For those of you interested in the technical specifications behind ROAM this is a boat designed for performance cruising and engineered to take the punishment of the seas. Striking the balance between performance and cruising can be challenging and it’s difficult to suit every end user. The Spirited 480 is not designed for racing but it would certainly hold its own around the buoys in light trim.
I was lucky enough to spend a day sailing ROAM on her first test sail with main and headsail and could get a good feel for the design on most points of sail. The handling and performance was very similar to the Spirited 380 design but you could feel the extra speed and comfort given the additional length. As impressive as that was, that was sailing around the bay, the offshore performance has now been proven.
The Spirited 480 was designed with the benefit of all the experience gained from the Spirited 380. There was not much to change and most of the design features are the same however with added length comes extra speed, space and comfort.
ROAM has been customised in a few areas to suit Michael’s requirements. To begin with most of the interior is to Michael’s design with the galley down in the port hull making way for more space in the saloon which has a dining area adjacent to the galley and opposite a ‘lounging’ space. On the bulkhead behind the lounge area is a nav station. With Mick’s plans of hosting large surfing safaris space in the bridgedeck area was a priority. As well as this there was a large custom surfboard locker designed into the port bow which has a well equipped workshop in the aft end.
The cockpit was also given the custom treatment with a barbecue nook on the port end of the aft seat assembly. To offset the use of space used for the surfboard locker on the port side forward, the opposite hull has a shower forward of the ensuite.
The Spirited 480 has been designed with performance in mind and the slim hulls allow the boat to run at very efficient speeds. The slender hulls also create a comfortable ride and motion as they cut easily through the waves in its path. The well sized performance rig drives the boat freely on all points of sail. Optimizing the sailing associated gear such as the deck hardware, rig and sails will go a long way to improving the boat’s sailing performance. For example ROAM is fitted with Black Magic Harken deck hardware, an Allyacht Spars rig and high end Fiberpath Ullman sails. This combination really compliments the design and takes full advantage of its potential performance.
Another critical factor in this equation is weight. For all this to work optimally and to have a good power to weight ratio, carefully monitoring unnecessary weight is essential. This begins with the construction of the boat, minimizing excess resin, filler etc but also choice of equipment and fittings can make a surprising difference. Roam is fitted with Lithium batteries and will have a water-maker, items such as this can save weight in the hundreds of kg’s. Michael also chose the Lombardini engines which are much lighter than any other engine of its size.
The structure of ROAM is end-grain balsa sandwiched between epoxy/E-glass skins. The hull and deck components are resin-infused and the flat panels are pressed under heat, ensuring an excellent resin/fibre ratio, good consolidation and a lightweight result. One of the main advantages of end-grain balsa core is that it is extremely rigid and very high in compression. The all-epoxy structure is a must to achieve a high performance design with good structural characteristics.
The DIY component of this project lets the builder take on the control of many areas, such as quality of assembly and construction, personalisation, as well as the final level of finish. The kit package assists in quick assembly and much less on-site laminating; the builder is focusing on mainly connecting all the supplied parts together rather than highly skilled and involved trade tasks. Included in the package are stylish composite integral fittings built into the structure such as the chainplates, stanchion and rail bases, forebeam and striker. The fact of the matter is that you simply can’t go and buy a boat like ROAM, this is why Michael Hoult hand-built it!
ROAMING THE SEAS!
Michael Hoult is now enjoying the fruits of his labour after spending six years constructing his Spirited 480 ‘ROAM’. I have the utmost of respect for any amateur builder who can achieve such a project demonstrating the level of dedication required to see it through to the end. It is to be commended that they manage to juggle everything in their busy lives and still make time for their project.
The original concept and design brief for ROAM was to be a ‘Global Adventure Vehicle’, and now there is a website to follow the ‘adventure’ (sailsurfroam.com). One of Mick’s passions is surfing and this was integral to the chosen design. His intention was to access some of the most remote surfing spots around the world and have a comfortable living platform along the way. This can now be appreciated as you follow their adventures on the website with already amazing scenes of surfing spots and surfing skills displayed.
Sailing performance was also high on his list of priorities and ROAM has more than met the expectations in this area with the boat easily sailing at wind speed. The efficient easily driven aspect of this design means that there is little effort required to average high passage speeds. Michael has been feeding regular performance data back to us as well as posting this on the website for followers to see.
One of the stand-out benefits of building your own boat is that you can customize it to exactly the way you want it. Michael approached us to implement his design ideas which were then included in the building kit supplied, all he had to do was put it all together! ROAM was very much a family affair with all family members pitching in to help with the project. Michael’s father John worked on the boat almost every day to keep the project moving. Friends also rallied around for any heavy lifting when required who I’m sure have been rewarded for their efforts now that ROAM is sailing! Michael has already publically endorsed this building system as one of the best around in his opinion.
ROAM was launched mid April 2015 in St Helens Tasmania and was immediately home for Michael. The following weeks saw small trips around the area before setting off across the Bass Strait to get the rig stepped in Melbourne. The sails were not going to be ready for a few weeks so the ROAM crew filled in time by cruising up the east coast and exploring every nook and cranny along the way. The sails were fitted in Cronulla near Sydney and Mick invited me along for the big day. The test sail went smoothly and ROAM lapped up the ideal conditions with some already impressive sailing performance.
I thought Michael was joking initially but the following day the ROAM crew set off for Tassie! With no time to waste they were romping down the coast and were back in St Helens 60 hours later! The regular ROAM crew consists of Michael, Larissa and his brother Andy. Soon after this they set off to circumnavigate their island state which is all documented on their website with some amazing Tassie scenery. In usual ROAM fashion they examined every bay, inlet and river system on the coast and of course every potential surfing spot as well! But the coast is not the only thing of interest, the ROAM crew is well kitted with mountain bikes, hiking apparel and even abseiling gear, nothing is out of bounds! Their land based activities are captured on GoPro cameras for some exciting footage also posted on the website for everyone to see.
Larissa, Michael’s partner is a new comer to sailing and living aboard but has a background as a nutritionist so has a keen interest in healthy cooking. This can be seen on the website with visits to local markets and now some of Larissa’s recipes. Good health in general is apparent with a regular Yoga session held on the foredeck with the entire crew involved. She has also written an interesting post of her experiences while being on board so far that can be seen on the sailsurfroam.com website.
She had this to say recently when asked about her new lifestyle:
“Being a part of the ROAM crew is the most exciting opportunity I have ever been given. Sailing is the ultimate freedom, every day is different and the thought of waking up somewhere I have never been before is invigorating. Life is not always calm sea’s blue skies and bikinis but for me so far living aboard ROAM is a lifestyle I am loving every minute of and a future of many ocean passages to look forward to. – Liss”
It’s always satisfying as a designer to see the boat being used for its purpose and enjoyed by its owners. Now we can all follow the ROAM adventures on their website and be part of their dream!
IN THE ENGINE ROOM
LOMBARDINI LDW 1404 SAIL DRIVES
RATED 40HP @ 3600RPM AND WEIGHS ONLY 160KGS!
This series of exceptionally light and compact engines, features very high reliability in every condition; furthermore, the Spirited 48 ROAM project has been carried out in order to optimize durability and low fuel consumption without reducing the performance of the engine.
Four stroke marine diesel engines (LDW 502 M, LDW 702 M, LDW 1003 M, LDW 1404 M), fresh water cooled via heat exchanger, complete with zinc anode protection; cast-iron engine block (aluminium for LDW 502 M); reborable liners; one piece aluminium cylinder head; indirect injection with unit injector pump in the cylinder head; overhead camshaft with timing belt; vane type lubrication pump on crankshaft; fresh water cooling pump in the engine block; stainless steel water injected exhaust elbow; self-priming sea water pump; air filter; anti-corrosion surface treatment.
The original design concept as the pearlitic grey cast iron cylinder head with integral reborable “twin” arranged liners, with cross flow intake and exhaust pipes, has allowed the reduction of the engine length assuring at the same time an exceptional sturdiness. The LDW 502 M, which has been built with an aluminium engine block and reborable liners is the lightest of the FOCS series.
Excellent results have been obtained in reducing noise emission thanks to the location of the injection system in the cylinder head, to a ribbing system along all the engine structure and to the complete absence of gears.
The overhead camshaft is driven through a cogged belt, especially designed for heavy duty applications to ensure longevity of belt life.
The utilization of newly developed and ‘Lombardini patented’ pump-injector units, in place of a conventional system, incorporating separate fuel injection pumps and injectors, allows the elimination of fuel pipes and consequently provides a better injection timing with the result of great performance advantages.
The ‘Lombardini patented’ injection system has been tested for exhaust emission levels to the lowest limits. FOCS engines achieved high acclaim with regard to exhaust emissions being well below the EEC requirements.
The very accurate balancing of the moving components together with optimum combustion allows low vibration levels at all engine speeds.
Components subject more frequent checking are located in the upper part of the engine, just under the cover. This allows easy and low cost equipment maintenance.
The Lombardini Marine S-Drive transmission have been developed from our experience gained from years of sailboat racing. This experience in collaboration with many professional skippers helped us to devise two transmissions featuring the essential requirements of sturdiness and reliability whilst, at the same time, offering the minimum water resistance during sailing.
The shape of the submerged part of drive has been evolved to incorporate an excellent hydrodynamic profile with an extremely low drag coefficient, where the drive’s section and chord are reduced to the minimum, for optimum boat speeds between 4 and 12kts.
The axial thrust is handled by a special conical bearing arrangement.
To make the installation easier, the drive has its own built-in sea water inlet and is supplied with a sea cock.
The clutch assembly has been developed to ensure soft and precise gear engagement. A technologically advanced metal-spray surface treatment on the bronze clutch cone allows the oil to drain quickly from the clutch when maneuvering, ensuring smooth, positive shifts.
Particular attention has been paid to the design of the gear teeth since mechanical noise mostly depends on the profile of the gears adopted. Conical gears with helical teeth incorporating a special involute shape, which allows continuous contact between the gear tooth surfaces, reduce gear noise. The GLEASON method is used during manufacture to guarantee minimum tolerances on the special alloy steel teeth, which are carburized and hardened for maximum life.
Lubrication throughout both the upper gear mechanism and the lower part of the drive is assured by utilizing a single oil path.
The oil is circulated by the pumping effect of the special gear profile.
The large capacity of the oil sump in the drive allows longer intervals between servicing.
Oil cooling is assured by the contact of the drive with the sea water.
The drive is protected against corrosion by the use of a special aluminium alloy with a reduced copper content and stainless steel is employed for all shafts, nuts and bolts. Two electrochemical treatments, before and after machining, followed by an electro-deposition paint process and two coats of special marine paint protect the external surfaces. An extra large zinc, directly mounted on the drive provides protection against galvanic corrosion.
The sealing gasket is made from a special rubber resistant to both hydrocarbons and sea water. Its special shape in combination with the strength of the rubber ensure maximum life and durability and allows the drive to move independently from the hull, which promotes a pleasant sailing with no vibration being transmitted to the boat.
Particular attention has been taken with regard to weight reduction, in anticipation of applications on board racing boats; reinforcement ribs have been employed to increase the mechanical strength of the drive housing without reducing reliability.