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Multichine 28

Multichine 28 Atairu. A cozy cabin to snuggle your guests

The engineer Antonio Piqueres and his wife Ivana are enjoying immensely their MC28 Atairu. Their boat is stationed  in Clube dos Jangadeiros, a friendly yacht club located in Lake Guaiba, linked to the South Atlantic by a huge body of water called Lagoa dos Patos, an authentic inland sea in the southernmost Brazilian state, Rio Grande do Sul.

Atairu is kept in Bristol fashion by their owners Ivana and Antonio Piqueres

The region is quite cold in winter, so a boat built in plywood/epoxy with an insulated cabin interior and plenty of wooden furniture is coveted as a jewel as the craft nice to stay in a cold winter night. Piqueres and Ivana live in the hills north of Porto Alegre, the capital of the state, a place where snow is not unusual in winter. They use their MC28 as a weekend and holidays resort, living aboard as if she was a second home. They are novices at the sport of sailing; however they are using the boat intensively, cruising, up to now, the protected waters of Lake Guaiba as training for future passages to farther places.  

Ivana working in Atairu's ample galley. Her guest seems to be with her mouth watering.

We can reckon when a boat has a happy aura when there are friends available willing to share the boat's sailing adventures. This is the case with the Piqueres. They have always guests onboard, who when disembarking praise its comfort when at anchor and ease of handling qualities under sail. 

Ivana preparing dinner using an A.C. run frying pan for the complement dish

What is most praised in the design is the fact that, except for the owner's cabin and heads, the rest of the cabin has no partitions, giving an unequaled sensation of spaciousness. The design is quite gentle to the most important member of the crew, the cook. The galley quarters rival with much larger production boats, and this feature is a bonus in contributing for the pleasure of living aboard.   

Can you believe this boat is only twenty-eight foot. Ivana embroidered in crochet the aft cabin curtain and fruits hammock on top of the galley counter

We have been reporting stories that MC28 owners send us, among them the adventures of Flavio Bezerra,  the single-handed sailor and amateur builder of the MC28 Access, presently gunk-holing in the West Indies. We have also published articles about Stella del Fioravante, owned by the Brazilian/Canadian Roberto Roque (see in our links: Multichine 28 Stella del Fioravante), who is accomplishing long distance passages with his boat in the South Atlantic. Another among our favourites is the deep sea diver Ricardo Campos, the owner/builder of the MC28 Vagamundo. (See in our links page Multichine 28 Vagamundo) who is beginning a long distance cruise in company of his wife and son, a toddler born aboard, acquainted as a fish with the sea life. Since the project is approaching the two-hundred builders in the most different places in five continents, we intend to keep reporting about the people involved with the class no matter where they are from.

Multichine 28 Access reigns in Caribbean waters

I live in the West Indies; I have a MC28 and a surfboard...

Sergio Mendes, the renowned piano player and band-leader of two decades ago, made great success in the US with the Brazilian song which lyrics said: “Moro num país tropical, tenho um fusca e um violão...”  (I live in a tropical country, I have a Volkswagen beetle and a guitar…) Perhaps this tune could well be the Brazilian Anthem, instead of the long and boring official one!

However, for the Brazilian amateur builder Flavio Bezerra the lyrics could as well say instead: I live in the West Indies, I have a MC28 and a surfboard… and this version could be as blockbuster as the original one.

At any rate, what could be worthier for Flavio than living his present life? Every evening he has to choose which party fancies him most. He can pick the best beach for surfing and go there sailing in his own boat. It requires just a few dives to provide a fresh lobster for supper and there are scores of delivery trips for him to do, replenishing his kitty doing what he likes best, taking sailboats to other places.

In one of these trips he delivered a large boat to the UK, and while being there he made the Royal Cruising Club exam for Captain, and now he is a qualified skipper.

On that occasion the only drawback was the date with an English sweetheart from the Caribbean, when he spent most of the savings obtained with the delivery in an unforgettable farewell night in a five stars hotel.

Access, the MC28 with more miles run under the keel up to now, is looking like if she was launched yesterday, so well kept she is, and this is astonishing, especially if we remember he is a stag for most of the time, since when he has company aboard, it is not exactly with the purpose of tidying the cabin. How gratifying for us from B & G Yacht Design is to see one of our designs so smartly looking after such intensive usage!   

Access skimming over the turqoise waters of the Caribbean. Flavio is capable of making the boat to self-steer without wind vane or auto-pilot, just lashing the tiller to ropes and shock-cords

However, it must be stressed that Neptune doesn't open the doors of his domains without toll. Flavio built Access with his own hands in a sanctuary of amateur boat building near the Rio de Janeiro International Airport, working until late in the evenings after coming “home” from his formal work, indispensable at that stage for bringing home the bacon. He camped in the shed during the first part of the work, but as soon as the boat was turned over, he built the bunk where he would sleep from then on.
Without much delay and not even one serious sea trial, Flavio weighed anchor bound for the Caribbean, without a deckhand to share watches, without wind vane or auto-pilot, with no means of communication, and, last but not least, having no engine of any sort, not even an outboard motor.

After colliding with a whale, costing him a broken rudder, he arrived unscathed to Saint Martin, except for the rudder mishap, sailing with his own means. He controlled course by means of heeling the boat to windward or leeward, as the occasion required.
From Saint Martin he sailed to Antigua, where he found a job in a civil engineering company in rebuilding the local airport. Now he feels like being the luckiest beachcomber in the West Indies and having his bank account in the blue, is the proud owner of a four stroke outboard, which he carries attached to a bracket in the gantry, when under sail.  

Multichine 28 Atairu: a dream come true

Our client Antonio Piqueres is the happy owner of the  Multichine 28 Atairu. He and his wife Ivana are having the time of their lives cruising with their brand new boat the shallow swamps that surround Lagoa dos Patos, the interior sea in Southern Brazil, with its innumerous creeks where wild life swarms, and where human occupation is almost nonexistent, representing no threat to the environment.

Ivana jumped ashore to take this photo not having to wet her feet

We regularly report Multichine 28 stories in our news section, some of them informing about single-handed offshore passages, as was the case with Flavio Bezerra's Access and  Roberto Barros log book entries of his  former yacht Fiu, presently Stella di Fioravante, now belonging to the Brazilian/Canadian engineer  Roberto Roque, a resident in Calgary, Canada, who is also a contributor in our adventures section; in other articles we had pointed out how cozy the MC 28 can be below decks, with the appealing warm-feeling interiors of some of them, as was the case with the article: “Multichine 28 Ayti stunning good looks”, or yet, about the same Atairuwhen she was launched. However this is the first time we praise the design's shallow draught cruising potential.

Atairu is stationed at the Jangadeiros Yacht Club, Porto Alegre, Southern Brazil.

The beauty of this feature in the project is that there is no movable appendage, just a cruising version of a bulbous fin-keel, so efficient in offshore passages that our clients forget the fact they are sailing a relatively shallow draught yacht, having only good references about its behavior. Mentioning the scant 1.55m (5'1”) draught of their boats is only reason for satisfaction, especially for the fact that despite being an affordable boat to be built, the MC 28 is Category A according to the European Union regulations for offshore mono-hull sailboats, an accomplishment seldom found in yachts of similar size. Perhaps these might be the reason hidden in the subconscious of our builders for the MC 28 being so popular among the cruising communities where boats of the class are already sailing. 

Multichine 28 Atairu - the offshore cruising sailboat

The Gaucho couple Ivana and Antonio Piqueres is learning in a very pleasant way aboard their brand new MC28 Atairu what cruising under sail is all about. Their first experiences are showing them that the MC28 is exactly what they were dreaming with: a cruising boat designed to go anywhere, in good or bad weather. 

For her broad smile we can bet Ivana is enjoying the new experience

The Piqueres are a perfect example of people who intend to do just that. In spite of being newcomers to the sailing scene, they dreamed in having a sailboat on which they could live aboard for extended stretches and accomplishing offshore passages.

As Atairu is a just launched boat, the latest trial of the couple is quite informative about the adequacy of the design for these purposes. They sent us an e-mail when they reported their first important experiece telling us how Atairu behaved during a fierce storm in the Guaiba, the lake linked to the ocean where they are sailing at the moment:

                     Atairu trying the new sails on her parking place at the pier

Today (9/27), Atairu endured twenty-five knots winds sailing close-hauled during a thunderstorm with torrential rain (more than 20mm in two hours), when the seas became very steep with short waves breaking sequentially, one after the other in consequence of the shallow draught of the Guaiba Lake (3m), with froth all over, the lake absolutely white and visibility zero. The GPS once in a while pointed boat speed zero in consequence of waves and wind on the nose. These hellish conditions lasted for more than two hours. We, novices in the sport, were the only boat out on that occasion.

No wonder people in the verandah were incredulous! The boat is strong, very strong! We trusted her and she didn't disappoint us. We have no more doubts; we love this boat that took us back to the club in safety. We didn't have the slightest chance to take photos on those conditions, but the harbourmaster in the club's marina contacted us by VHF telling that it was awesome seeing the boat beating against the waves. I'm attaching some photos of previous sailings. We had two sailing lessons with Paulo Ribeiro, the Olympic coach of the Brasilian woomen's sailing team (Fernanda Oliveira/ Isabel Swan, bronze medallists in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games)     

Good winds for you from B & G Yacht Design. The boat is excellent!!!

No doubt Piqueres has many reasons to be proud. From his e-mail it is clear that the point that impressed the couple more was to have survived unscathed their first challenge, learning that the boat transmits plenty of confidence considering its structural integrity. For two beginners, a test like this increases the self-assuredness and the confidence in the boat's ability to cope with demanding conditions

Atairu is still missing installing the dodger and the solar panel

But they were already using the boat intensely as a sort beach resort and day sailer, and in this aspect the boat proved to be unbeatable, since it is small enough to be crewed shorthanded and big enough to live aboard with plenty of comfort. So, you that follow the MC28 Class reports in our news, should wait for the next ‘flights' of the Piqueres couple as soon as they get their sea legs…

Piqueres and Ivana toasting their new life aboard Atairu

Perhaps we have a hidden love affair with this class, possibly for our long involvement with the MC 28 Fiu, which we built and lived aboard for more than two years, but every time we see a couple doing the same as Eileen and I did with so good remembrances, makes us wish them lots of good luck with their plans.

Roberto Barros 

The arrow shows the Geographic position of the club where Atairu is stationed, the Yacht Club Jangadeiros, Porto Alegre , Brazil.

Multichine 28 being built in the Pacific Northwest

The MC 28 class has one more hull concluded and turned upside. This time the news came from Washington State, U.S.

Our client, David Cross, made an excellent work and his hull is very well built. It is great to know that David surpassed the first phase of the construction without difficulties. From now on he will find still more pleasure in his work, since at end of each day he will see his boat looking more like she will be. 

The turning the hull upside party

Only those who build their own boats know the sensation it gives when reaching this stage. From now on you actually are building your floating home, and since the interior is made before the deck is installed, as soon as the settees are in place, you already have room to begin receiving your friends for a chat aboard, or, if you prefer, to toast the latest achievement in the construction.

So far, so good

The MC28 class is becoming renowned as a fantastic cruising boat for a small family. She is so easy to sail and requires so little effort on the tiller, besides being super-stiff that she is by far becoming our most frequently chosen model among middle-class couples of all ages who intend to go cruising, or staying aboard for long periods. The class even has owners living aboard permanently with little babies with them. (See in ALL NEWS the article published a few weeks ago: Multichine 28 Vagamundo. Baby on board)

With dozens of boats of the class being built or sailing in different places, it will be no surprise finding them meeting, or criss-crossing each other's path in the most remote cruising grounds. Even though we have clients building different designs of ours in the Pacific Northwest, David is the first to build a MC 28 hull in this region.

The final stages of the turning upside operation

 Working in his spare time only, he reckons he will take another two years to finish his boat. We will be very glad to know that a MC28 is sailing on that cruising paradise, Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands, and beyond.

David informed us that the cast iron fin-keel originally designed for the class is difficult to be ordered in his region, and asked if we had an alternative solution for such a critical component.

We discovered that it is not only on the West Coast that it is problematic to find a foundry willing to cast one keel only, a piece that neither is large enough to bring a good profit nor sufficiently small to be filled with leftovers .


The hull is safely brought back into the building shed

Our clients in Europe seem to have faced the same problem and also demanded an alternative solution. So we developed a keel made of steel plate where you pour lead inside. The cover of this box is a 5/8” thick plate where you open the threads to fix the keel bolts directly on it. This keel is as good as the original, or even better, with the same centre o gravity and weight, but causes less drag, since for the same centre of gravity position it doesn't require the bottom bulb. Since this alternative had been already tested, we are pretty sure that this drawback is perfectly overcome.

David also asked us a special sail plan with one metre taller mast than the cruising rig of the standard design, since his area of sailing is renowned for light winds. He also will do some club racing, and for that purpose more canvas is quite desirable. Of course his boat will be no more cat. A according to the European Union stability index (STIX); however those who don't want to cross the oceans along the roaring forties in midwinter, being cat. B is more than satisfactory.

As David progresses with his work and sends us new photos, we will be glad to report them in or news, as we use to do with other MC28 built according to the plans.

The men who made it happen

Multichine 28 Class special promotion campaign

The MC 28 is the most popular design in our list of blue water sailboat stock plans. There is a permanent interest of potential cruising sailors for this model and the number of MC 28 builders around the world never stops increasing. In August 2009 we are getting close to two hundred units being built in nine different countries; Argentine, Brazil, Canada, Chile, England, Greece, Portugal, Spain and United States.

Those who chose to build a MC 28 might have different reasons to do so; however, according to the information our clients pass us, the most important decision factor is the MC 28 interior layout. Many of our clients nurture a long dreamed endeavour to live aboard and/or to go sailing on a long cruise bound for the most distant places.

And that very aspect is where the MC28 outstands. Concerning liveability and cosiness of its cabin arrangement, definitively in this respect the MC28 is “the boat”.

When people discover that you can walk with adequate headroom from the aft cabin private hall to the main saloon, contouring one of the largest galleys to be found in boats of this length, at that moment our potential clients begin a flirt with the model that uses to become a permanent love affair.

The MC 28 saloon is large enough to promote a small party

But there is another key issue for captivating supporters for the class. This design  fits category A of the European Union Stability Index (STIX), meaning that the boat is capable of standing a seven metres high wave pattern for prolonged periods, and enduring up to fourteen metres high eventual waves.

The confidence this compliance  transmit to would be owners has been one of the decision factors for choosing the MC 28 among many of our builders.

The MC28 possesses a superb steering control

Every so often, when our clients choose to build a MC28, that commitment usually becomes a point of no return in their lives. It is amazing how they make plans for the future being the boat the means to accomplish their dreams. It seems that all along the building process their adventure plans become each day more consistent and this anticipation of future enjoyment is the main spring in propelling them towards concluding the construction. This attached attitude might seem too obvious, but it is not.

A series produced boat which is delivered equipped with the list of accessories recommended by the dealer doesn't compare to the pleasure of choosing, one by one, all the parts to be installed aboard the boat you are making yourself. It is very like receiving the visit of Father Christmas every month of the year. The same feeling of accomplishment applies for no matter which part of the construction is completed. As a matter of fact it uses to be reason for toasting at every end of a working day.

This sensation of endless pleasure is only known by those who build their own boats, and, coincidence or not, we seldom listen to any complaint among our amateur builders about the hardness of home building.
We from B & G Yacht Design have our share of contribution in the success of the enterprise. Our plans are very well detailed, and the building manual we wrote to assist inexperienced builders covers every phase of the construction, providing enough confidence to ensure confidence to the inexperienced. The fact that the construction method is so straightforward and friendly is also responsible for so many well succeeded boats of the class already sailing.

The MC28 is a good performer when sailing close-hauled

We elected the MC 28 our reference stock plan for amateur construction, establishing the same standards for every other project we develop. However, since this plan had been chosen to be our basic standard, we had no other choice than building one of them for ourselves, so we could be absolutely sure that all the information contained in the plans and in the building manual were correct.

Just to double-check, we didn't build only one MC28, but took the opportunity to build a second together. That was how the MC28 Fiu and Makai were born. These boats sailed already dozens of thousand miles without ever having the slightest construction failure, and after almost ten years of usage, both of them are as good as new.

Our attitude generated a tremendous feeling of confidence in potential cruising sailors acquainted with us, who followed our construction wit great enthusiasm, many of them paying regular visits to our building shed. During that time it was amazing the number of other people who started building MC28

The Mc28 interior is bright and functional

Presently the good reputation of the class spreads internationally and for all that alteady happened with the class in increasing its reputation, we are pretty confident that in years to come many other new builders will discover why the MC28 class is becoming synonymous of a cruising floating-home.

The all around vision from inside the cabin is highly praised by MC28 owners

Rendered images:

Atairu, the newest MC28 floating home

We have been showing photos of different Multichines 28 regularly in our site, all of them revealing cozy and inviting interior layouts. However, since there are a large number of these boats under construction or being finished, we keep receiving more photos of just concluded new ones, almost invariably with their owners in a state of grace, having the most different plans for their boats, ranging from simply living aboard to ambitious overseas cruises.

We wonder why so many choose this design as the boats of their lives. Better than expressing our impressions, we rather prefer to listen to what those owners have to say.

The most recent e-mail we received came from Porto Alegre, Brazil, a town situated one hundred miles away from the sea, separated from the Atlantic by an inland sea, large enough to allow that town to be an active sailing centre, and, by luck, a stronghold of sailboats from our office. Our clients this time are the couple from Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost Brazilian state, who completed their MC28 Atairu a few weeks ago; the engineer Antonio Piqueres and his wife Ivana. They wrote:

 “Dear friends from B & G Yacht Design.

How exciting it is to live aboard! The MC28 is what we can call a “complete boat”. We took these photos just yesterday. We prepared a rice dish, never missing the traditional local sausage, washed down by Rio Grande red wine (of course not before sipping the “mate” as appetizer.) Aboard Atairu everything is functioning perfectly, and we feel like being at home. (We have a fridge – Ivana suggests inverting the position of the sinks with the fridge or placing a step for an easier access to this deep compartment.) We also have cold and hot pressurized water, so we don't miss anything. As a matter of fact Atairu is becoming a small home. (That is how our club mates are calling the boat.) We just received our new sails and as soon they are hoisted we send you our impressions about the boat's performance, of course the opinion of beginners. Soon we have plans for one week sailing, our first cruise along the Guaiba River, promising you to send photos of this first adventure. It's going to be quite a test, considering the many sandbanks we will find in the way, but wherever there will be depth enough for our keel to pass over, we will be there. Who knows if we don't end up meeting you in Australia. A long journey begins with the first step, isn't it so? (Sometimes we believe dear Atairu  is complaining being lashed to a pier…) Love for you all… and thanks for the excellent design

Ivana and Piqueres”

The MC28 galley is reason of envy from owners of much larger sailboats

Can you believe this is only a twenty-eight foot sailboat? Note the “mate” cup and its silver sucking pipe. “Mate” infusion bowl is an indispensable accessory for any authentic “Gaucho”.

The light coloured woods employed in the decoration of this MC28 enhance the sensation of spaciousness in the saloon.

Ivana and Piqueres toast their first class supper aboard with a Rio Grande wine of good harvest.

Atairu lashed to the pier at the Jangadeiros Yacht Club in Guaiba River, Porto Alegre, South Brazil.              


Another eloquent e-mail we received from a MC28 Class owner came  from Canadá.

Roberto Roque is a Brazilian born Canadian who lives in Calgary, Alberta. His boat, Stella del Fioravante is presently stationed at Florianopolis, a town in South Brazil, placed in a very beautiful island, called by many the Brazilian New Zealand:

“I'd been sailing in the West Coast (Wet Coast, as they call it here.) We were a group of acquaintances in five different boats. I was aboard a series produced thirty-four foot French sailboat with two other friends. The other boats were larger, between 43 and 46 feet. One day there was a club race and we managed to win in corrected time. I didn't appreciate the boat at all, even though she was extremely comfortable. I simply execrated the mainsail mast furling system, which I would never install in a boat of mine. The gadget is prone to malfunctioning.

 The boat had a serious tendency to broach, and in fact we broached many times. The wind was blowing at 12 – 15 knots, but increased suddenly in vicious gusts, when we couldn't manage to hold her on course. If we reefed, the boat slowed down terribly. When the wind surpassed twenty knots it was almost impossible to control it. Above twenty knots we had to reef both sails to half their sizes. I guess the rudder was sub dimensioned and the sail plan somehow displaced from its correct position. Even the larger boats of our fleet also broached when hit by harder gusts. The gossip I heard here is that the factory that built our boat produces better models than those intended for the North American charter or leisure market, when they are fabricated to be sold in Europe.

Not wanting to sound cocky, (even though my Canadian mates most probably thought I was), my dear MC28 stands twenty-five knots winds without any difficulty.

In my maiden voyage, going from Rio de Janeiro to Florianópolis, we were sailing full-canvassed with the auto-pilot steering the boat without complaints, and we never had to touch the tiller, except for changing course or to anchor, since expecting the auto-pilot to do this would be wanting too much. We knew we had to exchange the Genoa for the Yankee, since the boat was “flying”, but the seas were too rough to invite us going forward and we let her take care of herself. And she did just that in great style, sailing straight as an arrow towards our destination.

I simply can't understand why some designers of production boats don't manage to produce decent sailboats. If the boat I was in at least sailed well in light winds, it would be o.k. However, in light winds it hardly moved, and when the wind freshened, the boat disliked it. In short, it seems that the boat didn't like sailing. It is only suited to cook aboard, for sun drenching in the foredeck or to drink beer or wine when docked in the marina.

I launched my local boat (a twenty-six foot, water-ballasted trailerable sailboat) this weekend, having my son as crew. She has about the same sins. She is easy to control up to twelve knots of wind, then she becomes difficult to be steered. You must reef her or have a quick action slacking the sheets in the puffs. How much I miss my Fiori!

I hope to travel to Brazil soon, craving to be back aboard that son of a gun. I intend to spend more time in that country from now on. I would love to sail up to Fernando de Noronha Island.

 I'm affraid my club mates think I am telling too much boloney about Fiori. What can I do? A boat that I steer with two fingers when sailing in fifteen knots…and with 25 knots winds, change tacks with jib only as if she was a laser… a boat that doesn't overload the automatic pilot, since she is extremely well balanced…there is no chance not to be haughty…”

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Utopian Sailing in Central South America

Builders of MC28 open sea cruising sailboat meet in Brasília, Brazil's capital, for a day-sail in Lake Paranoá.

An improbable encounter happened in May, 2, 2009 in Lake Paranoá, Brasilia's artificial reservoir built some fifty years ago when the new capital was constructed, some one thousand metres above sea level, in a place then inhabited by primitive Indians.

The Air Force pilot Breno Lima is one of the pioneers in building a MC28 Class ocean cruising sailboat. His Utopya, the second MC28 to be launched, is stationed there since a couple of years ago, when he was transferred from the city of Salvador, in the Northeast of Brazil to the capital of the country.

He invited three other local amateur builders, two of them building other MC28 yachts, while the third one is in the final stages of construction of a MC36SK, the three of them from the neighbour state of Goiás. The MC28 Class community is quite a friendly group and these builders and Breno had become acquainted by means of our forum in internet.

Utopyia on its launching day

The meeting began with Breno telling his new friends about the first days of the MC28 Class, of which Utopya had an important role in its history, especially for her participation in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Island race, a very popular three hundred mile open sea event, shortly after its launching. Then they chatted about amateur construction and how is the experience of living aboard a MC28, a test Breno was the first to try. Together with his wife, Marcia Seixas, they lived aboard for more than five years in a local yacht club at the city of Recife, where he was serving as an air force pilot.

As there was no wind during that morning, they left the club motoring, so the guests could enjoy a longer holiday in the lake, giving them a better opportunity to see how the boat behaved when motoring. The efficient sound barrier engine compartment insulation was especially praised, since the engine noise was hardly listened outside the cabin. A few miles and some beers later they returned to the club for lunch and to wait for the customary afternoon wind…

Chats did not resume to MC28 Class issues, but soon they were talking about the MC36SK cruising sailboat that Carlos Eduardo, one of Breno's guests that day, is building in Goiania, a nearby city, the capital of the state of Goiás. Carlos Eduardo's lessons during the construction of his steel yacht might be of great value for Breno, who was commemorating the upgrade of Utopya, having acquired the just finished plans of the aluminiun swing keel cruising sailboat Kiribati 36. That was a case of love at first sight, and once more he will be a pioneer in acquiring a new design from B & G Yacht Design.

After lunch, finally the wind started to blow and the group had the opportunity of trying a MC28 sailing under full canvass. First it was blowing at about twelve knots, fresh enough to allow the future MC28 sailors to have a feeling on how the model performed on these conditions. They could observe how stable and light helmed the boat is, and how easy she maneuvers. A few tacks later, the group was rewarded with a gorgeous sunset over the presidential palace and a happy return to the yacht club.

Breno then let them know that other day-outs aboard Utopya were welcome in the future, either to the three guests, or to other sailors interested in the MC28 Class. Breno's contact e-mail is: People from overseas who happen to be visiting Brazil's capital are welcome too.
Eduardo Perin, one of the guests of the day, who is building a MC28 by himself in Goiania, and is the author of the video attached, sent us an e-mail relating his impressions about  Utopya,  the cruising fin-keeler designed to cross oceans sailing amidst the South American central plateau savannah, one thousand kilometres away from the sea:  

“Dear folks from B & G Yacht Design

I would like to congratulate you for the excellent work you have accomplished when designing the MC28. I had no doubt the plans were really fantastic, however I didn't have the chance to sail one of them yet.

When I discovered Utopya stationed so close to where I live, it is no surprise that I tried to find out who was the owner of that beautiful boat. I contacted him by means of your forum, very useful in this respect, and doing so, received this gentle invitation from Breno Lima, and this way had the chance to test a sister-ship of my future boat.

Utopia is a wonderful sailboat. After ten years of intensive usage she is as good as new, and this is consequence of the good care Breno takes with his creation. Utopia is second to no other MC28 in quality of construction and decorative charm. A competent skipper and good boat-keeper like him deserves owning such a nice boat.

We went out twice that Saturday; one under engine, and a second time after lunching at the Yacht Club Brasília. For our luck we were rewarded with a nice breeze in the afternoon
When we were motoring, I had the chance to observe how silent the boat is, even when at full revs, and the speed was very good. But the great moment was when we hoisted sails. During the last hours in the afternoon the breeze became really fresh, reaching nearly twenty knots in the puffs. In spite of having all sails up, we were more interested in chatting and learning to know how the boat performed than to care about the wind strength. The boat hardly heeled at all and the tiller was always as light as a feather, an authentic highbred cruising sailboat that sails really fast!

Only on Monday I could confirm the wind speed, and came to know that it reached twenty knots. That Saturday was being raced the classificatory series for the Star Class World Championship, and we were told there were a few broken spars and DNFs. However for Utopya, she was literarily sailing in a pond. More than ever I am convinced that I made the best choice for my definitive cruising boat. I thank you from the B & G team for such a nice design, the MC28.

Eduardo Perin, future owner of the MC28 Pyrus.”

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More about the MC28 Class

If you are American, or perhaps from the U.K., let's say, and is a lover of the cruising life, in case you are looking for a proper yacht for ocean cruising, no matter how eager you are to make your dreams come true, you might not be considering buying it right now. With such economic crisis, it is probable that it is not the right moment to borrow money to buy an expensive series-produced model which might not even be exactly the boat you want.

Ten years of continuous prosperity accustomed sailors to buy commercial models, many of them not necessarily suited for long distance passages, the few ones unequivocally intended for cruising being so expensive that acquiring one of them in a boat show became a matter for only a few.

We began our activities in Brazil, a country where the middle class hardly could afford buying a factory built yacht, never mentioning an imported model, for which custom duties were prohibitive.

We had returned from an idyllic two and a half years voyage to the South Pacific, having sailed some eight thousand miles in two oceans aboard a twenty-five foot engineless sailboat in the happiest adventure of our lives. (You may learn about this story reading the book “Rio to Polynesia” published in our site in English with link from our first page.) That experience gave us an important lesson, that happiness has nothing to do with boat's lenght, and that you don't need to be rich to live a happy life aboard.
But we also learned that a boat for travelling overseas had to be structurally very strong and its systems needed to be reliable and simple to upkeep. Another crucial matter, learnt the hard way in our case, was that it also needed to be comfortable enough, with adequate headroom and inboard shower facilities, a well planed galley and a cozy owner's cabin, in order to provide a decent life for its crew. This seems to be very obvious, but in practice our experience showed that these predicaments were not the rule among the sailboats we met on our way.

Back to Brazil we decided to start a career of yacht designers having in mind providing to other cruising sailors the right type of boats for ocean passages. However, at that time it was difficult to convince boat builders that there was a good market for cruising yachts. Builders, at least in that country, believed that their products had to be cruiser-racers. They claimed that only “crazy people” would consider travelling overseas in a small sailboat.

There is nothing more frustrating than having to hear from others that you are crazy if you tell them that you intend to do what you always dreamed with.

We were so sure the tycoons of the industry were mistaken with their premises that we decided to challenge their opinions and started designing boats for amateur construction. We were so surprised with the interest for our first plan, The MC23, which sold like bananas, that soon we became recognized as specialists in this segment of yacht design. Eventually we were selling more sets of plans for the regional market than the whole local industry together was selling their boats.

It was the beginning of the nineties. With the experience acquired with the development of the MC23, we decided to design the MC28, the stock plan that highlighted our career as yacht designers for amateur construction. When the first boats of the class were launched, they promoted the design to a level that it became an icon among the cruising yachtsmen, as the ultimate boat for amateur construction, and the model became considered one of the few of that size that was suited to go for a round the world trip in safety and comfort.

In very short time the class began to spread internationally and now there are MC28 built or being constructed in various countries.
In May 2007, perhaps for the English blood that runs in the veins of half the B & G yacht Design team, we decided to move our office from Rio de Janeiro to Perth, Western Australia, where we are now established. However the seeds of the MC28 class  planted in the most different places never stopped to germinate, and now we begin to harvest the first accomplishments of MC28 owners.

We are showing below photos of two recent adventures accomplished by MC28 owners which we already published in our news.
Vagamundo is owned by Ricardo Campos. He is a professional diver who built his boat with his own hands at the city of Vitoria, Brazil, during his long holidays between deep sea dives. When he finished the construction, together with his wife Ivana and little João, their three months old baby, went for a test cruise to Ilha Grande, a tropical Island some four hundred miles south of his town, to let them get settled with the life aboard. They intend to leave for a long distance cruise as soon as João gets his sea legs, in a trip without any time schedule and with undefined destiny. Incidentally Vagamundo means globetrotter in Portuguese.

Vagamundo's family Vagamundo in Ilha Grande

It seems like little João is enjoying the new home

Vagamundo's backyard, Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay João and Ivana in the companionway hatch

João inspecting the instruments

Click on images to enlarge them.

Another outstanding story about the MC28 is that of Access, the MC28 Flavio Bezerra, a computer annalist, built practically alone in Rio de Janeiro. Short of cash, he left Rio single-handed to the West Indies before he saved enough money to buy an inboard engine and no means to supply energy to charge his batteries. Five days before arriving in Saint Martin, without any self-steering device, Access collided with a whale, damaging the rudder, which he jury-rigged. After the collision his boat was caught in a storm and he had to stay awake for days on end to manage to steer the boat with a makeshift rudder.

Presently, after sailing from Saint Martin to English Harbour, Flavio is working as project manager in the rebuilding of the Antigua Airport. When his kitty will be replenished with the savings from his job, he intends to buy an engine and sail to the Pacific Ocean.

Click on images to enlarge them

Multichine 28 Vagamundo – Baby on board, part II

What a perfect playground!

The Multichine 28 is becoming each time more a really popular design among cruising people who want to live aboard. As the class never stops growing, we regularly receive reports from our clients about an experience aboard one of these boats.
This time it was from the amateur builder Ricardo Costa Campos, who told us about his trip from Vitória, Espirito Santo, to Ilha Grande, on the south coast of Rio de Janeiro, where he now works as instructor in a diving school, living aboard with his wife Ivana and his toddler João.

Ricardo wrote us:

“I am still in Ilha Grande with Vagamundo and each day I am more pleased with the boat.

From Vitória, Espirito Santo, to Angra do Reis, we had the company of a friend, Bernardo, who is building one of your designs, the MC 31. The trip began with a light wind from the northeast until reaching Cape São Tomé, when we were caught by a cold front having to beat from then on until Macaé, where we decided to make a stop over waiting for the weather to settle. The Macaé River bar entrance is quite difficult to negotiate, especially with low tide, but thanks to the MC28 shallow draught we had no problem in entering port and stayed there for a day and a half.  When the northeaster started to blow again we left bound for Ilha Grande in a non-stop trip. 

Baby on board

When reaching Anchor Island, near Buzios, the wind freshened reaching 30 knots.  During these hours it is very good having a new boat in which you can trust and the trip remained eventless until reaching Ponta Negra.  We were sailing at eight knots most of the time with jus a little rag as foresail.  From then on the wind subsided until vanishing at the outer edge of Rasa Island, in front of Rio de Janeiro.  So we made use of our ‘bilge wind' and went motoring up to Barra da Tijuca, when there entered a southerly wind.

After rounding Marambaia Sandbar, sailing close-hauled, we reached Ilha Grande Bay under sail.
After leaving Bernardo at the little village of Abraão, we went to Jaconema Beach where I found a job as instructor in a diving school. We left on a Monday from Vitória and arrived on a Friday afternoon in Ilha Grande with a one anda half days stop over at Macaé.  It was a great maiden voyage!


Vagamundo is a very well built Multichine 28 and the level of finishing Ricardo managed to obtain in the interior joinery is superb. The photos shown below give a good idea on how happy the Costa Campos family is with their new life. João must be feeling an authentic little dolphin by now.

Vagamundo's family Vagamundo in Ilha Grande

It seems like little João is enjoying the new home

Vagamundo's backyard, Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay João and Ivana in the companionway hatch

João inspecting the instruments

Click on images to enlarge them.

MC28 and MC34/36 sailing in heavy wind.

These two photos show Vagamundo, a Multichine 28, and Arakaé, a Multichine 34/36, sailing in heavy wind conditions. The first boat is sailing in the South Atlantic, while Arakaé crosses the fresh waters of Itaipu lake, the larger artificial reservoir in the world, placed in the Parana River, between Brazil and Paraguay.

These two boats, besides the fact that both are very well built, they also arise a special curiosity on us for their owners intended cruising plans, Vagamundo with an ambitious cruising schedule to sail abroad, and Arakaé's skipper intended voyage down the Parana River until reaching the River Plate, and then sailing back to Brazil till the port of Paranagua.

Arakaé is the first boat that large designed by us to be sailing in that fresh water dam as large as an inland sea.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Multichine 28 Vagamundo – Baby on board

The MC28 class is steadily increasing its fame of being an excellent cruising sailboat. Possessing an interior arrangement resembling a small apartment, and being simple and easy to build, it is not by chance that this design became so popular among the cruising enthusiasts. As the boats of the class are being concluded, their owners, as soon as they feel confident, leave for dauntless cruising adventure, in some cases taking the whole family aboard.

After so much hard work and the many concealed dreams nurtured along the duration of the building process, it is not surprising that sooner than anyone could expect, there goes a just launched Multichine 28 for its first serious cruising experience.
This happened dozens of times, and when we receive reports about such trials, we are interested in knowing details, and if the experience is exciting enough to influence our   readers, we are interested in publishing the story in our news. We never forget that we also passed through the same process with our MC28 Fiu, when at first chance we went out for a week's cruise with our family, our two months old granddaughter Juliana included.

The office at that time (2001) hadn't moved to Perth, Western Australia, yet, and still operated from Rio de Janeiro, having the whole family working together during the week. However, on important occasions, like the first cruise with our brand new MC28, it was commonsense that the whole family had to participate in this unforgettable event together.

Ilha Grande is an island with steep forested hills just sixty miles west of Rio. With plenty of wild life, natural water falls, secluded beaches and gorgeous sceneries, this is such a privileged place for being visited by sea that it is not difficult to guess that we chose it as destination for Fiu's first cruise.

Now we discovered that we were not the only ones with this same dream. The recently launched MC28 Vagamundo, having as crew her builder Ricardo Campos, his wife Ivana and their three months old baby João, went in their inauguration cruise bound for nowhere else but the paradisiacal Ilha Grande.

Vagamundo is an amateur construction. His builder, Ricardo, is a deep water diver engaged in the offshore oil drilling industry, which is presently booming in the east coast of Brazil. He built his boat in Vitória, a town placed 280 nautical miles north of Rio de Janeiro.

is job required that he spent a long time in service, and then spending another long stretch for decompressing, and then an equal long time off, for recuperating. This allowed him to build his boat with the necessary concentration to produce a first class work. But of course it was not only the spare time available the reason for the high standard of his construction. A natural inherited skill and a strong determination for high standard workmanship are the best explanation for the good finishing level of his construction.

Vagamundo is fitted with the best equipment available, including a servo-pendulum wind steering gear from a traditional manufacturer, so, in spite of Ricardo's short-time experience, he felt confident enough to take with him his three months old son. The round trip from Vitória to Ilha Grande and back surpasses the seven hundred miles, so, it required a well prepared boat for a maiden trip that long. But this is exactly the strong point of the MC28. She inspires, with her high stability, smooth passage through the seas, and a sensation of cosiness in the interior of her cabin, such a confidence that owners count on the boat's ability to accomplish their intended challenges as granted.

Fortunately up to now this has been the case with the MC28 fleet adventures, Vagamundo's trip to Ilha Grande being no exception. It is true that the route had a large port to stop over on the way, Rio de Janeiro, which Ricardo did not despise.

Look with care at the photos of the trip and see how beautifully finished Vagamundo is and how happily the Campos family seem to have enjoyed their cruise.

Vagamundo's family Vagamundo in Ilha Grande

It seems like little João is enjoying the new home

Vagamundo's backyard, Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay João and Ivana in the companion hatch

João inspecting the instruments

Click on images to enlarge them.

Multichine 28 despised, Fast-car overrated and skipper pinpointed.

Our friend Roberto Roque, owner of MC28 Stella del Fioravante, sent us this charge made by a cartoonist friend of his. Roberto, who lives in Calgary, Alberta, equally praised among his friends his new nautical acquisition and his favourite car, so it was no surprise the theme of the charge. We believe, however, that when reaching deeper water, the roles will be reversed, and Stella del Fioravante will use the car under the keel to enhance her stability and take the trio in safety to the intended haven.

The skipper is a good helmsman and we trust he will be able to deal with any gale in his way and wish his boat takes a good care of him.

Roberto Roque

Makay, the flying MC28

During the late nineties, when B & G Yacht Design still operated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we developed the Multichine 28 project having in mind building one of these boats for ourselves. Being our office a family business, we wanted a safe and comfortable boat for any sort of cruising, so we could go sailing with the whole family, including the grandchildren, or to go out single-handed, if the mood was for that type of cruise.Racing was more or less out of the question, since a very comfortable and spacious twenty-eight foot sailboat, short canvassed as she was, with four hundred twenty litres fresh water tank capacity, besides possessing an incomparable intrinsic robustness, wasn't exactly the ideal boat for competition against racing machines.

Roberto Barros, the founder of the office, and a friend of his, Roberto Ceppas, decided to build two boats of this class together, in a shed not far from the largest football stadium in the world, the Maracanã Stadium. Since both had their formal activities, the building had to be accomplished during the weekends, often a few blocks away from large crowds of supporters of teams playing on those very Sundays, with all the noise and fire-crackers associated with football national championship great events.

Sometimes when a very important task in the construction was concluded and the proud builders were appreciating their master piece, a huge roar of acclamation made the soil tremble as if hit by an earthquake, not exactly intending to praise the work done, but actually to commemorate a goal which happened in the stadium. On other occasions the blimp airship filming the match would point its zoom camera to the boats, instead of showing the one hundred thousand supporters watching the twenty-two grown up athletes pursuing a tiny wee ball in the soccer field.

In spite of being amateurs in boat construction and making most of the construction with their own hands, the final quality of the two boats became legendary among the local sailing community, and was reason of great pride for both builders.

In the year 2000, the B & G owned Fiu was concluded, while Makay, Roberto Ceppas boat, was launched a little earlier. Soon the fame of the MC28 class, pushed by the success of the two boats and some other very well built ones, which were already sailing, spread internationally, and now there are almost two hundred of these boats being built or sailing in eleven different countries.

Fiu sailed about six thousand miles during her first years, sometimes with the Barros and Gouveia family together, other times single-handed by Roberto Barros. For twice she went from Rio de Janeiro to the northeast of Brazil, when she took part in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha race, an exceptional concession to the unequivocal cruising profile of the boat, since, more important than the race itself was the call at that tropical paradise under the sponsorship of the race organization.

On that occasion, the great surprise was the performance of Fiu. She crossed the line one boat behind the first of the class above the one which she was competing, and eight hours before the second boat of her class to arrive, completing the three hundred miles race in a little more than forty-five hours with the average speed of 6.6 knots.

Meanwhile Roberto Ceppas and his wife Brita, can you believe, began a charter business aboard their twenty-eight foot Makay, with such a high standard service, that  clients, local and foreigners, considered their experiences unforgettable.
Then the winds that were blowing so favourably to these two boats changed directions. Roberto Ceppas received an invitation to run the largest charter company in Brazil as its general manager, while B & G Yacht Design was changing address from Rio de Janeiro to Perth, Australia.

In the new job, for absolute lack of time to use his boat, Ceppas decided to sell Makay, while Roberto Barros and his wife Eileen decided to use Fiu as a means of transportation to take them to Perth. This would be a leisure cruise of reminiscences of an earlier adventure, when they sailed to Polynesia in a twenty-five foot boat with no inboard engine. (You can read this story, Rio to Polynesia, downloading from this site, front page left column.) When the boat was ready to start the trip, Eileen was advised by her dermatologist to give up sailing. The over-exposition to U.V. rays along her long cruising life left her skin very sensitive to sun exposure, and once she couldn't go, Roberto Barros didn't want to leave his companion behind, also deciding to sell his boat.
Fiu was sold to the Brazilian/Canadian engineer Roberto Roque, who lives in Calgary, Canada. However, at least for the time being, he preferred to leave his boat, now called Stella del Fioravante, in Brazil, to use her as a summer holidays resort. Even though being an inexperienced sailor, soon after the acquisition he went sailing in a five hundred miles trip, from Rio de Janeiro to Florianópolis, a city in South Brazil, where he intends to stay, when in this country.

Makay was sold to Renato and Luciana, two newcomers to the sport of sailing. Their first great adventure was to join the East Coast Cruising Rally, which happens every two years, beginning in Rio, and ending up at the start of the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Race, one of the most popular sailing events in the South Atlantic.

During one stop-over at the city of Vitória, two hundred sixty miles north of Rio, they joined a local race, the Soamar Regatta, which they won. Against a large fleet, under very bad weather, they were one of the two boats in their class that managed to finish the race, all others abandoning.

The really important event, however, would be the Recife to Fernando de Noronha. Again, in spite of being novices in the sport of racing, they also won that race in their class. During the awarding party Makay was being called the Flying MC28, for the astonishment of the entirely inexperienced crew. They joined the returning race to the continent, the so called Fernando de Noronha to Natal Race, which they also won, in spite of once more having to endure very bad weather.

We from B & G Yacht Design are especially pleased with these results. Our ultimate cruising sailboat winning races is quite unexpected, but we reckon that the secret relies in her easy to handle characteristics, assisted by smooth sailing lines.
For a boat intended for amateur construction and to be employed in long distance cruising, knowing she also sails fast is a bonus for the large community of MC28 owners.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Multichine 28 Access is becoming popular in English Habour, Antigua

Our poor friend, the MC28 Class champion in complicated adventures, Flavio Bezerra, just sent us an e-mail relating his latest accomplishments, which made us very sorry for him. At any rate, what a hell of a hard life must be staying on that distant Caribbean island, having to participate in hot parties crowded with beautiful women every evening, besides being compelled to dive every morning in pristine waters, and sailing to the best swell spots in the West Indies, never mentioning having to endure happy hours with so many other cruising mates from the four corners of the world.

I can't guess why there are so many other MC28 builders and owners wanting to get acquainted with his latest news and being in a hurry to follow his path and take their boats bound for that very place.


I hope this e-mail will help you from B & G Yacht Design to make some business. This is my effort to compensate for the at least ten potential clients that I had to put to run when they arrived alongside my boat telling me that they could build the same boat faster and cheaper.

Life here hasn´t changed much since my last e-mail. I am working as a production engineer for Andrade Gutierrez Engineering, which is restoring the Antigua airport. I was quite lucky to obtain this job, thanks to my MSC degree, since there was no other candidate with my credentials as project manager. Only for that matter they allowed me to work, obtaining this job, something otherwise denied to any foreigner. And here a single tomato costs three dollars.

Every weekend I go sailing, or surfing, with friends. It is amazing how many hidden surfing spots can only be reached by boat. I left an Australian friend of mine dribbling, just telling him we went surfing in Sand Island, one of the most “classic” swells in the West Indies.

My anchoring procedure is always the same: sailing downwind, watching the ground for coral heads, then I run to the mast step, open the halyard stoppers, letting the sails fall down. Then I drop the anchor letting the boat go until the hook holds. Next she chooses one tack and finally points into the wind. Then I dive and attach a second anchor to the first one with twenty metres of chain joining them.

Altogether, I use thirty-five metres of chain and two anchors in line, one of them a 10kg CQR, which I borrowed from my fiend Ricardo, from the yacht Pirata III, and my primary one, a 10kg Bruce. This technique held in any circumstances up to now, and I hope it will always do.

I favour to anchor in less than five metres. I watch carefully the wind, the reefs around, and if I don't feel confident, I don't risk. The other day I was caught in a thunderstorm with fifty knots winds. Another boat alongside us was hit by lightning. What a loss! One of these days I'll make a proper grounding on my boat, but my kitty isn't allowing any extra expenditure yet.

I haven´t saved enough money to buy an engine yet, therefore I haven't enough energy stored aboard to employ the auto-pilot. However the makeshift self-steering system I improvised, lashing fore sheets to the tiller, is working fine, even when running. By the way, this boat is so good that she follows a straight course even without rudder, as it was the case when I collided with a whale in the Fortaleza to Saint Martin leg, and had to sail for five days with no rudder.

I am very pleased with the boat and everyone compliments me for the design. It is evident, however, that a touch of woman care is missing aboard…but perhaps I need a larger boat for that purpose, or else I'll have to find a small woman, of proper size to fit the MC28, with above all other virtues, to be provided with very, very good humour.

My dinghy (the Caravela 1.7) was thoroughly restored. I made a complete face-lift on it, with repairs in its pierced bottom and on the fiberglass sheathing. Now I need to fit the dinghy with its sail rig, so I can participate in the dinghy competition, during the Antigua Sailing Week. The last time I raced aboard Aschanti, a one hundred-twenty foot mega-yacht. What a crew!!! Here in English Harbour there are many beautiful women who love sailing, but you must be in good shape, if you want to keep up with their pace.

I can't deny I am home-sick of my dear Rio de Janeiro. Better place you will not find. How many friends I made during the time I was building Access, when I participated of interminable chats in those building sheds in the Club Saint Cristobal, the heart of amateur construction in Rio.

At that time I couldn't reckon they were such good friends,if it wasn´t for the so many difficulties an amateur builder has to endure, especially if he is having to live in the workshop, building his dream in a day by day schedule.

I miss Ipanema Beach, the competitions with my rowing mates in the Polynesian canoe, the sail rallies with the other boaters from Marina da Glória. I badly miss surfing in Prainha and Macumba Beach!!!

I will be returning, for sure! Soon I'll be returning! I only don't know when and by which route. So I'll have to hide my melancholy. It's much like having a penalty to be kicked by the Brazilian team in a world cup final. I want to win the championship, finding the best surfing points the world over, gunkholing in the most secluded places, and above all, making many, many friends, indeed, since after all, it is friendships what remain forever.

I send you and your family, now living in Perth, a bib hug for you all, and my thanks for all the patience and good will you had with me.
Flavio Bezerra
Antigua, West Indies.

Click on images to enlarge them


Multichine 28 class latest news

Our most audacious Multichine 28 owner-builder, Flavio Bezerra, who sailed from Rio de Janeiro to the West Indies single-handed without auxiliary engine and with no means to recharge his batteries ( rolling the page, see the article: “Multichine 28 Access reaches the Caribbean”), sent us this July, 2008, an e-mail reporting that at the moment he is at English Harbour, Antigua, and that all is fine with him:

Presently I'm living in Antigua, where I found a Job in Andrade Gutierrez, an engineering company which is reconstructing the local airport. As you know, my friends, I'm a workaddict and love to be doing things.
My dear little sailboat Access is anchored in English Harbour Bay. The area around the rudder, where I had to perform a local repair, is still requiring to be painted, but I'm still saving money to invest in the boat. Antifouling, a seven thousand bucks new diesel engine, and other investments are all in my check-list, and I haven't the slightest idea how can I save that much. I reckon I'll have to rely on my sails for a while yet. The question is if I am able to sail to the Pacific without an auxiliary engine. Perhaps I can manage, who knows? Returning home is out of the question, at least until next summer, so, I suppose I'm staying here for the time being.
The waters of the bay where I'm living are very clean and I dive every early morning before going to work. I use to swim across the bay and after running along a local beach, I return swimming one more time. It is how I fight against my incipient belly.
Soon I'll send a video reporting my hard life here.
Regards to you all.

Click on images to enlarge them


Another client of ours who built a Multichine 28 unassisted, the restaurateur Giovani Dalgrande, is very pleased with the conclusion of his work. He built his boat at the city of Florianopolis, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, and a few days ago sent us an e-mail with some beautiful photos of his Kyriri-ete attached:
It is a great pleasure to inform you that I concluded the construction of my Multichine 28 Kyriri-ete which I started to build a “few days ago”. The meaning of the boat's name in the Indian language Tupi-Guarani is tranquility, something all of us are badly in need.
I would like to thank you for the nice plans that you produced, which allowed me to accomplishing my dreams through this enterprise. It was very rewarding all the time I had been involved with this affair

Click on images to enlarge them

Vagamundo is a very good looking Multichine 28

We received an e-mail from the professional deep-water diver
Ricardo Campos, from Vitoria, southeast Brazil, informing us that the boat he built practically unassisted finally went sailing. Looking at the photos he sent us, it is easy to evaluate the extraordinary feat to have built a 28 foot ocean bound cruising sail boat practically alone. Those who tried the construction of a sailing craft of any sort as an amateur will know so well to give the right credit to his achievement. Ricardo was born an adventurer, and we have no doubts that the next pages of his life will be sailing his Vagamundo to far horizons, taking his new family along with him. His e-mail shows how touched he was in what probably was the happiest day in his life:

Yesterday, the June 19, 2008 I went sailing with my brand-new Vagamundo for the first time. It is necessary to pass trough this experience to understand how I'm feeling; not exactly like the kid who received a new toy, but more precisely, the one who went to play for the first time with the toy he built himself. Those who lived an experience like this in their childhoods will know quite well what does this mean.

Eight long years had passed since the day I acquired the plans at your office. I made practically all the construction by myself, only calling a hand to assist me when sheathing the hull with fiberglass and when applying the final coat of poliurethane finishing paint. So it is not surprising that I chose to sail single-handed for this first trial. It was quite a short-lasting sail; just about four hours, the wind blowing first, when leaving the pier, at four knots, (no engine required; at any rate, isn't she a sail boat? J) and then sailing in fifteen knots breeze. I was absolutely amazed with the boat's ability to sail by herself, even when running. I left the tiller to go inside the cabin to prepare a snack and to check if everything was fine down below,  and the boat remained in its course as if I had already a self-steering gear installed. When staying in the cabin, I was marveled to be able to watch what was going on outside, around 360°, across her glass windows, portholes and hatches, a dream come true for all single-handed sailors. The wind fell once more when returning to the pier, and again I let the iron sail stay quiet is its bed and entered under main alone until we were lashed to our finger. Not for the sailor's expertise, which is very small yet, but because the boat is a joy to maneuver.

The first part of my dreams is concluded. Next step is to begin living aboard and then go sailing to the most distant places. I hope this will happen soon, even though I have to build a cradle in the fore cabin, since my first son, João, is only fifteen days old. I intend to wait until he is six months old, and then we take a decision.

Vagamundo is not entirely fit for ocean passages yet. She still requires a bimini, a dodger, the tender, and many other items, as is the case with most recently launched yachts. Unfortunately the company I dived for lost its contract with Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company which they worked for, and for that matter I am unemployed at the moment.
I'm attaching a few photos of this glorious day-sail and hope one day to have the pleasure to receive  aboard the Barros family as my guests.
Ricardo Costa Campos

Click on images to enlarge them

Multichine 28 Atairu, a masterpiece in wood-epoxy construction.

Flab Boatyard from Campinas, State of Sao Paulo, Brazil, delivered another MC28 Class sail boat, the most popular cruising design from our office.
Considering the level of finishing and the general woodwork quality of all boats built by this boat yard, Flab is becoming one of the most respected custom builders in Brazil. The yard is run by Flávio Rodrigues, a specialist in wooden boat building. The standard of his joiner work is one of the bests in this country.
Even though our office is presently established in Perth, Western Australia, the twenty continuous years we operated in Brazil established permanent roots with the cream of the cream of the Brazilian custom boat builders, something we really prize. Most of these builders are linked with our site. (See links in our front page.)
We have reported in our news practically every launching of the boats built by Flab. It is our intention to promote his wonderful level of construction to the North American, Australian and European market, where labor and the cost of wood are so expensive. We reckon that in those countries, unless a boat is built by her owner, it is almost unaffordable for a middle class person to order a custom wood/epoxy sail or motor boat.
We haven't been successful in convincing potential overseas clients with a commitment with Flab yet, since up to now all his clients are local ones. Flavio really doesn't need a hand from us, since he has enough orders from the local market to keep him busy, but considering his potential in pleasing the most demanding of his clients, we would love to see him opening his scope for the international market.

Atairu's galley details

The MC28 is a design intended for amateur construction. There are almost two hundreds of boats from this design being built or sailing in ten different countries, in four continents. Many of their builders intend to accomplish long distance cruising, some of them having a round the world trip as their goals. The couple Ivana and Antonio Piqueres, the Atairu owners, are no exception. They intend to sail the Brazilian coast from south to north and then their plans are unlimited. Since Atairu was built by a professional boat yard of such an excellence of quality, this MC28 tends to become an important ambassador for the class. It happens, however, that there are many other well built and fancily finished MC28's. So, it is expected that the class will expand in numbers and geographic scope. We are grateful with the empathy of our builders with the design and we will keep informing our readers about the progress of the class.

Multichine 28 Access reaches the Caribbean

The most exciting story about the MC28 Class comes from the Saint Martin. We have reported a fortnight ago about the desperate passage of Access from Rio de Janeiro to Natal, in the Brazilian Northeast, (see the third report down below) but we omitted telling where she was bound to. The computer analyst Flavio Bezerra and his home-built Multichine 28 had left Rio de Janeiro single-handed, without an auxiliary engine, without means of recharging his batteries and very simply equipped for present days cruising yacht standards, having in mind the most ambitious dreams of endless cruising adventures. After a long spell of silence we finally received a laconic e-mail from him relating his latest achievements.

He told he arrived in the West Indies without rudder, after colliding with a whale, which threw his boat up into the air, (it must have been at least the Moby Dick,) seriously damaging his rudder in the process. He also told that he had a broken tooth falling on the deck, where he had his anchor roller and fore chain-plate damaged and when shifting the anchor from its roller, let it fall on his dinghy, puncturing its bottom and turning it into a useless life-saver. His supply of drinking water bottles was damaged in the collision, halyards were broken with the slam and many other small damages occurred all over the boat. He told that following the mishap he was becalmed for five days, and later was reached by a fierce storm, (he reckons the wind was blowing at forty-five knots), when, without rudder, he had to zigzag in a broad reach with deeply reefed main-sail only.

Now Flavio intends to work for a while in the West Indies, where he has a promised job, to refit his boat, buy a decent auxiliary diesel and make cash for going further.

As we have a special involvement with the MC28 class, a boat we designed having in mind young adventurers like Flavio and the so many others who are ready to follow his path, we intend to give more details of Access odyssey, as soon as we have more precise information.

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Meanwhile, at about the same time, we received an e-mail from the Brazilian-Canadian, Roberto Roque, the owner of the MC28 Stella del Fioravante, formerly called Fiu, reporting about his eventless passage from Rio de Janeiro to Florianopolis, a city in Southern Brazil. He attached some nice photos taken during his trip, which we show below. Roberto, who was in a tight schedule, had to return hurriedly to Canada, since he used the New Year holidays to accomplish this 450 miles trip. Suffering a -35° Celsius chill when back at home in Calgary, he was blaming what in hell was he doing in the North Pole, after such a pleasant trip in the authentic tropical paradise where he had been a few days earlier, the cruising ground between these two cities.

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Multichine 28 Class latest news

This class is gaining its own inertia. It is not by coincidence that this boat designed to be a go-anywhere ocean cruising yacht mainly intended for amateur construction is now beginning to show all its potential. New boats of the class are continuously being launched, and we lost the account of how many they already are.

It is amazing the large number of owners who report us having ambitious plans of long distance cruising with their boats. Actually, the typical builders of most MC28 have in mind sailing away as soon as their boats are prepared to go.

Some MC28 exchanged owners recently and probably thanks to the boat reputation most of their new owners acquired the boats with long distance sailing dreams in mind. This was the case with Fiu, the boat our office built to test in detail the potential of the class as an adequate blue water cruising boat capable of being constructed within an affordable budget. Her new owner, Beto Roque, a Brazilian/Canadian, bought the boat to sail along the Brazilian coast during the cold Canadian winters. Beto's MC28, now called Fioravante, is stationed at Marina da Gloria in Rio de Janeiro. Beto is intending to leave to the southern state of Santa Catarina next January.

Three other brand new MC28 were stationed in the same Marina. At least two of their owners have very ambitious cruising plans, Arapoan Fernandes’ Ayty, is being prepared to sail to New Zealand and Access, the boat that Flavio Bezerra, a computation analyst, built with his own hands in an amateur construction centre in Rio de Janeiro, is now  going north with his boat. Flavio quit his job and applied his savings in this enterprise, besides working twelve hours daily and sometimes sleeping in the shed, to manage to complete the boat in the shortest time possible. He went bust before his boat was properly equipped to sail away, but despite not having cash to buy an engine, winches, batteries, never mentioning an autopilot, he left last November Marina da Gloria bound to the Brazilian Northeast.  Flavio sent us this pathetic e-mail relating his state of mind when reaching Natal, his port of call:

“Dear friend

I finally reached Natal.  I would like to tell you that during the nights alone in the middle of the ocean; many times I wondered how I could manage to build a boat without having the necessary funds. Probably all this time I must be doing the wrong thing, however, as I am stubborn, I'll keep doing my best to obtain someday a compensation for all my efforts. I'm not sure if this will be possible but I'm trying hard in a boat without auto-pilot, self-steering gear, electricity, motor…God, who woke me  up in the Abrolhos Archipelago, so I could see the lights of a ship thirty meters above the transom, and myself, are the only witnesses of what I'm passing through. I feel embarrassed to admit that a forty years old chap shouldn't be so irresponsible, but I would be more embarrassed still to see my boat stationed in the marina without ever venturing her nose outside the bay. I'm afraid I don't know what to say about my experiences to others who have the same endeavour. Perhaps soon I'll have.

What I really profited with the construction of my boat were the innumerous good friends I made along the way. I am thankful for all the support the support you gave me during all these years.

Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil

Flavio Bezerra

That is a beautiful story of determination and courage. We believe this is going to be one among many others that the MC28 class will provide in the future.

Another Multichine 28 soon to be launched.

The Multichine 28 Atairu is presently in its final stages of construction. Custom built by Flab boatyards, from Campinas, state of São Paulo, Brazil, the Atairu is one of the most interesting Mc28 already built. The interior is done for show, with its unique style of joiner work and perfection of the finishing details.
Their owners, Ivana and Piqueres, will find in their MC28 the perfect tool to materialize all their adventure dreams, and we wish them very good luck.
Many other Multichine 28 are following the progress of Atairu and we hope to be giving more news about the class in the next months.

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Fiu's Log Book n° 27

The preparation for our intended return trip to the South Pacific is reaching its final stages. Some of those less obvious preparation tasks, the ones which many potential cruisers, including ourselves in the roll, often neglect, are being concluded.

Actually our boat since its conception as a project and through its construction and first years of usage has always been prepared for long distance cruises. It seems to be obvious now, but the choice of the MC28 design was the most important decision we made. We could have opted for a larger monohull, or perhaps a central cabin cat, but we chose instead the MC28 stock plan, which was developed as if it was a custom design for our requirements.

Our decision to build the MC28 was based on a cost/benefit analysis. She was the smallest boat to provide the range and comfort necessary for a couple in an ocean crossing, with the option of having another couple as crew, and by the other hand she was the largest boat we could afford to build. We have seen too often people trying to make a larger boat than their pockets allow. In most cases when the constructions are concluded, they are broken and can't afford buying the essential expensive equipment to conclude their boats. This is a bad mistake, since not even resale value these boats possess.

When Fiu was concluded Eileen and I went to live aboard. We lived on her for two consecutive years. During this time we continuously improved her, buying new equipment and doing things to improve her seaworthiness. We made six thousand miles of coastal cruising just as sea trials. Now we feel we have done our homework and we are ready to leave.

We intend to be sailing next August or September, with stopovers in the Caribbean, Panamá and a few islands in the Pacific. For our bad luck we haven't much time to spare, since we need to start working the sooner possible at the other side of the world.

We hope to be in New Zealand sometime next year, leaving the office activities to our partner Luis, which will be done from Perth, Western Australia. Meanwhile if any of our many builders of other MC28 under construction or already sailing, or any other builder of a boat from our design want to contact us, we ask to address us by way of our personal e-mail, If professional information is required, please contact, or by the phone number: 61 08 9339 8236, and Luis will answer you. He will stay there permanently from now on.

Fiu’s logbook n° 26

It’s quite exciting to disassemble the tent after staying in the same campsite for a very long time. After twenty years of uninterrupted work at the same address in Rio de Janeiro, Luis Gouveia and Astrid Barros, two of the four partners of the family business Roberto Barros Yacht Design, decided to change street, city and country address, traveling to Perth, Western Australia, where they arrived on May fourteen, while Eileen and I are preparing our MC 28 Fiu for a cruise via Panama Canal to New Zealand first, and then Australia.

Luis and Astrid arrived in Perth after a three days long trip with stopovers in Santiago, Auckland and Sidney, and in a fortnight they rented a house, bought a car and installed a fixed telephone, which steps already qualified them with the status of authentic residents.

Meanwhile Eileen and I are doing the necessary preparation for our cruise. We used to joke with our friends who are intending to go cruising in one of the boats designed by us, that we worked hard to assist them in making their dreams come true, when what we really wished was to do it ourselves. But now it seems that our turn has come. We feel like two beginners, so great is our enthusiasm when we tick any item of the extensive list of tasks of the preparation for the trip.

The MC 28 was built with the intention of using her as a blue water sailing yacht capable of performing ocean crossings in comfort and safety. Her intrinsic robustness, large fuel and fresh water tank capacity are some of her positive features for the purpose.

Designing the MC 28 was like detailing the funnel of an hour-glass. We provided her with the best ideas we employed in previous plans, those many things that only experience teaches.

When the design was concluded, I decided to build one of these boats, and invited a friend, Roberto Ceppas, to join me in the construction of two sister-ships. It’s amazing for the home builder how efficient it is to build in group, especially when one of the builders participated in the elaboration of the project. The two boats produced, Makay and Fiu, became references in the class, since solutions had to be found for every single detail of the construction. Taking advantage of the opportunity, we took notes of the whole process and produced a building manual describing step by step all phases of the construction. This was an important achievement for our office. Since then, all our new projects profited in some way with the learning involved in the construction of these two boats. When the firsts MC 28 were launched, including Makay and Fiu, the prestige of the class reached the amateur community of boat builders in many countries, and the class never stopped to spread internationally.

My wife Eileen and I intended to accomplish long voyages with Fiu, the most ambitious plan being to circumnavigate the globe from West to East. This trip for many reasons ended up never happening, but even so Fiu performed some mid distance cruises, with about six thousand miles already sailed on her. Fiu sailed from Rio de Janeiro to Santos and twice to the Northeast of Brazil, always showing a seaworthiness more easily found in much larger boats, and her performance under sail was also very impressive for a 28 footer, with some daily runs surpassing the one hundred fifty miles mark.

We considered these tests as a success and now we feel we are prepared to go. Since there are many other MC 28 builders getting ready to leave also, we are wiling to exchange experiences with them, and for this matter we may be contacted by means of e-mail

Multichine 28 Vagamundo, a good example of amateur construction.

The Multichine 28 Vagamundo built in Vitoria, a city 300 miles north of Rio de Janeiro, by the deep water diver Ricardo Campos Costa is becoming an authentic work of art. Ricardo built his boat almost unassisted taking full advantage of his long spells off required by his trade, and now that his boat is practically finished, he intends to live aboard and begin a long distance cruise.

Ricardo's effort is a good example for those who dream with a life of sea adventures. In spite of not having any previous experience in boat building, the quality of his work surpasses by far the average standard of series production yachts, and he spent peanuts compared to current prices of boats of the same size.

Meanwhile we received excellent photos of the MC 28 Ayty when she was launched.. His owner Arapoan Fernandes was very inspired when he produced the paint layout of his hull and the next pics of this boat we intend to publish will for sure be his boat sailing under full canvas.

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* Multichine 28 Vagamundo

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* Multichine 28 Ayty


We don't need to go far to appreciate special happenings just at beer tin throwing distance from Fiu's stern. As our boat is at the moment being prepared for the next trip, all we can do for the time being is to watch from our cockpit the events that are taking place around us, like the departure of the Volvo Ocean Racers, leaving for the Baltimore leg. They passed so close to Fiu's transom that their crews could listen to our farewells

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Once the great event was over, we resumed our own affairs, like the improvements we made in our Caravela 1.7 Pinta, the tender that we carry aboard our Multichine 28.
As we offer this design as free plans in Internet, it's a reason for satisfaction to know that she sails beautifully, and that she offers good amusement when our boat is anchored in places where sailing the dinghy is an interesting past-time exploring the surroundings.
I don't know how the lives of other yacht designers are, but in our case, the rule is an incredible amount of work to be accomplished and absolute lack of time left for us. That's the only explanation we find to explain long time we took to complete our final tests with the Caravela.
In our search to find a cheap solution for her mast, I tried out, almost one year ago, a 1" PVC tube to be dressed by our sleeve-type sail. The result was quite unsatisfactory since it bent too much, not allowing the dinghy to sail properly. Now I found the time to install an internal pipe tube that fitted perfectly inside the other one, resulting in an ideal solution for that issue. The mast obtained bends just the right amount to flatten the sail when the wind increases, costing us peanuts, besides being light and durable. With this problem solved, I went sailing inside the protected waters of Marina da Glória.
I had no idea how fun it was to sail her, especially for me who never sailed a boat that small. She sails to windward with competence, and is very stable. However my most important discovery, was to know that she doesn't require a sheet to trim the sail. Like a windsurf board, it's enough one hand holding the boom, with the other left for the tiller and to rise and lower the lee boards. Now it's my intention to invite the many other builders in our region for an informal race, promoting a great party with a racing rally included.

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That same day, my wife Eileen and I were just storing back our Caravela 1.7 on Fiu's fore deck, when we were called by our daughter Astrid and her husband, Luis. They arrived from Rio Yacht Club, the same club frequented by the Olympic champion Torben Grael, the skipper of V.O.R. Brasil I. They had just finished crossing the bay from Niterói to Rio de Janeiro, to show us the stitch and glue 16 foot Andorinha (Swallow) they had just rigged for the first trial.
Even inside the calm waters of the Marina, where the wind is light or inexistent, they showed impressive bursts of acceleration unmatched by the other classes that happened to be sailing at that moment.
They had come with their two children, the twelve years old Christian, and the little Juliana, just two years old. Christian was holding the tiller, while Juliana was having great fun watching the dinghy sailing. When they lashed their boat to a finger close to ours, our neighbours came to see what boat was that sailing so fast in such light winds.
Leaving Juliana with us, they went sailing more racing-like, comparing their speed with other one-designs which were also crossing the bay.
As we have various Andorinhas being built here and in other countries in Europe, we expect that people will start to develop a special taste for the class, and that it will keep growing in numbers in different regions.

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In 1998 the book From Rio do Polynesia, a best seller of the kind during the eighties, was edited for the third time.
When this edition was being prepared I was finishing the construction of our Multichine 28 "Fiu", built with the intention of returning to the South Pacific in a trip of remembrances. For various reasons this voyage had to be postponed and the work at our design office stole the time Eileen and I were intending to spend in this new adventure.
However we used our boat "Fiu" as often as we could, and presently she has already six thousand miles of ocean passages, in unforgettable long distance cruises.
Finally, after seven years, it seems that new opportunities are appearing, so that our dreamed return trip can take place, and to help us in keeping the hopes alive, we are publishing in our site the introduction for the 1998 edition.
To those interested in the book, we are looking for a publisher for the English edition, and when the book will be edited, we will inform in our home page.


It is as if we had left the cabin and entered the cockpit, and in a flash we could see all the scenery that was left behind.
Imprinted in our memories, as an unforgettable movie picture, it would flourish the remembrances of all the good and bad moments shared together, the many mysteries unveiled, the sensation of overtaking important stages in our lives.
Those were the days when rebellious youth wished to be rid of a Vietnam on each corner. We were a generation of easy riders and weren't even conscious of that. The dictatorships financed by the terrible cold war were imposing their standards of conduct and submission, and, on the other side, the youths contradicting with an anticulture, preaching peace, love and freedom.
It was a time when the problems of our Earth were not as serious as they are now, and if the powerful were not so paltry, they could easily be diminished, for there were even resources to travel to the moon.
Many Indians from the Amazon could still dodge his white brother, who desired their lands. They still hadn't succumbed completely to the tutelage of the white man's authority and weren't dependent on the support of pop stars for their claims.
Disillusioned Europeans could find islands in the Pacific where they could resort to a simple existence, undisturbed by the outside world. The Brazilian coast was visited by so few cruising boats that national and foreign yachtsmen arriving in any of its ports were considered heroes.
The two of us, young and restless, could not accept the impositions of the establishment. We didn't want to choose sides. And how we were right! It was as if we were by ourselves in believing that both sides of the orange were rotten.
Brazil, you have to love it or leave it, was the propaganda motto of the military dictatorship.
We will leave, of course. What would our family think of us? They will think we are mad. Who knows if some will envy us?
What did we expect from the future? It can only get worse. Why not go then? Wait for what? To become rich and only then look for simplicity? It doesn't make sense.
Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso's ''Alegria, Alegria'', calling people to discard oppression, was the hit at that moment. ''I'm going with nothing in the pockets or in my hands''…were the words of the song that so deeply impressed us.
We were advised to write a letter to the director of the Department of Income Tax, informing him that we would be travelling taking with us just a few miserable dollars and that we intended to work along the way. A friend of ours, who was an important person in the Ministry of Finances, delivered in hands this ridiculous statement.
Bossa Nova was then becoming popular all over the world. We were going to hear it frequently, in night- clubs, on the radio, everywhere.
In Ipanema "village" we were acquainted with almost everyone. The icons of Bossa Nova, Tom Jobin, Vinícius de Morais, Carlos Lira, Menescal, were nearly our neighbours. But what really touched us was hearing their music being played on the drums of the Calypso steel bands at the furthermost of places.
Preparing the boat for departure sometimes seemed to us an interminable task. When we started to doubt if we were ever going to sever the navel cord, we suddenly found ourselves sailing on the high seas, hearing the cadence of waves hitting the topsides of our hull and seeing the bow pointing towards our dreamed endeavours.
And we almost found what we were looking for. It's true that at each place where we arrived there were the local owners. Canal Zone, Mururoa... But there was still plenty of space. It felt as though nobody minded if you were there, as long as you weren't particularly noticed. People were helpful and kind to us. Wherever we arrived we made good friends.

We never felt lonely, even when we were in the great vastness of the Pacific. We shared the place with many friends of different species. Sometimes we ate them, but on the other hand, it wasn't once or twice that we noticed looks of bad intention directed at us. That was the rule of the game, and we accepted it with fair play. We were there because we wanted to be, and we were happy.
Being in the South Pacific was a dream come true. Indolent south-seas songs, turquoise coloured waters, white beaches surrounded by palm trees, bathing in the nude in pristine waterfalls, everything made sense. That was the paradise we were looking for.
But it didn't take long to find new troubles to torment our minds. A licence to stay, another licence to work, the proverbial "jeitinho", the Brazilian way of solving problems. Then our daughter was born, her existence bringing to us new responsibilities. At the other side of the world our parents were calling us back to our homes. The dream was vanishing. Finally the director of the Income Tax Department was the winner. There were no more Beatles, no more hippies, not even the moon was spared for poets and lovers.
Other Brazilian yachts would follow in our trails. Samba, Vagau, and quite a few others. For Willis, the discoverer of Tahiti, even captain Cook, who arrived there just a few years later, didn't find the same Eden. All we can do now is to open the fore hatch and look forwards. The boat isn't new anymore, but she still navigates. What changed was the equipment. In place of the old sextant with its vernier, it's the GPS instead. The old zinc bucket was substituted for a proper toilet. But the content remains the same.
Friends? These will certainly be others. Madeleine, the Tahitian dancer, it's best not to look for her. It would be a pity. At that time there was no video camera to document her charms. Nobody would believe it now.
But there are still the islands we haven't visited. There are more than three hundred thousand of them in the South Pacific alone. If there were only seven or eight, it would suffice.
What is missing then? To return quickly, while there is still time.


Last December we received a visit from Adrián Callejon, our salesman in Argentina. He was spending his honeymoon in Búzios, a very popular beach resort visited by many Argentinean tourists, one hundred miles distant from Rio.
On his return trip, he and his wife came to visit us at the office, giving us the opportunity to meet them personally for the first time..
On this occasion we took the Callejons aboard our Multichine 28 Fiu, so he could inspect personally a sistership to his "Soñado", the MC 28 he is building in Buenos Aires. During our conversation Adrián informed us that in the meantime he has built a dinghy Caravela 1,7 employing newspaper to sheath the hull. He took part with this dinghy in an informal rally of home built boats of all sorts.
Surprisingly the dinghy supported the weight of the crew and performed beyond expectations.
This experience reminded us of Bernard Moitissier who considered building a cruising boat made of papier machê to cross the Atlantic Ocean After the incident of the Caravela 1.7 that was blown to the spreader of a boat stationed in front, remaining tucked there, and the case of another of these dinghies which towed her mother ship in Antarctica, It's difficult to imagine any other kind of accomplishmen to surprise us. See some captions of the Callejons visit to Fiu and the launching of the Caravella 1.7 during the rally in the River Plate. In time: the Caravela (Portuguese Man of War) was developed to be carried on deck of the Multichine 28, and because of the great interest arisen, we decided to offer it in our site as free plans.
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Roberto Barros and Eileen in Recife
During the last month and a half, the MC28 Fiu returned to the open sea, sailing about 3000 miles, most of them single-handed. This was the ultimate test before the conclusion of the construction manuals I'm writing for our most popular stock plans. I'm sure it's comforting for our clients to know that besides designing our boats we are frequently involved with their building, and later we sail them as often as possible. It's like the old Chinese saying: - What I read I forget, what I see I learn and what I do, I know.
This year I decided to repeat the 2003 experience and race the Recife to Fernando de Noronha Island ocean regatta aboard my Multichine 28, taking as crew member my wife Eileen. At this opportunity, we were also commemorating forty years of sea adventures, reminiscing our honey-moon when we sailed from Rio de Janeiro to the city of Santos and back aboard a 16 foot pocket cruising sail boat. Three years later we were the first Brazilians to sail to the South Pacific, aboard the engineless 25 foot Sea Bird, in a three years adventure related in the book From Rio to Polinesia , a nautical best seller in Brazil. Because at that time we didn't care much about sun exposure, not even employing skin filters (I don't know if they existed at that time), Eileen, with her sensitive English skin, developed serious skin problems, and for that reason she decided to join me at Recife, instead of crewing Fiu in the north bound trip. To make things simpler, I sailed single handed my MC28 in a non stop 1200 miles crossing, making an excellent passage, taking ten and a half days to reach Recife. Two days after arrival Eileen joined me, and we shared a lovely time, living aboard Fiu for unforgettable two weeks and having the reminiscences of the former stay at the same Yacht club, 37 years ago. Once Eileen never returned after that first sojourn, it was interesting to hear from her that she didn't recognise anything from the first time, including the club installations, except for the mud banks at the river estuary and the natural reef that makes the breakwater that give name to the city. ( Recife means reefs in Portuguese ). The only acquaintance from that time we met now, assured that except for us , all other friends we made then, aren't alive any more, what we considered a bad omen.
During our stay in Recife, we scheduled a lunch party to join the crews of the ten yachts designed by our office that were participating in the race, and that event took place at the Pernambuco Yacht Club, the other important Yacht club in the town. The commodore of that club, Jaime Costa, is building one of our designs, and had a great sympathy for this event. Once his wife runs the club's restaurant, we were extremely well treated. About sixty persons came to the lunch party, including crews and other friends. After the lunch I gave a commemorative plaque to each skipper with his name and the name of his yacht. The party was a great success, and, the great emotion was to take 30 persons on board a double ended whaler that was supposed to carry ten passengers at most. Those who preferred to go by car were concerned about the ability of the ferry to arrive in safe conditions at the other club. The return trip with full stomachs was less popular, and many opted for more conventional means of transportation.
When the day of the race arrived, we had the boat provisioned for one month, once it was our intention to sail back home straight from the island, and there, supermarket prices are much more expensive than in the continent.
When we heard the gun for our class to start the race, the winds were almost non existent, but as I had promised to Eileen that we were not racing, just joining the fleet, we had the mainsail reefed, and instead of the light genoa, we hoisted a heavy cloth yankee fore sail. Of course, most boats went away and we drifted towards the first mark of the race, a channel buoy, seeing the other classes passing by. Once the wind increased later during the day, we started to progress reasonably well. But, despite all the precautions with Eileen 's skin, she started to feel old problems, so we decided to return to Recife, and enjoy a few more days together instead of insisting in going to Fernando de Noronha islands. We had a very enjoyable sail back to Recife, and once again Fiu's galley produced wonderful meals accompanied by excellent wines. Back to the club basin, now practically empty, we were entertained by our local friends and it was with a sad feeling that I said goodbye to Eileen.
Early next day I hoisted sails and started my trip back to Rio de Janeiro, some 1200 miles south. This passage was uneventful, except for a strong cold front I had to endure, which lasted three merciless days of fifty knots winds in gusts. But after the end of the depression, the Northeast wind returned, strong as usual, and Fiu ran with the jib winged with the whisker pole at steady 8.5 knots for almost a day long. Unfortunately another cold front hit us some 30 miles from our marina. This time I preferred to run the engine and point into the waves, despite the terrible slamming, and reached my finger in the marina in a few hours. The whole trip took eleven and a half days, one day longer than when going North, not so bad considering the heavy front winds I had to cope with.
This test was another demonstration of the seaworthiness of the Multichine 28, and after about 6000 miles in four years of blue water sailing, the boat is sound and safe as when she was launched.


A huge flying fish for breakfast.
The most important experience obtained in our cruise to Fernando de Noronha was the single handed non stop passage from Recife to Rio de Janeiro. The MC28 class hadn't been submitted to any sort of long distance trip, even so Utopya and Tatuamunha, two MC28 built in Recife had already taken part in races to that island.
Two years ago Utopya sailed about one thousand miles in a cruise from Recife and back to Camamu, a tropical cruising ground of unspoiled beauty. During this trip, which was taken together with two other yachts, one of them sent a mayday informing that the boat was sinking. Despite all efforts applied it was impossible to stop the leak and the boat had to be abandoned. The rescue boat was the MC28 Utopya and when the crew from the sinking yacht came aboard, they were invited for a fresh water shower, later followed by a first class supper.
That the MC28 is a safe and comfortable sailboat, this is unquestionable. But, that the MC28 is an easy boat to be sailed singlehanded in long distance blue water cruises, this still had to be proven. The story that follows is my experience as a solitary navigator in a 1100 miles non-stop trip from the city of Recife to Rio de Janeiro. I woke up early that day. The boat had been provisioned the day before and all I had to do before leaving was to stow the dinghy on deck. This is an easy task. To hoist it, all that's necessary to do is to shackle the halyard to its towing pad eye and to use the halyard winch to lift it. Two cross belts lash securely the tender to the fore deck.
Ready to go, I left the yacht club basin at 08:30 of the 29 September, prepared to be at sea for the next two weeks or so. For me, those 1100 nautical miles I had to cover to reach my port of call was quite a challenge. Actually I had no previous experience. I remember that my feelings were a mixture of excitement and a bit of apprehension. I had no illusions that it's denied to the solitary navigator the right to commit mistakes. Knowing that in ordinary life this is unavoidable, I had to count on luck and prudence in order to prevent any sort of accident. When Fiu crossed the harbour entrance I hoisted main and jib. These sails were going to be used from then on for most of the time. For precaution, despite the lightness of the SE wind I reefed the mainsail for the first night. Later on I would feel more acquainted with my new life style but at least to start with what I really wished was an uneventful first night at sea. Fortunately, except for a few fishing trawlers we experienced no traffic for the first hours. At sunset the wind increased in speed, and all of a sudden I was witnessing Fiu reaching six knots of speed with reefed main.
When night came fishing trawlers started to appear around us bringing some apprehension about the possibility of a collision. . As I was starting to get tired from the long day of sailing, I had to experiment sleeping for the first time in the voyage. Everything in life has its first time, and my first snooze was no exception. I set the alarm clock to wake me up in twenty minutes and got into my cosy bunk. It's amazing how quickly one gets accustomed with the inevitable. In seconds I was fast asleep and when the alarm awoke me, I was involved with gorgeous dreams. The first watch showed a myriad of small fishing vessels that obliged permanent attention, but despite the potential danger of a collision I set the alarm clock for the next half hour and went to sleep again. When the alarm woke me up, and once again there was no collision with the surrounding crafts, confidence started to increase, and from then on my snoozes were much more relaxed. But at every watch some change of course was required, and sometimes I couldn´t go back to sleep straightaway. Once Fiu passed very close to a small trawler, and the helmsman started to shout at us, but our speed was excellent and in no time we were out of reach, at least from his shouts.
The first day´s run was 96 miles, what was not so bad considering the reefed main for such a light breeze. From that day on the boat´s routine came to it's traditional standard and the efficiency was enhanced.
The day before I fed on fruits only, in anticipating future intoxication for lack of green stuff, knowing that in the warm climate, without refrigeration, groceries wouldn't last long. My first hot meal was abominable. Tined tuna with spinach in a tomato and onion sauce. The worse was that I made a bad evaluation of the quantity, so I had to eat the same plate for supper..
This second day brought me awkward sensations. Sometimes I swore that there were other persons on board. When sleeping I imagined somebody else in the cockpit, and when I was outside it seemed like if somebody was inside the cabin. The alarm clock always woke me interrupting beautiful dreams, sometimes with feelings as if my body was levitating. It was a lethargic state of mind where the subconscious prevailed in a pleasant way, what was a good help for my self-confidence. Once in a while I had premonitions that the automatic pilot wanted to warn me of a potential danger, and at these occasions I didn't wait for the alarm to ring. But Fiu kept drifting towards our destination one thousand miles away with a surprising determination. From this day on I felt totally adapted to the life of a singlehander, and I was really enjoying it.
The third day brought an increase in wind strength, but with the firm confidence already established, I didn't shorten sail area. My new challenge was the ship's traffic. We were in the shipping route that intercepted ours diagonally, with most ships coming from starboard. During that day it happened the first small crisis aboard. The main sail cover that is hoisted at both sides by lazy jacks was punctured by the two round battens that stiffen the canvas and those battens started to fal overboard. I had to remove the whole cover and from then on, had no lazy jacks to help bring the mainsail down.
The auto-pilot is the most important crew menber. It took the steering task for more than 3000 miles without complaint. Note the protection cover that kept humidity out of the equipment.

In one of my watches, a huge tanker was at our beam. If they saw us or not I'll never know, but if they came towards us, by then it was time to be listening to the noise of a big bang. That was a good warning. Accidents happen when one gets over confident.
That morning I introduced the routine of eating porridge with dried fruits for breakfast. It's so easy to prepare and so good for the health. Breakfast became an occasion for enjoyment, and became one of the highlights of the adventure. Normally it consisted of toast with butter, jelly, cheeses, biscuits, and fruit juices, besides the referred porridge. At the end of the fourth day's run we had left 400 miles behind us. The weather was fine and the wind was steadily blowing from east, which allowed us to keep a broad reach towards our goal. The ships lane was left behind so there were very little things to worry about. My reading then was quite appropriate for my condition of a solitary navigator. I read about the true story of Robinson Crusoe, the saga of a scotsman Alexander Selkirk who was a castaway on the Island of Juan Fernandes, 600 miles from the Chilean territory..
It was comforting to know that in the long run he was perfectly adapted to his life condition, and after his rescue he had many reasons to miss the times he lived there all by himself. On the fifth day the wind was nearly inexistant. This promised changes in weather. This day I could listen to short waves, what was being denied to me because of interference between the wind generator and my pocket receiver. For the first time since my start I had news from the outside world, and frankly didn't get any more comforted for that. It had been so nice to be an alien in such an intricate amount of world problems. I wish we were sailing towards that island of Robinson Crusoe, some 300 years ago.
My second reading was less inspiring. Rescue in the Pacific. Experimenting such a good weather condition that reading had to bring bad luck to us. So I gave up going ahead with this book and found other ways to amuse myself. If Fiu had to endure all that difficulties I wasn't absolutely sure if we were really well prepared for emergencies of that magnitude. At any rate, this sort of information is recommended for all those who venture deep into blue water, but only before they go to sea. That evening we were caught by the first depression of the trip, and we had to beat against a strong wind, something that hadn't been required before. Fortunately the first blast didn't last long and eventually shifted from south west to south east, not without bringing with it an authentic deluge. I had no option but to dress my foul weather gear and stay at the tiller bar till things settled down a little bit. A ship appeared coming towards us in a collision course. If I wasn't already surveying the horizon, the situation could have been quite dangerous.
The wind increased considerably, requiring a reef in the mainsail. As this wasn't enough to decrease yawing, I was obliged to bring down the jib and kept going with reefed mainsail only. Then, my unassisted manoeuvres were done in a matter of minutes, and I felt almost a telephatic feeling between the boat and myself, as if Fiu was an animated creature.
The oil rigs were in the way when returning from Recife

The challenge I had to cope next was the intense traffic. I called the radio operator from one of the many ships around us to ask if they were catching us as a clear target on their radar screen, what to my relief he informed us positively. I guess that the oversized mast with radar reflector plus the radar tower were an important help.
The sixth day started with a gift from Neptune. A fat flying fish was waiting to be picked up ready for consumption. Fried in butter with potatoes and onions was simply out of this world. After the good news came the bad weather. The wind attained gale force, and the auto-pilot was unable to steer the boat anymore. I was obliged to heave to and wait for better conditions. When I thought the wind had abated somewhat, not to loose time I started the engine and progressed bare poled towards the wind direction. This tactic I didn't insist for to much, not to overheat that precious piece of equipment, but the positive effect on morale of not loosing ground anymore, was instantaneous. Nothing seems to be more frustrating than to see a boat drifting sideways in the direction you are coming from. With engine on, the pilot managed to hold the boat on course and I could rest for a while. But sooner than prudence would recommend I was once more beating under sail. Conditions were terrible and I got very tired that day. That was the worst trial in the whole voyage.
The seventh day brought a northeast breeze and a settled weather. Conditions were so favourable that for the first time I risked setting the alarm clock for a full hour of sleep. Then it seemed that we had left the traffic routes behind, and as fear was decreasing I felt confident to commit such an abuse. The interior of the boat was very tidy and all systems worked perfectly. At that moment I missed nothing and even believed that I would regret when the voyage was ended. That day I considered was the climax of the whole voyage. There were still 300 miles to go but up to then the trip had been successful. I was more than ever accustomed with all sounds that surrounded me. The best of them was the water passing under the hull and the least pleasant could be considered the noise of the mother in law, the nick name of the wind generator, once at full speed it reminds an infuriated rattlesnake. Small objects rolling from side to side were also quite annoying but those were easily found and stopped. But happiness wasn't complete once I missed the company of my family, specially of my recently born grand daughter and my wife Eileen, my companion in all previous adventures. If she was here, sharing this unique experience, maybe I wouldn't even bother in sailing back home.,
Many ships were seen around the boat and at that moment no rest was possible. But there was something positive about the cold fronts that we were experimenting at each odd day. The wind always turned from south west to south east, east and then north east in a few hours. That afternoon I sighted numerous oil rigs to our starboard side. During the night, there were many others to sail by, so I had to watch carefully to avoid a collision.
The ninth day took us to Cabo Frio, already in our backyard. I had some near collision with trawlers trolling shrimp nets. They never changed course no matter if they had the right of way or not, at least for us that were so insignificant, so I had to be over cautious. But by then I felt myself as an authentic solitary navigator and didn't get so easily impressed with these difficulties. Before reaching Cabo Frio I turned the engine on and kept motor sailing till my arrival at Guanabara Bay, Fiu's home. With the engine running I could set the radar full time with alarm for a guard zone and from then on I had very little to be concerned about. The eight of October at half past eight p.m., after nine and a half days of single handed sailing I crossed the entrance of Guanabara Bay, the same time required for the trip in the other way but with the difference that when going north we were three aboard Fiu. That was my ultimate test. Not that a passage in tropical waters single handed is something of great difficulty, but doing it so easily doubtless requires a very special boat, mainly if considering that it's only a 28 footer. Once again Fiu proved itself an exceptionally seaworthy boat, capable of placing extremely well in a regatta where most competitors were racing machines and taking its crew home, with comfort and safety, always behaving in a Bristol fashion. I believe that our builders that chose the MC28 as the boat of their lives will be glad to read this newsletter. For all of you I wish the same luck as Fiu has afforded us up to know.
There are some remarks that I would like to mention that may be useful to other members of the MC28 club..
1 - The most important equipment in my single-handed return trip was the autopilot. An Autohelm 2000 Plus, it was capable to steer the boat in all conditions except when the wind surpassed 40 knots and the seas grew accordingly.
2 - A second fundamental gear was the navigation light at mast top. This light was used during all nights and even if for bad luck another vessel approached Fiu when I was sleeping there was a good chance that they took the initiative to alter course.
3 - With pilot and navigation light on, if the wind generator wasn't working for lack or excess of wind, I lost voltage during the night. This was a drawback once the radar couldn't be kept operating for the whole night. When I reached Cabo Frio and turned the engine on, things became much easier aboard.
4 - All other systems worked perfectly well. We covered 3000 miles over all, and our consumption of fuel didn't reach 60 litres. Fresh water was more impressive still. I arrived in Rio with the tanks nearly full, despite the fact that I just filled them before leaving Recife to Fernando de Noronha. In this aspect, the MC28 is a champion.
5 - Fiu is an incredibly functional yacht. For myself, it seemed I was in a comfortable flat. Cooking, bathing, sleeping everything was performed with ease and comfort.
Now I expect that other MC28 accomplish other long distance cruises, and that the experience obtained by other crews be shared with our community, once I'm sure, knowing as is the case now, how good this boat is, that the class Multichine 28 is just beginning its career and I hope that many other adventures will be added to this one in the near future


MC 28 Fiu anchored in Fernando de Noronha Island.

The Multichine 28 Fiu left Rio de Janeiro in a non stop passage to the city of Recife, with the intention of participating in the Recife to Fernando de Noronha ocean race. The main goal was to compare our performance with the time obtained by another MC28, the Tatuamunha, that managed to reach the finish line, three hundred miles away from Recife, in forty eight hours. Considering the irrefutable cruising inclination of the design, this excellent day's run must be considered solely as an extra bonus for the class.
As Fiu has never entered a race before, it had no rating certificate. For that matter I decided to submit the boat to a racing rule, the RGS, an empirical handicap rule, very popular regionally. After measuring the boat, to my dismay, we were considered a racing machine with a rating compatible with boats of class C, when we fitted in class E.
But this was no reason for concern from our side. What we really wanted to know was our time of arrival, taking into account that we were one of the smallest participants.
As we took less time to bring the boat to Recife than we expected, I had that feeling when the guest arrives at a party before the host has finished the arrangement for the occasion. The crew that helped in the delivery returned to their occupations and I was left alone aboard Fiu, and having no other guests to attract attention, received from the members of the club the warmest of the welcomes. Closer to the day of the race, the new crew that would join us during the race took their places aboard.

The first ice cold beer after the race is unforgettable.

The racing committee decided that in the evening before the race all participants had to parade in front of Point Zero, a landmark that represented the heart of the city and where the general public could participate as spectators.
When leaving the yacht basin Fiu got it's propeller entangled with one of tbe many motoryacht anchor warps that criss-cross all over this basin, and if it wasn't for the fortunate arrival of Breno Faria Lima, the owner of another MC28, who contacted a diver to free the propeller from the warp, we would take much more time getting rid of that situation. Even so, upset by the incident, I didn't bother in complying with the mandatory parading, and for that matter was punished with a half an hour penalty applied over the time of arrival, instead of the more logical corrected time. Later on we discovered that for various reasons, other boats of the fleet also failed to comply with this requirement, and were equally punished.
We spent a very agreeable night anchored in mid channel just in front of the port of Recife. Not far from us a band played pop tunes in the rhythm of "frevo"a very exciting regional dance, and now and then fire crackers illuminated the night downtown, contributing for the festive atmosphere.

Roberto Barros and friends enjoying this gorgeous scenery.

Next morning we were ready for the start and in a fleet of more than one hundred boats, many of them authentic racing machines and almost all of them bigger than us, we felt like a pony surrounded by race horses.
The start for the class D and E, plus the steel yacht of any size was scheduled for 12:00. The other classes followed at each ten minutes. When we were ready to cross the starting line, a huge steel yacht crossed our bows, obliging us to do a 360 degrees turn. For that reason we were the last boat of the first batch to cross the line, not a very encouraging situation knowing that we had three hundred miles of race ahead of us. But, on the other hand, taking into account the long distance to go, a good show at the starting line had very little influence in the final result. The first good news didn't take long to happen. As soon as we got a free passage through the harbour channel, Fiu accelerated with a burst of speed, and in the next mile from the starting line, before we left the port entrance, we had left behind about ten competitors. We had positioned our boat close to the breakwater, theoretically in the shade of wind, but to windward of the fleet. Instead of being becalmed, we got an unobstructed corridor that took us up to the front team. When we left the harbour entrance, we still had five other yachts ahead of us. It required a couple of miles to surpass three of our competitors, and only two others remained in front of us, actually sailing faster than we did.

Eduardo Santana ,one of our crew members walking through the dunes that separate this small lagoon from the sea.

When the larger yachts started the race, the multihulls and the top of the fleet monohull racing machines came towards us as if they were a stampede of a herd of buffaloes. But among our group, the two only boats ahead of us were from class D and we belonged to class E. When the city of Recife was disappearing behind the horizon, dusk was coming and our great challenge was to avoid the many fishing nets laid over most of the continental shelf in that area. Despite a sharp watch, we couldn't avoid hitting a foam buoy with a flag pole, fortunately with no consequences. Other boats, we came to know later, weren't as lucky as we were and their crew had a hard time to cut off nets and fishing lines from rudder and keel. At night we listened by the VHF the other yachts positions as well as the many problems involving other participants. Aboard Fiu it was a walk-over.
Our MC28 kept sailing as stiff as a bolder, the rudder was light on steering, and the speed sometimes surpassed eight knots. Our life aboard resumed to steering for two hours and having four hours to rest, eat, listen to good music and sometimes appreciate the companyof hundreds of dolphins which gave us a complete exhibition on synchronised somersaults.
During the last night of the race, the wind increased in speed reaching a steady 28 knots, but the sailing remained a broad reach for the whole race.
With the higher wind intensity we started to receive messages of all sorts of gear failure. At least four boats lost their rudders and had to be towed to the island by the navy escort ships. Others had rigging problems and other types of emergencies. From 102 boats registered, only 75 completed the race. These numbers say little about preparation for a 300 miles open passage. We know that nobody is free from an accident, but when statistically about one quarter of the fleet gets involved with some sort of problem in an ocean race that takes place in tropical waters, something must be missing about seamanship. Fortunately aboard Fiu we had no difficulties of any sort, despite the fact that we were sailing at hull speed, sometimes even more than that, when we surfed downhill in larger waves. Even so the crew was keen to give their best during the whole journey, Fiu hardly asked any extra effort from us.

Fernando de Noronha island. A landscape not to be forgotten

At down on the third day, we were in visual range of the island but due to a cloudy sky we couldn't see anything. Only two hours later we managed to distinguish in the mist it's magnificent contour. By the VHF we knew that we were extremely well placed in the race, and all we had to do was to keep the same pace as we kept up to here. When we turned the western point of the island we were surpassed by a trimaran that was supposed to be much faster than us. But at the leeward side of the island the wind shifts a lot, and when the wind turned to a close haul we regained our position and managed to cross the line well ahead of them.
When we crossed the finish line a loud- speaker announced our time of arrival, ten hours, fifty one minutes, thirty eight seconds, making a total of forty six hours, fifty one minutes and thirty eight seconds, breaking the former record of the MC28 class at that race in one hour and nine minutes. We were the first boat to cross the line in our class and only one boat of the class above ours arrived behind us. For our MC28 an unequivocally cruising sail boat, this was a great victory that we had to toast urgently at the first bar on the island. That was exactly what we did, and in no time our dinghy was thrown in the water and we rushed to reach the landing place for that dreamed ice cold beer. The volcanic island of Fernando de Noronha is a paradise on earth. It's natural beauty is hard to beat by other ocean islands, at least in the Atlantic Ocean. Most of it's territory is a national park, and there are many attractions for the visitors to appreciate
Diving is an unforgettable experience, once wild life being protected, made fishes tame as pets. There is a bay in the north west side of the island where a certain species of dolphins come to breed and to protect their calf's from the dangers of the open sea. There, it's forbidden to swim and boats aren't allowed to anchor there. The island has a collection of white sand beaches of incredible beauty, and the historical points of interest in way of old forts and the original settlement are worth a visit. The main harbour is provided with a collection of small shops, bars, restaurants and night clubs. It's no wonder that the three days we intended to spend there weren't enough to fulfil our expectations. At the prize giving party we were awarded with a trophy and received a declaration stating that our time of arrival was half an hour earlier, disconsidering the penalty applied to us, a good enough recognition for the excellent performance of our MC28. Next morning we left the island and sailed back to Recife in an uneventful passage that we did in a leisurely pace in fifty two hours. There the crew returned to their affairs and I had once again the boat all to myself. Knowing already my dear boat as a member of the family, I took an interesting decision. To sail back to Rio de Janeiro single handed. This test would be an invaluable experience for the MC28 community, once many of the builders intend to perform long distance voyages with their boats, in most cases short-handed. But this test is the story of the next newsletter.

Fiu and Sabadear, two of the six yachts designed by us that joined the race this yeaR.
The magic moment when the island reveals itself the mist dissipates.
Sancho´s beach.
Dog´s beach.
Fernando de Noronha - a tropical paradise.
Happy hour at the shark museum.Mason, a south african from the yacht Dragonfly sings for the participants on the race.


This time we managed it. Our MC28 Fiu was trying to make a long distance voyage since she was launched, in April 2000. For various reasons nothing happened as was planned. Without sponsorship, the initial goal to complete a west to east round the world trip had to be forgotten. A less ambitious cruise to Europe and back to South America was prepared in minimum details. My wife Eileen seemed to be very excited about this cruising adventure as the many others we had done together in the past. At the minute, when we were already at sea in the first leg of the trip to the Azores Island, for personal reasons and because of skin problems she threw the towel and we came back to our home port. I might seem nuts, but I could swear I could see a tear drop falling from Fiu´s sternpost.
There is a race in the South Atlantic which is praised as one of the most enjoyable ocean races in the world, the Recife to Fernando de Noronha regatta, a 300 miles blue water race that ends up at that unspoiled tropical paradise. Well, that's a great opportunity for you to have a new chance, my dear Fiu! Just sailing from the city of Rio de Janeiro to Recife, you will count 1100 nautical miles, passing under your keel, not so bad for a boat like you that up to now never managed to surpass the 200 miles that separates Rio from the city of Santos in our memorable one month cruise with Eileen and I in May 2002. This time I promise, you will get rid of the eggshell.
I guess that no matter what I tried to communicate, my yacht Fiu didn't trust me anymore. After provisioning the boat for a long time aboard, I left the Marina with another member of the MC28 community, who is concluding the construction of his boat at the city of Ubatuba, state of São Paulo, Brazil. In the morning of August 19 we said sad goodbyes to our friends in the Marina da Glória and went to refuel the diesel tank at a station close to the entrance of the Marina. The day before a strong cold front passed over Rio causing an abnormal swell that made almost impossible the operation of docking alongside the barge. After three trials, following the employees advice we gave up refuelling there and went to another station at the Yacht Club Rio de Janeiro where conditions were nearly as bad. The surge had gathered a lot of debris on the water surface and suddenly our exhaust was expelling an intense white smoke. In no time we stopped the engine and threw the anchor on the spot. Despite being in protected waters the boat was rolling as if we were bare poled in open sea. My crewmember gently offered to dive to investigate if the cause for overheating was related to clogging the engine water intake strainer. With snorkel, goggles and a screwdriver in one hand, soon he removed the debris that was clogging the through hull and from then on we had no more engine problems. To refuel in the other station was no easy task, but despite the big bumps against the station walls we managed to fill the tanks. Another unexpected difficulty was to throw the money to the station manager. We had to pass by the station wall so close to it that we were risking another collision and we had to wait for the swell to lift us, but eventually we managed it and we were free to go.
When we left the protected waters of the bay we could reckon the whole intensity of the east wind. Actually we were sailing in gale force. I put a reef in the main sail and hoisted the jib. The boat heeled some twenty degrees and started beating against the wind at a very good speed. Then, my unexperienced mate started to get badly seasick. Night came and I made his watch to see if next morning he would be feeling better. At night we discovered that the shower sump was flooded with salt water. My crewmember suspected that the toilet was syphoning seawater to the interior of the boat. To prove him that this wasn't the case I shut the two toilet ball valves. Next I shut the engine water inlet ball valve and checked the mechanical seal for drips, and assured myself that no water was getting into the boat. Then I remembered that the boat hadn't been used for some time, and that the graphite paste of the mechanical seal tends to stick to the stainless steel cylinder that turns with the engine shaft. When this happens some water gets into the engine compartment till the graphite becomes smooth again and stops any leaking. With the boat heeled to starboard the automatic pump didn't catch water, and this water spilled to the head compartment. Having this small crisis under control, I came back to my watch and left my mate resting, to see if he recuperated from his seasickness. At sunrise I was a bit sleepy and asked him if he managed to keep a watch for some hours so I could rest a little. I retired to the after cabin and had nice dreams of sailing in good weather feeling my boat merrily progressing towards our goal. Do you believe that just a few dozen miles from your home city there is a place where you find no pollution, crime is non existent, there are no social differences, that nature is as unspoiled as in early times, and people who live there are our mirror image? Well, this place is real. It's the pelagic region. There the sky is different, the small cumulus clouds are constantly passing over you and when this happens the wind speed increases and sometimes brings a quick rain shower. The sea is dark blue and the swell is farther apart, letting the boat sail faster and heel less. There, wild life doesn't seem o be afraid of man and all forces of nature live in perfect harmony. The cold front brought an unusual presence to these latitudes. Albatrosses glided gently in our rsurroundings, competing with other species of sea birds that rarely m meet these cold weather relatives. Whales played here and there inside our visible horizon. Sensations were so delightful that I gave up sleeping and went outside to enjoy being there. Then my crewmember surprised me, communicating that he wasn't feeling well and that he wanted to go back. By then we had done one hundred miles from the bay's entrance, and from there on the trip promised to be mush easier, but I had no choice but alter course 180 degrees. I suspect that I heard Fiu pronouncing some crude words in Portuguese, her first language. Not that she couldn't communicate in other languages, once she also speak English and Spanish, and even knows how to say Kalimera, which means Good Morning in Greek, But Fiu is a trustful mate. As long as she isn't treated too badly she obeys orders without complaint, and there we came back at to an astonishing speed of more than eight knots measured by the G.P.S. In twelve hours we were tied to our finger in the marina having accomplished a 200 miles sailing, half of which against the wind in 33 hours…., not so bad for a 28 footer. This time I could swear I noticed a mocking smile at her bows.
Next morning my apparition at our yacht design office seemed to be that of a ghost.They wanted to know what went wrong and I didn't know how to explain. However I had taken an important decision. Even if I had to go single-handed I would try again. But this was far from necessary. Rafael, a naval architecture student who is working for us as an apprentice, offered his help as crewmember for the next trial. A keen hobie-cat sailor himself, he was much more qualified than my previous mate. The boat was supplied once again with fruit and vegetables and in less than a week we were ready to leave. At the last minute we had the addition of another crewmember, Eric the son of a friend who built a MC28 together with me. Eric was willing to try an open ocean experience, which he never had the chance to do before, and I was happy to have him aboard with us. We left at nine a.m. of the 26th of August in an almost identical condition as the first9 trial. A strong cold front had hit us the day before and that was a squally morning to start a long trip. But at least no diesel was required. We had to motor sail a little to leave the islands in front of Rio's bay entrance, but finally we had open sea ahead of us. This time the wind was from the southeast, which obliged us to keep a course parallel to the shoreline. First t seemed that it wouldn't be possible to reach Cabo Frio in one tack but when we were getting close to that landmark, Eolo listened to our prayers and shifted the wind direction slightly to he south allowing us to leave the cape one mile or so to leeward. From then on we slacked sheets and pointed to northeast is the direction of the infamous Cape of Saint Tomé, the Brazilian Cape Horn. There we didn't get bad weather but our thrill was a near collision with a fishing trawler. From there on the trip continued eventless despite the intense traffic of ships and supply boats that criss cross from the continent to the oil rigs that are countless in this region. The third night at sea brought us another cold front of very high intensity, which obliged us to sail with jib only for twelve hours. When the weather improved we were more than half way from our destiny. Life aboard was not so bad. We listened to good music, had refreshing showers on the boarding platform, ate good food, not so well prepared, once I was the cook and had the leisure of our lives, once our grey slave, Anthony Helm did all the hard work for us. Soon we were surpassing the latitude of Salvador, and to our surprise, another cold front, a rarity at these latitudes, hit us. Once the seas were huge and confused we had to steer by hand during the worst part of he storm, and then we could reckon on how much that tiny piece of equipment was important. From then on it was a beam reach and the only drawback was that we had to drift bare pole in order not to arrive in Recife at night. But Fiu still didn't fully trust us and kept sailing at a steady 3 knots, so we had to spend a never-ending night in front of the port entrance. As soon as the sun rose we entered the bar and sailed to the Cabanga Yach Club, the sponsor yacht club for the race, not without going aground twice on the mud banks once we didn't have patience to wait for the tide. But Fiu's flat bottom bulb is fantastic. All we had to do was to start a stern gear and see the boat sledge backwards towards deeper water. Early in the morning we were lashed alongside another MC28, the Tatuamunha, in the calm waters of the yacht club basin, after nine and a half days of a very pleasant trip. Now that the two sister ships are alongside they can boast to each other their accomplishments and exchange future plans. I have to thank my excellent crew plus Anthony Helm, who practically took the steering responsibility for the whole tri, and above all to Fiu, a brave warrior that took us safe and sound to our port of destin


On the 27th January we received from the painter Fernando Leitão the gift that will be offered to the 120th builder of the MC28 design, Mr. Claudiné da Silva Franco. This is an oil painting representing a Multichine 28 anchored in a paradisiacal cove. Our intention was to anticipate the pleasure his future boat will bring him. We from Roberto Barros Yacht Design are grateful to Fernando Leitão for his gesture, offering this beautiful painting to the 120th builder.


We received an unexpected visit at the office of a couple from the distant Azores who were on their honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro. Pedro Nunes Pinto, a dentist by trade and his wife Andreia are assiduous visitors at our site,, of which they are sympathisers of the Multichine 28. One of Pedro's wishes during his stay in Rio was to pay a visit to our MC28 Fiu, just to know personally how this yacht actually looks like.
We could easily proportion them this opportunity , and this we did with great pleasure. They came aboard on a lovely Saturday afternoon, bringing with them a couple of friends who also wanted to visit our boat.
We shared a very enjoyable afternoon aboard our 28 footer, when I told them about my interest in visiting the Azores next year aboard Fiu.
Pedro took a top quality digital camera and the following photos were taken by him.
Pedro is willing to build a MC28 for himself and when he feels acquainted with the boat, to undertake a round the world trip, taking with him Andreia as his crew.


Finally our hull has been turned over. For my wife Ivana and me it was a great emotion. The apprehension and anxiety that preceded the operation, when the process was taking place, changed to a great joy as the hull gained its upright position.
"You are all invited to come aboard" Flávio Rodrigues, the boat builder, told us.
Someone shouted, "The boat is upright".
Ivana was the first to climb aboard. I had hardly time to say: Step aboard right foot first! Next, one by one, all that were present came aboard, speaking loudly and singing.
I looked at my wife and saw that she was crying. Then it was I that had tears in my eyes. We couldn't believe that the set of plans, with the addition of certain quantities of plywood, lumber and fibreglass would become that strong and lovely white hull, just as a boat should be.
Ataiu, in tupi-guarani, the South American Indian language, means fellow traveller, which she is going to be for us. March 5th, 2005 will be remembered as the birthday of our fellow traveller.
Our thanks to the Roberto Barros Yacht Design for the beautiful hull and all the help during the construction, and to Flávio Antonio Rodrigues and his staff for the first class work accomplished.
We hope that the same favourable winds will keep blowing.

Antonio Piqueres