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Old 12-01-2020, 09:55 AM   #1
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Willard 36 California to Hawaii (1987)

A bit of passagemaking history: I recently traded notes with the current owner of 1969 Willard 36 Hull #38 (my 1970 W36 Sedan is #40, the last W36 built), a Pilothouse version of the Wm Garden hull adapted by Blaine Seeley. Before the N46 was even conceived, this boat went from San Diego to Honolulu, a distance of 2300 nms and burned 330 gallons of diesel during the 18-day passage. Interestingly, the PH version of the W36 carried 300 gals vs 500 gals for the sedans. He was worried about fuel and carried 150 gals in a bladder, and another 165 gals in three 55-gal drums on the aft deck, carrying a total of 615 gals. Presumably, he chose October as a known seasonal weather window.

The then-new owner of the 18-year old vessel "Hornblower" wrote Willard Marine a letter documenting the trip which is attached as JPGs. The author/owner makes an inelegant effort to distinguish Willard from the Taiwan trawler-crowd. He describes being 65-years old at the time, and ran the 75hp Perkins 4.236 at 1450 RPM, shutting down for 10-mins each day for a complete engine check.

Here is a 2013 YouTube video from a broker when the boat was for sale.



As Co-Moderator of Willard Boat Owners for the past 20+ years, we have some amazing archives. Not only was Willard the very first passage-capable production Trawler, but it spawned the first users-group forerunner to TrawlerForum. In the 1960s, the owner of Hull #4 ("Linco"), an attorney out of the Portland OR area, distributed mimeographed newsletters of the various comings and goings of owners. W36's ventured as far as Panama Canal transits, and to the Galapagos Islands. This we well prior to affordable radar and navigation electronics. Even VHF radios would be of marginal use as there would be no one within range. These were hearty souls.

At any rate, Willard Boat Owners group is open to all interested people. Our email traffic is pretty light - a handful of posts a month. But it's a great resource for Willard Owners or wannabees - Willards often show up here before hitting the general market. Willards are not for every taste - they are not fancy boats and skew heavily towards utility and efficiency. There are 1000s of adjectives applicable to a Willard before you hit "opulent." But if you're interested, feel free to join.

https://willardboatowners.groups.io/

Also, one of our members (and co-Moderator) maintains a decent site on the history and various models of Willards. He tries to keep the for-sale section up to date too.

https://willardboats.org

Best to all, and thanks for letting me brag-on Willards.

Peter

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Old 12-01-2020, 04:16 PM   #2
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Good stuff! I always liked the look of a Willard but did know anything about them. Since I stumbled on a Bill Garden I have a whole new perspective. I will take you up in the invite thanks!
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:22 PM   #3
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can you make the letter bigger? - i cant read it.
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by bligh View Post
can you make the letter bigger? - i cant read it.
Lets see if these import larger.....

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Old 12-01-2020, 04:52 PM   #5
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The broker-video shown in Post #1 states 6.5 kts at 0.9 gph - the owner's letter states "six knot" average which means the trip would have been 16 days, not 18 days. Given the deck barrels and the bladder, I suspect he was uncertain about the fuel consumption, and the owner took some liberty about rounding-up to "six knot" average.

I suspect the actual numbers were more like 5.5 kts on average with 400 gals diesel burned for the trip which works out to a tad over 0.91 gph, which makes sense at the 1400 RPM that he kept the Perkins 4.236 loping.

Still impressive numbers, and I do not fault the owner one bit - we now have the technology to be much more precise and exact than what was normal 33+ years ago.

Peter
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:52 PM   #6
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Sounds tippy with all that fuel. Wow
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:08 PM   #7
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Sounds tippy with all that fuel. Wow
I know - almost 1000 lbs in the cockpit. The bladder on the cabin sole would be fine as its low, but sort of awkward since it didn't get used until very late in the trip.

As mentioned, the Garden-designed W36 Sedans like my Weebles were designed with 500 gallons in two saddle tanks. My boat carries a little over 400 gallons. I believe my tanks were shortened slightly to provide room for the Vosper stabilizers.

One of the design improvements of the W40 that was launched in 1974 was thwart-ship tanks that replaced the saddle tanks. This accomplished a couple things. First, the forward staterooms were separated by not just a bulkhead, but a tank so was more quiet. Second, and more importantly, the trim of the boat was unaffected as they were emptied. Diesel tankage was increased to 600 gallons, though one of the last ones built around 2000 was spec'd at 700 gallons as the owner anticipated making the Hawaii run himself. It makes for a very nice engine room, though not stand-up. You can see pictures in this 1999 W40 Sedan currently on Yachtworld, though this one is probably 600 gal capacity, which is obviously more than enough unless you want to bypass Hawaii and head to the Marquesas.

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/199...ne-40-3617588/

Full disclosure - I have not been aboard this particular Willard, but I do know the owner (in all fairness, I have met a large percentage of Willard owners over the 25-years I've moderated WBO). It's a freshwater boat in Wisconsin (I think) and owned by one of the earliest WBO members who owned a W30 before buy buying this one 15-years ago. Sounds crazy to me, but he tells me its customary to store boats in a heated barn in the winter!! If so, something to be said for a freshwater boat - probably a time-capsule.

Peter
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:49 PM   #8
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Peter I thought the groups WBO was kaput.
Maybe I’ve got some posts to catch up on.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:13 PM   #9
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Peter I thought the groups WBO was kaput.
Maybe I’ve got some posts to catch up on.
Hi Eric. Yahoo groups more or less closed down 1 year ago, so we moved the WBO site to Groups.io which similar except has an annual fee that we cover via member donations. Many yahoo sites were caught off guard. Some didn't make the pivot. We had so much content and files that we managed to stay alive.

Stop by and say hello. I'm surprised your email address wasn't ported over automatically.

Peter
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:32 PM   #10
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Which Willard was the Bill Garden adaptation, the 34?
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:41 PM   #11
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Which Willard was the Bill Garden adaptation, the 34?
I don't know the exact details, but best I can cobble together is Garden had designed a 34 footer, probably in the mid 1950s. Willard was originally Vega Marine, and whoever started it worked with Garden but stretched the 34 to 36 feet, the additional two feet being in the cockpit, which is enormous. Hull #1 was sold in 1961 and was a relative success given the times. Nine years later Vega (by then Willard) had launched 39 hulls. Must were sedans. Later in the run, Blaine Seeley collaborated to reconfigure the deck house into the Pilot house version, of which 5 were built. There was also a couple motorsailor versions, probably also late in the run.

A few hulls have been lost over the years due to hurricane, fire, and neglect. But most are still going strong.

Peter
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:24 AM   #12
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Willard 36 California to Hawaii (1987)

Quote:
Originally Posted by trawlercap View Post
Which Willard was the Bill Garden adaptation, the 34?


Here is a drawing apparently from Garden’s book (my copy is MIA right now) of the Willard/Vega 36 Sedan. The entire boat is molded fiberglass layup, all drawn by Garden. One difference all the examples I have seen from this sketch is the rudder has a bronze shoe bottom support, not hinged from a skeg.

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Old 12-02-2020, 06:31 AM   #13
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Production boats , cookies from the same mold , only became possible after GRP became common.

Ocean crossing was done before 1987, here is some info on the folks that claim the first Atlantic crossing.

Lifted from advertising hype. The Arielle cruise speed was 10 knots.


The first captain crossing the Atlantic Ocean under power

Arielle was built by Chantiers Navals Jouet & Cie. in France, from designs by Marin Marie. The hull was round bottom. Length overall 40 feet, beam 10 feet and tonnage 13. She had a two-ton keel. The sheer was continuous but forward, the nearly plumb stem gained an extra-foot of freeboard by a bulwark. Aft, the deck was sunk about 18 inches to form a small cockpit with big scuppers. In the cockpit there was a hatch for access to the stowage compartment below and the steering quadrant. In our days we would call this space a lazarette. A V-shaped raked coaming was set on deck forward to break any solid water that may find its way over the bow. Amidships there was an enclosed deckhouse, our modern pilot house. Further aft, there was a trunk cabin with the living quarters, very close to the layout of our pretty Selene Archer!
On a single engine for 22 days

Arielle was brought over from France aboard the liner Champlain several weeks before her departure from New York. Using an ingenious electric autopilot combined with a wind-vane system designed by himself and French engineer Casel, Marin Marie had sailed his yacht back from New York to Le Havre practically without touching the helm! The engine of Arielle was a bullet-proof French-made 4-cylinder Baudoin which worked day and night during twenty days. The Arielle, could bunker 5 tons of fuel and used only two third of it during the passage across the Atlantic Ocean via Nova Scotia. The Arielle cruise speed was 10 knots.

Marin-Marie came from a family interested in things nautical. He also obtained a doctorate in law, and took classes at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He did his share of voyaging while making a career as a renown painter and serving as an advisor for what was known as the French Line. A consultant for the Saint Nazaire Shipyard, he designed the stacks of the famous Normandie liner, adding a third one for aesthetic reasons only, which was eventually used as a kennel for the passenger’s dogs. In 1934, Marin Marie was appointed Peintre Official de la Marine, a rare distinction created in 1830.

In 1946, one decade later, after the French captain’s accomplishment, Robert Beebe wrote in Rudder, a leading boating magazine of the time, about the concept of passagemaking under power. It was then that, following Marin Marie’s foot steps, he coined the word “passagemaker” as the term for ocean-crossing vessels. Beebe’s Passagemaker was built in Singapore and launched in 1963.
A few years ago only, M.Y. Furthur, a Selene 47 skippered by Cap. Brian Calvert was the first Selene yacht which has crossed the Pacific Ocean!
Marin Marie, Robert Beebe, both of them still inspire us at Selene Yachts, and they inspire our clients and captains just the same…
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Old 12-02-2020, 07:46 AM   #14
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FF - interesting write-up. I see Beebes "Passagemaker" was launched in 1963, two years after the first W36 was launched in 1961.

What I find most interesting though is the self-sufficiency that was imposed on these early boaters. The Pacific Coast had the Holy Trinity of Naval Architects (Garden, Monk, and Defever) that combined designed a lot of boats for transit along the coast. The guy who originally had my W36 built in 1970 used it to go fishing along Baja, and the boat was apparently well known as a committee boat for the Newport >> Ensenada Sailboat Race. There was not even a paved road south of Ensenada until 1972 or so which is why the Baja 1000 offroad race came to be. And I can tell you that when I was delivering around 2000, there were large stretches of the central California coast where charts were coarse-scale and had not been updated since the 1930s.

Forums like these place a lot of attention on the boat, especially threads like this that bring up early influences such as Trawlercap's 1952 Garden designed "Beagle" who's original owner/patron wanted to go to The Galapagos Islands (FYI - "Beagle" was the name of Charles Darwin's original research vessel). Looking back, the boat was the easy part - seamanship skills and grit were the hard-fought/earned attributes that made the trip possible. Relatively accurate navigation on recreational boats really only started in the late 1970s/early 1980s with RDF; then improved in the 1990s with Loran. But you still had to manually transfer the fix to a chart, which was much easier than a sunshot via sextant, but still subject to human error. Visual navigation via lighthouses was still common through the 1990s until GPS and eventually chart plotters became ubiquitous.

Linked below is a 1.5 hour documentary of Eric & Susan Hiscock's circumnavigation in the late 1950s, the sailing contemporary of Beebe. Note, they had no autopilot (nor power to drive it if so equipped), and windvane steering had not been invented. So steering was a combination of setting the sails just-right, or (mostly), hand-steering.

We now talk about the capabilities of the boat, mostly because technology has lowered the bar for a skipper to undertake a crossing. Let's face it, anyone with a decent checkbook balance and some free time can buy a capable and well equipped boat tomorrow and, with a few weeks of instruction, be successfully cruising almost immediately next month. Definitely was not the case until GPS, Watermakers, navigation/radar systems, and reliable refrigeration came along.



Peter
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:53 AM   #15
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Great stuff, I wish I had a drawing like that. This boat was built 1952, Bill Garden was a prolific designer. I can see the heritage in the later fiberglass boats. I've never driven a boat that slips through the water so quietly.
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Old 12-07-2020, 02:27 PM   #16
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I have a new crush!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
A bit of passagemaking history: I recently traded notes with the current owner of 1969 Willard 36 Hull #38 (my 1970 W36 Sedan is #40, the last W36 built), a Pilothouse version of the Wm Garden hull adapted by Blaine Seeley. Before the N46 was even conceived, this boat went from San Diego to Honolulu, a distance of 2300 nms and burned 330 gallons of diesel during the 18-day passage. Interestingly, the PH version of the W36 carried 300 gals vs 500 gals for the sedans. He was worried about fuel and carried 150 gals in a bladder, and another 165 gals in three 55-gal drums on the aft deck, carrying a total of 615 gals. Presumably, he chose October as a known seasonal weather window.

The then-new owner of the 18-year old vessel "Hornblower" wrote Willard Marine a letter documenting the trip which is attached as JPGs. The author/owner makes an inelegant effort to distinguish Willard from the Taiwan trawler-crowd. He describes being 65-years old at the time, and ran the 75hp Perkins 4.236 at 1450 RPM, shutting down for 10-mins each day for a complete engine check.

Here is a 2013 YouTube video from a broker when the boat was for sale.



As Co-Moderator of Willard Boat Owners for the past 20+ years, we have some amazing archives. Not only was Willard the very first passage-capable production Trawler, but it spawned the first users-group forerunner to TrawlerForum. In the 1960s, the owner of Hull #4 ("Linco"), an attorney out of the Portland OR area, distributed mimeographed newsletters of the various comings and goings of owners. W36's ventured as far as Panama Canal transits, and to the Galapagos Islands. This we well prior to affordable radar and navigation electronics. Even VHF radios would be of marginal use as there would be no one within range. These were hearty souls.

At any rate, Willard Boat Owners group is open to all interested people. Our email traffic is pretty light - a handful of posts a month. But it's a great resource for Willard Owners or wannabees - Willards often show up here before hitting the general market. Willards are not for every taste - they are not fancy boats and skew heavily towards utility and efficiency. There are 1000s of adjectives applicable to a Willard before you hit "opulent." But if you're interested, feel free to join.

https://willardboatowners.groups.io/

Also, one of our members (and co-Moderator) maintains a decent site on the history and various models of Willards. He tries to keep the for-sale section up to date too.

https://willardboats.org

Best to all, and thanks for letting me brag-on Willards.

Peter

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I really like this boat!

Perfect for Hawaiian waters.

Aloha!
Joe
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:52 PM   #17
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Willard vega 36

That letter is totally bad ass,he couldn't be more correct about how seaworthy and slippery these 36 ft hulls are,if I pulled my Detroit back to 6knts with 500 gallons of fuel I would be close to 3000 nm range maybe even more in favorable conditions,and like Peter said they are not fancy boats but more ultilty and efficient,and am one very proud caretaker of hull number 12
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Old 12-29-2020, 09:47 AM   #18
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Curious if anyone is familiar with the M/Y Hawkeye IV in Petersburg, AK. I believe it is a 65' Willard.

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