North Sails NEWS
TRANSATLANTIC ADVENTURE: CAPE VERDE TO THE CARIBBEAN
Vincent Moeyersoms Adventures Onboard French-built Exploration Yacht
Built in 2009, the 53’ Alioth has a specific purpose: ocean adventuring.
Alioth left the volcanic archipelagos of Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa, 2,100 nm East of the Caribbean, and twelve days later arrived at Carriacou Island. During their Atlantic crossing, the four crew took turns on three hour watches. Each morning they had a daily meeting to check in with each other and send an email to their family, which was written by Vincent’s niece Celine. Off-watch the crew fished, maintained the boat, watched movies, read books, and prepped meals. Vincent also taught his niece and nephew about sailing, navigation, and the stars.
They made landfall in Carriacou, a tiny island just north of Grenada, and tucked into Tyrell Bay for a celebration, before starting their exploration of the Grenadines. At Tobago Cays they swam around one of the most pristine coral reef in the Caribbean, and on New Year’s Eve, enjoyed the colorful local fresh lobster bake.
“The Grenadines were my most favorite part of the whole trip,” Vincent says. “Like in the BVIs, being able to sail to different islands and see different places each day makes it real fun. Every day brings a discoveries.” They stopped at Grenada, Union, Tobago Cays, Mustique, Bequia, St. Vincent, and St. Lucia on their way to Martinique.
Alioth’s aluminum hull is ideal for remote ocean sailing. “She can fit six comfortably onboard for ocean crossings,” says Vincent. “In the tropics, it’s nice because everyone can be outside most of the time.” She’s easy sailed by a couple of people, so there is plenty of relaxation time for the rest of the crew.
“Sharing these experiences with friends and family, and being able to sail to parts of the world where chartering is not available, is why we purchased this boat.”
Equipped with a 2016 North Sails NPL Sport inventory, Vincent says the sails are still going strong even after 20,000 miles. The process of getting new sails was very easy despite the logistics involved according to Vincent. “We had North Sails in France come out and measure the boat, the sails were built in the United States, and then delivered to Norway. We had just a couple of days to make sure they were right. We opened the bags, hoisted them, and it all worked. North Sails has the experience globally to deliver to different parts of the world and see the project through to completion, and they were perfect.”
While in the Caribbean, Vincent and his crew [a mix of family and friends] enjoyed the highlights of a living aboard, including fishing and grilling off the back of the boat. “We don’t have a freezer onboard, so, on ocean crossings, eventually you start running out of fresh produce. We consider certain types of food a real treat,” he said. “When we can catch fish and pair it with fruits, vegetables, and freshly baked bread, it’s a meal we all really enjoy.”
Why did he choose Alioth? “We didn’t want a boat that was too big, because of cost and logistics. This boat was maintained well before we bought it, and it was built for our type of program, so the purchase decision was easy.”
Vincent also says the boat is fun to sail. “Alioth is quite light for its size, which makes it responsive in most conditions.” he says. With a lift-keel, she’s able to anchor in shallow water.
Having a deck saloon was a requirement and means the crew can see the ocean at all times. Alioth is very safe, and a step-up stern makes it easy to get onboard the boat. She has twin rudders, crash bulkheads bow and stern, and ample cabin space in between. Her water ballast tanks were recently converted to carry fuel, extending her range up to 3000 miles under motor power. Although the boat is equipped with a watermaker and heater, Vincent says the crew often chooses swimming instead of rinsing off in freshwater. “We will often jump in, just for the pure pleasure of it.”
In 2019, Alioth’s crew plans to attempt to sail the Northwest Passage, via Greenland and around to the North of Canada, then to Alaska. Stay tuned as Alioth’s adventures continue.