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. Up until very recently, he was still sailing his Hobie cat when he felt the need to get out on the ocean. (See pic right with Phil sailing with two cousins, Lauren DeSantis and Libby Blood). However, he just sold his Hobie catamaran because he is getting ready to build a much bigger boat1 S/V Lynx will be a 50' performance, blue water capable, catamaran.He plans to start his new voyage circumnavigating the world, and plans to but the lines in early 2025.
But we are getting ahead of our selves! About fifteen years ago, Phil 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 2,500 mile range on fuel (see pic left). However, after looking at the costs of fuel and finding that it would currently cost $12,500 for a single tank full to cross one ocean, he changed his mind and decided that wind was his wallet's best friend. He turned his sight on obtaining a large catamaran to sail the vast distances across oceans.
Custom designed performance catamaran:
At that time, he considered purchasing a half-built Kurt Hughes designed 58’ performance catamaran he found in Newport Beach, CA. (see pic right). However, the timing wasn't right since he still needed to save up more money. The other issue was that Phil started changing his mind about owning a cat built only for speed, with little comforts. After looking into what type of catamaran would be best for his long voyage around the world he decided that safety came first but due to the many years he planned to spend on board, comfort became the second highest goal, trumping speed. (See the Boat page for more details).
Used Production catamaran:
In choosing a used cat model to purchase, Phil too many factors into consideration, not the least of which was how much cash he thought he might gather to spend on a boat. Based on these considerations, about ten years ago, Phil settled on the idea of buying a used production catamaran for his voyage. Once he had the money saved, he planned to purchase a 44' - 48' cat and then do a major refit. The Salina 48 became his top choice (see pic left).
However, in 2021, the price of used catamarans skyrocketed. It soon became obvious to Phil that he could no longer afford the high initial price since it would take all his savings, leaving nothing left over for a major refit. These older cats would take a lot of money to be put into blue water cruising shape. Therefore, a new plan took shape.
Building a modern kit catamaran:
Phil's new plan is to purchase a Schionning Designs 1490 kit boat then have he and his crew build the catamaran. The 1490 is a newly designed boat, with the great features of modern cats, including many comforts, yet she is a performance catamaran as well. That way, he could have his cake and eat it too! Phil took the existing design of the 1490 and made some modifications, which Schionning is willing to make to the kit.
Having put down the first payment, Captain Blood and crew are now committed to building their 50' performance kit catamaran and equipping it with a combo hybrid/diesel propulsion system. Phil has altered the design of the 1490 with many new custom modifications. His modifications have changed the boat enough to that Schionning Designs is now calling this new version the Solitaire 1520. The build will take two years to finish and the boat will be built in Southern California. Before setting sail around the world, he will do sea trails and test the boat and systems in local waters, sailing out to various islands and eventually up to San Francisco for a final test.
Research and classes:
So, at this stage, Phil has extensive book knowledge from fifteen 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.
Even though he built a Mirror kit sailboat at 12 years of age, it has been along time since then and this performance catamaran is much larger! Phil 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 is betting on himself and his crew to get the job done, even though something like 50% of DIY boat builds are never finished. The construction of the boat will start at the beginning of 2023. You may follow along on the S/V Lynx Youtube channel since Phil and his crew plan to video document the entire process of buying the kit and building S/V Lynx.
Even when the cat is finished the videos will continue as voyages begin.
The plan is that by the time S/V Lynx sets sail, Phil will be certified boat captain. At that point, the voyages of Captain Blood and crew will begin as they take on the challenges of their epic voyage/
The videos of the boat build will begin very soon.
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