S/V (sailing vessel) Liberty is a 1982 Morgan Out Island 41, a 41' ketch rigged, center cockpit, shoal draft, full keel cruising sailboat.
Our draft is only 4'3" (closer to 4'6" fully loaded, as we are now), which opens up cruising grounds less accessible to deeper draft boats. Liberty carries six sails - a roller-furling 130% high-cut jib, a fully battened main sail with two reefing points, and a fully battened mizzen sail with one reefing point, plus two spinnakers and a small spare jib or mizzen staysail. The main and mizzen sails were new in 2008 when we began this cruise, custom-made by Banks Sails in Kemah, TX, and are constructed from heavy 9 oz Dacron with extra reinforcement and stitching for offshore work. Our main spinnaker, in red, white and blue, is a 1250 s.f. asymmetrical gennaker in an ATN sleeve, and our matching mizzen spinnaker is 620 s.f. in a Chutescoop sleeve. When beating to weather, navigating tight cuts in the reefs or cruising down the ICW, or when the wind is too light even for our spinnakers, we have the "iron genny", a 62 HP Perkins 4-154 diesel engine.
The Morgan 41's generously sized center cockpit provides ample room for hanging out, dining (when the weather is nice) and entertaining. Full clear plastic panels connect to our blue Sunbrella bimini top and dodger to create a fully enclosed cockpit to protect us from foul weather at anchor.
As a cruising sailboat, we spend lots of time at anchor, so we depend on our ground tackle to hold us fast to Mother Earth. Our primary anchor is a 25 kg (55 lb) Rocna on 225 feet of 5/16 inch high test chain and another 180 feet of 3/4 inch anchor rode. Our secondary anchor, a 20 kg (44 lb) Bruce on 50 feet of 3/8 inch BBB chain and 300 feet of 5/8 inch rode, shares the double bow roller with the Rocna, and just aft of the bow roller we have a Simpson Lawrence Sea Tiger manual anchor windlass. We also carry a 25 lb. Danforth stern anchor on 150 feet of 3/4 inch rode. Spare ground tackle stored in the bilge includes a Fortress FX-23 aluminum anchor and an extra 100 feet of 3/8 inch BBB chain.
Our two water tanks hold about 125 gallons, with 20 more in jerry jugs on the deck, and we have a Spectra Ventura watermaker that can make up to 6 gallons of fresh water per hour. We carry 95 gallons of diesel in two tanks, plus 20 gallons in jerry jugs on the deck. At cruising RPMs we burn a little less than a gallon of diesel per hour, so we have a range under motor alone of over 600 nautical miles.
Our electronics include a Northstar M-84 chartplotter with GPS, through hull triducer (depth sounder/fish finder sonar, water temperature, water speed paddlewheel), a Northstar 2 kw radar mounted on the mizzen mast, a backup Garmin GPS unit, and a Northstar autopilot, all mounted right above the binnacle compass at the helm. Also new for this cruise is a Sitex AIS receiver, which shows all commercial ships as icons on our chartplotter, complete with vessel name, position, course and speed, and has proven to be an essential navigation/safety aid All of the electronics for our old autopilot, an Autohelm ST 7000, have been abandoned in place as a backup/spare in the unlikely event our Northstar autopilot fails. We rely heavily on Otto as a fifth crewmember, and the one who almost always takes the helm, except when we are navigating around coral or in narrow channels. In the unlikely event that Liberty slips below the waves, we have a six-person liferaft, an EPIRB (emergency radio-beacon), and a satellite phone to keep us comfortable while awaiting rescue at sea.
Electricity is supplied by a KISS wind generator mounted on the mizzen mast and an array of one large and two small solar panels mounted on the davits off the stern. Our barbeque grill, a Magma Catalina, is also mounted on the stern rail, along with our Yamaha 15 HP outboard that powers Justice when we are at anchor. A propane locker with two 10 lb. tanks and a deckbox for storage round out the stern deck arrangement. Justice, our 9.6' AB rigid bottom (RIB) inflatable dinghy, hangs from stern davits. New for this cruise is the addition of a 9' hard sailing/rowing dinghy for the boys, named Independence. When Liberty lies at anchor, Justice serves as the "family car", which makes Independence the go-cart.
Below decks, just aft of the anchor locker in the bow, Chris and Josh share a V-berth cabin, with plenty of shelves for books and toys. Just aft of the boys' cabin is a head (with a large shower) on the starboard side and a large storage closet, which also holds the dual air conditioning/heating unit and the watermaker, on the port side. Continuing aft, the main saloon has a large dining table starboard and an L-shaped seat, with storage below and behind the seats, and a long settee to port, also with storage below and behind. New in 2009 are our faux leather light beige saloon cushions. Above the settee there are two enclosed storage lockers for our pantry items and pots/pans/dishes, and our "entertainment center" sits above that - a marine SSB radio and a flat screen combo DVD/15" TV, with plenty of storage for DVDs and games. The galley, just aft of the dining area, includes a 3-burner Force 10 propane stove with oven, a 110 v. microwave, a large 12 v. Frigoboat keelcooled refrigerator/freezer box under the countertop, a second NovaKool 12 v. freezer in the companionway, and a deep single sink with pressure fresh water and salt water via a footpump. Across from the galley stands our new storage cabinet, custom built (by Dave) and including two large drawers for pantry items, storage for three laptop computers and a bookshelf for Dave's many cookbooks.
A "duck-through" passageway to the port side of the entry stairs from the cockpit leads aft, with our "garage" (a long open counter that provides convenient open storage, along with room for fishing poles) on one side of the passageway, and the engine room opening to starboard. The engine room, which lies directly under the cockpit, is outfitted with the Perkins diesel engine, a Westerbeke 7.5 kw diesel generator, our house battery bank (six Trojan golf car batteries), and a Xantrex Freedom 2000 combination battery charger/2000 watt inverter.
Farthest aft, the Admiral's Stateroom features a full-size berth lying athwartship, a small seat and dressing area, Dave's tool locker, and plenty of storage for clothes, bedding and books. There is also a small head with a shower.
With her wide beam and roomy layout below, solid structure and sea kindly motion while underway, S/V Liberty will provide a good home for us for the next few years.
Liberty at South Padre Island, TX, July '06
Our 55lb. Rocna anchor on the bow
Cockpit pedestal with instruments
Solar panels, grill and Justice off the stern
Settee and Entertainment Center
Dave's new custom cabinet
Chris & Josh's V-Berth Cabin
Matching Main and Mizzen Spinnakers
Liberty flying her spinnaker
into George Town, Bahamas