Visions of Johanna

October 2004

It is hard to argue the success of Chuck Paine�s Bermuda Series light-displacement offshore voyaging yachts. From the 80-foot all-aluminum Leonore built by Kelly Archer in New Zealand to Morris Yachts� 454s, the Camden, Maine, designer has set the standard when it comes to high-performance pilothouse sloops. The 62-foot 3-inch Visions of Johanna is yet another unique addition to a long series of yachts tailored to fit the needs of voyaging owners. This new yacht�s innovations involve much more than a change of layout or modification of the sail plan.

Image Credit: Alison Langley photos

Boston Boat Works of East Boston, Mass., built the epoxy deck and composite/core-cell hull, and Morris Yachts completed the boat. In Visions of Johanna the owners were seeking a bluewater home that was not only fast and able but well appointed. State-of-the-art lightweight construction made it possible to create a hull that is easily driven by a relatively conservative sail plan, yet strong and stiff enough to endure the rigors of offshore passagemaking.

Image Credit: Alison Langley photos

The yacht�s owners, Bill and Johanna Strassberg, are experienced sailors who took lessons they learned from past cruising to heart. A functional pilothouse with good visibility was key for comfort and livability. The house is wide enough for an enclosed steering station and pilot berth, yet narrow enough not to obstruct views forward from the cockpit. Further enhancing forward visibility, the split cockpit features a twin-wheel Edson steering system. The height of the house was also designed for visibility and respect for the yacht�s profile.

Offshore safety concerns dictated that the house be separated from the cockpit by a watertight bulkhead, for an extra margin of safety when making offshore passages. An interior companionway separates the house from the rest of the interior, making it possible to operate the boat from an enclosed, fully instrumented helm during foul weather and at night without disturbing the off watch below.  




Belowdecks, Visions of Johanna is configured for long-range voyaging. The machinery space is aft of the accommodations, adding to the spacious interior. There is a large U-shaped galley to starboard, finished in white with Corian counters and mahogany trim. The stainless-steel sinks are quite deep for offshore use. Two dorades and three opening hatches per side abreast the pilothouses ventilate the aft cabin and galley from above. In fact, in all, the yacht has 18 deck hatches to provide comfort below. With such ventilation, the owners decided to forego an air-conditioning system.

Image Credit: Alison Langley photos

Moving forward, a partial bulkhead divides the space and opens to the entertainment center with two pedestal-mounted swivel chairs. When the chairs are facing starboard, the ample counter space can serve as a desk; turned toward the centerline, they provide additional seating.

Immediately to port of the entertainment center is a centerline bench seat for two, dining table and wraparound settee. Aft of the settee is a hanging locker, followed by a full head and aft double cabin. Forward of the main saloon is another full head to port, single cabin to starboard, followed by the owners� cabin with a centerline double berth. Throughout the boat there is enough storage to suit the needs of any passagemaker. All of the joinery is mahogany and beautifully finished by Morris.

For power, Visions of Johanna has a 135-hp John Deere with easy access via a fully enclosed, well soundproofed engine room. Mated to an Evolution Marine Shaft System, the power plant should provide a fast, quiet and vibration-free ride when the wind dies. The yacht also has a custom fuel filtration system and a Northern Lights 9-kw generator to provide all the necessary auxiliary electrical power.

Image Credit: Alison Langley photos

The side decks are wide with the lifeline stanchions fastened directly to the top of the bulwarks. The rigging is clean and sail-handling minimized with an in-mast Leisure Furl mainsail system and two Profurl furlers, one for the staysail and the other for the jib. In addition to the main, the inventory of Doyle sails includes a reacher, forestaysail and code zero. All of the soft line for the running rigging is T-900 from New England Ropes, the blocks are from Harken. The mainmast stays and insulated backstays are from Navtec. The carbon-fiber rudder was built by Advanced Composites Group Inc.

In this newest addition to the designer�s Bermuda Series, Paine�s vision for high-performance, sea-kindly and stabile passagemakers continues to evolve. These features and a moderate draft make Visions of Johanna a versatile and capable yacht that will serve its owners well.  

By Ocean Navigator