|Last Dance at St. Augustine Marine 2007|
Last Dance is a 1976 DeFever Passagemaker, 40 feet in length, 14' beam and 4' 2" draft. Art DeFever has designed many boats, beginning with Pacific tuna trawlers, made to handle large seas. A friend asked him to design a recreational boat with the seaworthy characteristics of his off-shore fishing boats, and the DeFever line of off-shore cruisers began. He is still designing quality boats today, while in his early 90's. The designs being built today range from a 44' boat to boats over 60 feet. If you are interested in DeFever designs, the DeFever Cruiser web site has descriptions and photos: http://www.defevercruisers.com/defever_designs.asp Last Dance was built by Jensen Marine in California. She has a full-displacement hull for seaworthiness. The hull is hand-laid, solid fiberglass over an inch thick. When manufactures began building larger boats using fiberglass they did not understand the strength of the material, so they built the hulls as thick as they would have a wooden-hulled boat, resulting in some very stout hulls. The previous owners installed Naiad Stablizers, hydraulic-operated fins that keep the boat from rolling. These are much appreciated by the current crew, both who suffer motion sickness easily. Basically, a gyroscope talks to a hydraulic pump which then uses pressurized oil to move the fins in a manner that dampens the roll motion of the boat. You can see one of the fins under the starboard side of the boat above.
Ground tackle refers to the anchoring system. The anchor pulpit holds two anchors; the main anchor is a 55 pound Delta, backed up by a 35 pound Bruce. The line between the boat and the anchor is called a rode, and Last Dance has 50' of 3/8 chain and 200 feet of 8-braid nylon line. To gather all this rode and anchor back into the boat, there is an electrically operated windlass to provide the muscle needed. This system is important to this crew as we prefer to be anchored in a quiet, natural environment, rather than squeezed into a marina slip with many other boats.
Last Dance is powered by twin, 6-cylinder Perkins diesel engines, each 354 cubic inches in displacement. They are marinized (modified) to work in a boat by adding raw water pumps, coolers for engine oil and transmission oil, and a heat exchanger to dissipate the heat generated by the engine, absorbed by the antifreeze, into the raw water, which is then injected into the exhaust stream to cool it as it exits the boat.
Twelve volt DC electrical power is generated by the alternators on each engine. For 120 volt AC power, the main source is an 8kw Westerbeke generator, which produces enough power to operate the stove, air conditioners and other 120 volt equipment. Last Dance also has an inverter, which serves two electrical functions: it can convert the 12 volt DC power in the battery bank to 120 volts AC to operate small appliances and equipment, and it functions as a 120 amp battery charger, putting 12 volt DC power back into the batteries when 120 volt AC power is available.
There are many other systems required to make Last Dance operate, but these cover the basics and, hopefully, help the reader understand the boat as a seagoing machine.