Why Medina is the right boat for our adventure

Medina out of the water (its weird seeing your home hanging in the air)

Medina out of the water (its weird seeing your home hanging in the air)

The Skipper and I took many years to decide which boat to buy for our adventure, it was a common discussion as we watched our savings account slowly grow. Our priority was and still is safety, followed by performance and/or comfort.

Medina has been designed to cross oceans, as long was we sail her safely. She was built and outfitted by talented tradespeople. Being made of steel, she may not be the fastest boat on the water, but that is ok. We know we will enviably hit something or something will hit us, and a well maintained steel hull gives us peace of mind. The original owner had her painted yellow so she could be seen from a distance, another safety feature. We weren’t particularly fussed on having a yellow boat, but now it would seem odd to change her colour when she needs her next paint.

Another feature of Medina’s design which appealed to the Skipper and I was her semi long keel. I have included a diagram showing the different types of keels because many people don’t get to see the underside of boats (as they are usually in the water). One of benefits of a semi-long keel is that you can access areas with shallower water e.g. anchorages as the boat ‘draws’ less water. One of the down sides of a boat with a semi-long keel is they have a really bad turning circle, which can make going in and out of tight spots, like marinas a bit more of a challenge.

Different types of keels on sailing boats (source: Schinas 2005 p. 45)

Different types of keels on sailing boats (source: Schinas 2005 p. 45)

Other features of Medina’s design which appealed to us was her centre cockpit – great from a safety perspective but not from an entertaining perspective and being rigged for single handed sailing, this is where all the running rigging (or ropes) essentially come back into the cockpit, again great  from a safety perspective.

Internally, Medina had the features we were after, including an aft cabin with a bed that was accessible from both sides (so one of us doesn’t need to climb over the other to get out), two heads (or toilets), a separate shower, a well appointed galley, as much storage as possible (there is never enough storage), good size water and fuel tanks. Another bonus was that Medina was meticulously outfitted and maintained so no renovations required.

Orbit in the v-berth, the lee cloth is up to stop him from falling out.

Orbit in the v-berth, the lee cloth is up to stop him from falling out.

Raising a baby on board has just meant using common sense and organisation to use the same area for multiple uses. For example, the v-berth is Orbit’s playroom, nappy changing table and dressing room. As we have to use most parts of Medina for multiple difference uses, we have to keep our things pretty organised – “everything has a place and there is a place for everything”. This mantra is also part of basic seamanship, so its a good practice to have on any boat.

We still need to make some modifications to Medina prior to going on our big adventure. The modifications include installing a water maker, building another sea berth which will double as another couch and install netting around the lifelines. I am sure we will continue to make modifications as our adventures continue, as we learn more and as Orbit gets older.

Medina is a safe boat, designed to tackle the adventures we would like to have, but it is up to the Skipper and I to make the best decisions we can to make sure we have a safe adventure and  make it back home.