Veteran cruisers Noel and
Litara Barrott and their daughter Sina, 17, have had their 53 foot yawl
Sina hauled out on the railway at R.M. Packer, Co. in Vineyard
Haven for routine maintenance and a few minor upgrades. The Vineyard
is a stopover on their current circumnavigation of the globe.
The Barrotts are well known
among cruisers the world over for their seven-and-a-half year circumnavigation
beginning in 1972 aboard Masina, a 38 foot Bermuda-style cutter.
Masina's construction was the backdrop for the Barrott's early
courtship, and upon launching, the newlyweds set off from New Zealand.
They covered 80,000 miles in Masina, which was very sparsely
fitted out below.
"We just had a bunk,
a single-burner primer stove and a bucket," says Mr. Barrott.
And they were no fair weather
sailors. When they set off in 1972, Mr. Barrott had years of off-shore
experience under his belt, and had found in Litara, a Samoan-born nurse,
an able and willing partner. The couple took their time cruising the
Atlantic and the Pacific, where their high latitude sailing was noted
as remarkable by many a sailor. They chose to dwell in the notorious
Southern Ocean where they were knocked down (pushed over so the masts
hit the water), not once, but twice. Apparently, both boat and crew
were up to the challenge.
During this first circumnavigation,
the Barrotts met British naval architect Colin Mudie, and Mr. Barrott
and Mr. Mudie worked together closely to develop the design for Sina.
Back to New Zealand to "have a couple of kids and build a bigger
The Barrotts made landfall back in New Zealand in 1980, ready to build
their family and a new boat from Mr. Mudie's lines.
"It was all planned
to have a couple of kids and build a bigger boat," says Mr. Barrott,
"It all came true, except we thought we'd be in New Zealand for
"Noel was busy building
boats for other clients," says Mrs. Barrott.
They bought a plot of land
near Whangarei, New Zealand, "toward the warm [north] end"
on the North Island. Mr. Barrott made ends meet and bought boat construction
materials for Sina (the boat) by boatbuilding. Mrs. Barrott
raised their two children Walter and Sina (the daughter), and when they
were both in school, she worked nights as a nurse.
Sina (the boat) was launched
in November, 1994, 14 years after Mr. and Mrs. Barrott returned to New
Zealand in Masina.
The new vessel was touted
as "close to perfection in wood" by the editors of Classic
Boat Magazine (the British counterpart to WoodenBoat).
Built stoutly of native New Zealand timbers and trimmed and decked with
teak, she has a deep lead keel. Her masts are spruce from Vancouver
Island, British Colombia, acquired through contacts made while cruising
there aboard Masina. She is fastened with copper and bronze.
"It's a very traditional
boat," Mr. Barrott says of Sina's construction, "There's
very little glue."
Sina is fitted out more
comfortably than Masina was, with roomy bunks, a full galley
and a head. However, the Barrotts initially shunned electronic navigational
instruments. They have come half way around the world relying on the
compass, a taff rail log (a device for measuring distance traveled through
the water) and a sextant for off-shore navigation. To find depth near
shore, they used a traditional lead line. Recently, however, they have
relented--somewhat. A friend has given them a GPS, and they are installing
an electronic depth sounder during the current haul-out.
In the cozy main cabin,
it is hard to believe that the vessel has already sailed thousands of
miles, and has been home to a family for five years. It is exquisitely
neat and comfortable, everything cleverly stowed. The bilges are bone
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