machines must be honest. They must deliver the goods when you are sailing on the high seas. Too many boats look great while they sit at the dock, but when you take them offshore, a demolition derby begins.

    Our Dream Machine is a Privilege 39 catamaran. It's thirty-nine feet five inches long and twenty one feet wide. It has a draft of about four feet fully loaded with cruising gear. It's built for offshore sailing, and will take you anywhere you have the courage to point the bows.

    That being said, a catamaran this size is better suited for sailing downwind in the trade winds rather than sailing in the high latitudes found in arctic regions. It can sail in the high latitudes, and Exit Only would survive sailing in those regions, but the boat wasn't designed for high latitude cold weather sailing. In those regions, catamarans over sixty feet in length with a high bridge deck clearance are better suited to the task. Nevertheless, a catamaran my size can be sailed to any destination if it is done in a conservative manner. But there's no doubt about it, at high latitudes, bigger is better when you are in a catamaran.

    Dream-machine-2.jpg

    What are the specific features on Exit Only that make it a good Dream Machine?

    1. It's built tough to Bureau Veritas Standards. Bureau Veritas certifies that a yacht meets the standards set up by the French government for offshore sailing yachts. Exit Only is a heavy yacht. Its construction is substantially heavier than most catamarans its size. That means it's not a greyhound racing from point to point. It's more like a tank that can take a licking and keep on ticking. It won't set any speed records, but if conditions get nasty, it will survive. Whenever I am in a gale or storm, I am glad that I am securely hunkered down in Exit Only because I know this catamaran is up to the task.

    2. Exit Only is essentially unsinkable unless you break it into small pieces by getting run down by a ship. It has four water tight compartments in each hull, and if you knock a hole in one of the compartments, the boat will not sink. This feature is extremely important. When my yacht was sailed from France to England by a delivery skipper, the boat struck something that knocked an eight inch hole in the starboard bow. There is a collision bulkhead about one foot back from the leading edge of the bow, and that bulkhead stopped water from entering the next watertight compartment. Only a liter of water entered the first water tight compartment, and the yacht was never at risk of sinking. The same size hole in a monohull yacht would cause it to sink in less than ten minutes. Those watertight compartments were a great comfort when I sailed through the tsunami debris field south of Sri Lanka after the catastrophic Asian tsunami of 2004. There were giant partially submerged trees floating in the waters south of Galle, Sri Lanka, and any one of them could have put a gaping hole in my bow. Having collision bulkheads and watertight compartments is good, and every catamaran should have them.

    3. Exit Only has two steering wheels. Two wheels are an excellent idea. Did you ever see a jet airplane with only one steering wheel? If one wheel breaks, the second one is ready to go. Not a big deal you might say, but talk to sailors who have broken the steering cable that goes from their one and only steering wheel to the steering quadrant. Their trip rapidly becomes a hellish experience if they can't repair the steering. They have to steer their yacht with a jury rigged emergency tiller. On Exit Only, we have four ways to steer the yacht. There is steering wheel one, steering wheel two, emergency tiller, and finally, the push buttons on the autopilot. That type of redundancy means we will probably never experience a steering emergency.

    4. Exit Only has two rudders. Two rudders are not optional in a catamaran. You have two hulls and you need two rudders to optimally control your yacht. I have seen yachts that lost their rudder or the rudder disintegrated because of poor construction or damage from striking submerged objects. Having a second rudder means you still have at least modest control of the yacht if one rudder becomes inoperable or disappears in the depths of the sea.

    5. Exit Only has two engines. Not all catamarans have two engines - some have a center nacelle in which they place a single engine that provides all the power for moving the yacht when there is no wind. Exit Only has one engine in each hull which gives redundancy should one engine fail, and it makes the yacht extremely maneuverable in tight quarters under power. Two engines double the horsepower available when you need to push into strong headwinds and contrary seas. Normally we use only one engine at a time, moving at five knots under power. But when we need to, we can turn on the second engine and get the speed up to seven and a half knots. Two engines give us the power to motor to windward in winds up to thirty-five to forty knots. When we navigate through tricky passes in atolls, we always run two engines just in case one engine fails at a critical moment. You have great peace of mind knowing that in an emergency there is a spare engine to get you through. Each of our engines has its own separate fuel system so if contaminated fuel shuts down one engine, the second will be able to continue running without interruption.

    6. Exit Only has four solar panels that realistically put fifty amp hours of power into the deep cycle batteries each day.

    7. Exit only has two Aerogen wind generators. The two generators pump a combined two hundred amp hours into the battery banks each day while we are at anchor or sailing in the trade winds. When the winds are blowing, we can sit for weeks at a time without having to turn on the engines to generate electricity.

    8. Exit Only uses a double headsail downwind sailing rig assisted by two eighteen foot spinnaker poles putting 1000 square feet of sail out in front of the yacht. We cruise effortlessly downwind in the trade winds day after day. This rig has carried us 20,000 miles downwind as we sailed around the world. Sometimes we keep this rig up for weeks at a time. The double headsails can be reefed, and it puts the center of effort of the sails at the bow pulling us downwind with a balanced helm. The helm is so well balanced that the autopilot can almost go on vacation - it has so little work to do as it keeps the boat tracking downwind.

    9. Exit Only has an Autohelm 7000 autopilot that puts out 1200 pounds of linear force directly into the steering quadrant. Our autopilot has steered Exit Only 33,000 miles around the world. We keep a complete spare autopilot on board, and have had to use the spare only twice. In French Polynesia, a failed bearing stopped the autopilot until the bearing was replaced, and while sailing up the Great Barrier Reef, we stripped the epicyclic gears in the autopilot, and I had to replace them. Not bad for 33,000 miles of service offshore. In the entire trip around the world, I have hand-steered the yacht for less than twenty-four hours total.

    10. Exit Only has a seventy pound Beugel anchor. Exit Only has dragged CQR anchors all across the Pacific Ocean. It didn't matter whether we used our forty-five pound CQR or our sixty pound CQR, we

    dragged them causing quite a few sleepless nights. The problem with the CQR design was that it was difficult to set in marginal bottoms, and it couldn't be trusted to reliably reset when wind and current changed the pull on the anchor. Once we got our Beugel, our anchor dragging woes were over. The Beugel sets quickly and resets well when there is a change in wind or tide. It also works well in tight anchorages. In fifteen thousand miles of sailing from Australia to the Caribbean, I had the anchor drag once in the Red Sea in fifty feet of water where the bottom was sloping rapidly away from land. I also dragged anchor one time in the Canary Islands in forty feet of water in an area known to have poor holding. When I put the anchor down, I back down on it with both engines in full reverse, and when the anchor is firmly set, I put my head on my pillow and sleep soundly through the night. No anchor watch for me because I know my anchor will hold.

    11. Exit Only has two stainless steel chainplates bolted through the decks at the bows. There are large diameter stainless steel bails welded to the chainplates, and the bails are a chafe free attachment point where I can shackle my parachute storm anchor if we ever get in a mega storm. The chainplates are twenty-five inches long, and they will never pull out of the deck even in extreme conditions. When I was 300 miles north of New Zealand hunkered down in a fifty knot gale, the parachute sea anchor give us a secure refuge in our turbulent water world.

    12. Exit Only sails level and doesn't roll when going downwind in the trades. Monohulls roll relentlessly to port and starboard when sailing downwind. Imagine what your life would be like to sail across the Atlantic for two weeks if you rolled from side to side half a million times during the trip. That never happens in a catamaran, and is one of the reasons trade wind sailing is so great in a catamaran. It's truly no bruising cruising.

    13. The remainder of the features on Exit Only are fairly standard for a cruising yacht, whether it's a monohull or a multihull. Those features include: radar, high frequency radio for ship to ship communication and email, VHF radio, EPIRB - emergency position indicating radio beacon, Iridium satellite phone, GPS, C-map computerized charts, complete survival gear and emergency gear, Givens six man life raft, and a reverse osmosis watermaker.

    This list could go on for more than a dozen pages. Our inventory of spare parts and sailing gear is too long to enumerate.

    Exit Only has been our home on the high seas for more than eleven years. It's an honest Dream Machine that has lived up to our expectations and taken us safely around the world. You can't ask much more than that from any yacht.

    Dream-machine-3.jpg

  2. #2

    Default Modifications to my Privilege 39

    These are the mods I made whiile cruising in the Med. sea:

    1. External curtains made of batyline material (transparent from the inside) were fixed with Velcro scratch-on bands - one side glued to the gelgoat, one side sewed to the batyline. THe internal hanging curtains were removed.
    2. the wooden frames around the hatches and panels were repainted with white acrylic paint for a more modern style.
    3. Several of the too many lights were removed.
    4. An electronic water used counter was installed. When reset to 0, I have 370 liters to use before refill.
    5. The original diode splitter was replaced by a Blue Sea Automatic charging relay.
    6. The DSC VHF is mounted on top of the Furuno radar for easy access.
    7. A Thinkpad used for navigation with CMAP is fixed to the Nav table with scratch on bands.
    8. The wooden floor of the saloon was removed to gain headroom. An office carpet replaces it. The exit hatch is filled with package foam.
    9. Easier access to the cabins: the last stair of each side was cut and replaced by a platform. Under the starboard platform room is made for tall batteries. Under the port platform, room is made to a long roll of warp.
    10. Forced ventilation above the stove. Made with a 12V air vent and a large flexible pipe exiting on the hatch above the galley, open and activated when needed.
    11. Handrail around the mast.
    12. Aluminum square platform extends the cockpit above starboard stern. 2 holes permit to fix a 2.7 meter gangway.


    Important maintenance jobs:
    - change of engines: 2 Volvo D1-30 with S130 sail drives.
    - change of stays
    - paint of the mast, the boom and the front beam
    - refection of the head linings
    - change of the trampolines
    Otherwise the P39 still looks very well.

    Things I am thinking to do:
    - install a new x30 Raymarine autopilot with giro-compass.
    - change the genoa (all sails - main, genoa and spi are original)
    - install an AIS tranponder.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    You have made several interesting modifications.

    Making platforms at the base of port and starboard stairs is an interesting and practical creation of new and useful space.

    Removing the wooden floor in the salon to give more headroom is innovative, but I'm not sure about standing on the escape hatch without some type of frame to take the weight of the person standing there.

  4. #4

    Default Mods to - Privilege 39

    You are right Dave concerning the escape hatch. The foam is just serving to level the escape hatch to the height of the floor. This foam is then covered with a larger 1 cm thick PVC plate extending around the square hole of the escape hatch. Therefore the weight of a person walking above is largely spread aound and not only on the glass of the hatch. The covering carpet is thick heavy duty and does not show the thickness of the plate. It is nice to walk on it barefoot. Beside the gain in height and weight, one avoids the wood noises.

    I am still thinking about the "moustaches" on the sides of the prows...

  5. #5

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Dave, My wife & I enjoyed your Red Sea Chronicles & would love to have you do one around the Bahama and the Caribbean.
    Where can we get all manuals that came with a '92 Privilege 39?
    Where do we find the hull#?
    We would like to get the service manuals for the Volvo Penta 27 hp, the sail drives, and the gen set. I'm switching from a 30 amp shore cord to a 50 a 125/250v , a stainless steel 50 a 125/250v inlet, and a Newmar s.s. switch.
    Who does window replacements around the Florida east coast?
    We then get to tackle the headliner.
    Regards huey2

  6. #6

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Quote Originally Posted by huey2 View Post
    Dave, My wife & I enjoyed your Red Sea Chronicles & would love to have you do one around the Bahama and the Caribbean.
    Where can we get all manuals that came with a '92 Privilege 39?
    Where do we find the hull#?
    We would like to get the service manuals for the Volvo Penta 27 hp, the sail drives, and the gen set. I'm switching from a 30 amp shore cord to a 50 a 125/250v , a stainless steel 50 a 125/250v inlet, and a Newmar s.s. switch.
    Who does window replacements around the Florida east coast?
    We then get to tackle the headliner.
    Regards huey2
    Privilege never made an English manual for the 39 that I have seen. There were some written in French that were very general and had little detailed information specific to the boat.

    The hull numbers were on a plastic Bureau Veritas plaque in the front of the cockpit, and it was also in the gel coat on the starboard stern.

    There were no service manuals for the engines from Privilege. We got our from the Yanmar dealer.

    I don't know who replaces the windows, but it could probably be done in Fort Lauderdale.

    We also need to do the headliner, and I don't know the best way to do that project as yet.

    I look forward to hearing how this all goes for you.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxingout View Post
    Privilege never made an English manual for the 39 that I have seen. There were some written in French that were very general and had little detailed information specific to the boat.
    They actually did publish an English manual! I have one... It's not a great manual - so it didn't improve at all from the original French manual, but does show the original general layout of various things (things which are unlikely to be the same after being converted to 110vac, plumbing changes, etc in 20 years). As Dave says though, it doesn't cover much specific including engines/mechanical - although they include copies of some manuals, but engine manuals, and anything else specific like that, would be best sourced from the manufacturer of the equipment in question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxingout View Post
    We also need to do the headliner, and I don't know the best way to do that project as yet.
    The previous owner redid ours - as the factory headliner gets saggy over time. He chose fabric (sort of a pleather) covered paneling, doing all the ceilings and walls. Not sure if I have any pictures (I can take some), but it turned out decent.

  8. #8

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Quote Originally Posted by scotte View Post
    They actually did publish an English manual! I have one... It's not a great manual - so it didn't improve at all from the original French manual, but does show the original general layout of various things (things which are unlikely to be the same after being converted to 110vac, plumbing changes, etc in 20 years). As Dave says though, it doesn't cover much specific including engines/mechanical - although they include copies of some manuals, but engine manuals, and anything else specific like that, would be best sourced from the manufacturer of the equipment in question.



    The previous owner redid ours - as the factory headliner gets saggy over time. He chose fabric (sort of a pleather) covered paneling, doing all the ceilings and walls. Not sure if I have any pictures (I can take some), but it turned out decent.
    I would love to see pictures of your headliner installation and how it was done.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Jeff-a guy who helped me a lot this past year on my boat-was hired by my dockmate -to redo the headliner in foam backed vinyl on a Gemini 30. After tussling with it for a week he came up with using 1/4 inch rigid styrofoam panels from Lowes Home Building Corp. He made panels to fit the tricky compound curves and shapes--then used 3M spray adhesive to attach the fabric to the panels--then the 3M adhesive to attach the finshied covered panel to the overhead rough Fiberglass surface. Better than new plus has insulating value added.

  10. #10

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Great idea. I will check the styrofoam at Lowes.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    If I were doing it I might go for thicker than 1/4 so as to get that maximium insulating factor --Id go as thick as the curvatures wiuld allow to still gat a smooth job.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    PS the 3M spray adhesive should be got at a place that sells the commercial grade---- which has adjustable spray pattern nozzles --A place like a upholstery supply shop....... Its $20 a tall can.

  13. #13

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    It would be helpful if other Privilege 39 owners would post upgrades, improvements, or changes made to their boats along with photos, a materials list and how they did it.
    Regards, Huey2

  14. #14
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    I'll get some pictures of our headliner/wall job - but it will be a month or so, as I'm helping with a delivery from Hawaii->San Francisco for a few weeks and not sure when I'll get back up to our boat for pictures...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Mention of foam backed vinyl reminded me of this posting:

    http://www.cruisingconnections.co.za...sp?TOPIC_ID=85

    I don't know what to make of that report, but personally, I hate the stuff for aesthetic reasons anyway. My boat was lined with it, not only on the ceiling but down the walls of the cabins. The liner was beginning to sag, but I had no doubts about removing it all when I saw how it trapped moisture behind it.

    I got myself an excellent full face mask that can use air sucked in from outside, ripped away all the headliner, then used a grinder with a flapwheel to remove all the contact cement and to smooth the fibreglassa little. Painted the walls with acrylic paint used for bathrooms and kitchens.

    On the saloon ceiling, I've replaced the vinyl covered ply with some new birch plywood. The ply is varnished, it's light, and I think it looks nice. I glued some reflective foil to the top surface of these liners - I've found it makes a huge difference keeping the cabin cool. I used to have a boat in the Canaries that we had to abandon on a hot afternoon for a few hours. It was like an oven. We'd go and sit under a tree for the shade and the breeze. After I added the reflective stuff to the headliner of that boat, it made it cooler in the boat than under the tree.

  16. #16
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    Default Headliner Replacement

    Later Privileges, including the later P39's, used vinyl backed with felt, not foam, at least in the main areas -- the closets still use foam-backed vinyl.

    Unfortunately, the glue between the vinyl and the felt disintegrates after about 15 years, so even those headliners will have to be replaced. The headliners in our 1998 Privilege 42 just started to sag this year (2012); within 6 months we went from no noticeable problems to the vinyl falling off the walls and ceilings in every part of the boat.

    The best solution I've heard of so far is being done on a P39. He is using 1/8" PVC sheet (e.g., Sintra or Komatex) cut into panels covered directly with vinyl. The panels are then attached (glue or screws) to the hull/walls/ceilings or held in place by other, overlapping panels. He is using butt joints between panels, with a piece of vinyl behind the joint for camouflage.

    I'm going to attempt the same fix this summer. I'm investigating materials and procedures now. If anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear it!

    Greg
    s/v Day Dreamer
    Privilege 42

  17. #17

    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    I was on a mega yacht last month, and all of their headliner was attached by velcro stapled to wood strips epoxied to the overhead.

    First you glue the wood strips to the hull. Then staple velcro to the wood strips. Attach the headliner to thin panels that have velcro on the back. Then put the velcro panels in place.

    It worked great on a 120 foot megayacht.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxingout View Post
    I was on a mega yacht last month, and all of their headliner was attached by velcro stapled to wood strips epoxied to the overhead.

    First you glue the wood strips to the hull. Then staple velcro to the wood strips. Attach the headliner to thin panels that have velcro on the back. Then put the velcro panels in place.

    It worked great on a 120 foot megayacht.
    Thank-you for that. You have just solved a current problem!



    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxingout View Post
    [...] their headliner was attached by velcro stapled to wood strips epoxied to the overhead.

    First you glue the wood strips to the hull. Then staple velcro to the wood strips. Attach the headliner to thin panels that have velcro on the back. Then put the velcro panels in place.
    Jeantot used this system on our Privilege 42 for the ceiling in the aft cabins and the saloon. The aft cabins have two large panels attached only with velcro. The saloon has two large panels attached using velcro for the aft end and sides, and just a couple screws forward where the panels overlap the non-panelized part of the ceiling (the sloping part). Also, velcro holds the "headboards" to the wall in all four cabins.

    In my opinion, the velcro works very well. It certainly looks nice -- no screw heads. And, unlike glue, it is easily removable.

    I suppose the staples could rust, but after 15 years this has not been a problem on our boat.

    I wonder why they did not use Velcro-attached panels for all the ceilings?

    Greg

  20. #20
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    Default Re: My Dream Machine - Privilege 39

    Quote Originally Posted by DayDreamer View Post

    I suppose the staples could rust, but after 15 years this has not been a problem on our boat.

    Greg
    You use stainless steel staples. Upholstery suppliers sell them.

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

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