This photograph shows the first Chubby Girl, which was built too heavily and performed poorly. After about a year of sea trials and modifications to make her sail better, on the first of February 2020, I made the decision to salvage what I could, saw her up and put her pieces in the dumpster. About mid-February 2020, I started construction on the second Chubby Girl, which followed the design ideas of Jim Antrim and used foam core construction. There is not a single piece of wood in the second Chubby Girl. The second Chubby Girl is 9 feet length overall, and she was launched on 29 June 2020.
Other than a main sail, twin roller jib sails, and a spinnaker sail, there is a small 5 HP 4-cycle Mercury outboard, which will be used only to get out of the way of approaching ships that do not see me, to enter or exit marinas, or to make passages through reefs as I enter or leave a port. Chubby Girl will carry only about four gallons of fuel, so once I have left port the entire passage will be made by sailing.
The photo to the left is the original Chubby Girl immediately after her second launching and before fitting the original mast. She was cut up and put in a dumpster in February 2020 because she was built too heavily and sailed poorly.
A second Chubby Girl, which is a foam core boat, was started in mid February 2020 and launched on 29 June 2020.
A 100-watt solar panel will be used to charge one small deep cycle battery — to be able to run the LED lights at night, and to periodically check my position with a GPS. It will also be used to periodically use the VHF radio when needed to contact passing ships, though my radio range is only a few miles.
Since there is not sufficient power to run an autopilot, “sheet to tiller” steering will be used. In this system I will run lines from the sail control lines (sheets) to the opposite side of the steering tiller and a piece of surgical tubing will be used to balance the tension to the tiller. Periodic adjustments will be needed when sea or wind conditions change. This system, if it works properly, should allow me to get some sleep, cook my meals, and continue sailing. If I make 50 miles (about 80 km) in 24 hours, I will be happy.
During bad sea conditions or times when there is sea spray or breaking waves, the entrance hatch will be closed and I will be able to look out through a hatch-mounted polycarbonate dome, and steer from inside the boat.
There is barely any room to lay down, and during the first couple of weeks I will actually be sleeping on top of my food — until I eat down to the floor boards, under which I also have food storage compartments. Most of the food and water is stored in these lockable storage compartment, which need to be locked in case the boat is rolled over by waves. This will keep the food from flying around in the boat, and since the food weight is part of the calculated ballast, it needs to remain low in the boat. As food is consumed, the weight is replaced by filling empty plastic bottles with sea water. The boat is designed to be self-righting when rolled over by big waves. Although the original mast was an A-frame mast, as opposed to a single mast of most sailboats, the current mast is a single keel-stepped carbon fiber mast. which is lighter even though it is taller.
Although I will be trolling for fish during the entire passage, it is unlikely I will catch much at this slow speed. I will carry a spear gun in case any food-size fish takes up short-term residency around the boat.