the boat

The Boat is a 36′ steel sailboat named Silas Crosby. We built her over 2 yrs and 3 months and launched in 1994, or thereabouts. We had lots of help. Brent Swain is the designer and he worked for 500 hrs initially , with me helping, to get the hull and deck together.

Dimensions: 36′ LOA , 30′ LWL, 10’6″ beam , 4′ draft, 17,000 lbs designed displ. , prob more like 22,000 lbs now. Ballast 5,000 lbs poured lead with another 1000 or 2000 lbs in the steel keel structures.
Twin keels with a transom-hung rudder on a skeg. Engine cooling is via coolant in the skeg (‘keel-cooling’).

Mast is an Isomat extrusion 47′ long deck-stepped, single spreader. Standing rig is 5/16″ 1×7 galvanised cable , all renewed after 15 yrs.

Sails : 3 new Port Townsend Sails, main (3 reefs , 1 full batten , Strong-track) ,staysail and jib. Storm jib and trysail. Cruising spinnaker.

Engine is an Isuzu C240 4 cyl 49hp diesel, 4700 hrs. Hurth 250 reverse gear. 12×17 3-blade fixed prop. Dry exhaust.
Fuel: 100 gals.
Water: 100 gals. 

Hull is 3/16″ mild steel built in the origami method.Design by Brent swain.

Deck and cabin 1/8″
Keels 1/4 ” to 1/2″ steel shell.
Small pilothouse with aluminum fixed dodger.
Raytheon R10X radar , GPS x 3 or 4, ACR AIS and Vesper Watchmate, Icom v8000 2m ham radio(also used as extra marine freq vhf), Icom marine vhf, Icom 718 hf ham radio, handheld Standard marine vhf , Pactor modem, Kyocera 85 w panels x 2 on radar arch with Blue Sky controller , Engel 45 portable fridge., Barograph digital Weems and Plath , Sony IC2010 SW receiver. VA7SKM CFL5629
Viking 4-person liferaft.
ACR epirb
Portabote 10′
Rubber Duck inflatable 7.5′
Honda 2 hp o/b
2 13′ plastic sea-kayaks
Wind-vane steering : vertical axis to rudder trim-tab. Crude but very effective.
Autopilot : Small tillerpilot onto the rudder trimtab, not reliable anymore from an electronic point of view. Works well when it works.
Watermaker : none
Stove : propane Force 10 , re-built now.(No sparker!)
Heat : Sigmar 120 diesel heater and a Radex engine coolant heater.
Jordan Series Drogue with 125 cones and purpose built 1/2″ ss tangs welded to the aft Samson posts.
Parachute 12′ diam with rode.
Rocna 25 kg , CQR 45lb , Delta 40 lb.
3/8″ chain 75′
5/16″ G4 chain 100′
5/8 Nylon rode 200′
Ground tackle stowed and deployed on a manual aluminum drum-type windlass.
100 metre 1/2″ polysteel lines x 4 for shore lines , stowed in mesh bags.

So far my brother John and I and our families have had the boat to Haida Gwai on 3 occasions , around Vancouver Island 6 times ,and down to Mexico then to Hawaii and home in 2001/02. Lots of other year-round cruising to the lower BC coast and up to the Central coast of BC a few times as far as Prince Rupert. We haven’t cruised Alaska yet ( I would like to take a full 4 or 5 months to do this someday to try to sail as much as possible).


Meredith has been on many of the summer trips with us and sailed the boat back from Hawaii in 02.

Generally the boat has initial tenderness and has a big sail area for the relatively shallow draft. We reef the main early and try not to overpower.
We have had good passage times with 18 days Cabo to Hawaii and 21 days from Hawaii home.
We have a small centre cockpit 4′ long with an aft cabin and double berth with a crouch-through passage.


6 thoughts on “the boat

  1. Looks very well set up, the bilge keels seem very handy, saved Gerry Clarks “totorore” many times.
    A Huge mast, good idea I think, would love an extra 3 foot on mine most of the time.
    Well done on building a lovely boat.

  2. Ben , thanks for the comments. What kind of boat do you have ?
    Tell me more about your Chilean( ?) cruising , if you don’t mind.

  3. Hola Dr. Steve… Just met doug and Judy here in PV referred us to your blog , Thanks to them , found it , am in yfi lobby of the Lindo mar hotel and hedding back 2 b.c. tomorrow, .
    Megan who has sailed only a few times on Chief Mungo Nueva expressed , why dont we sail down here and leave the boat hi and dry during the too hot times like steve rankin does ,
    well Just hearing this amount of interest in USING the boat so much work and expense in time , blood S And Tears has achieved . Must get her to study your Trajectory and wind up her interest as a lot depends on her wanting to go out there !!!!
    wow Not much time to peruse now but will when open up your site when back in Victoria .
    thanks for the great blog post.
    asta pronto quando tu possible escribe a mi atras
    Godofredo de s/v Jefe Mungo ( Mungu)

  4. Steve
    I have always found that streaming the drogue from the quarter, rather than dead aft, lets the wind pressure on the rig take the roll out of her. Far more comfortable . I also use a chain thru the chocks, to eliminate any chance of chafe.
    Have you reached Chile yet?

  5. I’ll immediately grasp your rss as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me recognize so that I may just subscribe. Thanks.

  6. Hi Ric.
    Your patients are asking about you. Great to read about your adventure.
    Have you told Steve about the time you put our tiller on the ground near Texada?


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