The delivery of one Balance 526 catamaran is drawing to a close, as a Captain Dylan La Roux and his crew safely make their way to Caribbean shores. The boat began its journey in Cape Town, travelling over 5600nm to Grenada and its owner.
Despite the threat of hurricane season, Captain Dylan and his crew completed the transatlantic delivery in under 28 days. Their stats continue to impress as they averaged 201nm per day and just over 8 knots. The furthest they managed in one day was 239nm, often reaching 220nm; even on their slowest day they logged an impressive 169nm. Their top speed was a whopping 21 knots, all while under sail.
The delivery was not only speedy, however, but efficient too. Due to excellent wind conditions, the delivery only logged 40 hours on the motor. While the yacht’s solar panels charged the batteries so well, they only logged 70 hours on the generator as well.
Our captain and his crew could not have done a better job, delivering this state of the art catamaran safely and efficiently. We wish them all a safe trip home to Cape Town.
Many thanks to Balance Catamarans, we look forward to working with them more in the future. Check out our past deliveries of their boats here, and check out their own website here.
Check out these beautiful photos of the Balance 526 taken by the captain and crew.
The Observer Magazine published an article on Sunday concerning the sudden rise in orca activity in the Gibraltar Straits. Orca over the past year have been interacting with sailing yachts on increasingly fraught and sometimes violent terms, attacking rudders, keels and spinning boats in circles with crew unable to pacify or stop them.
Journalist Susan Smillie contacted Reliance Yacht Management after we post videos on social media of some of these orca encounters. She interviewed crew members Victoria Morris and Alfonso Gomez-Jordana Martin and managing director Nick Irving about their experiences.
Morris and Martin both give accounts of completely losing control of their delivery charges, spinning in the water and hearing the orca, deafening against the side of the hull. Interestingly, the orca seemed to only attack monohulls, leaving the catamarans we delivered through the Strait largely untouched.
Smillie brought sailors’ firsthand experiences into conversation with researchers, activists and scientists in an effort to try understand the orca behavior. But she found, ‘[t]here is one very unscientific phrase I hear repeatedly from several researchers: “Pissed off”. Researchers suggest to Smillie that while the Gibraltar Strait has for a long time now been busy with shipping traffic and fishing, the quietening effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and then the sudden reintroduction of noise and pollution triggered anger and perhaps even trauma in the orca, who in this generation are likely to have never experienced such silence.
The article ends with Nick expressing concerns to Smillie about whether he should be sending boats through the Strait, considering his responsibility and duty of care for crew and cargo alike. But the article implicitly demands what our duty of care is to the marine life in the Strait. Care for the environment has traditionally been seen as incompatible with modern life and free market capitalism. But as I read about the crowded and noisy Strait, where nets seem more common than the fish they’re trying to catch, I cannot help but be reminded of the orange, ashen skies that lie heavy on the American west coast right now. The erosion and historical oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americas in pursuit of capital gain and conquest has never felt so glaringly obvious as wildfires rage along the coast. Local american governments now look to indigenous land practices in order to combat the fires, only pointing to the failure in abandoning them in the first place.
Smillie mentions the use of less intrusive traditional fishing practices in the Strait and Spanish conservation plan to reduce noise polluting activity to a minimum. This feels like the minimum that can be done for the orca right now. The need for marine life to thrive and flourish, does not stand in the way of successful business but is essential for it. Reckless free market capitalism no longer feels sustainable as a model for progress as burns in its name.
Go check out the article on the Guardian website here.
One of our very own captains, Conor Fogerty, along with his sailing partner Susan Glenny, will be representing Ireland in the EUROSAF 2020 European Mixed Keelboat Championships.
Despite all qualifying events being cancelled due to Covid-19, the duo are powering through with endorsements from Irish Sailing and other sponsors. Nonetheless, they are looking to increase their funding, in order to pay for insurance, entry fees and accommodation cost, amongst other things, through crowdfunding. If you would like to help to Conor and Susan’s endeavours, click here to donate.
Conor is an internationally renowned competitive sailor, having been voted the Irish Sailor of the Year in 2017, and competing in global offshore sailing events. Check out our exclusive interview with Conor last year about his many wins and working as a delivery captain: Where Are They Now: Conor Fogerty.
The Catamaran Company is one of Reliance Yacht Management’s oldest clients, with a partnership spanning over 20 years. We interviewed the company’s president, Hugh Murray, to discuss what that relationship has meant to them over the years, as well as gain a deeper insight into the workings of the world’s largest catamaran dealer and charter company.
What are the origins of The Catamaran Company and how did you come to be a part of it?
The Catamaran Company was founded in 1989 and grew into the largest retailer of new and used catamarans in the world. I invested in the company and became President in 1996 – a role I continue to this day.
On The Catamaran Company website, you claim to be ‘the worldwide leader in all aspects of the catamaran market.’ What is the key to The Catamaran Company’s success?
We only do one thing and we do that better than anyone else. Most companies try to sell anything that makes them money, but we are solely about catamarans and catamaran experts. We focus entirely on catamarans and offer sales, charter, service, financing and insurance exclusively for catamarans.
How did you come to hear about Reliance Yacht Management and why did you choose to work with them?
Originally, we imported and sailed all of our boats from France using our own inhouse delivery teams. In the late 90’s we were approached by Nick Irving, the owner of Reliance, who offered to provide a complete delivery service to us. He highlighted that while we concentrated on catamarans, he concentrated on delivery and he was the expert at getting our boats from A to B. We agreed to give him a try and that has continued for over 20 years and Reliance are our exclusive delivery company.
Reliance has recently started working with The Catamaran Company in organising shipments of catamarans to California. But I want to ask, how important is Reliance’s captain-based yacht delivery service to The Catamaran Company’s operations?
We discovered many moons ago that we need to focus on what we do best and to use experts to do the rest. Reliancealways provided us with the best captains and crews for sailing deliveries so when he had to start freighting cats to California it was a whole new ball game. We had the actual shipping companies handle the first few deliveries ourselves to get a feel for it and quickly found out what it entailed and decided we needed someone we could trust to do it for us, so we immediately turned the task over to Reliance. They now provide all shipping services for us, whether on the vessel’s bottom or on a freighter.
You offer a wide range of services for your clients, going above and beyond charter and sales. What effect has the long-standing relationship between The Catamaran Companyand Reliance had on what you are able to offer your clients?
Business is all about trust so when you know you have a “partner” you can rely on; it makes the job a lot easier. It allows us to concentrate on our strengths and know that Relianceare taking care of their end. Their communication with us is exemplary. When problems arise, as they have a habit of doing, we are informed quickly, efficiently and with proposed solutions. That’s people working together, not simply trying to blame others or to cover their asses.
As I previously mentioned, Reliance has been involved in shipping more catamarans out to California for The Catamaran Company in recent months, what is next for you?
I wish I knew…. but I can promise it will be exciting!
Earlier this year, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) took action on the environmental impact of international shipping; they agreed to implement tougher rules on sulphur emissions in what has been called ‘the biggest shake-up for the oil and shipping industries for decades.’ (Reuters)
Currently ships, on average, use fuel with a 3.5% sulphur content. From January 2020, the IMO will be enforcing a flat out ban on ships using fuel with a sulphur content above 0.5%. There is the option for ships to continue to use high-sulphur fuel, but only if they are fitted with sulphur-cleaning devices, scrubbers. Cleaner sources of fuel, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), will also be offered to ship owners as another option.
IMO’s aims are to improve human health by reducing air pollution, and has cited their own study that estimates over 570,000 premature deaths will be prevented from 2020-2025 through the introduction of these tighter regulations.
If ships fail to comply with the new global regulations fines will be enforced and ships could even be detained. This could affect vital requirements such as insurance cover.
This will inevitably affect those seeking yacht deliveries through shipping; prices will increase through the impact of adapting ships’ fuel systems , as well as secondary costs such as insurance. We will be keeping our customers updated as things unfold.
Conor Fogerty was voted Irish Sailor of the Year in 2017 for his outstanding performance in the transatlantic single-handed OSTAR race, surviving a mid-ocean storm, in his Jeanneau 3600 Bam!, and far outstripping the rest of the fleet to place second overall and first in the Gipsy Moth class. Since then Fogerty has been speeding onto bigger and better things: he has launched a campaign for the 2020 Vendee Globe race, a single-handed non-stop global race in which he will sail Ireland’s first foiling keelboat, Raw, and will then be aiming for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Q. What are you up to currently? Tell me a little bit about what kind of work you do now.
A. My current project is “Raw” a Foiling Figaro 3, This year I’m racing the RORC circuit, including a Transatlantic and the Caribbean 600. Next year I will be doing the Solitair de Figaro single handed circuit, leading up to the possibility of the Olympics in 2024 in the double handed mixed keel boat.
Q. How did you first meet Nick, or start working for Reliance?
A. I first met Nick in 1995, almost 25 years ago! A lot of water has passed under the keel since then, for both of us. I signed up as crew to do a delivery, a Mooring 505, from St.Gills to Tortola, with Tobais Arnold as skipper. It was a wonderful experience, and gave me a thirst for more.
Q. How long did you work for Reliance, and what work did you get up to? Do you have any highlights?
A. My first skipper’s Job with Reliance was a Med Job for Sunsail in 1996, I then went on to do numerous Transatlantic’s, Med and Indian Ocean jobs, accumulating over 200,000nm. Some of the more memorable trips where: The longest Delivery ever! Sailing from Australia to the BVI, instead of heading East in to headwinds, it was decided to head West, an extra 4knm ontop! So Sailing half the world plus the extra 4k must be some sort of record… Or Canalling through France, passing some 150 locks and the stunning aqueduct in Lyon, whilst on passage from Greece to the UK.
Q. What skills did you require and/or develop while working at Reliance?
A. I think the most important skills I learnt from my time with Reliance, was people management, which came into play when I was selected as Skipper for the Clipper Round the world race in 2005/06, managing a crew of 18 racing around the world takes skill and experience, and my many miles as skipper with novice crew when working with Reliance was a definite advantage. I also believe that high standard of boat preparation (as with every delivery) has played a major role in my career. Having the knowledge and experience of what to expect, helped in winning the Single handed Transatlantic OSTAR in 2017.
Q. How did working at Reliance help you get to where you are now?
A. Through doing back to back deliveries to the BVI, I have met some characters, one was so impressed with my deliveries and stories, that plans where made under the Caribbean sun to buy him an Oster 70, which I ended up sailing around the world for three years with my wife back in 2000-03.
Q. What influence did Reliance have on your career?
A. I am now a professional offshore racer, without gaining valuable miles (100’s of thousands) with Reliance, I’m sure the path would have been different. And in the back of mind, I’m pretty sure my days with Reliance aren’t done!
Reliance Captain Mike Stewart is recognised for his sailing.
He messaged me saying
“Just back from third season in the Arctic as skipper of northabout, Sir David Hempelman Adams boat, all well.
Am receiving an award, a medal, from the basque exploration and geographical society (1864), in the basque capital next week from minister of tourism. Its a nice award, and a great honour for me. Took a basque exped team safely to 80 degrees north and back Greenland east side.
I’ll send you photographs next week of the ceremony
Reliance’s Mike Stewart arrives in the arctic circle Greenland as captain of expedition vessel NORTHABOUT.
we are currently in Upernavik at 73° degrees north. we will be taking the vessel with scientific and exploration personnel north into the Nares Strait in the coming weeks and will update you as we go. There is lots of extra ice about this year and this makes navigation difficult particularly in fog, lots of wildlife whales, seal and birds everywhere. we will be in Spanish media el correo etc TV this year.
Happy to fly the Reliance flag wherever I go. thanks for your support this year mate.
Huge respect to Reliance Captain Mike Stewart who has just completed a circumnavigation on the Polar Ocean Challenge. On June 19th 2016, they left Bristol UK on s/y Northabout to circumnavigate the North Pole anticlockwise. The previous Irish crew’s trip 15 years ago where they were often impeded by ice and took 2 seasons to complete their voyage. And now, where they saw little ice, have gone round in one season. More at http://polarocean.co.uk/