Draco for sale

FOR SALE : the fantastic Fjord MS 33 no 465001, built in 1974.
We bought Draco in december 2002 and we are the second owner.
We sailed/motorsailed from the southwestern part of the Netherlands tot Denmark, the eastern and the southern coast of the UK, the coast of Belgium – but also to Antwerp and Brussels – and the northwestern coast of France. A lot of experiences and a lot of memories !
She is well equiped, but we will name the following list :

Chartplotter – Lowrance 3500 C Global Map; Autopilot – Raymarine S1G, display 6002; GPS navigator Furuno (GP 30); VHF – ICOM Marini
(IC M 601) + HM – 137B microphone;  2x Fire extinguisher; Double forestay; Furling system genoa; Bow anchor+chain; 2×2 Sheet winches (in cockpit); Dolphin – automatic battery charger (220V to 12V15 Amp.); Electric Bow thruster. Mainsail (reefed) 18.5 m2; Jib 1 24.5 m2; Jib 2 (reefed) 15.0 m2; Furling genoa 28.2 m2; Blister 65.0 m2.
If you have any questions, please let us know ! (marjong2@upcmail.nl)
Draco’s price is € 32.500,-.


Posted in Fjord MS 33 For Sale | Leave a comment

A MS33 near Sarpsborg Norway

In August 2017 this MS33 was spotted near Sarpsborg on Norway’s south-eastern coast.



Posted in Finding the Fleet, MS33 sightings, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

SOHVI: Thoughts for the year ahead.

This weekend just past was a bank holiday weekend in the UK.  In the islands here, we get an extra day off on May 9th (Liberation Day).  Unusually the weather decided to get into holiday mode too,  and consequently we had an almost perfect holiday weekend.

I decided to take my sister-in-law and her husband to Sark for the day.  That’s less than 10 miles each way from our home port, so an easy day out.  We motored,  we sailed,  we fished and we found an anchorage all to ourselves, which considering that just around the headland, it was heaving with early-season boaters, was amazing.


There’s something magical about having an isolated anchorage all to one’s self.  No cars, no hum of machinery, no loud music polluting the silence.  Just the sound of the waves gently lapping at the cliff edge and the cries of nesting birds above.   I was in reflective mood, not just because of the location, but also in the knowledge that this season will be the first in which I sail without my wife, Delma.    I learned long ago that what matters is not necessarily what one does in life, but who one does those things with, and so it was with our sailing.  Delma loved being on the water and had sailed all her life, much of the time in stripped out racing machines.  We often joked that the only reason she originally went out with me was because I had a boat with an indoor toilet and microwave oven!  The point is that both of us came to love our sailing as a shared experience, shared in the moment, and afterwards too, when one looks back upon a voyage or season.   Doing it on my own this year is going to take some getting used to.

I took the dink out and punted around on my own, as we used to do, marvelling at the clarity of the sea at this time of year.  There is a child-like pleasure of drifting effortlessly over rocks and kelp beds, peering down into a real-life aquarium.  It also dawned on me that this was the first time I had been able to row around SOHVI and admire her on the water, from a distance.


I tried to look at SOHVI as with the eyes of a stranger, contemplating her form for the first time.  Does the shape have an intrinsic appeal?  Does it look inevitably ‘right’ even to someone not versed in boat-lore?   As a lover of good design of any kind (not just boats) I’m a firm believer that good design should connect with the observer at an emotional level as much as a logical level.


I think Eivind Amble got this one right. The proportions look good, the lines are fair, and as if I needed confirmation of the same, I am always pleased and surprised at how many unsolicited compliments I receive from passers-by, about how nice the boat looks.  It matters too – if one is required to invest so much time and money in looking after a lady, it helps enormously if one is in love with her looks, manners and idiosyncrasies.

And so the perfect day morphed into a perfect evening, albeit tinged with a little sadness.  Watching the sun set, I resolved that the best thing I can do is to continue doing what Delma would have most liked: living life to the full and sailing for the pure love of sailing.  I will do my best this coming year.


Posted in All the posts, Journeys | 8 Comments

Storm Emma has taken Master Robert

A note on our feedback form from Paul.

“Just to inform all that Fjord ms 33 Master Robert has been lost in Holyhead Marina. She was a total loss as  she was down under the water for a month just got her up yesterday 3/4/2018.  I have pictures if anyone interested and brand new sail 8oz Drecon cream colour. Contact 07584430288”


Storm Emma hit Holyhead in early March with a combination of the high density wind reaching severe gale force 9 combined with high spring tides to generate a vicious wave force. The pontoon broke up taking some 80 boats with it.

As Paul describes in an email:
“As regards mooring techniques, don’t think it make any difference how you have your lines. I was between two fingers cross tied springs fore and aft line doubled up. If the pontoons break free your going with them even to the bottom of the marina as in Holyhead case.”

Master Robert went to the bottom with some other vessels lying on top of her.

Here are some sad images of the damage.

Thankfully the insurance paid out very quickly allowing Paul to move on from this sad event . “My new vessel is a Elizabethan 31 you read a very interesting blog on her it’s very good if you google Sula of Llangwm you will see her .”

Posted in Finding the Fleet | 4 Comments

Australia, There is one Fjord MS 33 down there.

You would ponder and think that someone sailed it down under and did not feel like sailing it back but that is not the story.

Jacques sent us this information through the contact form about his boat

The one in Australia

Greetings from the Antipodes, Tom
One more for your list , if I may…one before Zarinda , it seems
Recently purchased this lovely ol’ girl from Adelaide , South Australia
and have been busy bringing her up to scratch…..or trying to…
including re-engine due to an unfortunate accidental submersion
Tymara  prev Misty
Imported for the 1974 Sydney boat show
built 9/1973
sold 11/1974 to Mulligans of Yamba NSW
sold to Knox of Sydney 1986
sold to Rooney of Adelaide , South Australia  7/2000
sailed to Adelaide from Sydney 3/2001
sold to Wickham of North Adelaide 7/1014
sold to self  ( Jacques Sapir ) 7/2017
sailed 10/2017 from Adelaide to Devonport Tasmania ( home port )
refurbished and reengined 2/2018 with a Nanni 4-50
More anon if you need it
I believe she is the only one in Australia and possibly the Southern Hemisphere
Thanks for your wonderful info on your site
Posted in Finding the Fleet | 2 Comments

Eroica for sale in Norway

Eroica is for sale near Bergen  in Norway.  Asking 285KNOK



I’m not the seller nor am I in any way connected with the seller. I just saw the ad.


Posted in Finding the Fleet, Fjord MS 33 For Sale, MS33 sightings | Leave a comment

SOHVI: Performance and Improvements

Sea Legs for SOHVI

Despite having been afloat for most of the summer,  last weekend was the first opportunity I have had to dry SOHVI out and make a few changes.


First and most obviously,  I set up a pair of beaching legs acquired courtesy of eBay.



These legs (type PL30) are made by the Yacht Leg Company and have the great advantage of being telescopic, which makes them easy to stow in the starboard cockpit locker when not in use.

Drying legs may be of limited use elsewhere,  but here with 10m + tides,  the ability to take ground safely from time to time is a real bonus.   They are also very useful when laying up the boat ashore.


Some Summer shots:

A few shots of Brittany, August 2017

Performance under power

A summer of cruising means that our new Vetus diesel is now fully run-in.  During this time I have been unable to reach more than 2,650 rpm,  compared to the designed maximum of 3,000 rpm.  Consequently I decreased the pitch on the Variprop by approximately 1″, to 13″ (diameter is 22″)



Today we went out to conduct some speed trials and found that maximum rpm is now exactly 3,000 rpm.  Whoopee!  So what does all this tweaking mean in real life?  Let’s look at some data:

Doing the math:

I commented previously that the performance curves for the Perkins 4.108 and the Vetus M4.45 were very similar.   A quick conversion of units allows one to make the following comparison:




The Vetus is a little better than the Perkins below 2,000 rpm and much the same up to 3,000 – which is the maximum permitted,  generating 42 hp.


The following speed v rpm chart represents the average of a two way run on reciprocal course in reasonably calm conditions:

Objectively that is slightly slower than I expected,  but subjectively it seems fast enough, with the quarter wave right at the stern of the boat.  Any faster and we’d be going uphill!  The Vetus engine is also noticeably quieter than the Perkins (although I have not been able to quantify that with a db meter).


Interestingly the reduction of slope at approximately 2,000 rpm, or 6 knots, coincides closely with the theoretical maximum hull speed of 6.6 knots calculated using the empirical formula of 1.3 x √LWL (26′).  It may also reflect the fact that a flat-blade feathering propeller is not as efficient at higher output as a true helical screw.  This same propeller used on our old boat would typically incur a reduction of approximately 8% in top end speed compared to the fixed blade propeller.

Fuel consumption figures are more difficult to compare meaningfully.  Vetus provide the following data for the M4.45


Initially I performed a straightforward conversion from these figures into litres per hour,  but the end result suggested a consumption considerably higher than other MS33 owners experience with similar sized engines.  (I am indebted to Svein Lamark who first highlighted this difference – see comments below).



An exchange of emails and telephone conversation with Vetus UK clarified the situation.  The consumption curves are theoretical in so far as they assume the engine is fully loaded at any given rpm.  The reality of course is that for a given pitch,  the engine is only fully loaded at one particular rpm, which in our case is 3,000 rpm.   At lower rpm,  the engine is nothing like fully loaded,  or to put it another way, the propeller is absorbing considerably less horsepower than the engine is capable of delivering at these lower rpm.   The actual amount of power absorbed will vary considerably depending on the hull design, displacement, sea state and other variables.  Consequently real-world consumption at lower rpm is likely to be considerably less than I originally calculated.  Vetus provided the following data as to what a ‘typical’ installation might return and which clearly illustrates the point above.






Fully loaded at 3,000 rpm,  the M4.45 will consume in excess of 10 litres per hour. However,  partially loaded at a typical cruising rpm of 1,800 rpm,  the consumption is likely to be in the region of 2 litres per hour.   That very significant difference demonstrates the real cost of pushing a hull past theoretical maximum hull speed: it is much more efficient to motor at a relaxed cruising speed.    Interestingly the 2 litre per hour figure Vetus suggest above is very close to the 2.2 litre figure Svein achieves with his 49hp Yanmar installation (see comments below).

There is only one way to accurately report fuel consumption and that is to log fuel used against hours motored over a variety of conditions.  In other words,  to keep a decent log of fuel consumed during a season of cruising. Ask me in a year’s time and we’ll see whether I have been diligent enough to do this 🙂

It is highly likely that all of this simply serves to confirm what most MS33 owners will know already;  that a cruising speed of approximately 6 knots is undoubtedly the most economical way to make progress.

Final Thoughts

Should I have left the pitch unchanged?  We were obtaining close on 7 knots at 2,650 rpm,  which was possibly more efficient.  However,  it created some black smoke suggesting the engine was overloaded and in the longer term I am comfortable that the engine is now set up as it should be.

Had we not experienced a gearbox failure,  I would probably have kept the Perkins for as long as possible and been entirely happy with it.   Having made the change, and despite the fact that the performance is really not much better than the Perkins,  subjectively the experience is much nicer: the Vetus is undoubtedly quieter,  smoother and cleaner.  More importantly we are achieving the same performance as the old Perkins, but with the benefit of a feathering sailing propeller. Losing 75kg of weight has probably helped too, both in terms of sailing performance but also in our ability to carry all the usual cruising gear without depressing the waterline too much!

Posted in All the posts, Mechanical Stuff | 7 Comments