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Spirit of Argo is a Kelly Peterson 44.

Built in 1979 she was designed by Doug Peterson as a blue water cruising yacht.

She was purchased in 2003 in Florida, USA and sailed back to England.

Peterson 44 Specifications:

  • LOA: 43’10” (13,36 m.)
  • LWL: LWL 38’8″ (11.78 m.)
  • Beam: 12’11” (3.93 m.)
  • Draft 6’4″ (1.98 m.)
  • Ballast: 10,000 lbs. (4,536 kgs.)
  • Disp: 30,000 lbs. (13,607 kgs.)
  • Sail area: (100%) 1,011 sq.ft. (93.92 sq.m.)
  • Ballast/Disp: .33
  • Disp/Length: 232
  • SA/Disp: 16.7
  • Fuel: 117 gal. (443 ltr.)
  • Water: 132 gal. (500 ltr.)
  • Auxiliary: 62-hp Perkins 4-152 diesel
  • Designer: Doug Peterson

Boat imageThe galley table drops and forms an additional double berth.

The settee, on the starboard side, becomes the sea berth.  The base board and cushion pull out to form a wider berth in calm seas and a lee cloth, stored under the cushion, holds you in when the seas get ‘frisky’.

We put a lee cloth through the centre of the fore cabin and piled up the extra sails on that side.

We removed the sink, vanity and the toilet from the master cabin head.  We ran the shower, hot and cold, up to the cockpit instead.  We now have the option of showering (or rinsing off) in the cockpit and gained a large storage space below deck.  This is now storage for bicycles, dive equipment, spares and a lot of the equipment needed to keep a sailing vessel going.

Later, if we decide to sell the boat, it will be a simple process to change the master cabin head into a shower room.

There is a hatchway and stairs/ladder down from the cockpit into both the saloon and the master cabin.  This allows better air circulation through the boat on anchorage.  We usually shut the master cabin hatchway underway, but the saloon hatchway is well protected by the spray hood in all but the ‘bumpiest’ of passages.  When at anchor, the sprayhood and binimi offer enough protection in the rain, we are able to keep the master cabin hatchway open to improve ventilation.

If you want to learn more about Peterson 44s here is a link to the owner’s association website.


Additions to the top deck

Dive tank holder-deck view

Dive tank holder-beltsWe felt a little exposed on deck when reefing so we added granny bars for safety.  Dive tank holders

We also needed someplace to store our heavy dive tanks, so we ‘killed two birds with one stone.

The fenders are UV protection and theft deterrents.

CIMG4613We added a storage box to the back of the boat.  This houses our dive compressor, drogue and still has room for storing flammable liquids.

We added a nylon top so that we can use it as a cutting table when fishing and a preparation table during BBQs.

We even made a cushion to sit on the top.

IMG_7889We were very fortunate that the previous owners of the boat fitted a very sturdy aluminum radar arch onto the back of the boat that included dingy davits.  This system supports 600W of solar panels and a KISS wind generator. We stuck our old 80W solar panels out the sides with fold down hinges.

IMG_7970Never enough storage space!

We keep two single person kayaks on the foredeck.  The type you just sit on top of, not inside.

This is our primary mode of transportation and we keep them close at hand for easy launching.  On passage we have some end straps to secure them in place.

Here are a few pictures of down below

Galley and stairs

The main stairs drop down between the galley and the navigation station.  The double sink makes washing and draining dishes easier at sea.  We have a shaped cutting board to cover one sink.  This gives more counter space and keeps dirty dishes in place, most of the time.  If it get really rough we stick them in the oven.  It keeps the ‘projectiles’ down to a minimum!

We halved the original size of the fridge, in counter on the right, and the freezer, in the counter under the stairs.  We insulated the boxes further before fitting new walls and a base.  At the same time we tore out the old 110V cold storage plates and replace the system with an energy efficient 12V keel cooled system.

Varnish-navigation station

After an electrical fire, on passage back in England, we upgraded the original wiring and circuit breaker panel.  Well it was insured.

Varnish-saloon seating and table

Before leaving to go cruising we tried to make the saloon brighter by upgrading the upholstery and moving the mirror from the master head into the saloon.  The ‘ultra-leather’ is still holding up well even after over 3 years of abuse.

The table goes down to make a big comfy bed.   Especially with all the extra padding we added.

Varnish-sea berth

We love our sea berth.  On rough passages, when you are off watch, it is lovely to curl in here with the lee cloth up.  On ‘smoother’ passages, and at anchor, this bed pulls out into the companion way, to give you lots of room to spread out.  With the sea berth at the centre of the boat, you get the least amount of pivot and movement.  Sweet dreams!

Head-new varnish

 Unfortunately the head on our boat is nothing special.  It is a combination toilet and shower room, but you could not pay me enough to shower here in the tropics.  We use the cockpit shower for that.  I will give praise to the Groco toilet though.  With a little vinegar, and greasing every 6 months, it rarely lets us down.


  1. Mike & Mary Watson

    We love you April and Cain! All the best on your new life’s adventure!!

  2. Very beauty and strong boat. Congratulation and good winds. What’s your route?

    • Thanks-you. This year Biscay, Spain, Portgual, Canaries and Cape Verdes then across to Caribbean after Christmas. No time frame after that

  3. Nichola and Colin

    Hi Cain and April – sister ship Emerald here. We hear you met our friends on Midday Sun the other day and glad to hear you’ve finally escaped and are heading to the sun! .
    We’re in Essex, aiming to head south next year (Colin has had enough of this British weather).
    Wishing you a fantastic time, love the ‘from the dog’s view’ blog.

    • Dear Nichola and Colin,
      Thankyou for your kind words. Just getting the hang of this blogging stuff. The site will hopefully get better with time and practice. Wishing you both fair winds and kind seas in your future endevours.

  4. Cain and April,

    that June of 1993 when you two first met in California seems a long time ago. Saw Jogger at work, told me about this blog. Wishing you both the best, Jonesey.

  5. Kathryn Smith

    I am the former owner of Argo. So please to see the pictures of conception Island! That was our favorite Anchoridge! So happy to see Argo and her new owners enjoying the Bahamas.

  6. Drop us a line…we are in Long Island Sound. (Daryl &Annie No Rehearsal)
    Ps we don’t have an email address for you ?

  7. This is a great blog. I really enjoyed reading about the places you have visited.

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