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Bluewater is a proven, strong and capable 36-foot steel voyaging cutter designed by John Hutton and Bernard Moitessier, professionally built in Hawaii by Tern Marine in 1985. Her hull is designed with a raked stem, 3/4 keel, large barn door rudder with built-in self-steering trim tab and a semi-hard chine. She has 6’2” standing headroom, and very comfortably housed a tall couple and a dog for many years. Sleeping space exists for four adults, and a port quarter berth can be adapted as well.
The interior is smartly and functionally designed, finished in koa, Corian and newly recovered cushions. The layout belowdecks consists of a chain locker forward, followed by a generous v-berth and ample storage in six koa-framed lockers, with sail storage below. The port side of the main salon consists of a dinette/settee, then the galley with a deep sink, fresh and saltwater foot-pump-operated taps, deep cool box and storage, and a gimbaled three-burner stove and oven. Aft of the stove is more storage and the quarter berth and access to storage below the cockpit and lazarette. On the starboard side of the main salon there is a full-length berth/settee and upper full-length berth and two bookshelves. Farther aft is the Dickinson Lofoten diesel heater and enclosed head with a reach-through access panel to aft storage/ski rack. The engine and battery bank are both easily accessed and positioned on centerline under the companionway steps that lead to the cockpit.
Abovedeck Bluewater is all business with a secure cockpit and tiller steering, weather cloths, full dodger and awning with side curtains. The articulated cabin top and decks are surrounded by welded steel stanchions and stainless cable. There are also welded steel rails on the cabin-top and robust pulpit and cockpit rails.
Go simple, go now. A boat should deliver her crew to the far shore with safety, reliability and comfort. A voyaging boat is a rare thing these days. Bluewater is one such vessel. Like any object with a soul, there is a great story behind every detail.
John Hutton, Bluewater’s designer and builder, met Bernard Moitessier when Bernard arrived in Tahiti aboard Joshua, a 39-foot steel ketch, on June 21st, 1969, after his historic 12⁄3 (37,455 nautical miles in 10 months) times around the globe, mostly in the roaring forties—including the southern capes in the winter—after abandoning his lead position in the Sunday Times Golden Globe race, the first, single-handed, round-the-world race. John, on his own circumnavigation aboard a “leaky wooden boat” was amazed by the fact that Joshua’s steel hull was bone dry inside. When John completed his circumnavigation, he took up welding and launched Tern Marine, building 36 to 42-foot sailboats that met his requirements for a bluewater voyager.
Fast forward to 1982, when a freak December storm drags 20+ boats including Joshua onto the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Unable to salvage Joshua, Bernard sells her where she sits in the sand and is boatless for the first time in his life. Meanwhile, John Hutton had left British Columbia and set up shop in California, and Tern Marine was producing strong, capable bluewater boats. Upon reading about the loss of Joshua on the beach in Mexico, John invited Bernard to California to help with his design and offered to build Bernard a boat. Bernard accepted and moved to California to work with the Tern Marine Team building bluewater voyaging boats.
In Oregon, an insurance salesman and sailing enthusiast read that Bernard Moitessier was in California building boats with John Hutton. He drove there to meet the famed Bernard Moitessier and, upon meeting, it was as if they’d each found a long-lost brother.
Fast forward again, Tern Marine completed Bernard’s new boat and he christened it Tamata. Bernard, the insurance salesman and one other crew sailed Tamata from San Francisco to Honolulu. When they arrived, the salesman asked Hutton to build him a boat like Tamata only without a bowsprit. Hutton and Moitessier combined their expertise, John’s design and build team, Bernard and his vast experience in the southern ocean and thousands upon thousands of voyaging miles. This is how Bluewater was born.
Thru-hulls: Number Below Water Line: 3
Number Above Water Line: 1
System Wiring: Sheathed, stranded, tinned copper
Overload Protection: Fuses and breakers