Second Wind is a newly built Leopard 58 with a home port of Valletta in Malta. Launched in January of 2017, she has been used extensively by the live-aboard owners while completing three successive Atlantic crossings, clocking over 17,000 nautical miles!
Cape Town to Malta - 7,000 Nautical Miles
Upon being placed in the water, Second Wind stretched her wings (and sails) and completed many day trips around Cape Town, even competing in one of the city’s local yacht races, Cape to Mykonos. Thereafter, she stocked up for her maiden voyage to the distant island of Malta, 7000nm away. Being the first trip of significant distance, and often the case where a yacht is truly tested in such a demanding sea, the crew and yacht were well prepared for what was ahead.
Leaving Cape Town with a SE wind and a following sea is always a pleasure, and with the Ullman Gennaker Sail (Asymmetrical Spinnaker) flying high, the first leg to the island of St. Helena flew by, only needing to adjust the Spinnaker halyard and sheets occasionally to prevent any chafe. Catamarans flourish when downwind sailing. A constant 7 knot average was held, with smooth, easy sailing.
Thereafter, the heading turned to more North, where the yacht made her way towards Madeira. This leg of the trip was more challenging, having the wind swing around and blow from the NE, giving an apparent wind angle between 35-50 degrees. Sailing close hauled on a catamaran can be uncomfortable at times as they are known to slam, and with the sea state generally bumpy, she handled herself extremely well, very often gliding over the swells with only a small slam every so often. Once leaving Madeira, the wind angle stayed similar, often as a close reach where she sailed with full main & genoa until entering the Mediterranean Sea. Thereafter, it was a combination of running with the wind being able to fly the Gennaker / Code ‘0’ and having the wind just aft or forward of the beam, creating a combination of Main & Genoa. We found the yacht handled well in all sea conditions, being sturdy and strong she coped fantastically. There were no major issues at all, and upon arrival in Malta she was ready for the Mediterranean summer season.
Malta to St. Lucia - 5,500 Nautical Miles
Having finished with the summer season in the Mediterranean and adding on a few modifications, she crossed back over the Med & Atlantic heading towards the Caribbean.
Crossing the Atlantic from East to West is a sailor’s dream, with the SE Trade Winds blowing from behind and often a following sea, the trip across was smooth and delightful. However, with the Mid Atlantic High being further down south, the prevailing winds were too light and insufficient to hold a 6 knot average. To maintain speed, either the port or starboard Yanmar engine would be running. This meant motor sailing the majority of the trip with a fuel consumption average of 5nm/1L.
When the wind was blowing a fresh breeze, the sail of choice was the Gennaker, which is a fantastic alternative to the traditional downwind Spinnaker, as it is a cross between a Genoa and Spinnaker. Having to deploy the Gennaker is quite a simple procedure, generates more lift than the Genoa and is less prone to collapse than the Spinnaker. A highly recommended sail for any yacht, and a top competitor for the favorite sail aboard Second Wind.
Fortunately, fish were in abundance which helped alleviate the time during the long days with no wind.
St. Lucia to Malta - 4,500 Nautical Miles
After spending five months cruising the Windward Islands of the Caribbean, it was time to head across the pond back to Malta. Crossing West to East is far more challenging, needing to head North up to a high Latitude before catching the Westerlies and turning East.
Leaving in April/May is the preferred time of year, but the first week is always a close haul with the wind just off the nose. The North Atlantic is known for larger swells and stronger wind, and Second Wind had her fair share of both. Hitting a 48-hour period of force 8/9, she rode out the storm with the swell just aft of the beam and with only a fraction of the headsail out. She handled the angle of the swell well, rolling over the cresting waves and holding with the autohelm working 24/7. She held her course good.
After a quick stop in the Azores, the trip east towards the Straits of Gibraltar was good, with wind mostly on the beam. Rigging up a quick release first reef in the main sail helped hugely when needing to reef, allowing for all 3 reefs to be used when necessary.
Thereafter it was a fun sail across the Med towards Malta, combining all sail variations we could to reach our destination.
Second Wind will spend the 2018 Mediterranean summer season sailing around Malta, with trips up to Sicily and a two month cruise through the Greek Islands. Should you wish to follow her journey, please click here and like the Facebook page.