Voyaging Style

If you are keen to break out of the circuit of marina based cruising (and thereby implying laid on service facilities), you need to think out of the box, but in a retro sort of way. This means designing and equipping a yacht with simple, robust and practical systems that are as reliable as possible, and when things do fail, they are repairable in the field by mere mortals like you and me. The axiom is that the simpler the vessel, the better quality the cruising and there will be more of it and less ‘down time.’ This should make sense to any true ocean voyager with a sense for adventure who wants to go ‘remote,’ either in high latitudes or in the tropics. The concept lends itself to a safer vessel when all systems are completely understood and fixable on the run.

The question every cruising sailor should ask themselves before they embark on a long term voyage is this: Why am I cruising; to see places and have experiences or cruising to fiddle around with my over elaborated boat? No harm in the latter, as it can be hobby turned into lifestyle, but if you take this tack best harden up and sail close to the marine service centers of the world.

I rather like to think of my Pelagics as vehicles – a means to access out of way and wild destinations, rather than objects in the themselves. Once you can accept this philosophy, things like style for style’s sake, an ‘innovative’ appearance, not to mention maintenance issues where visible wear and tear that is purely cosmetic is at once unacceptable; well, all these then become somewhat irrelevant.

To play this game, however, best to think modi operandi out clearly. The climber/surfer come entrepreneur Yvonne Chounaird who founded and still owns the outfitter Patagonia has a great take on this when he says, “Consider every piece of technology that comes your way. Take what is absolutely necessary and discard the rest.” He was really talking about creating a certain quality of life, but this cherry picking mindset of taking only what is needed easily applies to voyaging in small boats.

Of course this is not so easy to achieve, as designers, builders and equipment suppliers live by innovation and encourage what seems to be an insatiable demand for complication in the concept and fit out of most yachts today. Therefore Pelagic Yachts is attempting to re-educate a segment of the sailing market by encouraging robust simplicity, and accepting some marginal sacrifice in ‘performance’ to do it. We are talking about expedition sailing vessels in the truest sense of the words, built for people who want to live out their dreams.

Consider Pelagic Yachts the facilitators of this noble endeavour.

For an update on the evolving nature of the concept see an article in Superyacht News where Tony Castro explains the reason for designing sailing yachts built for high-latitude exploration. See

Pelagic 82 - All Seasons All Oceans