CHARM was designed by Ned Ackerman of Rockport, Maine. Mr. Ackerman began construction of CHARM and built the hull up decks and then commissioned Rockport Marine to finish and launch the vessel - which was completed in 2009. CHARM was built and finished to very high standards. She is designed for offshore voyaging and is equipped for this kind of travel. With the generator and the systems that have been put onboard CHARM is completely self sufficient. Though she is heavily built and a full rigged schooner, she is designed to be operated with limited man power. The vessel can go offshore and be away from land for some time given the systems and the tankage onboard. CHARM was moved out of the building shed at Rockport Marine in the fall of 2009 at which time she was launched and seatrials were conducted.
LIFELINES: I have been using 5/8' polyester rope instead of small diameter stainless. It hurts a lot less if you fall against it. There are heavy ring nut backing the bowsprit shrouds. Each set of mast shrouds has thimbles seized at the pin rails. The davits each have a loop welded on the forward curve. The life lines lead from the bowsprit shroud nuts through the thimbles to the davits where I tie them with a rolling hitch so I can easily drop them or keep them tight. Furthermore, there is a bronze staple on each side of the after break to anchor a flat safety harness tape which leads forward to the windlass. I planned to make a safety net to enclose the cockpit entirely, but have not yet done so. For Subchapter T passenger compliance, several intermediate stanchions can easily be installed.
MAST WINCHES: The rig is traditional gaff schooner with plenty of purchase in the tackles. There are also jig tackles on the standing ends of the halyards for sweating up the last little bit and easy adjustments when it's blowing. It is a simple system but takes miles of line. All sheets and halyards which might require heavy hauling are 5/8" spun polyester, not for strength per se, but for easy grip. During construction, however, I planned ahead and led wires below deck to the bases of the masts in case I won the lottery and decided to install electric halyard winch heads on the pin rails at a later date. There are spare switches on the breaker board for them.
WINDLASS: The windlass is an old fashioned manual "fisherman's rocker windlass" from Lunenburg Foundry. It is very powerful and good exercise. There is also an electric windlass mounted on the base of the bowsprit, useful for dock lines in a blow. I have not worked out how to operate the rocker with an eccentric on the clutched end, but it is there and could be done. Because I intended long range cruising, I did not want to depend entirely upon anything electrical, but I also mounted a five thousand pound line pull electric capstan at the stern for handling a stern anchor for a Bahamian moor of for Mediterranean style stern-to mooring. It also can serve the main sheet and dock lines.
CHAIN LOCKER: I don't like to introduce harbor mud below deck; so the two 300', 1/2" galvanized schedule 40 anchor chains stow in boxes on deck. This does mean hand stacking the chain, but then the chain pile never can collapse and cause a snarl. There is a high-pressure salt water washdown pump installed forward for cleaning anchors and chain.
EXHAUST: The Kelvin exhaust has a heavily insulated dry stack to a wet muffler mounted just below the deck. From there, the wet exhaust drops to a "T" with one leg leading to a sea cock and through-hull on each side. That way the exhaust hoses are of minimum length, easily inspected, fully serviceable without contortions or the removal of joinery. The exhaust for the generator is a water lift which exits through a sea cock and thru-hull on the port side.
KELVIN PARTS: The service manual of the Kelvin is very complete. I have been dealing with the same sales manager at Kelvin, Ian Sprowl, since 1972, and the one part I needed in all that time, a thermostat I had accidentally stepped on, he sent free of charge. There is also a permanent caulked hatch in the deck over the engine room. Reef out the caulking and undo the bronze lag bolts, lift out the hatch, and the engine can be removed straight up without disassembling the schooner's interior should an owner want a more modern propulsion plant. I didn't. The Kelvin is simple and serviceable, sips fuel, and with the fuel filtration system in place to protect the injector cams, it should last several lifetimes. I used it because of its reliability and my intention to visit faraway places.
DIESEL FUEL CAPACITY: There are three 106 gallon and one 94 gallon main fuel tanks, flat topped and round bottomed (i.e. with a U-shaped cross section) constructed of 1/8" steel, epoxied and with proper baffling and access ports for manual cleaning. Each tank is fully isolated by valves and also has a sediment trap with a valve and cap for draining in the event of a fill with bad fuel. The tanks have full size fill vents to prevent blowback from high speed pumps. The fuel lines port and starboard lead first through a 30 micron, then through a 10 micron filter so any fuel problems can be isolated. From the two banks of filters, the fuel goes to a 24 gallon day tank, also 1/8" epoxied steel. There is a manual shutoff that meets Subchapter T requirements in the steering box locker on deck which can seal this tank. Small working vents for all tanks pass through the day tank and then to a 3 gallon poly tank with drain, translucent for easy inspection, before a single vent leads above deck. This way, any green water on deck or excess humidity that finds its way into the vent is trapped before it can get to the tanks. The tanks are not only bolted down, but posts lead from the deck beams to ensure they stay put in a knockdown. Note also, the fire extinguishing unit in the engine room is twice the recommended size and has both automatic and manual pulls.
DAY TANK NOTE: There is an electric transfer pump to move fuel from the selected main tank to the day tank, and also a manual pump on a loop that can be used in the event of an electrical failure. Fuel gravities from the day tank to the engine, generator, and stoves.
OF GENERAL NOTE: Being old fashioned and not entirely trusting electricity in a marine environment, I designed the Charm's systems to function perfectly well without it. One person not in a hurry to get going can sail her alone. (My first schooner, a 47' pilot schooner of similar design but few amenities, had all oil lamps and a Kelvin P4R diesel that I always hand started, and I single-handed her from Mystic to Lunenburg and in between for several summers.) Using care and the compression releases, the Kelvin could be started in a pinch using four six volt lantern batteries wired in series. Fuel can be moved manually. There is easy access to a gravity tap from the water tanks. There are also salt and fresh water foot pumps at the galley sinks. The stoves need no juice. The sails can be raised and handled by hand, and I have sailed her alone numerous times. The anchor can be set and raised manually. On the other hand, I do enjoy modern conveniences. Each bunk has a fan at its foot and a LED reading light at its head. The LED spreader lights are bright enough for any work on deck at night. The autopilot takes the work out of long slogs under power. The interior is white and bright for yet-to-be-installed kerosene lamps. I have integrated handholds everywhere possible. I did not fill every space with joinery because I wanted to live with her for a while before I located bookcases and other personal or special joinery.