After 10 years of sailing experience and learning to love traveling further and longer, in October 2013 we became the caretaker for this beautiful 1975 47 foot Olympic Adventure ketch named S/V Andromeda; now S/V Galapagos. (She’s so big and stately it always seems disrespectful somehow to leave the S/V off her name.) We fell in love with this boat when we first saw her and knew right away that she was the next boat for us. After two years of looking at boats it was nice to find one we could be sure about.
She was designed by the Pacific Northwest’s own Ted Brewer and built to Lloyd’s certification standards in Greece. She has been sailed extensively but in 1987 she received a complete refit, inside and out. The owners at that time used quality equipment and joinery that last to this day. She looks and feels like a much newer boat in many ways.
This boat offers almost every single thing we said we wanted in an ocean going vessel, plus many things our hearts wanted but our heads told us we would have to forego. I dreamed, for example, of a boat with an engine room and a workshop for Mike. But in my dream, I had created a workshop space in the v-berth area of a boat. Here are the design features that made us say an immediate and unqualified ‘Yes’ to this boat.
- Ketch rig with inner forestay (bonus: sails in good condition and mast steps installed, keel stepped main mast, main mast tall enough to get some wind in light air)
Center cockpit with a low profile. Bonus: I can sit behind the wheel and actually see the bow, and the seats are long enough to lie down on. A keel that has a cutaway forefoot and Brewer ‘bite’. Bonus: Bottomsider cushions in great shape, with protective covers.
Hard dodger (this was a real gift! Our hearts wanted this, but our heads said we might have to buy a boat without one) Bonus: windshield wipers. Do they work? Yep, they do. The windshields open to allow air to flow through.
- Winches that are big enough and numerous enough to offer good mechanical advantage when we need it. This boat has self-tailing winches for every sail as well as for the davits.
Appropriate anchoring gear. Bonus: electric windlass that works and is protected from the weather. Additional bonus: deck wash down fore and aft. HUGE bonus: aft anchoring windlass, anchor, chain and rode, and fresh water connection on the aft deck for washing off salty bodies and gear. In February 2017 we added a new Mantus anchor.
- A comfortable cabin with good seating for at least 4 people, and a versatile table. My biggest ‘compromise’ on this boat is the settee, which is actually quite comfortable already but just doesn’t quite live up to my vision. Still, the future may hold a remake of this cabin as I prefer deeper seating than Galapagos sports. But we’ll wait until the fabric re-do I managed needs replacing. Bonus: starboard seating area can have either a straight settee or two seats with a table in the middle. That’s dead useful! And very comfy as well.
- Three cabins. This is a bonus we were completely not expecting. We wanted two cabins so that family could visit anytime. With three cabins we are set with a versatile interior plan that we simply cannot believe. We love it!
- Nice galley that is integrated well with the rest of the space. This galley actually has a huge pantry. It has a Force 10 4 burner stove/oven in great condition, and two large SS sinks in pretty bad condition. There is a large, deep, storage space for pots and pans, although that is dead difficult to get to. We have added refrigeration and after some setbacks, as of summer 2016 it is working well. The freezer part will need some tweaking, but overall, we are pleased. The galley needs a serious refit and that is on the list of things to get done before we leave. The hoses attached to those sinks are going to break off any time now due to corrosion. I would also like to improve the storage for things like dishes if possible.
- Two heads with showers. Actually, this was not even a ‘desire’ on our part, but we’ll take it. There is a full shower in the aft head, separate from the sink/toilet area. My first impression was that it was a waste of space. I was really wrong about that. It is a little luxury that will get a face lift before we go. I’m in charge of Galapagos face lifts and I do like that shower. The aft head got a face lift already when I put a new finish on the walls.
- Cabin heat. This boat has a forced air diesel heater in the cabin. Nice!
- Hot water. There is a 14 gallon hot water tank, clearly more than we will ever need at once. Mike will be fitting a heat exchanger so we can have hot water at anchor.
Brand new engine! Well, this one is on us. The boat had no engine when we made an offer on her. We put in a 60 HP Beta Marine engine. We do love Hiram, our red engine. We had some near disasters with him when water was found in the oil, and we had trouble getting an exhaust elbow that would work for our boat, but in the end, all was well and he pushes Galapagos around nicely. He’s also quiet.
Space to work on the engine and other systems. This boat has an engine room and the passage way between the galley and the master cabin contains Mike’s new lair, a workshop complete with tools and fittings, and hundreds of stainless steel bolts, screws, nuts, washers, etc. We hired our friend Larry to rebuild the workbench with lovely tool drawers that open and close easily. This is a great workspace and keeping repair projects to that area keeps our living quarters free of grease, oil, and their ilk.
- Standing head room. There is an embarrassment of head room on this boat. So much that I will need to bring a small stool to the boat for times when I want to open hatches myself. There could be a downside to this, but I’m pretty sure we can work with it.
- Plenty of light, opening hatches, and air flow. This is so important to me! There is an opening hatch in each of the sleeping quarters, plus one directly over the stove area in the galley and one in the main salon. There are opening ports in each cabin as well. The amount of light is astounding, and the sheer number and placement of hatches ensures plenty of airflow. Thanks, Mr. Brewer!
Storage. It’s everywhere. Each sleeping cabin has a large hanging locker, and there is another tucked underneath the ladder up to the cockpit for storing jackets. All doors on cabinets and on storage underneath cushions close securely. Should the boat ever roll, those are not going to go flying open.
- A full sized navigation area. This is a great work space and Mike is already toying with how he can work from the boat, which will totally get in my way if I decide to work from the boat myself. Still, sacrifices must be made.
- Generous tankage: 222 gallons for fuel, 400 gallons for water. That’s what the data sheet says. Really? 400 gallons of water?
This is only a partial list of the numerous good qualities on our Olympic Adventure 47. For instance there are the sturdy stainless steel mast pulpits. That was on my wish list. There is the stainless swim step and ladder, and the hulking stainless davits.
As with all old boats, the projects list is actually endless. Check out the projects page to see what things we already know we will need to do on her, and some of what we’ve accomplished thus far. Know that this list is always changing.