New Zealand native Stanley Paris is a man of extraordinary determination. In 1985 he completed the World Championship Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, he twice swam the English Channel and has sailed across both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He has also logged more than 60,000 sea miles since 1983 and already completed one circumnavigation, three North Atlantic crossings and two Alaska to New Zealand passages as owner/captain of a Nauticat 44, Nauticat 52, and Farr 60. Today, at 74 years of age, the Kiwi doctor of physical therapy shows no signs of slowing down.
Paris, who now makes his home in Florida and Maine is planning to embark on yet another challenge to mind, body and spirit — that of breaking American yachtsman Dodge Morgan’s 1986 solo-circumnavigation record of 150 days. Paris hopes to make the voyage in 120 days, and at its completion, at 76 years of age, be the oldest person to accomplish the feat.
Construction of his new boat, Kiwi Spirit, hull No. 1 of the Farr-designed Paris 63 is well under construction at Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding in Thomaston, Maine.
Top, Lyman-Morse project manager Lance Buchanan and Stanley Paris discuss construction details as the yacht’s bulkheads are installed. Below, Kiwi Spirit’s deck, shown here inverted, has recently been removed from its mold.
Designed by fellow Kiwi and America’s Cup yacht designer Bruce Farr, the boat is a true offshore cruiser designed for speed, sea kindliness, safety and short-handed sailing. The hull is constructed of epoxy infused carbon, E-glass and Kevlar with a thermo-formed core to ensure a light, stiff hull. A water ballast system will allow the boat to be trimmed for speed and comfort. There is a hydraulic lifting keel that when down draws 14 feet 9 inches, and 8 feet 7 inches when retracted. Like most Farr designs, the hull form carries the beam (17 feet 9 inches) all the way aft allowing for a very large cockpit and large interior space.
Paris plans to sail Kiwi Spirit in two phases before his actual circumnavigation departure. First he plans to participate in a number of regattas and offshore racing events including the Marion Bermuda Race, 2012 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers from the Canaries to St. Lucia, and the RORC Caribbean 600. During this phase, the boat will be fully equipped for cruising with full accommodations and systems in place. In preparation for the second phase, much of the interior joinery and furniture, air conditioning, generator, engine, shaft and other equipment will be removed, including much of the cabin sole. This metamorphosis into a powerful and light racing machine is possible thanks to the modular construction of much of the interior and a soft patch in the deck for engine removal.
Once stripped down, the boat will not only become a fast sailing machine, but also a totally green, fossil-free racing yacht relying on solar, wind and hydropower for charging the battery banks to run the autopilot, ballast pumps, lights, electronics and the watermaker. There are no power winches aboard.
Paris plans to take delivery of the boat from Lyman-Morse in August and begin the actual circumnavigation in November 2013.