F is for Fandancer in the A to Z challenge

Today’s letter for the April A to Z challenge is ‘F’.  I hope you’re not expecting a post about those glamorous ladies with feathery fans…..


F is for Fandancer – our sailing yacht.


Last last month it was eight years ago that we bought Fandancer.  I wrote a post about some of my memories, and you can read it here.

Fandancer was built in 1973 in Ontario, Canada.  She was designed by the renowned Sparkman and Stevens, so she has a good pedigree.  If you know about yachts, you can identify ones designed by them.  One of their most famous yacht designs was the Swan.  Fandancer is not a Swan, she is a Northstar40.  She is a ketch, which means she has two masts and three sails, compared to the more normal yachts which have one masts and two sails, and are called sloops.





Fandancer is 40ft in length.  This is a good size for the two of us.  She has excellent headroom throughout, a large aft cabin where we sleep, with a 10ft wide bed, narrowing to 4ft under the stern window.  In the fore cabin there are two single berths which can convert into one double berth.  Each cabin has its own separate toilet and shower room, known as the ‘heads’ on a boat.  In the middle of the boat we have a large saloon including the galley, where there is a comfortable seating area  which converts into another two berths.


The saloon, looking down from the cockpit.


In the above photo, you can see the saloon, with television. The steps lead up to the cockpit.  The laptop is on the chart table, then the ‘tunnel’ leads to our aft cabin, with engine room on the left, and the top loading fridge on the right.


Fandancer’s maiden voyage in the Solent 2010

Outside, in the cockpit, we have the helm/steering position with more seating.  We have a rather old fashioned glass  ‘windscreen’ and fixed cabin top which makes it very hot in the direct sun, but protects us very well from the wind and waves.


The cockpit, with new cushions.

Fandancer has wide decks, making it easy to walk around, and she has a spacious aft deck.   Because we have the extra mast, we could not have a standard bimini or sunshade, common for boats sailing in the Mediterranean, so we had one custom made which also fits over the two solar panels which are affixed to the wheelhouse cabin top.


Going back into the water for the first time, after renovations in 2010

Fandancer is a long keel, shallow draft boat.  She is also very wide, at almost 11ft. Some people think that this means she is not very fast and not highly manoeuvrable, but it’s just something you learn to get used to.  But we didn’t want a sleek racing boat, she is our home.  The advantage of a shallow draft boat (Fandancer has only 4’6” under the water) is that we can get into many anchorages and harbours that other boats could not.  Considering that some yachts have keels that are over six feet deep, this makes a lot of difference!

We brought Fandancer through the canals and waterways of France on the way to Greece, and this was possible due to our shallow draft.  We did actually touch the muddy bottom a couple of times in the canals, deeper draft boats could not have made the same trip.


2011 – on the French canals, carrying the two masts on deck.

That’s enough for now, I’ll see you tomorrow for something beginning with G…..

36 thoughts on “F is for Fandancer in the A to Z challenge

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  2. Thanks for sharing, like your images, looks like a great way to have a break from the hustle and bustle of life on land. Now you are back living on land, do you have the erg to go back to life on the boat every year?


    • Thanks for kind comments! The weather has been wet and miserable for so long in the U.K., I often think how it would be nice to be back in Greece. We’ll definitely be there sometime this summer.


  3. Fandancer gets lifted out of the water, and put in a boatyard with about 500 other yachts, in Preveza. On mainland Greece, opposite Corfu. We’ve been there three years now, but have previously had her in a boatyard on Evia, and also on Syros. Both greek islands.


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