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1650 NM to the Baltic on an LRC-58

Updated: Mar 28

Artnautica designs span from the LRC58 and 65 feet to the two heavyweight XPM models at 78 and 85 feet. A total of 14 long sleek Artnautica hulls are now sailing or in production, with the second LRC65 signed in December 2022. Five LRC58s are now sailing from yards in the Netherlands and New Zealand. The LRC58 is a long-range cruiser for coastal and near-sea cruising in comfort, speed, and superb economy.

This is the story of such a trip on LRC58-03 Britt; she was also featured recently on YouTube. Short form Story - 1650NM N Sea and Baltic at < 1 liter fuel per NM. Some dodgy weather, happy Dutchmen, great trip!

Below is the Long Form Story by Rob Westermann, Artnautica Europe.

Summer trip to the Baltic from May 21 to August 1, 2019, of Britt, a single engine 90 HP LRC58. Britt sailed the first step of a return trip with two crew in three days (90 nm, 76 nm, 53 nm) from the isle of Vlieland, The Netherlands, to Kiel-Holtenau and onwards to Stockholm, Sweden. The engine ran for approximately 230 hours, and a distance of about 1640 nm was covered. Britt's bottom was not cleaned since the bottom growth was marginal (with a clean bottom, however, we expect, on average, to sail 0.5-1 kn faster).

During the first half of the trip, the weather was wet and cold, and sometimes windy. We used the heater frequently; welcome to the North Sea! The second half of the trip was much nicer. There were a lot of headwinds with force varying between Bf 0-6 (0-27 kn) and Bf 7 (28-33 kn).

Vessels behavior & handling

We added cleats to the port and starboard aft deck, which is convenient when maneuvering in locks and docking. Since we encountered some stiff winds, the somewhat overrated Sidepower thruster proved a good choice. Twice we experienced sustained winds of Bf 6-7 (27-33 kn). Once because we were denied a berth in Heiligerhafen (Holy Harbor sic!), we had to retreat to Fehmarn Isle, and the second time on the North Sea, approximately one and a half hours to enter Lauwersoog (with wind against the current). On both occasions, Britt handled this type of weather and accompanying wave patterns nicely and with an excellent SOG of about 7 knots which were very good for our morale.

On July 27, the weather forecast in the morning was for Bf 6 (22-27 kn) and later for Bf 7 (28-33 kn) from the East. We left Gedser Denmark at 08:15 and did a downwind run of 38 nm. The engine ran at 2150 revs. The waves at the stern were huge, and Britt sailed up to 9.3 knots in the surfs though the course stayed true with no tendency to bow steer beyond a few degrees either way.

Around midday, we arrived at Heiligenhafen, but we were denied a spot in the harbor.

So we went back upwind another 10 nm before we could safely find a berth. And guess what. The wind was blowing at Bf 7 (28-33 kn), so Britt got a beating for an hour and a half. We still managed to do 6,5, to 7 knots SOG. I estimated the wave height to be over 2 m. But everything worked out fine, so we now could add another experience to Britt's track record.

On July 31, we did the last track to NL on the North Sea from the German isle of Norderney to Lauwersoog (roughly 50 nm). The weather forecast was for Bf 3-5 (10-20 kn) SW at the start and Bf 4-6 (15-27 kn) SSW at the end with rain showers and most likely more wind. We started at 10:00 in the morning, just 1,5 hours before high tide. The engine ran at 2175 revs. Around noon, the current changed so we could benefit from the ebb tide towards NL.

The plan was to be at the channel entrance around slack tide. Unfortunately, the wind was against the tide, so while the wind was at Bf 4,5 (15-20 kn), it worked fine. However, around 14:30, we ran into a heavy squall (30-35 kn), and the waves started to build up accordingly (>2 m). Again Britt got a beating for 1,5 hours, but actually, she did fine. as wavelength was better (read longer) than in the Baltic. We did slow down a bit (2000 revs) for 15 minutes or so to adjust for the head seas. We entered the harbor shortly after 17:00, so we did the 50 nm run in just over 7 hours. Quite a good one.