17 July 2007 | Phuket, Thailand
For those not familiar with Alexander the Great, "Bucephalus" was his horse, a steed that carried him through many battles. In keeping with the tradition of that same reliabiltiy, I am now riding its namesake.
Bucephalus is a cutter rig and was built in 1983 in the Philippines by Seacraft International (Philippines). She is known as a Creala 36 and was designed by W.I.B. Crealock. There were only six (6) Creala 36's built and Bucephalus is hull #1, numero uno. She was designed and built as a cruiser and everything about her is strong and functional, not like so many high production boats constructed of flimsy fiberglass and wood veneer interiors. Every bit of wood on Bucephalus is solid, like her hull and deck.
Her specifications and gear include:
- LOA of 39 feet
- draft of 5 feet 9 inches
- beam of 11 feet 2 inches
- 7,400 pound of ballast (fiberglass encapsulated iron) and a gross tonnage of 13.1 (12.64 registered tonnage)
- 34 hp Yanmar 3HMF diesel with 35 gallon 316 grade stainless steel fuel tank
- 100 gallon capacity fresh water tanks constructed of 316 grade stainless steel
- Norseman quick-release staysail stay
- 130 Genoa on roller reefing
- 1,387 square foot cruising spinnaker with sock and turtle
- 35 pound CQR anchor on 160 feet of 5/16 BBB chain and 250 feet of 5/8 nylon rode
- 30 pound high tensile Danforth on 30 feet of 3/8 chain and 300 feet of nylon rode
- 20 pound Bruce
- Fleming wind-vane
- Auto-Helm 6000 auto-pilot
- VHF radio
- SSB radio
- 110 V and 220 V shore-power capabilities
- 120 amp alternator
- 440 amp hour AGM house batteries
- separate flooded-cell battery for the diesel
- Isotherm refrigerator/freezer
- gimballed 3-burner stove with oven
- "Endless Breeze" fan
- Alpenglow lights in main cabin
- full emergency gear with Avon 4-man liferaft
- Raymarine radar and multifunction monitor
- Garmin GPS
- energy monitor and oodles more.
I'm proud to announce that her rather dated Groco marine head has been replaced with a Lavac head, making Bucephalus a bit more user friendly.
She is hull #1 of nine hulls laid. As the first of her sisters, she is solidly constructed and fitted out with the best, after all, she was going to represent the builder's reputation and marketing efforts.
Her first owner named her "Kealoha" and she graced the California coast and Pacific Northwest for about ten years. Her second owner changed her name to "Emma B'lu" and being a bit more ambitious, steered her south to Mexico and then across the Pacific, seven years later arriving in Phuket, Thailand.
In 2003, after returning from a bareboat trip with a friend, I strolled the docks at Yacht Haven Marina looking for a boat to buy and found myself hovering around one particularly beautiful cutter. Not only did she have the lines I was looking for and the appearance of a well-built vessel, there was a "For Sale" sign hung from her bowsprit. A quick call, an on-board inspection and a test sail a week later and I knew she was what I wanted. In November of 2003, after a very positive survey, she became mine.
During the spring of 2004, Bucephalus was hauled out at Boat Lagoon and for the next three months she was given a full refit. The original fresh water tanks and diesel fuel tank were replaced with ones fabricated of 316 grade stainless steel. The teak deck was replaced, the mast inspected and painted, all standing rigging replaced, the mast head annodized, the bottom anti-fouled and the topsides repainted. She even received a new Windex and Horizon depth-sounder and knot-meter. She is, you might say, ready for anyone's bathtub.
Bucephalus is an impressive boat and I'm looking forward to putting her through her paces.
Current work in progress includes recovering the headliners which had yellowed over the years, replacement of the sink manifold and the replacement of a "dripless" packing gland with a "drip" type. The dripless design I had previously installed was more headache than I wanted and the more basic drip design is far more reliable.
In December '07, I will be sailing to Langkawi with friends and then in January, two other friends will join me in Langkawi for a sail north. My previous crew will return to Thailand via air.