Thursday, November 13, 2014


I knew about this attempt much before it started. Tomasz, a Polish follower of this blog, called my attention to it in April...but I have hesitated to post about it. I was afraid that could come as an endorsement of this type of adventures. Sure, I have posted about crazy adventures like sailing the Atlantic on a traditional Indian small boat or circumnavigating on an open beach cat, but this one is made on a mass production protected waters boat and the ones that sail it make statements like this:

"Ten hours later I was sitting at the helm during his watch, and the anemometer showed up to 50 knots true wind. The established wind was not less than 45 knots. F..In the air, rain and water spray limited the visibility to 20 meters. Brave Puffin under  foresail went full against the wind making 3.5 to 5 knots, accelerating strongly after  passing the wave crest....We still have a smaller and smallest storm jib ... If anyone says that small boats do not have any advantages in a storm that is to say that he lacks experience ...sailing in small boats. Not saying that every small sailboat is good to sail on this conditions. Also not saying that every large yacht is suited to the task. Capable yachts are properly prepared, and the size has nothing to do with it."

That I don't subscribe and that may create illusory expectations on the ones that will think that a production boat like the Maxus 22 is as suited for the task as a bigger production boat designed for offshore work and I say so because they talk about " adaptation of the serial design...for ocean sailing" but never say what were those adaptations and give the dimensions of a standard boat :" Maxus 22 was designed by Jack Dashkievich. We make them from 2013 with both interior and exterior ballast. The entire construction is done in our yard in Węgorzewo. We have yachts sailing in Poland, Germany, France, Russia, Denmark and Sweden. Specifications: hull length: 6.36 m, beam: 2.48 m interior height: 1.60 / 1.73 m sail area: 23 m2."

This gives the very wrong idea they are doing it on almost standard boat with some few modifications and in fact, at first, I assumed that it was true and they were crazy sailors trying an irresponsible attempt, but after all it is not a boat close to a standard Maxus 22 but a highly modified one with a reinforced hull and a beefed up rig. We cannot find that information on the page of Maxus yachts but we can find it here.

But not even here can we find nothing regarding what I saw on the photos: A boat with a much bigger ballast than on the standard boats and a bulbed keel.That implies not only a reinforced hull but a boat structurally reinforced, in other words, a completely different boat and a much more expensive one.

The Maxus 22, on its most interesting version the QR is a boat that weights 1200kg and has 250kg of ballast on a non bulbed lifting keel. Nothing to do with the ballast or the keel of the Puffin, the "Max 22" that is circumnavigating. The shipyard, not making all this clear, induces in error future clients that will think that the Maxus 22, even in its fixed keel version (the less popular) is more than a boat for sheltered or semi-sheltered waters, a boat with offshore potential and that is not only untrue but dangerous. Not saying that the Maxus 22 and the other Maxus yachts are not interesting boats, quite the contrary, just saying that they were not designed, or RCD approved, for offshore work and that the publicity they make regarding a Max22 circumnavigating is a misleading one.

They talk a lot about a low budget project but modifying extensively a  Maxus 22 for doing this will be more expensive than to buy  a Django 6.70 or 7.20, boats that  were developed from the mini racer concept and have already an offshore potential on their standard versions. It is low budget because Maxus had done the job for them for free in exchange for publicity revenues ;-)

Saying all this, it is an interesting performance and the sailors that are attempting it are experienced ones, with an adventurous mind: Simon Kuczynski, a sailing instructor with 25000nm and Dobrochna Nowak also a  sailing instructor that crossed the Atlantic twice, one of them on a 5m sailboat. 
They have already sailed till Canary Islands and are waiting a good weather to cross the Atlantic. You can follow their adventures here: 

And have also a look at the Maxus 22 that, without pretending to be an offshore boat, is a  nice trailerable inexpensive weekend cruiser for semi-protected waters, one where the weight of the crew and form stability has a significant role on boat stability. Or saying in other way, a boat that sails well but will not recover easily from a knock-down, if it recovers at all. Nothing wrong with that given the waters the boat is designed to sail on.

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