Wilhelmshaven and the North Sea:
The future captain of S/V Lynx is no stranger to boats. Phil first started sailing in Germany at the tender age of 12. He joined a sailing club and built his own kit boat, a Mirror, which he sailed on the Banter See, in Wilhelmshaven. He also sailed on larger monohulls, traveling across the North Sea. At one point, he sailed all night through a storm with 30’ breaking swells. He was the youngest crewmember on board and managed to fall overboard three times (always tied in to the boat by a safety line). There are some very big storms on the North Sea. (Pic right is Phil sailing on the north sea, this time in calmer conditions).
Then the Blood family moved south, away form the North Sea, to Bonn, Germany. There, he lived on a house on the Rhine River, where he sailed his Mirror out in the strong currents, dodging passing barges and other swiftly moving river boats. With a four knot current, he had to sail his small boat hard just to keep abreast of the shore where his house was located. The picture (left) is Phil and a Freshman High School friend out sailing his Mirror on a local German lake one weekend.
On moving back to the USA at 15, he spent a lot of his time during his High School years out on the Colorado River and Lake Havasu, waterskiing, and doing all kinds of boating activities. This picture was taken of Phil when he was sixteen, waterskiing on Lake Havasu behind his 18' boat. Besides using his boat on the river, Phil would also motor across the channel from Long Beach to Catalina for scuba diving, or sometimes from Port Hueneme to Anacapa Island.
Master Scuba Diver Trainer:
While going to collage at Cal State Fullerton University, Phil Blood took all the scuba courses and eventually became a Divemaster at the college. This is also where he started his underwater photography classes and then entered and won photography contests. One of his ideas was entered into the World Underwater slide competition.
After college, he became a Master Scuba Diver Trainer and opened his own P.A.D.I. dive store and training facility in San Dimas, California, called Adventure Diving Center. He ran that facility for eight years. (See picture of Phil, left, from that time). He designed his own Underwater Video course, which was approved by P.A.D.I. as a new class.
Computer Game Design:
After the Gulf War cut into people's leisure spending, he closed his dive store business. Phil created and ran a new kind of Murder Mystery game, which got noticed by a game company who then hired him to work as a Producer. He spent ten years in the game industry where he became the Lead Game Designer for two game companies, Silent Software and Prolific Publishing, creating original titles as well as working on games for Disney, Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and Mattel.
Around that time, he also started writing a series of fantasy novels, called Cathexis. After leaving the game industry he continued his career as a writer and has finished 23 novels so far (see the series covers, left, all published under his real name, 'Philip Blood'. He is still writing Science Fiction and Fantasy novels and plans to continue doing so during the voyages of S/V Lynx. If you are interested in his novels, follow the link below.
But the ocean was always calling to Phil, and he purchased an 18’ Hobie Cat and started sailing it in the Long Beach Harbor, California. Currently, he is still sailing his Hobie cat occasionally when he feels the need to get out on the ocean. (See pic right with Phil sailing with two cousins, Lauren DeSantis and Libby Blood). He plans to sell his Hobie soon as he will soon begin his search for S/V Lynx and start his voyage around the world, shooting for cutting the lines in 2023.
About fifteen years ago, he became interested in larger boats and considered purchasing a Fleming 55 with the idea of motoring around the world. The Fleming is an ocean crossing capable boat with a range on fuel of over 2,500 miles see pic left). However, after looking at the costs of fuel ($9,000+ for a single tank full), he changed his mind and decided that wind was his wallet's friend and that a large catamaran would best suit his plan to sail the vast distances across oceans.
Performance Cat, custom design catamaran:
At first, he considered purchasing a half-built Kurt Hughes designed 58’ performance catamaran he found in Newport Beach, CA. (see pic right). However, it was too soon, as he still needed to save up more money. The other issue was that he changed is mind about owning a cat build for only speed, and no comfort. Phil slowly changed his mind about what kind of boat would be best for his long voyage around the world. Safety stayed his first consideration, but comfort became the second most important goal, trumping speed. (See the Boat page for more details).
Used Production catamaran:
Considering many factors, not the least of which was how much cash he thought he might gather to spend on a boat, about ten years ago, Phil settled on the idea of saving enough money to buy a used production catamaran for his future voyage. He planned to purchase a 44' - 48' cat and then do a major refit.
However, in 2021, the price of used catamarans skyrocketed. Considering many factors, it became obvious to Phil that he could no longer afford the higher prices and still have enough left over to do a major refit of an old boat to make it a safe blue water cruiser. Therefore, a new plan took shape.
Building a modern kit catamaran:
A possible new plan is to purchase a Schionning Designs 1490 kit boat and build the catamaran. This is a newly designed boat, with the great features of modern cats, including many comforts, yet she is a performance catamaran as well. Phil took the existing design of the 1490 and made some modifications, which Schionning is willing to make to the kit.
So now he is considering building a kit 50' performance catamaran with a combo hybrid/diesel propulsion system, with his custom modifications. The build would take two years to finish and will be done in Southern California. Before setting sail around the world, he would get to test the boat and systems out in the local waters, sailing out to various islands as well as up and the coast.
Research and classes:
So, at this stage, Phil has extensive book knowledge from ten years of studying catamarans and all the systems involved. He also comes in with a lot of boating experience from a lifetime of being on the water. At twelve years old, he built his first kit boat, a Mirror. However, that was dinghy size monohull, and building S/V Lynx, a 50' blue water catamaran, would take a whole lot more time and effort. For now, he is still looking at used boats as well as the kit build option.
If he does decide to build the kit boat, it means that he will have a lot of learning to do and will, no doubt, make a lot of mistakes. Yet, to quote Robert Heinlein, "Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win." Phil would bet on himself and his crew to get the job done, even though something like 50% of DIY boat builds never get finished. If he decides to go ahead with the kit, the build would begin soon, and you could follow along on the S/V Lynx Youtube channel as Phil and crew document the entire process of buying the kit and building S/V Lynx, or refitting a used boat.
Even when the cat has been built or purchased, there is the sailing challenge. Phil has not spent a lot of time on a big catamaran, so there is an empirical learning curve he must yet overcome once he finishes the construction of S/V Lynx. He has the hours on the water, but must take some classes to achieve his captain’s license and all the sailing certifications that entails.
The plan is that by the time S/V Lynx sets sail, he will become Captain Blood and be ready to take on the challenges of this epic voyage, guiding his crew to many distant shores and noteworthy adventures. He hopes to purchase or start the build of S/V Lynx before 2022 ends, and start the sailing adventure in 2024-25, one to two years later. However, the videos of the boat build or purchase of a used boat will begin very soon.
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