North Sails NEWS
In late 2015, childhood friends Vincent Moeyersoms, Olivier Moeyersoms, and Marc Vander Stricht bought the 53’ aluminum, French-designed exploration sailboat, Alioth. Why? Because these Belgian cruising sailors share a love of extreme latitudes—now they have the vessel to get them there.
Built in 2009, Alioth is fully kitted-out with a lifting keel, water ballast, twin rudders, and crash bulkheads in the bow and stern. She is an ocean-goer with some miles in her wake, having completed a circumnavigation with her previous owners. Alioth came with sails that Vincent describes as “old” since they have 50,000 miles on them and her year-old North Sails spinnaker is a “keeper.” Next month she will receive North Sails NPL TOUR heavy-duty cruising sails.
For Vincent and crew, expedition sails might be a better term.
For 2-3 months out of the year, Alioth will serve as home for Vincent, Olivier, and Marc. Within five years they hope to lap the Americas on a zig-zag route reaching far North, and far South. In May, the crew delivered Alioth from Belgium to Norway. Over the next few months they will make their way from the Lofoten Islands, down the coast of Norway, and start ticking the boxes on the Atlantic. “Next summer we should be coming up the coast of the US to Maine, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland,” Vincent said. “If the conditions are right, we could then attempt the Northwest Passage. If not, we will delay a year.”
Completing the Northwest Passage would leave them in Alaska. From there, the planned route would deliver them down the coast of Canada, across the Pacific to New Zealand, across the South Pacific to Chile, then onto Antarctica, South Georgia, and back up to Europe
“I sailed professionally years ago and I took part in the Round the Word Race and raced maxi boats,” Vincent said. “Later I ran a few campaigns in the Maxi class and America’s Cup. In 1992, I managed the winning America’s Cup team America3.”
Five years aboard Alioth is the next challenge.
Alioth’s name signifies the brightest star in the Big Dipper. “We decided to keep the name,” Vincent said. This decision is a nod to the crew’s shared ambition to add a greater purpose to their exploration. “We would love to adopt an environmental aspect of the journey, to contribute toward trying to find a solution to the ocean’s plastic pollution problem we’ve seen growing for so many years. In 40 years spent on the water, we have seen trash accumulating on the ocean, and we want to be part of the solution.”