Do You Know This Boat?
Frans Loots, a past F-9AX owner from South Africa writes:
Good afternoon Ian,
My mate Jeremy Bagshaw who sailed with me on Banjo in the 2010 Governors Cup Race sent me these pictures from
Simons Town where he lives. A very neat looking F-9 arrived in his town, hailing from Sweden.
He doesn’t know which direction the little boat came from, but whether it is from the East or the West, they must have done
some big distances across open ocean. I would have liked to meet the skipper!
Great boat on the open sea, the F-9.
The F-9 has now identified as the 'BIRD' and owner Sven Hogstrom writes:
The "Bird" was built in Darwin 1995 by Bruce Panting, hull no 85.
I am a Master Mariner by profession although I mainly work ashore in Brazil. When the AUD crashed back in 2008-2009
I was working in Singapore and saw a chance to buy a fast, light wind boat cheap, and sail Indonesia like I did back in
the early seventies as a rating on a Cargo ship. The F9 turned out to be a perfect boat for Indonesia and with her
shallow draft we could sail to many Islands and inside reefs where only the local boats could go. Needless to say it was
quite an adventure although it all went very well with just a few minor problems
The idea was to sail the boat in Indonesia for a year and then sell her, but I fell in love with the "Bird" and sailed
her up to Thailand where I kept sailing her over a year. At the end of that period I started a new consulting job in Brazil
that I am still doing and that reduced the time drastically I could spend sailing.
From Thailand I sailed the Bird to the Maldives, a very quick passage with almost 9 knots as average speed. Again the
F-9 turned out to be very special with her shallow draft and good speed in light wind. The ultimate sailing was inside
the atolls, with flat water, I managed speeds up to 19,3 knots through the water. At the end of the holidays I laid the
boat up on land in Male only to come back to find the boat severely damaged as they had lifted the boat off the trailer
by hooking the crane onto the floats. After two weeks delay I sailed down through the southern part of the Maldives.
One day out from the southernmost Island sailing towards Mauritius, the engine broke down completely, and seemed to
have dragged the solar charger with it. So I hand steered to Mauritsius with flat batteries but still made the trip
with an average speed of 7 knots and that with many days without wind.
In Mauritius I managed to put my hands on a roll of Kevlar that I put under the hull as several times since I bought the
boat had hull damage mostly while taking the boat in and out of the water. In Reunion Island I had the complete electric
system changed to a much safer and redundant system, new solar panels and the best of all a hydro generator.
From Reunion I sailed to Richard's bay and then hopped around the SA coast to Simons town where she is now laying. I
haven't decided if I should sail across the Atlantic to Brazil this summer and El Nino year, or keep sailing her in SA
for a while more and take part in the Capetown - Rio race next year.
The future plan is to sail in Brazil for a while, then to the Caribbean and later over to Europe.
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