The Vessel

Temptress’ Specifications

Creekmore 45 “Temptress”
LOA 45 feet
LWL 33 feet
Beam 12.75 feet
Draft 5.5 feet (11’ board down)
Displacement 28,000lbs design. (about 35,000 loaded)
Water Tanks 2- 70 gallon
Diesel Tanks 30 gallon starboard
17 gallon port
7 gallon day tank
30 gallon bladder storage tank
Propane 3- 10lb cylinders

Temptress is a Creekmore 45. Ray Creekmore designed her and built about 8 of the hulls in his Florida yard. It appears that the design was very similar to a boat named “Finestere” that proved successful in the 50s. The boats seem to have been built as bare hulls to be finished by the owner. Because of this no two of them are quite alike. The boat was designed to be a yawl but mine was never fitted with a mizzen. She was given a very long (25’) boom to compensate, and was launched as a sloop. When I got her she tended to have a lee helm problem in light air. When I replaced the mainsail I chose a full batten sail with loads of roach (about 12 inches beyond the backstay). This fixed the problem. I have also added an inner forestay and running backstays to make her into a cutter.

Temptress underbodyTemptress’ underbody is a short full keel with an attached rudder and centerboard. When I was first looking for a cruising boat I was convinced that a centerboard was bad news. Well, my attitude has changed. I now feel that a full keel centerboard is a great configuration for voyaging. It gives you a relatively low draft (5.5’) and a very solid underbody in the event you hit something hard, along with the ability to gain the performance associated with a deep draft boat (10’) with the board down. You can even do silly board tricks like just dropping the board partway down and bringing your center of lateral resistance back to keep the boat tracking downwind. I now feel that if a board is build very well it need not be a concern. I have read about a many board boats with board problems. This is usually attributable to the way the board was built. Many are made of iron so they rust. Another approach is a glass board with a bronze bushing over a bronze pin. This is better but eventually the bushing separates from the glass board and becomes a problem. Temptress board was built of bronze and covered with glass. This also gives some more ballast lower down (Temptress’ board is reported to weigh 2000lbs). The board is hung on a 4 inch bronze pin. I have had no trouble with it since I bought the boat in 1991. There is no evidence of there ever being any board problem.

Below Temptress carries her master stateroom aft with two quarter berths. I have added leeboards to make them better sea births. The head for the aft stateroom didn’t have a holding tank when I got the boat, and there was no easy way to add one without sacrificing one of the diesel tanks. So I converted it into a combination sauna room, tool room, and wet locker. I built a solid box seat in it and paneled it with cedar. I installed a propane heater. The room is just big enough to seat two. I can get it up to about 150 degrees in the winter. When we are done with the sauna we open a port in the sauna room to vent the steam and have had no problems with the moisture in the rest of the boat. I originally felt I would use it a lot after scuba diving but it turns out that after a dive there is usually too much to do so I just take a hot shower. I did use it quit a bit the first few winters after I installed it but not so much anymore. I guess that’s about the same for sauna’s installed in houses. The room makes such a nice tool storage room that we will surely never turn it back into a head. It also houses the air conditioning equipment and Poloma propane water heater.

Forward of this is a raised area containing the galley to port and a big navigation station to starboard. Under the raised floor are the engine, batteries, and water tanks. Forward and down a couple of steps is the saloon, then the head to port and a closet to starboard. Finally the v-birth at the pointy end of the boat.

On deck Temptress has a very large aft cockpit, small house and flush foredeck. She was build with teak over fiberglass and plywood decks. The teak is in bad shape. I have removed it from the cockpit and applied a cork material called Marine Deck 2000. I really like this stuff and highly recommend it. I will probably be stripping the teak from the rest of the boat eventually but will probably just lay some more glass and paint it with nonskid. I would love a boat covered in cork but I figure that would cost me about $10,000 and over a month of my life.
radarI have made several modifications to the aft of the boat. Sort of a cruiser’s forest. I tried to make these additions with an eye towards aesthetics but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I do feel the boat looked better before I added all the steel but I wanted the stuff so what can you do. Forest projects include a boom gallows, radar tower with crane for lifting the outboard or whatever, solar panels, wind vane, barbecue and propane tank, life sling box, and boarding ladder. We carry 4 6-gallon jerry cans for diesel and 2 6-gallon tanks for the outboard. All these fit under a board that traverses the cockpit. We use this board as helmsman’s seat. This puts the cans out of the way and out of site. I have made covers for these out of sunbrella lined with aluminized mylar. These should aid in keeping thieves at bay, as it isn’t obvious what is under the covers. We will try to keep a clean deck with the exception of these cans. They will also be locked down with a stainless cable. The cover will also, hopefully, keep the cans cooler so we loose less to evaporation and oxidation.

Power Generation:
Most boats cruising out there use either a generator or (more likely) their engine alternator to make power. Many planned to live on their solar panels or wind generator because no one wants to listen to the engine or have to be there to start it every day, but most end up using the engine to keep up. Temptress is about the only boat down there that we have seen running totally on alternative power with creature comforts. There are a few diehards out there living without refrigeration and using oil lamps on hot evenings, but to keep up with modern comforts like refrigeration, lighting, and watermaking requires a powerful and efficient boat electrical system. When boaters hear that we can live on the hook for months without starting the engine and that we run a watermaker and carry a big refrigerator-freezer they usually ask “How many panels do you have?”. Well watts of panels are part of the solution but the problem is best viewed from the other end. First you need to look at the loads you want to run. The equipment you choose must be VERY efficient Because of the inefficiency of batteries and wires you probably need about 1.5 amp hours generated for every amp hour you get to burn. So cutting your usage is the first step. This doesn’t mean doing without. Just using the power smartly.

Electrical power on a boat is used chiefly in three areas. Refrigeration, watermaking, and lighting. A lot of power could also be used by entertainment and navigation if you like movies and computer games or use a chart plotter a lot. The key to living with a boat refrigerator lies with LOTS of insulation and an efficient compressor. Danfoss just came out with a brushless DC driven hermetically sealed compressor that, in my opinion, is the only choice for a boat fridge. (unless you plan to run your engine every day). As for watermaking, running it off your engine isn’t a bad idea if you have enough tankage to hold you for as long as you would want to stay in one place. But with this approach you will likely find yourself motoring to the next anchorage because you ‘need to make water anyway’. The only choice in watermakers for an electric alternative power set up is the Spectra. It is fully twice as efficient as the next best unit and seems to hold up very well in the field. (By the way, Stay away from PUR’s). The problem with them is that they are very expensive. I would also like to see someone build a pump stage around a brushless DC motor as it would provide for greater efficiency and the ability to make more water per hour (with less efficiency) or less water per hour (with high efficiency) by adjusting the RPM.

Lighting can be a significant draw on your power supply. Incandescent lights have no place on a boat. We chiefly use florescent lights. These are quite efficient and make a lot of light without much heat. We use halogens for reading lights and white LEDs in the navigation station at night. For navigation lights we use standard incandescent at deck level while we motor (and power doesn’t really matter). We use a LED tricolor from Deep Creek Design at the mast head while we are sailing. We also use and white LED also from Deep Creek Design as our anchor light. These lights offer great savings in power that I believe make up for their high cost. I sailed to Hawaii a few years ago on a boat with only incandescent deck nav lights. This boat burned 5ah running the lights. This made for about 50 amp hours a day just to run the nav lights. We would have had to run the engine for more then a half hour a day just to keep up. (We used the anchor light at night out of necessity to save power) Compare this with our 1 amp hour per night lights and you see the savings. These lights mean the savings of about 200 watts of solar panels at sea or 40 watts of panels while at anchor. Assuming you already are carying all the panel you can comfortably find a place for this is a big savings.

Some more ideas I would like to share have to do with power used by the computer. (Keep in mind that everything I say about computers will likely be changed by the time you read this.) Most boats carry a laptop but many laptops are built around desktop processors. Make sure that the machine you buy is built around a low power chip (Intel often uses the moble to describe this version of their offerings). Another big power savings can be found by not using an inverter and transformer to power you computer from the ships batteries. You should use a DC-DC power supply. (just ask for the thingy to allow you to plug your machine into your cigarette lighter).

The next stage in achieving efficiency is the wiring. Running wiring that is too light causes resistance that turns your hard won power into heat. You should hook up a digital volt meter to each end of every circuit on your boat and check the voltage drop along the wire with the circuit under load. You might be surprised. Even circuits with large wires can show a big drop sometimes. This could be due to corrosion or bad connectors. Fixing these is like finding free power. Next up is batteries. I use L-16 flooded for the most part. These are great batteries but your boat has to be build around them as they are really tall. Better then these I think I like the AGM batteries. They have pure lead plates so they don’t self discharge much (lost power) and they have great performace specifications. I did have some problems with these though. They don’t handle high tempratures as well as flooded batteries do. I left the boat in a Mexican yard for a few summer months once and found all my AGM batteries dried out due to evaporation. My floods only lost a bit of water which I could just top off but the AGM’s start off with very little water and have no facility to add more. Gells or any other maintance free battery would have had a similar death. Gels really have no place on a boat.

Finally we come to power generation. I only have a few points to mention. There is a lot of information out there already and even catalogues provide lots of information. Solar panels come in 3 types amorphous, multicrystalline and monocrystalline. The amorphous panels have no place on boats. Between the multi an mono the mono are better but cost more. They will produce good power for a longer time without loss due to age. The multi are available in more sizes and sometimes they are the right solution as they may fit better. I have found that panels with big cells are less prone to loss from shadowing caused by lines and stays. And sailboats are full of these shadows. I really like my big 120 watt Astropower panels with there 7″ monocrystalline cells. Solar panels should be regulated with either a Power Point Tracking regulator (very expensive) or a Pulse Code Modulated regulator like the Morningstar. You will get more from the panels and your batteries will stay happier. I had a problem with my Morningstar regulator (caused by 16 volts applied to the battery side). But I will be reinstaling it. I have seen others on other boats that are working very well. Carry a back up regulator (cheapest available) or just plan on self regulating (turning them off when the voltage goes up) if you have a failure. If your generation isn’t at least equal to your usage you won’t need any regulation at all. As far as wind generation I started off with a ForeWinds. It worked fine I guess. But it was hard on bearings. It is built around an old tape drive motor and it relies on the open bearings. Also these bearings weren’t designed to handle thrust loads. Wind generators are all about thrust loads. I designed my own wind generator for this trip. It is based on an axial field alternator and has a 7 foot blade. It makes all kinds of power. Especially in low wind conditions where other generators don’t even produce anything. It uses trailer bearings in a sealed race. Should last for about ever! Whatever wind generator you look at remember you need a big blade to make sufficient power to be worth having one. Especially in light winds. Anything can make power in 25 knots. Check what it makes in 10 knots to tell the good units from the crap.
Whatever you do PLEASE don’t buy one of those god awful Air Marine units you see in the west marine catalogue. These do seem to produce quite a bit of power for there size, but the noise is horrendous. I can have mine running on my foredeck and hear one of these from 100 yards away drowning out all sounds of mine. We try to anchor far away from boats carrying these things. Salesmen will tell you they are quiet or their new blade is quieter. SALESMEN LIE!!! I won’t get into it here but the basic design of these devices makes them loud and there is nothing they can do about it safely. That said I personally like mounting a windgenerator in the foretriangle on a harness from a halyard. This precludes using it while sailing but you are much better served by a towed generator at that time. Mounted up front it is safer, quieter, and cheaper.

Equipment list:
I have thrown together a list of stuff we carry. I expect that this will prove boring to most of you but I include it as a reference. I have read a lot of these cruising log web pages and have often wondered what type of anchor the boat was using after it performed poorly or well. There is so much boating stuff out there and we are probably carrying much more then we need, hopefully this section will help others decide what works and what didn’t. I hope to provide comments as to how these worked and which I could recommend as time goes on. Some of the stuff here was used on an earlier trip and has been removed. Thought I would leave comments so you can hear what didn’t work as well.