Swift Trawler 42 Goes to Chile Part 1

Vessel type/length – Beneteau Swift Trawler 42 foot
Engine type/Horsepower – Twin Yanmar 370 HP
Cruising speed – 24 knots or more economical 18 knots
Starting Location – Orange Park, FL
Destination (part 1) – Fort Lauderdale, FL

We are proud to be a part of the journey for this Swift Trawler 42 from Jacksonville, FL to Chile South America. The new owner is moving up from a sailboat to a power boat because he wanted to get to his cruising area and back in the same week. So we combine delivery with trawler training and plan a learn-as-you-go trip.

The Swift Trawler 42 will fit this owners needs because he can “zip” to the southern end of Chile and slow down to enjoy the glaciers and thermal pools. This new owner learns at the helm for vessel maneuvering and basic systems preventive maintenance including a generator sea water impeller change during the trip.

We meet the new owner in Orange Park, FL at Fleming Island Marina. First day, we study vessel systems, make lists of items needed aboard a brand new boat and explore the neighborhood after making our purchases. Early the next morning we motor across the St. Johns River to Mandarin Point to fill the fuel tanks. About 9 AM we cruise NORTH down the St. Johns River toward the ocean (the St. John River is one of few American rivers that flow north).

We idle past The Jacksonville Landing area, Memorial Park and the NFL Jaguar’s football stadium and then get back on plane to try for Cape Canaveral before dark. The ocean is friendly and we are able to maintain an economical 18 knots helping us keep our schedule.   As luck and fate treats us we must slow down to wait for a rocket launch. The ocean kicks up around 4PM getting sloppy as we near the launch site. We are required to keep out of the NO BOAT ZONE for the space launch scheduled for 5.45 PM. Rocking and rolling, we idle around in large circles waiting for the launch and the zone to clear for marine traffic. During this time the generator dies and we loose our air conditioning. It was rainy, muggy and hot, YES, this is the reason the owner decided to move up from a sailboat. I check the generator and determine the impeller is bad. This is a tomorrow project!

We see a security patrol helicopter come out and scout the NO BOAT ZONE so we know the launch will be any minute. We finally see a large fireball on the shoreline and suddenly the rocket takes to the sky. Soaring into the clouds, the fireball reappears as it careens high into the heavens. OK, shows over so it’s time to make the last 25 miles into Cape Canaveral, tie up the boat and walk another 1 ½ miles to the restaurant for a late dinner. The same 1 ½ miles home to the boat we stroll a little slower before arriving at the Swift Trawler 42. Lights out comes quickly and we sleep like a rock.

Early up we change the generator impeller then fuel the boat and head direct to Fort Lauderdale. Another beautiful morning with afternoon thunderstorms expected. One more great day on the ocean, we arrive at Lauderdale Marina, secure the boat and rush to dinner. Boat riding makes you hungry.

The next morning we rise early to wash the salty boat. Next, we schedule a haulout to get the hull measured for a shipping cradle. Remember, its final destination is Chile.

The plan is: lift the boat onto a ship as deck freight and ship it to Chile where the owner will again board the boat when it is launched so he can run it to his home marina.

Stay tuned for part two…you know how plans are!