A success recognized - in 6 pages of Cruising World!

Hello everyone,

Just a quick pre-holiday check in to say one reason we are thankful this is year is you and the American Promise renewables project that 11th Hour Racing set the foundation for through a generous grant, Eclectic Energy helped along and Maine Yacht Center made a reality. 

In the end, we traveled over 890 miles during 8 weeks of operations without ever turning the generator on or hooking up to shore power! Previously, we would run the generator for 1-2 hours every morning and another 1-2 hours every night. Throughout this summer, people stopped us on the dock, rowed up in dinghies and emailed or posted on Facebook to tell us they loved what we had done, loved the way AmPro looked and wanted to know how everything worked!

We are thrilled with the results and excited to share them (which was always part of the plan). To that end, we are very happy to pass along the article in this month’s Cruising World that tells our story (all of it). Dave Powlison, the writer, did a great job capturing the experience of being onboard with us and we finally got some great photos of the boat under full sail. They gave us 6 pages, the headline on the cover and heaps of photos.

Out of respect for Cruising World, we are not going to put this on the web until they do or the edition is no longer available in stores - but we are encouraging everyone to grab a copy and have had lots of calls from excited friends of Rozalia Project who’ve seen the article. We couldn’t wait, however, to share it with you, the team who made it happen. We can say that American Promise is the greenest sailing research vessel in the world!

Thank you again. We hope you have a happy, delicious and fun Thanksgiving (in the US) and a good typical Thursday for those of you in the UK!

For a clean ocean,


Rachael Z. Miller
Co-Founder/Executive Director/Chief Ocean Lover
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean

MYC completes refit on Class 40 "Dragon"

Maine Yacht Center has completed the refit on Dragon, an Owen Clarke designed Class 40 offshore racing yacht. Dragon was refit during the winter of 2013-14 in preparation for the Route du Rhum, a single-handed trans-Atlantic race from France to Guadeloupe which starts in November. The main focus of the refit was to make the boat more competitive and lighter. Design and engineering services were provided by Owen Clarke design, U.K.

The refit included:

  • New Articulating Bowsprit to improve downwind VMG’s. The fixed bowsprit was removed and a section of the bow was cut away. A new bow section was built to incorporate a bearing for the sprit to rotate on as well as receive the strop for the head stay. The foredeck was cut away and a new section was built with a step to accommodate the inboard arms of the sprit when they travel transversely. A new bow pulpit was fabricated to fit the new bow sprit.
  • Mast – Original carbon mast was replaced with a new carbon mast to reduce weight and lower center of gravity. Mast was built by Axxon Composites in Romania and shipped as deck cargo direct to Portland, Maine.
  • Keel Bulb – As a result of global weight savings achieved during the refit, 140 kg of lead was cut off from the trailing edge of the bulb. A composite cone was built and installed to retain the as designed bulb profile.
  • Water Ballast System – plumbing was modified and a new, custom built, high volume pump was installed to increase tank fill and transfer times.
  • Hatches – Custom, cored panel construction hatches were built to save weight.
  • Deck – new non-skid paint was applied to the deck, cabin and cockpit.
  • Rudders – new self-aligning upper rudder bearings were installed.
  • Bottom – new race finish anti-foul. White on bottom and orange to keel and rudders.
  • 90 Degree Test – Because of the significant weight savings achieved during the refit a new stability test was required to empirically prove that the pull up force at the mast head was still within Class 40 rules.

Dragon will compete in the Atlantic Cup and the Newport-Bermuda race this summer before sailing to France for the Route du Rhum.

For more details, see our PROJECT PAGE here.

Great American 4 hauled for 2016 Vendee Globe refit at Maine Yacht Center

Rich Wilson, who succesfully completed the 2008 Vendee Globe (a single-handed nonstop race around the world,) has set his sights on the 2016 Vendee Globe.
Wilson finished the 2008 race in 9th place of 11 finishers of 30 starters !!!!!  
Wilson's previous Open 60, Great American 3, was refit at MYC prior to the 2008 race (see details of this project here.).  He has returned to MYC with Great American 4 for a refit prior to the 2016 event.
GA4 is a new boat to Wilson. GA4 is the ex "Mirabaud", an Owen Clarke designed Open 60 built in NZ by Southern Ocean Marine.

The refit will include:

  • Rig modifications and inspection.
  • Removal of canting keel, inspection of keel pivot bearings, keel hydraulics and service.
  • Removal of twin assymetric daggerboards and replacement of bearings.
  • Removal of rudders and bearing service.
  • Deck hardware modification.
  • Construction of an ergonomic chart table, bench seat and custom chair.
  • All new electronics and wiring including sailing instrumentation, satellite communication and computers.
  • New Lithium Ion battery bank.
  • New charging system to include custom direct drive engine alternator/regulator, hydro-generators and solar.
  • New stantions, bow pulpit and pushpits for higher life line configuration.
  • New race bottom job

For more details and pictures see our PROJECT PAGE here.

Maine Yacht Center launches new Akilaria RC3 Class 40

MYC has just launched the first of two new Akilaria RC3s. The Class 40 is a box rule, water ballasted, fixed keel, twin rudder, hard chine offshore racing boat. The fleet has grown well beyond 100 strong, with the majority of the fleet residing in Europe.

Since 2007, MYC has been collaborating with French designer Marc Lombard and Tunisian builder, MC-Tec to import parts for completion at the Portland Maine yard. To date, MYC has imported, completed and sold previous Akilaria versions, RC1 and RC2’s. Using all the experience and knowledge gained from the highly successful Akilaria RC1 and RC2 versions, we are extremely proud to introduce the new Akilaria RC3 version.

The RC3 is a completely new design that utilizes and builds upon all the empirical data from previous RC1 and RC2 generation boats. New tooling was built for all components as well as new appendage design, mast design and interior layout. The RC3 is now built to the minimum Class 40 weight of 4,500kg in a Category O configuration. The RC3 incorporates all the latest design features of Generation 3 Class 40’s, such as an articulating bow sprit to achieve deeper downwind sailing angles. The objective is to produce a boat that is optimized as closely as possible to the current limits of the Class 40 rule and to be competitive across a wide range of sailing conditions and race formats.

The Repower of American Promise

To Jeff, Brian and the crew at Maine Yacht Center,

Now that the American Promise part of Rozalia Project’s season is over, we wanted to tell the story of our repower, the decisions and the reality, and to recognize your help in making this happen.

First, let’s set the stage. Previously we had a 1986 Perkins diesel. It gave us no more than 5.5-6 knots (mostly with the current behind us) using 2.5 gallons per hour or more. It filled the boat with fumes, the most noticeable from hydraulic fluid. It bellowed black smoke on start-up, if it started up at all as the engine spent nearly all of last year with a 60/40 chance of starting without needing to use all of the battery power on the boat.
Learning about the State of Maine’s Clean Marine Diesel funding gave us the inspiration we needed to put our re-power research into high gear. We had been looking at re-powering and the possibility of going to a completely electric propulsion system. We (optimistically) envisioned a boat without any combustion engines, powered only by renewables in the form of solar, wind and hydro power.
We had no-compromise requirements and some compromises we’d be willing to make. Safety was no compromise. That means we needed reliability and range. Next came environmental considerations: improved efficiency and reduced emissions. Then, human comfort: reduced noise and fumes and finally, features such as ability to use biofuels and seamless switch over - not needing to rewire the whole boat or learn entirely new procedures (which we would do if we had to, but better if we didn’t).
We soon found that, though an electric motor (or two) could power a boat as large and heavy as American Promise, no reasonable combination of electric power and battery banks could give us a safe range. For example, if we installed $80,000 of lithium-ion batteries (charged by solar, wind or hydro power and/or a diesel generator), we would only have 2-3 hours at 5 knots to travel before the stored power would be depleted. At that point, our only option for powered propulsion would be via the diesel generator which, until the batteries could be charged, could only provide approximately 3 knots of speed. The river where we keep our mooring has that much current at max flow. That is no speed at which one can outrun (or end run) a thunderstorm. It became obvious that, while there are boats for whom electric power is a viable option, for American Promise, there is not enough range or safety to be found in an electric motor now or in the near future.
Enter the Steyr, Tier 3 marine diesel. We chose this motor for several reasons. All of which are a reality for us. Here are the stats:
This summer we averaged 8-9 kts under power using 1.8-2 gallons per hour.
We do not have a boat filled with fumes. This engine has an 80% reduction in nitrous oxide emissions over a Tier 2 engine.
We do not belch black smoke upon start up, nor at any time. This engine has an 150% reduction in particulate matter over a Tier 2 engine and 1000% improvement from our 1986 diesel.
The engine starts every time we turn the key.
We can NOT hear that the engine is on while on the bow all the way to aft of the mast (unbelievable). We do not need to shout over it when under power down below or in the cockpit.
We outran 2 severe and fast moving thunderstorms arriving at our mooring with time to spare for one that slammed us with 60 knots at the top of the mast
We were always able to maintain control and precision in the swift moving waters of our homeport (the back channel of Kittery Point off the Piscataqua River)
We did not need to rewire the entire boat.
We did not need to learn any new procedures. We check the oil, we turn the key, we check the exhaust and we go. The maintenance schedule is reasonable and easy to follow. Our two home boatyards (Kittery Point Yacht Yard and Maine Yacht Center, who did the installation) are certified to work on the engine.
Using a combination of power and sail and the generator for house bank power, we traveled 170 miles over 3 days for $61 in fuel from Northeast Harbor to Frenchboro to Hurricane Island to the Isles of Shoals and home to Kittery Point (includes conducting 4 surface tows under power before topping off the tank at the end of the expedition).
In addition to the above, once we are out of the break-in period we will be able to start running on biodiesel - all the way to B100. We could even be eradicating ocean pollution while running on restaurant waste in the form of veggie oil.
American Promise is the first vessel in North America to install this Tier 3 Steyr engine. The technology and features are new to the boating public. We showed the engine off to people all over the Gulf of Maine and in Boston and we are spreading the word that a switch to a Tier 3 marine diesel is a reasonable and accessible change that anyone who uses a diesel can make when ready to re-power. The benefits to the environment are easy to see and achieve (significant reduction in emissions, reduced footprint by increased efficiency and using renewable fuels), the benefits to those onboard are immediate (reduced noise and reduced fumes), and the benefits to the owners/operators clear (improved safety, same procedures with better performance, reduced operating/fuel cost).
Rozalia Project is grateful for support from the State of Maine Clean Marine Diesel Program with the Maine Marine Trades Association; 11th Hour Racing and Kilroy Realty Corporation as well as the Maine Yacht Center and Kittery Point Yacht Yard. Support from these forward thinking organizations made a big difference to Rozalia Project and American Promise. We will have a wider and wider effect as we share the technology and results with the boating community and everyone who loves the ocean and wants to do their part to keep it healthy.
Thank you for everything you are doing for Rozalia Project and our oceans. We will see you on the docks soon!
For a clean ocean,
Rachael Z. Miller
Co-Founder/Executive Director
Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean

MYC refit-recipient "Cutlass" takes 6th in 2011 Transat Jacques Vabres


The crew at MYC would like to congratulate skipper Nick Halmos and co-skipper Hugh Piggin for finishing the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre in 6th place, onboard their Class 40 Cutlass !!!!! The TJV is a grueling double handed trans-Atlantic race from France to Costa Rica. Cutlass finished the race in 25 days – 8 hrs, sailing a distance of 5,427 miles.
Cutlass received a refit at the MYC in the summer of 2011 prior to her trans-Atlantic delivery to France for the start of the race.
Great job guys !!!!

MYC earns "Clean Marina" designation

Clean Marina Logo.JPG

The Maine Clean Boatyards & Marinas Program (MCBMP) added another facility to its growing list of Designated Clean Marinas with the presentation of the flag and certificate of designation to Maine Yacht Center in Portland.

On a perfect summer day Portland Harbor found more to celebrate than just the weather as the Clean Marinas flag was run up the newly installed flag pole at Maine Yacht Center for the first time. “It is such a joy to see this flag flying here at MYC” said Susan Swanton, MCBMP Program Manager. “Although this facility is still fairly new, there was still work to be done to achieve the high standards of the program and Brian and everyone here at the marina worked hard to make it happen.” According to Brian Harris, MYC General Manager “the facility was designed with a number of best management practices in mind, but as time progressed and regulations changed there were some things that we needed to improve on to achieve our goal. It’s important to us to be good corporate citizens by protecting the environment that we rely on for our work.” Maine Yacht Center is a full service boatyard and marina offering major repair and refit services along with winter storage and seasonal slip rentals.

The purpose of the program is to curb pollution resulting from stormwater runoff, boat maintenance, fueling activities, waste storage and disposal and sewage. In order to qualify as a Maine Clean Boatyard & Marina a facility must demonstrate a high level of compliance in each of the five program areas. Participation in the Maine Clean Boatyards & Marinas Program is voluntary, with participating companies signing a pledge, completing a self-assessment and then inviting an independent verification team to inspect the facility. The Maine Clean Boatyards & Marinas Program is sponsored by the Maine Marine Trades Association with assistance from the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection and the Maine Coastal Program. For more information about the Program please visit www.mainemarinetrades.com/clean_marinas.