Kiribati 36 sails against wind and current

Luis Manuel Pinho

Recently I was in Ilha Grande, SE Brazil, waiting for my wife Marli to come back from a trip to visit her family in Rio Grande do Sul state, Southern Brazil, and knowing that she was to come back by ferry to a bay a few miles upwind, I decided to take advantage of a few unusualy windy days in this área to test the boat in this type of conditions, which we did not have during our trip North last year. You can see the outcome in this video:

The tide was ripping through the narrow passage between mainland and Ilha Grande, as it was New Moon, and to overcome it and also the 20 knot headwind, I had to make several tacks, as you can see on the screen clip below.

The way from Sitio Forte to Abraão, in Ilha Grande. 20 Nautical Miles with the tacks.

I took a few hours to cover the distance and the trip looked more like a fun dinghy daysail than a small passage on an offshore yacht. The tiller steering proved itself, both in dimensioning and responsiveness, and nothing like a tiller to make the most of these sailing conditions. Offshore we seldom hand steer the boat, and so this day I had a lot of unusual fun.

Spacious and unimpeded cockpit adds to the sailing comfort

The boat performed as expected, with a good turn of speed in spite of the 20 year old mainsail given to us by a friend from Rio Grande, which had to be cut and adapted. The rudders were efficient and in some cases I could let the tiller go and she would take care of herself.

At the end I even got some reaching conditions that allowed us to move at 7.5 knots even with the reefed sails. The autopilot had no trouble steering the boat in all of the conditions experienced.

We believe that it is very important even for a cruising boat to have a good upwind performance, as the ability to clear a lee shore can represent the difference between a successful cruise and a disaster.

With the capacity to look for shelter in shallow waters, as well as her good sailing abilities, Green Nomad provides us with a good platform to explore the remote places that populate our imagination. That and the ruggedness and easy maintenance of her aluminium hull allow us to live the simple cruising lifestyle with the minimum expenditure.

Luis Manuel Pinho is a partner of B&G Yacht design, a lifelong sailor and a Metallurgist Engineer by formation. He lives aboard his Kiribati 36 with his wife Marli Werner since 2008. Luis is co-author of the Kiribati 36 design.

Click here to know more about the Kiribati 36