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Sail Victory on Darwin's Route


60' LOD / 75' LOA William Garden
Topsail Schooner, 1986

Located: Chile
Hull Material: Cypress Wood
Engine/Fuel Type: Single Diesel
Design:  William Garden - Exact replica  of 1870 Maine cargo schooner


LOA: 75'
LOD: 60'
LWL: 50'
BEAM: 19'6" 
HEADROOM: 2 - 2.5  meters
DISPLACEMENT:  47 tons (64 tons laden)
BALLAST: 16 ton lead
ENGINE: Daewoo Diesel 230 HP

The Museum of America and the Sea

General  Comments About The Boat:
Construction of this classic William Garden topsail schooner first began in 1970, but political uncertainties then delayed the project until 1983 and the ship was finally christened and launched new 1986. She was built to  handle some of the world's toughest conditions. Thanks to her heavy ballast, wide beam and full keel, she is exceptionally seaworthy and has sailed for 17 years from one end of Chile to the other, Arica to  Cape Horn, sometimes braving hurricane-force winds. She has been used on and off to carry up to 60 tourist passengers on day sails and up to 12 on overnight trips. Only a captain and 2 crew are required to handle her. Her reliable Cat diesel was completely overhauled, including head and injector pump, just 1500 hours ago. Both her forward and main Oregon pine masts were replaced in 2002, when she also received a new rudder and other upgrades. Her overall condition at this time is very good. She is a  go-anywhere, sailorman's sailing vessel ready for sea with a size is not excessive for anchoring in small coves.

Accommodations & Layout:     
The vessel has 2 crew bunks in bow with work bench, 7 closets for storage and chain locker. Going down 2 stairs from the bow cabin  is the depth sounder, forward mast, galley with ample closet space, industrial propane stove, oven and sink. Along side the galley is a bathroom with head, 3 closets, and wash basin. 

Continuing on to the other side of a swinging door is the large dining area which seats 10 persons with space for TV, video, under-seat storage, bookcase - 2 small drawers, wood burning stove, stereo cassette player, FM and AM radio and 2 closets. Also behind accordion doors in this area is found bunk beds for 2 adults, with storage area, drawer and 4 closets.

Going towards the stern one finds a closet for firewood, and on the starboard side, a cabin for 3 adults with double bed, bunk bed, storage area, glass hatch and 2 closets. To the right (Port ) side is a very large cabin with a double bunk, storage area, 2 large drawers, 2 small drawers,  glass hatch, bunk bed for a child and 4 closets.

Onwards towards the stern through a swinging door and up 3 stairs is found the motor room with electrical panel, battery charger, 5 closets, 3 filing cabinet drawers, radar, VHF radio, instruments, and GPS.
On the starboard side are (2) double cabins, each with 2 closets, storage area and porthole. On the port side is found a cabin with a large single bunk, 2 drawers, porthole and storage space. Also on the port side next to the radio is a small single cabin for crew.

To the stern is found a bathroom with bathtub, shower, wash basin, 3 closets and head.

Fuel:  300 gallons (Enough for 2 weeks by motor in Tierra Del Fuego)
Water:  250 gallons (2 x 125 tanks)

Cruising with motor:    6 knots
Maximum: 8 knots
9 knots under sail

Electrical  & Mechanical:
(10) 600 amp, 28 volt chargeable Nicad
     batteries (24 volt 600 amp bank) and
     2 - 24 Volt banks of  New acid 180
     amp batteries for a Total of  360 A 24 V
(1) 180 amp acid 12 volt with it's own alternator for 12 volt systems
Maqchin Lister type generator 6 hp diesel, 2000 watt 220 vac, 100 hours use
5-breaker panel
Battery selector switch
12 & 24 volt amp meter
Oil pressure and water temp gauges
100 amp battery charger
30 amp alternator, 12 v and 60 amp, 24 v
with 30 amp spare
200 Watt power inverter
Shore power cord
24 volt lighting through-out
220 V power plugs

Navigation & Electronics:
Furuno radar, 6 mile range
6-inch gimbaled compass
Depth sounder
VHF and SSB radios
FM stereo/CD player


2 Heads with wash basin and shower
Pressure water system in galley, shower  and bathrooms
2 electric, one manual and one 2 hp gasoline
motor-bilge/washdown/fire pumps
(4) thru-hulls with shut off valves

Hull and Deck:

(3) Fenders 

Wide-beam hull, full keel and gaff schooner rig type

Hull is covered below the water line with 2 mm
copper sheeting to prevent ship worms

Capt. Ben with the VICTORY
Before launch in 1986
Note copper sheeting
at the water line

Mast clearance: 72 ft

Spars  & Rigging: 

Masts: Oregon Pine - Box Hollow
Fore and main mast stays are of 3/4"
galvanized steel with 3/4" galvanized
Jib stays are 1/2" galvanized
Only Stay sail Jib uses winch on fore cabin for safety.
All other sails use classic block and tackle system.
Booms: Guaiteca Island Cypress




Total sail area: 1986 sq. ft.

Main sail- 770 sq. ft.
Jib Topsail - 200 sq. ft
Jib - 230 sq. ft
Stay sail - 300 sq. ft
Fore sail - 456 sq. ft.
They are new Lee Sails of Dacron

Safety Equipment:
(2) Lifelines
Man overboard rig
(2) Circular rings with lights and rope
2: 16-person inflatable liferafts
(24) Lifejackets
(8) Flares
(4) Fire extinguishers
(1) rubber boats
9 'and 12' Maxxon rubber boats with oars

Ground Tackle:
Anchor windlass: hand
360 lb Danforth anchor, 320' of 1/2 chain
150 lb Grapple type anchor, 20' ft chain &  200' rope
50 lb Danforth anchor, 10' chain &  100' rope

Additional Equipment:
12 volt battery charger
Dock lines and extra line
Radar reflector
(2) brass kerosene lanterns
Emergency steering system

Complete Steel fittings for yard arm

Additional information:

THe VICTORY is operated as a Chilean flag vessel under 50 tons and less than 65 ft of length. Here this class is called "embarcacion menor" here or "minor vessel".

This class does not require 3 watertight bulkheads as does that of above 50 tons.

The last time she was sailed was to Ushuaia, Argentina in August of 2003, about one year ago.
Since then, I retired during the season 2003/2004 after 50 years of sailing and 13 years of sailing to Cape Horn and the glaciers and fjords of Tierra Del Fuego.

She currently has active approval from the Chilean Navy to navigate overnight with 12 passengers and 4 crew to Cape Horn. We had permission to operate during day cruises for up to 60 passengers, but here we do not have this type of passengers.

The last time she was surveyed and put in dry dock was in 2001, but we are scheduling another haul out in December here in Puerto Williams or in Ushuaia, Argentina, 25 miles West of here.

The decks are of 3/8" marine plywood glued with epoxy glue and nailed with copper nails over 2 layers of 2" redwood planking.

Her copper sheeting was last replaced in 2001 where it was thin or damaged. Re-calking was not necessary.

She is planked inside and outside with 1 3/4" Cypress.

Ribs are double planks of Coihue ( Nothofagus dombery) of 2 1/4" x 3 1/2". Nothofagus dombery is a strong Chilean wood that is very resistant to rot and is used in boat construction here. The keel is also of Coihue.

The construction plans are at http://www.victory-cruises.com/victory_sail_plan.html

Original plans can be obtained from Andrew Price - William Garden Collection Cataloger


Ships Plans Division, MYSTIC SEAPORT, The Museum of America and the Sea

P O Box 6000,  Mystic CT 06355-0990

Tel: 860.572.5360

http://www.mysticseaport.org and http://www.mysticseaport.org/research/ru-splistofcollections.htm
These plans were donated to the Mystic Seaport Museum by William Garden when he retired.

Catalog # 96.198 / Design # 282
designed by William Garden
60’ x 50’11” x 19’4” x 7’8” topsail schooner

Plan Description of Plan Scale Date
No. on Plan
1 Sail plan, deck plan and cabin arrangement 1/4”=1’ Aug 1953
2 Perspective drawing from 41’6” away
58 degrees off luff of starboard bow; eye level is 2’ below lwl.
3 Revised cabin plan 1/4”=1’ May 1956
4 Revised sail plan, deck plan and cabin arrangement, 1/4”=1’ Nov 1963
bow framing
5 Construction plan and details 1/2”=1’ Nov 1963
6 Lines & offsets 1/2”=1’ Dec 1980
7 Lines & offsets-OBSOLETE 1/2”=1’ Nov 1963
8 Sections as noted Nov 1963
9 Plan of spreader, section at yard, masthead 3”=1’ Feb 1962
10 Topmasts, mainmast cap & foremast cap 3”=1’ Feb 1962
11 Sail plan including sail and spar dimensions 1/4”=1’ Feb 1962


William Garden

William Garden was born November 5, 1918 in Calgary, Alberta. His family moved to Oregon in 1924 where he started school, but by 1928 they had relocated again to the Montlake District of Seattle. In January,1935, upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at the Edison Boatbuilding School where he learned new construction for both sail and power; then went to work for Andrew's Boat Company on Portage Bay, not far from his home. His next project was construction of his schooner GLEAM which he sailed throughout the San Juan Islands, around Vancouver Island, and along the coast of British Columbia when time permitted.

In 1940 he formed a partnership with another builder, Dave Leclercq, at an old mill site on Portage Bay. They built five sailing yachts before closing shop in 1942 to work at established yards building boats for the war effort. At the age of 24, with 51 boats designed (mainly work boats, tugs, trollers, and sardine boats) he was drafted into the US Army and sent to the Adak Ship Repair Base in the Aleutians. As he described it "I was the only man in the Army employed in what I liked doing". Discharged in the spring of 1946 as a Master Sergeant, he returned to Seattle and spent time putting GLEAM back into commission and designing halibut boats, trollers and the 30-foot cutter BULL FROG. That summer he and his longtime friend John Adams took a two month holiday cruise with GLEAM to the north British Columbia coast and back around Vancouver Island (one of his later cruises was documented in the April 1951 issue of YACHTING, "Beachcombing the Goose Islands"). In the fall of 1947 he was licensed as a Naval Architect and in the following year took in additional design work on fishing boats, yachts and when time allowed, RAIN BIRD, which was to replace GLEAM as his boat of choice.

In 1951 he moved his office from the old boatshop site on Portage Bay to the Pacific Fishing & Trading Co. building on the ship canal in Ballard; then in 1954 the office was moved to Maritime Shipyards with a participating interest in the yard. This partnership produced several yachts, work boats, pile drivers, etc. Bill and N.A. Phil Brinck worked together on miscellaneous projects through the mid 50's, and in 1956 Brinton Sprague, a mechanical engineer and Bill's good friend and mentor joined him for several years, his expertise providing a major contribtion to the firm. A 1957 article in Marine Digest detailed 62 boats in construction valued at nearly 2 million dollars and another 12 on the boards. In 1959 the design office was moved from the Maritime Shipyards location to a new building above Lockhaven Marina overlooking the locks and ship canal traffic. For a time he gave serious thought to relocating to New Zealand in order to provide a more ideal location to raise a family, and Victoria, BC was chosen in 1968 as an interim move while projects in process where completed. Later a nearby island was purchased as an interesting location for design offices. Shops and a self-sufficient island home were established in 1969 and from then until the present he has operated from this location. His recent projects have primarily involved yacht designs, the largest being 231 feet in length. For information on individual designs or for an index of all the designs held at Ships Plans see links to the Index to William Garden Collection at http://www.mysticseaport.org .

The VICTORY carries loose ballast consisting of 12 tons of lead, steel and large stones.

She has no signs of hogging is in excellent shape.

Her ribs are of Coihue (Nothofagus dombery) and the hull is Cypress  (Pilgerodendron uviferum) from the Guaiteca islands in Southern Chile. This is considered one of the best Cypress woods. It is stronger and more rot resistant than oak.

The fore and aft cabins are made of very resistant Chilean Redwood (Fitzroya cupressoides).

If you have no knowledge whatsoever of the reputation of Chilean shipwrights as a whole, of their skill and attention to detail, please see below:

The Chiloe Island Shipwrights (Chilotes) are some of the best and are sought after from many countries.
I used the same shipwrights which laid the VICTORY's keel and was very happy with their work and knowledge.

Was she rough-built through and through? Not so much in the sense of workboat vs. finished yacht, but in the sense of were corners cut? Wood not sufficiently seasoned? Components not properly bedded? Stock not pre-drilled for fasteners?

No, she was built exactly to the William Garden plans as a fine yacht.
The owner of the ship yard in charge of the original construction of the VICTORY, Guillermo Rios of Chinquihue, (5 miles from Puerto Montt, Chile) was known throughout the area for his fine work.

Is she well ventilated in such areas as the forepeak and transom?,

Yes. Although she has tight interior 1 3/4" planking she has ventilation at the top of the ceiling between each frame just below the decks and all wood was well seasoned.

During the 18 years from her launching her timbers, planking, decks, cabin houses, etc. have been all well maintained and wood replaced where necessary.

Mold and rot have been continually maintained. Wood was used in her construction such as cypress and Redwood which is very resistant to rot. Her deck does not leak at all.

She was taking on about 2 gal day of water, but at present it is almost negligible.

She handles well and is very well balanced, light on the helm and stable fore and aft in terms of pitching. She has no shortcomings for a seaworthy boat. She is very fast in heavy winds, but slow in light winds.

Her running rigging was completely replaced in 1990 including new Douglas fir box hollow masts to replace the Chiloe Island Manio solid masts.

The original decks which are still in place after being repaired are made of 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 redwood over 1 1/2 x 3 1/2 cypress. They were made to hold a good deal of weight (16 tons of cargo). The boat is a replica of a New England cargo schooner of 1870.

I fought to stop up the leaks in the decks for about 10 years, when I read an article in wooden boat about using marine plywood glued with epoxy glue over the decks. This was nailed with copper nails and painted with epoxy paint. The decks and cabin houses which we also did have not leaked since!

The original William Garden plans were very carefully followed. The interior is my own invention done over the years a little bit at a time, by one of the original shipwrights who later stayed on with me for 10 years.

The stem, stern post, deck beams, and Samson post are made of cypress wood.

The hull was covered first with tar saturated felt, then copper nailed with copper nails.

I have never had any ship worm problems with the hull.

Stainless steel bolts were used on the plates bedded with a mixture of talc, paint and window putty which works great!

Galvanized steel square shanked nails were used as fasteners for the hull planking. some replacement planks use 7 inch copper nails.

The five Dacron running sails like in the photo above are 4 years old. The standing rigging and box hollow Oregon pine masts are 14 years old and are in good condition with no rot. The running rigging is about 5 years old and in good condition.

We have been in 50-70 knot storms for up to 48 hours with the present rig with no problems.

Three of the 6 cabins cabins have port holes and 3 cabins have sky lights.

When the boat was first launched in 1986, she had only 3 cabins and we added 3 more doubles and one small single cabin. She sleeps 16 persons in bunks.

There is a hatch on the stern cabin roof to remove the motor. There is a hatch on the stern cabin floor for access to the motor.

All safety equipment has been tested and approved by the strict norms of the Chilean Navy. This must be renewed every year.

Is she seaworthy?

Captain Ben writes:

The first big storm that I got into with the VICTORY was a "Suraso" (strong south wind) going North from Puerto Montt to Valparaiso with all the running sails up (about 160 sq. mts.) and no reefs. This was 5-10 miles off the coast south of Talcahuano, Chile in 1987.

I had 4-5 crew aboard and told them to come up and take the sails down. The only one that came up was Efrain, the first mate and the others said they were too seasick. I SAID, IF THEY DIDN'T, THEY MIGHT DIE, BUT THIS MADE NO DIFFERENCE! :-) It was impossible to take the sails down and the wind continued rising to about 45 knots. The wind lasted about 4-5 hours, as I recollect, and we saw other boats sending out distress signals.
The "Victory" was way over her hull speed at an estimated 12 knots during most of the storm with the main boom dipping 2-3 ft into the water!

The second major storm was a 45 knot nor'wester with lots of rain which heaped up 7 meter waves. We were in this one about 3 years later in that same area. We asked for help, but the navy said it was too dangerous to come out to help us. We lost a cross tree during a jibe when the foresail gaff swung over too hard . One brave crew almost went overboard when he went forward to tighten a loose foremast stay. I had water up to my knees a lot of the time at the helm. After over 48 hours it finally died. I told myself I would never be captain again after this, but later found myself doing tours of Cape Horn!

The VICTORY is located in Puerto Williams, Chile, just 25 miles East of Ushuaia, Argentina. (By Cape Horn) We have sailed her up and down the coast from the Northern tip of Chile to Cape Horn and she is very seaworthy with her heavy ballast and broad beam.

See Maps of Tierra Del Fuego area

Quicktime Movies of SV VICTORY 

"Sailing  the Beagle Channel"

(1.2 MB and 800 KB)

More information and photos on SV VICTORY