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Bitchin on his boat

The Bitchin/Global 52 was designed by Walter Schulz at Shannon Yachts to be as green a boat as possible - without sacrificing comfort.

Powered by twin 75-hp Yanmar turbo diesels, the boat will be able to cross the Atlantic under power on 400 gallons of fuel. With both engines running, it will motor at up to 12 knots. Under a single engine, it will motor economically at 7.5 knots, burning just 1.1 gph.

Bitchin's Global 52 is under construction at Shannon Yachts in Bristol, R.I.

All interior and exterior lighting is LED to keep the boat from being power hungry, but it lacks nothing for comfort. The Phasor 12-kW generator will run whenever we need to use the separate washer/dryer, trash compactor and other electrical appliances. We will use solar panels to keep the batteries topped off at anchor.

To enable single-handed sailing, we have the Forespar Leisure Furl in-boom furling system, the new prototype Harken electric furling headsail system, and electric winches. There are two steering stations - one in the raised saloon so we can stay warm and dry when we round Cape Horn, and one aft for fun in the sun.

After living aboard for 30 years, the important thing on a cruising boat, for me, is comfort. This boat has been designed with a very comfortable raised saloon, a large aft "owner's" cabin with its own head and shower, and spacious forward cabin with separate head and shower. Amidships is a large galley with breakfast bar and an office with computer and communications equipment.

The Furuno NavNet 3-D is a state-of-the-art navigation system, backed up by two cruising computers.

I have brought in two partners on the project, which makes a lot of sense in these tough economic times. The boat will be kept in the Caribbean during the first winter, then the Mediterranean for a season, returning to the Caribbean the following winter. After that, it will be in New England for a summer and then perhaps the South Pacific and New Zealand.

My partners and I all have the same desire - to enjoy a few weeks at a time escaping to the best cruising grounds on Earth.

You can find more on the Shannon Global 52 at the Bristol, R.I., builder's Web site, www.shannon

See related story:

- The Real Bob Bitchin

This article originally appeared in the April 2010 issue.