Argonaute III

Argonaute is getting ready  at Gruissan marina, France 

Today, we are revamping the boat to prepare this long journey.

Argonaute III 3 separate cabins and a total number of 6 berths including 2 double - real beds on anchor with a antiroll middle board for sailing. It can accommodate 3 to 4 expedition members depending on the presence of a couple . Each person has his own hangers and a private      below his berth. A large       can accommodate up to 8 persons. There is a seaworthy U shape kitchen, hot water shower make navigation and life on board very comfortable.

The boat could take up to 8 persons, but we are limiting the number of participants to 4 maximum in order to have more comfort and intimacy. 

Argonaute III has been built according to the best specifications of Garcia shipyard in France; She is the model before the Passoa 50, named ABACAXI, a larger sister ship of the Maracuja.  

Argonaute III is a  Philippe Harlé design, shaped hull with double hydraulic rudder (one is inside), a large sailing area that makes her altogether powerful, comfortable and easy to handle. For light air days, two 50HP Perkins diesel engines can  sail her  6 to 8 knots. She has a Stirling engine diesel generator in order to offer to the co-adventurers the best living conditions, and allow a quick recovery after land explorations. Central water heating and 280 gallons of diesel in two separate tanks will guaranty autonomy and comfort.

A 8 persons container safety raft , a redundant first aid pharmacy, a satellite phone, sextant, 2 GPS, 3 VHF one fix and two handset (one 100% waterproof), one SSB radio, 3 bilge electrical pumps, fire extinguishers, Safety Harness, a 30 l/hr water maker that feeds a 500 liters water tank.

Two inflatable tenders are available to offer more independence while at anchor: One Metzeler with a 10HP and a Bombard with a 3.5 HP.

Argonaute III allows to go for scuba diving explorations, we have a Bauer air compressor and two sets of air tanks.

The food is varied to be interesting. As soon as we can, we supply fresh food, but dry food and multi vitamins tablets are also available on board. Everybody, including the skipper has his turn in the galley. Even during the ocean crossing, the housekeeping and the cleaning is daily and allows the Argonaute to sail in the best comfort and safety  conditions.

This is the place where to cook the moral of the crew. For the lucky ones, our favorite psychiatrist will be on board. Normally she is of duty for cooking and wash dishing. She is always on. Shame on us!

A comfortable place.

1 -Below deck

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 While sailing the          is reserved to the  persons on watch who are not sleeping. The intimacy and the rest are optimum in their own cabins. Music is listen with a head set or in the cockpit to preserve the resting periods of people off-watch.  

Generator, central heating , watermaker, are located below the cockpit.

The two engines are located below the floor, each side of the companion way. each one has its own  separate battery.


2 - Sail plan

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  1. Main sail  35 m2,

  2.  Ultra light Genoa,

  3. Roller genoa for Wind 1 to 5

  4. Roller Staysail winds  4 to 9 ,

  5. Storm jib.

There is no more sail heavy sack to handle. I hope we won't regret teh freezing fingers on the shackles in the Drake  straight, while changing jib to staysail. That's was real adventure flavor. And once you are fighting against the sheet which slaps in the wind blows, you're no longer afraid. 


On July 14th 2001, Argonaute III is waiting to the skipper return. I just completed the hard top.  

On February 17th 2002, she still there, and me still in Nigeria to drill for oil to complete the budget expedition. 

Anchoring gear:

One 100 lbs Spade for usual with  12 mm chain (1/2 inch) (60m) - with an electrical 1500 W windlass, it comes much easier.

 One 80 lbs Delta  + 1 CQR 75lbs + 1 CQR 45 lbs with  40m of 12 mm chain in the boat bottoms.  

Do you think it's too much?

I remember one spot facing Salvador Yacht club, we were 4 of us aiming to the Yacht club pool and bar to prepare the next day sailing race. Then a storm coming in the harbor, just before leaving the board. 

We were on board Passage, 37 ft, 22,000 lbs, anchored on a FOB 75 lbs and 12mm chain by 24 ft of water. We slide in the heavy weather vest, to give more chain. Then rush quickly inside to watch the depth sounder, and the radar while the boat is pulling hard on the rope. Hard rain, no visibility, heavy squalls.  I tell you, we were really annoyed , because we had to drink warm beers; while waiting for the end of the storm. After half an hour , you star to wonder if you have not sunk, as there are so much water above our our head. Finally, it ends;  bad times always ends;  and we were going to see whether the beer at the bar was cold enough!

SO, we drank the beer alone with my friend Loulou. The three others boats had drifted and sail down the squalls to the downwind anchorage, facing Salvador. 

That day, we decided that we'll keep going bunch of steel that you use once a year! AT the end of the day, we don't care , the wind moves the all lot. And if the ocean crossing lasts two three days more, then it's better: we are happy at sea.


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