'Kahana', A Custom 38 Benford Liveaboard Cruiser
by Sandy Broaddus
(San Diego, CA)
'Kahana' is an on-deck 38’3” custom Benford Mercedes built by a cruising couple to circumnavigate.
The brass wheel inside hooks up to cockpit tiller for dual steering to provide maximum comfort if motoring at night or to enjoy good weather outside while under sail.
Hull was launched in 1995 and finished enough for a shakedown from San Diego CA to San Clemente and Catalina islands in 1997.
A heart transplant followed by two more major surgeries delayed completion of interior, dodger and bimini for solar panels to 2010.
Coast Guard inspectors said Kahana is the safest boat in the San Diego Bay.
Sailed very little, she has been professionally maintained since the skipper went to heaven in 2013.
The rig was inspected and hull surveyed in 2017.
'Kahana' is priced at US $119,000.
CUSTOM CONSTUCTION POINTS NOT FOUND IN PRODUCTION VESSELS
The hull was laid up on a one-off mold upside down so that the bottom is overlapped making the hull one piece. Double hull layup; inner mat and fiberglass cloth with isophthalic polyester resin to 3/8” thickness, ¾” airex core vacuum bagged, outer matt and fiberglass cloth layup with epoxy resin to 3/8” thickness. San Diego boat builder labels this a sledge hammer hull. Cutwater is 3” thick. Hull is lined with copper to improve radio transmission.
Lifeline stanchions are mounted into two brackets thru bolted in the bulwark. Stanchions are up off the deck as opposed to going through the deck. This prevents leaking decks.
Cockpit decks are Port Orford cedar and teak. Rough sawn cedar planks were shipped from Oregon, stacked and air dried for 3 years before milling. The bronze chain plates are thru bolted to a stainless backing plate inside the hull. This prevents any chewing of the fiberglass/epoxy layups from shrouds. The rub rail is laminated teak and iron bark thru bolted to the ramin shear clamp inside the hull. Ramin, more expensive than teak, is the slowest growing, most valuable Indonesian hardwood and is no longer allowed to be harvested.
Bulkheads were taped in with resin saturated into 3 overlapping strips of roving of different widths. Each overlapping strip is wider than the previous strip. The top strip extended 8” on both the hull and bulkhead. Starboard bulkhead paneling, port bulkhead paneling and sole are teak. Fore and aft bulkheads are ramin. Deck beams are laminated teak and ramin 16” on center.
There is a primary and a secondary bilge pump with the secondary to come on should the water rise approx. 8” from bottom of the bilge. Hanging locker shelves are glassed in between bulkheads making bulkheads immovable. The L-shaped vanity has 3 shelves glassed in tying the port hull to the main bulkhead. The extra strength allowed for a privacy wall around the commode instead of a center bulkhead.
KAHANA Custom Jay Benford Mercedes Cutter 50’ overall 38’3” on deck 33’ waterline DRAW 6'
DISPLACEMENT 32,000 #
POWER Perkins 4-108 diesel rebuilt on the bench in 2004 less than 200 engine hours
SAILS Jib, staysail and main were new in 1997. Jib flew 4 times, main twice, staysail not used.
ANCHORS 45# Bruce with 200’ chain – 70# plough with 30’ chain and rope rode.
FUEL 300 gallon main tank with pump to fill 10 gallon day tank
BALLAST 8500# lead with additional trim
WATER 130 gallons HEAD HOLD 90 gallons
HOUSE POWER 3 large solar panels 8 AGM house batteries & designated starter battery
Air Breeze Wind Generator Air Heart Inverter Link 2000
ELECTRONICS installed 2004, never used Furuno Radar, Garmin GPS Chart Plotter, VHS radio
REFER AC/DC/ICE Vitrifrigo installed 3/2015
COOKING Force 10 three burner with two rack oven that can hold a ten pound turkey
MANUALS Available for all!
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