Arbutus (Arbutus menziesii) is a species of tree, native to the west coast of North America. We chose this name because arbutus trees are prominent on Vancouver Island, where Sundy grew up. They generally grow within 8 kilometres of the ocean on exposed rocky bluffs overlooking the ocean. Our plan is to end our trip here, where arbutus thrive, in Vancouver, Canada.
For us Arbutus is a living person. Her father Jean-Marie Finot and her builder Aluminium and Technical (no longer in operation), were located in Isigny sur Mer in Normandy, France. Arbutus was built using the design plans of Heliotrope. She is the number five in a series of 15 . There are three types of Heliotropes in existance and Arbutus’s model boasts a retractable keel. This feature allows us to explore the most inaccessible areas and even beach Arbutus depending on the terrain.
Underneath our feet in the central cockpit, we can access the retractable keel by an aluminum hatch. This hatch also comes in handy when any spray enters the cockpit.
Because Arbutus has a central cockpit, it was necessary for the architect to put the living/dining area at the back of the boat, when you are seatted at the dining table, you have a 270 ° view through 6 large rectangular windows. It’s fantastic to have so much natural light.
Arbutus has a cozy interior of wooden furnishings, a spacious forward cabin and smaller central cabin, two entrances, a “wet” area to remove our wet clothing before entering the galley and dining area.
If you want to read more about the technical details, please click here to see the plans of Arbutus’s father.