Now operated by Go West Sailing, running adventure trips from the arctic to the tropics
Global Surveyor – a vessel like no other
This unique, ocean-going vessel is no toy, and is best described as a “serious piece of kit”. Global Surveyor was purpose-designed for a highly experienced yachtsman to sail his family safely and comfortably around the world and is capable of voyaging to any ocean from the tropics to the edge of pack ice. We discover what makes Global Surveyor unique…
The hull is 20m long with a 1.5m bow sprit. The hull steel weighs 20 tonnes. She has a 5m beam, a draft of 2.85m and a freeboard forward of 1.7m. She is rigged as a cutter. The mast is 23.5m high and she carries 210m sq metres of sail. She has 130 horse power diesel engine driving a 30 inch feathering propeller through a 2.91 reduction gearbox. When in remote areas we collect rain water from the deck. Moderate rain gives us about 300 litres an hour.
What makes this vessel stand out?
Global Surveyor is a proven ocean-going vessel having voyaged to Easter Island, Tahiti and Australia. She is certified for category zero operation and can confidently sail to most parts of the world from the tropics to the edge of pack ice, with the maximum comfort and security and the minimum of effort.
She can make fast passages and requires only a modest effort to sail. This is a pleasure cruiser, and while the vessel will be sailed to a high standard of seamanship, there will be the minimum of shouting, rushing about, and being soaked by icy waters. On this vessel the ocean passages should be comfortable and relaxed with the crew and vessel arriving in the same condition as which they left.
Global Surveyor is among the largest 1% of yachts sailing in the Solent. She is certainly eye catching and very stable, giving novices and nervous sailors a feeling of great confidence. The size, displacement, and design give masses of room aboard, and a steady comfortable motion.
Masses of room on deck and a large deadweight capacity allow for the carrying of power packs and scientific or other equipment (5 tonne carrying capability). She provides a super stable platform for filming. Her huge comfortable accommodation makes her an ideal base for expeditions and she can operate in self-contained mode for long periods in remote areas.
What were the main objectives at the drawing board?
To be capable of being easily sailed by a crew of two, while having berths for a potential fourteen.
To have four equal status double cabins for optimum charter potential.
Without any compromise to safety, to produce a vessel that is easy and economical both to build and run.
To produce a vessel with its own distinct ethos. Something that equates to a ‘working vessel’, a ‘little ship’ that can earn its keep, rather than just another pleasure yacht.
Advantages of a larger vessel
A simple large yacht, can cost less than a small complicated one. It represents ‘MORE’ Safety, Comfort and Speed.
Other things being equal and when considering the whole range of marine risks a larger vessel is generally more ‘seaworthy’.
Steel is the strongest, most adaptable and economic materials for hull construction. It is the first choice for many experienced blue water sailors. Its strength, workability and longevity is however, a function of plate thickness.
Large size allows the use of thicker plates and the inclusion of watertight bulkheads, without incurring the weight penalty, which would be unavoidable with smaller vessels.
With any number of crew, more internal volume means more live-aboard comfort, shelter, privacy and convenience, combined with less ship motion and heeling.
The vessel is comfortably and safely usable for a greater percentage of time in a greater range of weather conditions.
There is more potential speed available from a longer LWL.
There is therefore greater freedom, to sail further distances in less time and to more reliably return if operating to a timetable.
Where desired, speed can be traded for comfort and convenience. Thus a large cutter, comfortably jogging along under staysail alone, may easily out-perform a smaller yacht under full sail, covered with spray and with its lee rail buried.
The substitution of ‘seamanship’ for brute force, means that a large vessel can be sailed and berthed with no more effort than a small cruiser.
Extra convenience can be purchased if desired, in the form of furling sails, power winches and a bow thruster.
A larger vessel can carry more stores, allowing a greater range of operation, with less dependence on shore side facilities.
Financially a large vessel can, by being more fully utilised, be much more cost effective, than her smaller sister, particularly if syndicate owned.
A larger boat capable of carrying a rigid dinghy can be kept on a cheaper swinging mooring and when cruising expensive marinas are an option, rather than necessity.