About Silhouette

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Beneteau Oceanis 473 Clipper

Silhouette is just over 14 metres long and 4.3 metres wide. She has a deep fin keel of 2.1 metres and weighs just over 11 tons before putting anything onboard. By the time all fuel, water, equipment and personal belongings are in place she will be up to around 14 tons ….. a big girl indeed!

Fitted with 3 water tanks holding 600 litres and 2 fuel tanks containing 475 litres  means approximately 3 weeks of water for 2 easily and approximately 1000 miles of motoring.

The upgraded Yanmar turbo charged 100hp engine will give speeds around 9.5 knots but for the most economical use of fuel 7.0 knots is the ideal speed.

An inner forestay has been fitted to Beneteau spec giving excellent downwind sailing options or for raising our heavy weather storm jib.

Todays modern boats are power hungry so we have a Rutland 1200 wind generator and solar panel fitted along with high output alternator with smart controller. It’s not ideal though to run the engine in neutral to charge the batteries (we heard of many charter boats doing this and clogging up) so we have a generator as backup. We now have an arch fitted with space to add more solar panels should the need arise.

Perhaps the most ingenious piece of equipment on board is a deck water recovery system. Water has to be paid for pretty much everywhere which seems only fair, and water makers are not only expensive but prone to failure. What is free however is rain so each deck drain outlet has a diverter valve to fill the tanks. Simply watch it rain and after a couple of minutes to ensure any dirt on deck has gone, switch the valve and hey presto! The previous owner stated that they filled all the tanks in one 15 minute downpour in the tropics and it does rain a lot there !!!

We learnt to sail using charts and dead reckoning, something we still feel everybody should do as routine, but you can’t be anything other than impressed with the electronics pack on board. Raymarine E120 chart plotter at the chart table with E80  at the helm all interfaced with radar, AIS and auto pilot. Add to this the Raymarine smart controller and everything can be controlled remotely making her literally hands free ….. I still like my plotter and pencils though!!

A full cockpit bimini cover with detachable drop down sides keeps the hot sun out and the rain too making socialising a pleasure regardless of weather.

Our daughter Charlotte reckons the sound system is “Sick Dad”………. is this good or bad ???