In the March 2006 issue, French naval architect Yves Kinard unveiled plans to cross the Atlantic on a 6.5M (21ft) diesel-powered trawler Spirit of Arielle. On May 15th, he finally leaves St. Martin.
First stop will be Bermuda, seven days away against the weather. Next, the 14-day slog to the Azores, at an average speed of 6-7 knots. Finally, the two-man crew will head towards St Martin de Ré some 10 ½ days away, where they will remain to exhibit the boat at the Grand Pavois Boat Show (10-15 September).
Kinard claims that model P214 will be the smallest engine-powered boat to cross the Atlantic. In 1936, Frenchman Marin-Marie crossed solo on a 43ft trawler Arielle (after which Kinard’s boat is named) in 19 days, but this included use of sail power at times. Spirit of Arielle is certainly cozy, but nevertheless packs in a four-person dining table, full galley, bathroom /shower, fully operational nav station, and a two-bunk forecabin.
The all-important power is supplied by an 86hp Perkins M92B, which will consume 3.2 liters an hour of the 1,300 liter capacity. Just 300 liters of drinking water are on tank. From the outset, Kinard’s plan was to investigate fuel consumption and to push the boundaries of what distance could be extracted from a mechanical source. Normally, this kind of boat has a range of just 600NM.
Should all go to plan, Kinard’s 5,000 hour, 1½ year, €180,000 investment will pay off in La Rochelle, where he is hoping to invite orders from the commercial sector for a fiberglass version of the trawler. This, he says, should come in at around €100,000.
As a naval architect, Kinard is also working on a 36’ water taxi catamaran for 18 persons, to operate in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. Early testing of the boat was positive; in a shakedown to Guadeloupe, with 3m seas and force 6 winds, the vessel was ‘perfect’. Added to which, Kinard has no nerves about crossing the Atlantic – having done so once on a sailboat and over 20 times as a French merchant seaman.