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McIntyre Adventure

AUSTRALIA

Atkins Eric 32 Suhaili Replica

Boat Name: Pingo

Status: provisional

The Skipper

As much as Mike enjoys good company, he is very content with his own. By nature, he is a self-reliant sailor and capable of fixing or working around problems. In the tradition of many early solo sailors, he is building his own boat, a Suhaili replica.

Mike has sailed since a young age and had the urge for the Southern Ocean almost as long, after reading The Lonely Sea and the Sky by Sir Francis Chichester. And so began a lifetime of interest in voyages of exploration and seamanship in traditional and modern boats, and mainly the high latitudes.

His sailing experience is varied and includes the South Atlantic and Tasman, cruising the Eastern Coast of Australia, and probably the most relevant, his adventure sailing—often single-handed—around the Cape of Good Hope coast in a 23’ plywood Van de Stadt keelboat without GPS.

The GGR was set up by the mad bastard for mad sailors like myself. I qualify by definition.

Mike Smith

This is the third time Mike is entering the Golden Globe Race. He is stubborn and likes the idea of challenging himself, taking calculated risks to achieve something of personal satisfaction. Apart from the self-discipline of sailing the boat and staying on top of repairs when tired, hungry, and cold, the GGR will expose Mike intimately to the physical world that we live in, including the raw power of the ocean and the wind.

He has no aspirations for the giddy podium heights and prefers to keep his feet firmly on the ground!

The Boat

Rather than use an existing GGR approved yacht, Mike has chosen a more difficult route to redesign and build his own Suhaili Replica, built on purpose for the GGR.

Construction is composite strip plank with 2.5mm thick E-glass epoxy laminate both sides of western red cedar strip planking and built on plywood CNC cut frames/ bulkheads. This construction method provides a relatively easy build for a home builder and results in a strong and light structure.

Every aspect of the boat is optimised as far as is practical and within the allowed rule constraints and a non-existent budget for the build. Nothing that is not absolutely necessary will be fitted; saving cost, time to install, less to go wrong and most important saving weight.

Mike is fascinated by boats and very interested to see how these long keel boats perform in difficult conditions. From a sailing perspective, a Suhaili replica in the GGR may help Mike understand the design attributes of a traditional heavy displacement double-ender in high winds and big confused sea state when sailed hard.

Boat NamePingo
Boat TypeEric Suhaili Replica
DesignerWilliam Atkin
BuilderMike Smith
LOA9.8m
LWL8.4m
Beam3.5m
Draft1.5m
Displacement8618kg as per original Atkin design
Sail Area60sq. m

Mike’s Website: https://www.mikeggr.com/home/

Boat Build – The Pingo Project: https://thepingoproject.wordpress.com/blog/

Mike’s YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@MikeSmith-ix1jx

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2026 Skippers