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About Shangri-La

Design: Devilliers 36

Launched: 1999

LOA: 3511 (10.95m)

DWL: 318 (9.65m)

Beam: 114 (3.45m)

Draft: 59 (1.765m)

Keel: long

Displacement: 24,250.6 pounds (11000kg)

Hull: steel 5/32 (4mm) -- designer/builder: David de Villiers

Deck: steel 1/8 (3mm) -- builder: Dirke Kotze

Rig: cutter/sloop, keel-stepped Sparcraft mast, spinnaker pole stored on mast, Profurl furler, lazy jacks

Sails: Lee Sails fully-battened, triple-reefed main (new 2007); North Sails furling genoa, staysail, storm jib, trisail

Deck fittings: 7 Anderson winches, 2 X 46ST, 2 X 40ST, plus 2 X 28ST & 1 X 16ST on mast

Steering: Tiller; Monitor self-steering (new 2007); Simrad TP22 autopilot

Propulsion: Perkins 47HP diesel engine, Brunton autoprop, 300 L diesel tank in keel

Electrics: 220 power supply, 6 x Sonnenschein deep-cycle batteries (600 amp hours); 1 starting battery; Link 2000 Monitor Heart Interface; Pathfinder charge controller; Next Step regulator; battery charger; 2 solar panels; Aerogen wind generator; shore power connection

Navigation: ICOM IC-M59 VHF; ICOM IC-M710 SSB; Raytheon Pathfinder radar; GPS; wind, depth, speed instruments; Plastimo steering compass, Freiberger sextant and many reference books

Ground tackle: 250 chain, 250 rode, 55lb Delta anchor (new 2007); spare 40lb CQR with 250 rode

Safety: EV 6-man life raft in canister (serviced 2007); life jackets; life ring; dan buoy; MOB light; 3 fire extinguishers; EPIRB (new 2007); spotlight; deck light; radar reflector

Exterior: Gebo hatches; Lofrans Cobra 1000W windlass; spray dodger; radar arch; sugar scoop; rod holders, stern pulpit mounted BBQ grill; built-in stern pulpit seats/lockers; high-pressure, salt-water deck wash

Interior: 7 berths (2 doubles in 2 cabins and one pilot berth); 1 head (Jabsco, new 2007); interior & exterior showers; non-slip rubber flooring; solid-cherry wood interior; rattan lockers; loads of storage for tons of spare parts and everything else

Plumbing: 400L integrated water tank; electric and hand & foot fresh water pumps; foot salt-water pump; hot-water calorifier; 2 manual & 2 electric bilge pumps; grey & black water holding tanks

Galley: 2 burner CAN Marine Equator stove with oven & broiler (new 2007), 2 sinks with salt and fresh water (one sink basin is unusually large); freezer; fridge; 2 gas bottles; gas alarm

Dinghy: Caribe I-27 with removable floorboards; Yamaha 5HP outboard with internal fuel and optional external fuel tanks (dinghy and outboard new 2007)

Her story: Launched in 1999, Shangri-La was sailed to Antarctica and around the Indian Ocean by her first owner, a South African. On the designers website (, the following was reported:

SHANGRI-LA 36' Steel Cutter 2003 Update: We have finally tracked down the owner of this well-traveled cruising boat and persuaded him to part with some photos and video clips from his voyages. Even though Shangri-La was heavily built, equipped and loaded for extended cruises she logged respectable passage times for a small steel boat. She has regularly sailed at over 10 knots in a strong following breeze.

According to the owner, she handled easily in all conditions and even in extreme conditions the crew felt safe and secure. At one point the boat experienced 70 knots for several days in the Indian Ocean between Chagos and Mauritius. The boat never faltered, was the exact quote from the owner. Presently Shangri-La is marina-bound in Cape Town but I'm sure it will not be too long before she is off voyaging again.

It wasnt long. In 2004, she was sold to a New York banker with a dream to sail her around Cape Horn. He did, and kept a blog documenting the voyage, and his revision of some more history: Shangri-La was built in 2000 to the specifications of her South African owner, Dirke. His plans for her included a trip to Antarctica requiring a strong steel hull to fend off chunks of ice floating in her path, so he had the keel and bow made from 15mm thick steel. This meant that she would be heavy, which would require a tall mast, 68 feet, to carry enough sail to give her speed. That mast would have to withstand the unobstructed winds of the Southern Ocean, so he doubled the size of the cable rigging. Dirke successfully sailed her to Antarctica. Twice.

My guess, without having pulled out the tape measure, is that the mast is closer to 58 feet because the mainsail alone measures 45 feet which proved to be plenty big enough on our first sail where we averaged seven knots with Force 4 on the beam plus the generous 13 feet for the distance from boom to keel and mainsail head to masthead.

Whether she went to Antarctica once or twice, Shangri-La did proceed to sail around the Horn and back, and then up to the Caribbean and St. Maarten, where she once again found herself on the hard in 2006, until I came along in 2007. Having already fulfilled the dreams of two men, it was almost immediately clear that she had been waiting to give this girl a shot at her dream.