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Boat of the Month

July 2024  Ilvy

By Paul Schnabel

Ilvy is a Maxi 77, designed by Pelle Petterson, built over 45 years ago.

This Swedish design was quite ahead of its time, with spacious, open interior with a lot of storage capacity, yet showing quite a fast hull design with fin keel, keel bulb and appended, big, balanced rudder. I read that the Maxi 77 is the most built keel yacht of the world, which gave her the nickname “Volkswagen of the Baltic sea”. She is lively to steer, easy to handle (even with pointy rig), simple yet robust in her outfitting and constructed sturdily. A good boat.

We bought her 2 years ago, and since then we have coast-sailed her extensively, with her then Bermudan rig. Ilvy is the actual climax of our boat wishes, gathered over the last years with several other designs. Important for us was: being really sturdy built (hull with thick, full grp), appended rudder, no inboard diesel engine, spacious interior (flush deck), equipment being as simple as possible, electronics as simple as possible, rather small for ease of maintenance – the KISS principle. Except for the fin keel being a bit too vulnerable when grounding, Ilvy suits us quite well.

Having dreamed of the junk rig for some years now, I took the chance with Ilvy and converted her this winter. Combining sail area of Genoa I and main, the junk sail ended up at 35 m² with about 23.5% mast balance. Arne Kverneland kindly gave me the sail plan (a direct copy of Boudicca, a Johanna 60 sail design), which saved me some hours. Sailcloth is Swela Outgard 190, which is easy to sew and looks the same on both sides. The aluminium mast is a raw conical light pole from Nedal, Netherlands. After fiddling with tabernacle thoughts for quite a while, I decided it was more important to get done and sailing, and went the standard way of stepping the mast on the hull’s bottom.

The sail area is on the rather huge side for that little Maxi 77. Due to the easy reefing of a junk rig, that was part of my philosophy – borrowed from Bernard Moitessier: carry a lot of canvas, and reef early. That huge junk sail, combined with her rather fast hull shape, makes a rocket out of her on the water. At F4 we overcome hull speed on all headings, and enjoy reefing. However, even more amazing, I find that when ghosting along in almost no wind, it feels like a miracle doing 2 kn in completely flat seas, with absolutely no wind in my face, leaving 40 ft boats with collapsing sails far behind.

Besides the junk rig conversion, we worked 6 months full time on an almost complete refit of Ilvy. We stripped out everything except for the galley, painted the ceiling and some furniture, removed the cabinets to lengthen the v-berth (I chose the wrong hobby for my body length…), stripped and rebuilt all electrics, removed and close-laminated all seacocks, installed mobile separating toilet, built seaweed-stuffed mattrasses, sewed a lot of hatch covers, sun covers, mosquito covers, etc, rebuilt and strengthened all windows, installed an ethanol-evaporating stove (HPV Samba), insulated relevant hull areas, installed storage nets and a sliding storage-box system. After we started the work, it escalated quickly…

Since May we have been cruising the Swedish east coast, and do not need to be back in Kiel until October. We aim for Stockholm and the Ålands/ Finnland, but are not fixed on this.

Let’s see to where the wind blows us!

For more detailed stories, have a look at our blog: fiery-sails.de

[And for those unfamiliar with the achievements of the designer, Pelle Helmer Peterson,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelle_Petterson  Ed,]

Our "Boat of the Month" Archive is here, and the forum discussion for comments and candidate suggestions is here

Recent Posts

08 Jul 2024 13:55 • Anonymous member
03 Jul 2024 11:55 • Anonymous member

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