February 23, 2012

Around the world in 120 days

A 74-year-old Maine resident, originally from New Zealand, hopes to sail around the globe by himself in a Maine-built boat

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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Stanley Paris, left, and Lyman-Morse project manager Lance Buchanan stand inside the hull mold of the Kiwi Spirit, which Paris plans to sail around the globe next year.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Stanley Paris with a depiction of the completed sailboat.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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A weighted keel -- something that didn't exist when the American Promise was built -- will provide some stability.

The Kiwi Spirit will have plenty of high-tech, weight-saving advances.

Project manager Lance Buchanan points out special lightweight plywood in some parts of the interior, and plastic honeycombs sandwiched between wood exteriors elsewhere. Stiff Corecell foam for the hull seems barely heavier than Styrofoam.

Other technological advances should help Paris complete the circumnavigation quicker than Morgan did.

For instance, Paris will check in daily with a weather-based routing service that will suggest headings to catch maximum winds while avoiding bad weather -- something Morgan certainly didn't have.

An autopilot system will let Paris take breaks for meals and those short sleeps. Paris noted that when his son sailed around the world -- with stops -- a few years ago, he didn't take a life jacket, figuring that if he fell overboard, the boat would continue on autopilot and he'd be able to do no more than watch it get smaller in the distance.

Paris will have a device that clips to his belt. If he falls overboard, it will alert the autopilot to head into the wind, which should slow or stop the boat long enough to let Paris swim to it and pull down a ladder mounted on the stern for just such a situation.

He also will have a personal emergency locator.

Paris will make his trip green. Morgan had a gas-powered generator to provide electricity. Paris will use wind and hydro turbines powered by the Kiwi Spirit's forward motion. Solar cells on deck will help charge lithium-ion batteries that should hold three days' supply of electricity.

That means Paris won't need any gasoline, propane or butane, and won't leave any carbon emissions in his wake.

Once the Kiwi Spirit is launched, in August, Paris will embark on sea trials and a few long-distance races to familiarize himself with the boat. He will make final preparations for more than three months at sea, during which he will not be allowed to accept any assistance.

Like Morgan, Paris plans to officially begin and end his trip around the world in Bermuda.

He said his meals will consist of freeze-dried food, and he will take vitamins in addition to a daily drug to control his high cholesterol.

"I haven't figured out how to freeze-dry wine," Paris noted, so he'll have to forgo his preferred two glasses a night. Instead, he's taste-testing Scotch and rum, which require less volume to pack the same punch.

Paris won't be quite as alone as Morgan was.

Morgan, who participated in a college study of isolation during his voyage, had to rely on a radio for communications with shore. That could require hours of fiddling for a signal.

Advances in communications will let people on dry land track Paris' progress with GPS precision, and he will be able to use a satellite phone to ask Lyman-Morse workers for repair advice or just to hear a friendly voice.

"I can call anywhere for 80 cents a minute," he said.

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:



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Additional Photos

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At Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding of Thomaston, Stanley Paris gets a bird’s-eye view Wednesday as workers construct the interior of his Paris 63 sailboat below.

John Patriquin/Staff Photographer

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Dodge Morgan stands next to a model of his boat, American Promise. He sailed the boat around the world solo 26 years ago. The Maine businessman died in 2010 at the age of 78.

2005 file photo/Gordon Chibroski

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Visitors board Dodge Morgan’s American Promise in August 2011 during a special Portland ceremony that paid tribute to Morgan on the 25th anniversary of his solo voyage around the world. The boat is now tied up at a Kittery marina.

2011 file photo/Jill Brady

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