After over 12 years aboard MV DESERT VENTURE, we decided it’s time to give new cruisers a chance to live the dream. We loved our time aboard and it was no small decision to move ashore. But we have, and we are now looking forward to new adventures.
DESERT VENTURE (D/V) is a custom-built, all aluminum motor vessel. She is 54′ loa, 16’9″ beam, and has a 5′ draft. D/V has twin 5.9 Cummins 300 hp turbo charged diesel engines on V-drives. She has a 20 kw generator and a robust inverter system. We travel at an average speed of 7.8 knots. Regardless of where we are – at the dock, at anchor, or underway – we enjoy quality of life aboard.
This blog tells the story of DV and how well she cruises, and was maintained by her Captain. It tells how much we love her and are proud of her seagoing abilities.
DV at anchor in the Sea of Cortez
DV took us up and down the west coast of North America – between Alaska and Mexico – four round trips. We went to Mexico twice, British Columbia numerous years, and to SE Alaska once. We spent extended periods of time at anchor, and in countless ports between Mexico and SE Alaska. We voyaged over 25,000 miles at an average of 7.8 knots. She is a steady boat that got us wherever we wanted to go safely and comfortably.
DV’s design is highlighted in the book, “Voyaging Under Power”. She has a functional sea-going exterior design, and a luxury yacht interior. Built in Washington, USA, no expense was spared in her design, build, and livability. We believe that DV is the most liveable boat in her size.
The decks are walk around and open, with a sturdy stainless railing. This means what water may come on to the decks runs off. The railing is high and makes boating safer. The open deck, forward, allows full view of the water – far off and directly ahead of the boat. It is a wonderful feature.
The aft deck is covered. We use it in all weather. The flybridge has a built-in settee.There is a complete helm station on the flybridge. We often set out chase lounge chairs and soaked up the sun.
The main level floor plan has a pilot house, with access to the fly bridge,
The pilot house provided great living space while underway, at anchor, or tied to the dock. There is great visibility of the seas from the settee.
The galley is aft of the pilot house.
The galley has modern appliances – LG Refrigerator, GE Profile Convection/Microwave Oven, GE Profile propane cook top, and garbage disposal.
Storage abounds. There are cupboards all along the port side of the boat opposite the galley and salon area. There is a food pantry on the lower level. The main level has faux wood blinds that are very efficient in keeping the cold and heat out, and preserving privacy.
DV has a full set of exterior sun protection screens.
The salon is roomy and lends itself to comfortable full size furniture.
The salon/dining area has a bar top, but is roomy enough for table and chairs.
Below the main deck, forward, is the VIP Stateroom with walk around queen bunk.
A Guest Head is aft of the VIP to starboard.
The head is roomy, including a shower and vacuflush head. Storage abounds.
Opposite the Guest Head, is the Utility room with Bosch Stacking washer and dryer.
Opposite the washer and dryer, in the utility room, is a combination freezer/reefer for extra refrigeration.
Moving aft, to starboard is the Crew Stateroom.
Twin extra-long bunks, two drawers of storage under the bunks, a locker storage with counter top, and a hanging locker with bookshelf above makes up the crew stateroom.
Aft of the crew stateroom is the Master Stateroom.
Starboard and Port sides have identical storage. King size walk around bed.
The Master Stateroom has its own private head with shower.
The interior is stunning in the craftsmanship and design.
Now you know what the living quarters are like. Beautiful, comfortable, plentiful, efficient, and clean. As valuable as these amenities are – DV isn’t a proper yacht unless the same can be said about all her mechanical systems’
There isn’t a boat owner out there who will argue that a standup engine room is priceless. All mechanical equipment is accessed via the engine room. No lifting the salon decks to get access to engines or other equipment. And DV has a beautiful, clean, roomy engine room.
The photo above is a workbench on the 20kw generator. As you can see, the workbench gets used a lot. It’s difficult to stand back, even in a roomy engine room like that and give you the full view.
The main engines are outboard on port and starboard sides. Above is the starboard main engine. All maintenance done on the boat – including the main engines is included in the maintenance log. Great detail in the log tells when, what, why, how, and with exactly what pieces, parts, model and part numbers, sizes, and lubricants, etc. were used. There will never be a question about what was done to maintain DV. It’s in the log! Change the main engine oil? It’s in there. Change a light bulb – number of watts, etc – it’s in there. Need a screw for the thinga-ma-gidget – it’s in there!
Desert Venture has walk around decks. When we were shopping for a boat, this feature was not one of our “must have”. We didn’t know how valuable they are – for convenience and safety issues. We now insist on walk around decks on any boat we own. There is debate that walk around decks reduce the interior living space. You won’t notice it on DV. And, we think it is worth it.
There is a sink and refer on the aft deck. Again, it never occurred to us, but that sink is a life saver for the First Mate. All nasty cleanup jobs are done outside, rather than in the galley.
The boarding steps on the transom make getting on and off the boat simple and safe. There is access to the steps from both port and starboard.
The amenities of DV go on forever – at least to us, who saw the value provided in quality of life. I’ve talked about quality of life aboard underway, at anchor, or at the dock. Of course we didn’t abuse our power privileges, but there are many things you can do underway or at anchor – without the generator running. Watch a movie, pop popcorn in the microwave, run your computer, blow dry hair, make coffee, toast, turn the lights on – many options available. Note! Just don’t try them all at once! There are limits – of course, and it’s important to manage your resources properly.
It’s not hard to tell that we truly love DV and all she offers. Though it grieves us to say goodbye to her, we are very excite and hopeful that an advernturess couple will come along and keep “The Dream” going, but taking DV and making more memories.
There’s plenty more to say and tell, but this would never end. If you have questions let me know. Send us comments through the blog and we will get back to you quickly. If you know sailors who are thinking of moving to power, let them know about DV. That’s what we did. Her systems are just right for a transition to a new way of boating.
Meanwhile, we are still loving DESERT VENTURE and telling her that new friends are coming soon! She can’t Wait for new Cruisers!