SV La Chica

An ocean going Land Rover... go anywhere, any time!


Equipment & fittings

Stove - Gimbled kerosene primus stove as per James Baldwin's design. (
Sink - Single stainless steel, drains into greywater tank.
Sole - Cork, varnished with a water based non-slip varnish. All lift up sections lock down.
Lockers - About 58 separate lockers, all secured with toggle type catches.
All crockery and glassware goes with the boat.
Ditto for cookware.

C-Head composting loo. Works very well indeed. (

Three cowl type vents with Dorade boxes.
Four opening ports (one in the companion door).
Three hatches including the companion door.

Ground Tackle
1 x 45lbs Simpson & Laurence CQR
1 x 30 Suncor CQR
1 x FX35 Fortress

Main rode 40M x 10mm chain plus 60M 16mm Nylon
Secondary rode 10M x 10mm chain plus 100M 16mm Nylon
Spare rode 40M x 8mm G4 chain
Spare rode 10M x 8mm G4 chain plus 40M 14mm Nylon (used when a stern anchor is needed)
10M x 12mm nylon snubber

Anchor winch is a electric drum winch which hold the main and secondary rodes on separate drums. Below is a post that I made to the Yahoo Tahitianna Owners group about the anchor winch.

"I thought some of our members might be interested in La Chica's reel anchor winch installation, which is relatively unfamiliar to most cruising yachtsman although some have heard that Canadian NA Brent Swain is an enthusiastic proponent of the reel anchor winch. I've known Brent for sometime and he has always been very enthusiastic about the reel winch and in fact he includes a design for one both in his book and with the plans of every design that he sells. While not well known amongst yachtsman the reel winch is very popular amongst commercial fisherman and I've also seen it installed on many of the small ferries here in New Zealand.

When I started with LC's conversion to the junk rig, one of my concerns was to get as much weight out of the bows as I could. LC, being a double-ender suffers from the one real drawback of her generic type; namely a tendency to hobby horse if there is to much weight in her ends. So keeping weight out of her ends needed to be a priority. I could not avoid putting her foremast as far forward as possible because that is simply where it had to go but adding an anchor winch plus rode was not a good idea... fortunately there was an alternative - the reel anchor winch.

Going this route kept the weight of the winch and rode out of the bow and it also meant that I would not longer have the rode below along with the mess and smell that goes with it. Everything is above deck which also means that with the rode in the open, I can easily inspect and keep an eye on it's condition, I suspect the chain will also suffer less corrosion as it is of cause able to drain off all seawater nor is it able to sit in a puddle of gunk that often accumulates in an anchor locker. In a steel boat, corrosion in anchor lockers can be a bit of a headache and so I avoided that as well.

One small matter remained, namely you cannot buy a decent reel anchor winch off the shelf (at least in NZ you cannot) so I had to design and build my own. I had a Maxwell capstan winch which I originally planed to use in the conventional manner so I adapted it to enable it to be used to power the reel winch. I do not think it would help much if I provide drawings of my installation as installations are unique to each boat but I can go over a few points and the photo's tell the rest of the story.

If you want your reel winch to evenly self wind each layer as the rode comes in, you need to install the winch drum in such a manner that the anchor roller is centred on the drum. You also need the drum to be far enough back from the roller so that the extreme edges of the drum fall within a 2 degree arc. In a typical junk that means your bow roller cannot be on the centre of the bow but needs to be offset to one side of the mast or some other means of diverting the rode is necessary. Another possibility is not to install the winch on the centre but to one side or to use some sort of cathead/offset bow roller. If you are unable to do any of the above you need to create a means to force the rode to move across the drum and back again so as to layer the rode evenly on the drum.

On LC I was not able to move the winch far enough aft so as to get the drum inside the 2 degree cone and so to keep things simple, I also left the bow rollers in the centre and made a "winder" that I can push to and fro as the rode comes in and so achieve an even lay up. In the beginning I just used a welding glove and moved the cable across by hand. However it was awkward to do at the same time as operating the winch controls, so I came up with the "winder" that can be seen in the photos.

For the rode, you have all the usual choices plus at least one more, namely to option of using a wire rode. Wire rodes are not seen very often on board yachts but are widely used on fishing boats and (at least in Auckland) on small ferries. Wire has the advantage that it's light and it does not chafe through on corral or rocks, you still need a few meters of chain for catenary though. It is however only an option if you have a reel winch. All chain can still be used but you do need to be aware of the weight and so it may not be viable for smaller (or light) boats.

On LC, I have 40M 10mm chain and 40M of 16mm nylon as that works well for the New Zealand North Island and it's not too heavy. I also have a wire rode that is stored below for used when the cruising grounds dictate it.

As for most anchor winches, the winch is not intended to take the load while actually on the hook, so LC uses a 5M 12mm nylon snubber to take both the load and to prevent chafe on the main rode when at anchor. I use a light snubber because it stretches more readily and so reduces snatching more than a heavier line would. When I know that it going to be a strong blow or a heavy swell, I back the snubber up with a second full size one but to date, the lighter snubber has never failed."

1 x 120lt freshwater (200lt can be carried in jerry cans)
1 x Fynspray freshwater pump in galley
1 x Fynspray seawater pump in galley

1 x greywater tank (galley sink & urine drain into it)
1 x Whale Gusher 10 with diverter valve (pumps bilge & grey water)
1 x Whale Gusher 10 bilge pump (operated from cockpit).
1 x Par electric diaphragm pump & auto switch for bilge sump.

1 x Whitestar semi-rotary diesel transfer pump (used to fill header tank from main tanks)
1 x diesel header tank 40lt
2 x diesel tanks 100lt each
2 x Racor FG500 diesel filters
1 x electric fuel pump (only used for bleeding- not really needed)

4 x 260A 6V Golf cart type lead acid batteries (house batteries)  -  I may be replacing these.
1 x 140A 12 Starter battery
2 x 140 watt solar panels each coupled to it's own Genasun 10A MPPT controller.
30A alternator on engine

Nexus 10 Tablet
VHF (not very useful to me but keeps the authorities happy)
Raymarine ST60 sailing instruments
Raymarine  below deck hydraulic autopilot
Raymarine remote for autopilot
Raymarine RS125 active GPS antenna
ACR GlobalFix RLB-35 406 EPIRB with built in GPS and 121.5 Homing - Battery Expiry: 01/09/2022

Engine Details
Engine - Vetus M3.10 - 22HP (18HP continuous)
Exhaust - Has dry exhaust
Cooling - Cooling tank that contains 120Lt of coolant. No salt water goes near the engine.
Propshaft - Has Aquadrive CV joint and PYI packless shaft seal.
Alternator - 30A Solar panels take care of the house batteries.
Propeller - 17 x 12 self-feathering Kiwi Feather Prop

Storm Survivial
Full set of cones made up for a Jordan Series drogue but I've not gotten round to making it up.
A West Marine Delta drogue

Hebridean Windvane Selfsteering ( )