ABOUT CALYPSO

Calypso is a Hans Christian/Union 36, based on a Robert Perry design. She is a 36-foot (44-foot LOA), cutter rigged, full keel double-ender. She was made  in 1984 by the highly skilled Union yard in Taiwan. She is a fiberglass lady, weighing 10 tons with a 5 foot draft. For the full story of the Hans Christian/Union 36 see here

On Calypso we carry 8 sails: the mainsail with three sets of reef points + a spare mainsail, the staysail, the yankee and a big 150% genoa (called “The Red Devil”). These are all tan bark (red) except for the new main. The two headsails are roller furling on the Spintec system which is fantastically robust and low-tech. When there is not enough wind to fill these sails, we deploy a lightwind drifter or our beloved nylon gennaker, which we call “The Bad Boy”. 

The Bad Boy in action (thanks to S.V. Wendaway for the picture!)

UPDATE: The Bad Boy is history. Somewhere off the coast of Mexico it opened in half and got replaced by an even better sail – The Parasailor

At anchor we use a riding sail off the backstay, which helps us to face into the wind. On top of our “Christmas wish list” there is  a 100% jib.

Although we don’t like to use it and we seldom do, we also carry a diesel engine, a 50 hp Perkins 4-108. 

We have 4 solar panels (4x50watt) and a Fourwinds wind generator, which charge our five batteries with a total of about 1000 amp hours. They are doing a very good job.  We never have to start the engine to charge the batteries. 

We carry 140 gallons of fresh water and 175 litres ( 45 gallons) of diesel in our tanks. We also have another 10 gallons of fuel and 30 gallons of water in the jerry cans on deck. We use about 2.5 gallons of water per day between us, which means that we are self sufficient for about 2 months before we need to fill our tanks again (assuming there is no rain). 

We have three anchors. Our main anchor is a 44-pound Delta with 150 feet of 3/8 chain (and another 200 feet of nylon rode spliced to it), which shares the bowsprit with a 33-pound Bruce. A Lofrans-Tigres manual/electric windlass is used to raise and lower the anchors. When we anchor or leave an anchorage under sail (which we really love to do!), we use the manual windlass because without the engine running the electric windlass would drain our batteries. On the stern we carry a Fortress FX-23 to keep our bow pointed into the swell on rolly anchorages. 

We have a West Marine inflatable dinghy with a Mercury 4hp outboard which we almost never use and only comes out of the bag when we have guests. We prefer to use our double inflatable kayak to go ashore, which is greener, quieter and keeps us fit. 

For short distance communication Calypso carries a Standard Horizon VHF and a handheld. For long distance communication we have an Icom 710 HF radio. Our call sign is KD0RSM. We also have a SCS Pactor II modem to send email via HF radio waves.

We have a Simrad Robinson autopilot but have now fitted a Cape Horn Wind Vane self steering system (which works beautifully and is totally silent!)

In the galley Calypso has a 12-volt refrigeration and a three burner propane stove with an oven (very often used to make lasagnas, pizzas, cookies and bread!). When is too hot to cook inside, the BBQ on the stern rail is a real blessing.

We also have a Force 10 diesel heater which we have never had to use being mainly in the tropics. 

When we bought this boat she already carried many things which we consider a luxury – a 2000W power inverter, a water heater (for hot showers!) and a Furuno radar.We would never have bought these items because we don’t find them necessary, but since we have them, we spoil ourselves by using them.

Our chartplotter is a Standard Horizon CP170C which is pretty old. That’s why we don’t rely only on it – we always have paper charts and we use Open CPN on both our laptops.

  1.       

The Galley

     The Forepeak Berth

Sharing The Saloon With Friends

      

   The Nav Station

33 Responses to ABOUT CALYPSO

  1. Kurt Boller says:

    Love your site, comments and content! I hope one day to sail my SC28 far and away but until then I have your site.

  2. Aaron Erwine says:

    Your welcome for the cash it was money well spent on your book. Enjoyed it very much. Hopefully you will remember this when I need someone to pull me off a reef! 😉

    • Rick Page says:

      Glad you liked it Aaron! Have you bought a boat yet? Are yiu planning to get gone or have you already left? Let us know on sailingcalypso@gmail.com.

      Cheers,

      Rick
      PS: Whether or notI pull you off a reef will very much depend on your Amazon review :)

  3. James says:

    Hello,
    You all have really got me inspired after reading your book “Get Real, Get Gone” I am in my planning stages now of buying my boat and becoming a Sea Gypsy myself in 24 months! I have to say I love the Hans Christian/Union 36. I am leaning towards the Cabo Rico 34 myself. I just wanted to say hello and that I really enjoyed reading your book and following and living vicariously through your lifestyle!!!!
    James

    • rick says:

      Thanks for the great feedback! Great choice of boat too James – not without its price tag though! I have sent a reply to your email. Cheers, Rick

    • rick says:

      Nice choice of boats James.. clearly we don’t need to worry about you too much! (At the risk of being repetitive, avoid the models with the teak decks!). Keep us posted with your progress and feel free to whizz over any links of boats that you are considering, so that we can stick our oar in. :)

      Cheers,

      Rick and Jasna
      SV Calypso
      Fakarava

  4. Ade says:

    Just started reading your book “Get Real, Get Gone”. Very inspiring and great, honest detail too.
    Giving the Sea Gypsy life some serious thought. Not sure where yet.. I’m in the Caribbean at the moment.

    The boat selection advice is particularly helpful as this is all new to me – so lm sure I will have questions…
    Regardless, this book is money well invested.

    Ade.

    • rick says:

      Thanks Ade – we certainly appreciate the kind words. Feel free to fire any questions you can think of. We knkw what it is like to start from scratch, so no question is too obvious or too personal

      Good luck Ade!

      Rick and Jasna
      PS The Carib is an excellent place to start! Boats are cheap, sailing is good and the rum is fantastic

  5. Steve says:

    Hello: I read your book, just finished today. Thoroughly enjoyed it and the tips you have in it are really valuable information. I have been searching for the right sailboat for quite some time and as of yet, undecided as to what hull design to gravitate toward. Your sailboat being a double ender, what is your opinions of it compared to others without being double ended as for following seas etc.? Also, is your generator a portable or is it permanently mounted and what location, and is it diesel or gasoline? I like this idea as compared to having to run the boats engine to top off batteries.

    • rick says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for the email. We are delighted you enjoyed the book and found it helpful. Many people will say that there is no great advantage to having a double-ender, but this has not been our experience. We have become so accustomed to how well-mannered Calypso is in a following sea, we were completely shocked when we recently delivered a very wide transomed Garcia 60 to Fiji. Furthermore, those wide transoms tend to slap the water at anchor and can make quite a racket. The only real disadvantage to double enders is that fitting self steering can be a challenge. Regarding generators: we dont have one. A well set up boat should be able to source its daily requirements from sustainable energy sources. This is something of a central theme of the book, so I am not sure where you got that idea from.

      Anyway, thanks again for getting in touch and email me any questions as they occour to you.

      Best of luck Steve!

      R n J

      • Ric Eade says:

        Hi Ric and Jasna,
        Those people who say there is no advantage in a double ender obviously have not sailed in one. My Fisher 32 is impeccably behaved in any sort of a following sea.
        Cheers and good luck
        Ric

        • rick says:

          AGREED! Just deliveredma 3million dollar yacht to fiji which had an enormous transom and steered like a willful pig! A well balanced boat can spoil you! 😃

  6. Darrel says:

    Just wishing you best of luck 👍

  7. Hi R n J. My girlfriend bought me your book and I’ve just finished it. I can honestly say it’s the first book since The Cat in the Hat that I’ve finished and immediately turned back to page one!

    Your attitude seems to exactly echo our own and I’ve learnt so much from you and your book. I’m now going back through the pages with Post-it notes and a highlighter!

    In fact, you’ve made me discard EVERYTHING we thought we had decided upon with our sea quest. So, thanks for that!

    • rick says:

      Ha Ha! Sorry about that! It all works out well in the end though…… Let us know if you have any questions so we can cause you even more trouble.

      Cheers,

      Rick and Jasna
      SV Calypso
      Fakarava

  8. Jose Alarcon says:

    Hi ;
    At this time I am on the third reading of your book…taking notes for our next steps into a sea gipsy life…
    Loving your book and your way of leaving.
    We are correcting track and solving problems to be ready to live the rat race, all according your book and other recommendations…target in one year from now…Let´s see…
    The only non following and luxury is the boat selection ( sorry as I am a multihull enthusiastic sailor ). We already sold our 27 feet folding trimaran ( no good for see gipsy life at all..je je) and already we got a Prout Snowgoose 37 cat. I think it will be perfect for a sea gipsy multihull couple in the fifties…
    boat is in Greece and that will be our place to start, may be….

    Just to say many thanks to show us the way with that great book…

  9. Mike Santis says:

    Hi Rick and Jasna.
    Just dropping a word here. Just finished reading your book. Great motivation. On the look for the right boat. Looking to escape in about 3 years from now. Thanks for the emails and help.

    We’ll meet one day somewhere out there!

    Cherrio from Kitty’s Ark II
    Mike

    • rick says:

      Good Luck Mike!

      Its good to jear your progress. Keep us posted and whizz over the links of any boats you are considering so l can try and put you off them. 😊

      Keep savin the dough while you can buddy!

      Cheers,

      Rick and Jasna

  10. Stephen Ellick says:

    Hi guys

    ( I assume that the book was a joint effort). My wife brought it for me for Christmas. Perhaps she is trying to tell me something? You have definitely struck a cord with me. Maybe I have found my home at last. I totally agree with your comments about anchors. What do think of pacific seacrafts as a possible boat!

    Fair wind etc

  11. Rick Page says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for getting in touch. I have sent a message to your email address.

    Cheers

    Rick

    • Stephen Ellick says:

      I seem to be concerned a lot these days with water(the lack of) I see you carry water on deck do have any problems with water spoiling?

      • Rick Page says:

        No. Never had a problem. We always rotate ours anyway (we pour them intothe main tank in the bilge as soon as there is space) and if we have a long passage to go on, they are only 1/3 full. This is because a lot of weight on the rails can adversely affect your boat’s sailing characteristics and reduce her ability to right herself in a knock down. Obviously this is not a problem coastal day sailing, so we fill em! When we head offshore, they are just filled enough to give is something to drink in the life raft without adding extra weight to the rail.

  12. Rick Page says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for posting. I have sent a message to your email address.

    Cheers

    Rick

  13. Stephen Ellick says:

    What is CPN.

  14. Gary Leonard says:

    Hi Guy’s, hope all is well. Am reading your book for the 2nd time, it’s great.Been looking at boats again. What do you think of the Westsail 32 or Tayana 37. Both are full keel.

    Thank’s Gary

    • rick says:

      Hi Gary,

      Glad to see you are back on the righteous path! We are VERY familiar with the Tayana 37 as we practically own one (the T37was designer Bob Perry’s ‘revenge’ boat after being stiffed on the design commission for the Hans Christian 36 and so is practically identical to Calypso). We are also very familiar with the Westsail 32. Both make excellent cruising boats (get one WITHOUT those bloody teak decks) being robustly built. Did you see the boat that survived the ‘perfecf storm’? A Westsail 32 called Satori.

      Both boats have great owners’ associations which are a great source of info. Westsail.org, tognews.com. got any links of the ones you are looking at?

      Good luck Gary!

  15. Brian Nelson says:

    Have you visited Wellington, New Zealand yet. You must, if only to drag me off my complacent backside, put me on a boat and push me out of Wellington harbour!

    • Rick Page says:

      Haven’t been there yet, but we DO have a very fine range of motivational butt-kickings should the wind push us that way…

  16. Hi,
    Just wanted to say how much we are enjoying your book, which has brought our escape forward substantially and saved us many thousands into the bargain, so we definitely owe you a few drinks. Saw you 2 weeks ago on the Ben Fogle re run here in UK. Very Best Wishes to you both.

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