Sunset on the Baja
The Adventures of the Wasatch
When you reach the horizon, you're near  your journey's end
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About the Boat
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The Kelley Peterson was a pioneer in performance cruising design. Drawn for
Jack Kelly Yachts by Doug Peterson, the 44 debuted in 1976 as a dedicated
cruiser that could sail well in any wind. Today, in many major cruising ports you
can find one of the over 200 44s originally built. Owners have nothing but praise
for the performance achieved by this moderate-displacement bluewater design;
180-mile days are not uncommon.
The Peterson 44 features a low-profile center cockpit that remains pleasing to
the eye and keeps weight low physically as well as visually. The long-fin keel
with cutaway forefoot and afterbody reduces wetted surface for good light-air
performance and provides a shorter turning radius. A full-size molded-in skeg
supports the rudder and provides good protection during the occasional
grounding. Protected also is the prop, mounted in an aperture between the
skeg and the rudder. Displacement of 30,000 pounds (10,000 of this is buried in
encapsulated lead ballast) gives the Peterson 44 an easy motion at sea.
On deck, a double-spreader cutter rig supports 1,011 square feet of working
sail. The center cockpit is intelligently laid out and accommodates a full-size
dodger and Bimini. From the cockpit, two companionways, both protected by
bridge decks, provide outside access to the fore and aft cabins. Each Peterson
44 was delivered with factory-          
installed bow rollers and a manual windlass. Most boats’ windlasses have been
replaced with electric versions, but the bow rollers and chain lockers are still
adequate, although some owners have beefed up their rollers to handle side
loads better. The deck and coachroof are cored with plywood and generally
have stood up well.
Entering the main cabin through the forward companionway reveals one of the
better belowdeck layouts you’ll find in a center-cockpit cruiser. A full-size U-
shaped galley is located to port near amidships. It easily accommodates a good-
size freezer and refrigerator without compromising storage or counter space,
and with room for a sizeable double sink.
To starboard is a large, first-class nav station, close enough to the cockpit for
easy communication. To starboard and back through the passageway is the aft
cabin, with a double berth and separate head with shower. Forward is a
traditional main cabin layout with dinette to port and settee to starboard, a
second head with shower and a reasonably large V-berth. The tri-cabin
accommodates seven. Three hatches and six opening ports ventilate the main
cabin; four ports and two hatches ventilate the aft cabin.
Under the cockpit and accessible from the passageway is the engine and
equipment space, which contained originally a 62-hp Perkins 4-152 diesel
though some boats were delivered with Ford Lehman 80-hp diesels. The larger
engine is a good match for a boat of this displacement. A nine-foot prop shaft
incorporates two cutless bearings, one at each end of the long stern tube, to
provide extra support. The forward cutless is hidden behind the shaft log and
may escape periodic inspection.
Storage is excellent, with abundant locker space for the long-haul voyager. Four
separate stainless steel tanks carry 132 gallons of water, and fuel capacity is 117
gallons in two painted steel tanks. The tanks have been a minor source of
difficulty: Over the years, they have developed cracks and leaks that could only
be stopped by tank replacement. Problems with fuel tanks are less common.
Underway, the Peterson is easy on the helm. A servo-pendulum windvane will
handle steering chores even with the long run of control lines to the center-
cockpit-mounted wheel; most autopilots will steer happily as well. Owners report
that heaving to with a reefed main and staysail set is the preferred heavy
weather strategy.
The Wasatch securely birthed in Mazatlan for the 2007 Christmas Hollidays
Wasatch in Mazatlan, Mex. for the Christmas Hollidays
Aft Cabin
Aft Head, The water maker control panel ended up here
Wasatch resting peacefully at anchorage in Chacala, Mex.
A dolphin came to great us as we were anchoring here in Las Hadas, Manzanillo, Mex
KP44 headed down the Baja Coast, Mex.
Running with Main and Genoa poled out at sunset along the Baja, Mex.
The aft cabin on the Wasatch has a
very comfortable king size bed,
which goes wall to wall so you
can't fall out of bed.  The mattress
is four inches of standard soft
firmness open cell foam with a
layer of 2" temperpedic foam glued
on.  I think this combination is
more comfortable than a spring
mattress which has too much
bounce on a boat.  I made and
installed the teak side cabinets
about ten years ago fortunately.  
Now teak seems to be
astronomically expensive and poor
qualilty.  The shelves open up
quite a bit of storage room behind
the original panels.  The stereo
speakers are usually controled
from a player at the nav staion, but
they can be contoled from a
remote panel on the right.  
Alternatively I can play videos on a
flip 17" flip down monitor from a
pioneer control head on the right.
Also I installed a nav instrument
head to monitor the wind and
depth on windy nights with
questionalble holding, although
with the Rocn 40, that hasn't been
a problem so far.  Finally I got a
package deal with Glacierbay on
the refrigerator, which included a
small air condition unit.  I piped
this back to the vent inbetween
the two speakers.  It takes about
45 amps at 12v to run so it really
only makes sense to run it when
the boat is plugged into shore
power.  The practical and real
muscle of the air conditioning in
the aft cabin are the two Hella
Turbo fans on either side of the
bed.  Running at .2 amps dc, they
provide a surprising amount of
breeze and positioned just 1 1/2
feet above the mattress, turn what
would be an otherwise hot
miserable night, into a cool
pleasant one.
The nav station has a 10" Furuno
Chart Plotter with ARP, AIS, Depth,
and Radar capability, an older
model 10" Furuno radar monitor  
which is now just a back up, Icom
710 SSB radio, an Icom 602 VHS
radio, Simrad autopilot head, a
Simrad instrument head, Link 2000
battery monitor, solar panel and
wind generator monitors, AC
monitor, CD/radio player, hook up
to my 1000 milliwatt wifi amplifier
and 8.5 db antenna on the stern
arch, computer video hook up to
the TV monitors in both the main
and aft cabin, the controls and
gauges for the AC Generator, the
electical panel,  Although a little
utilitarian looking, the hand light
on the right, near the
companionway is very useful This
is on a 20 ft spring wound cord and
can be pulled to anywhere in the
boat. The flourescent bulb is a
marked improvement over the old
incandescent one being cooler,
more energy efficient, and shock
resistant.
When I replaced the wind
instruments and installed the
cockpit chartplotter, I thought
about putting them infront of the
wheel, but as the wheel is right in
the center of the cockpit they
woud be in everybodies way
otherwise.  It turned out to be a
good decision.  When cruising the
autopilot is steering the boat
virtually 95% of the time and its
much easier for the person on
watch to see all the instrument
from sitting anywhere in the
cockpit.
The whisker pole is a real asset for
the cruising sailboat.  It is
relatively easy to rig.  I've got mine
set up so that I can rig it easily in
heavy wind conditions by myself.  
And its much easier to control,
reef, and furl the genoa than a
spinaker.  It allows the boat to go
much faster running downwind
from 120 degrees on the port to
120 degrees on the starboard.
The Searecovery watermaker
is in the equipment room just
forward of the aft head, so
that the most logical place
for running the lines to the
control panel was to put the
control panel in the aft head.
The galley table easily accomodates
four people and makes a
comfortable place to eat.  The table
will drop down to the level of the
seats and turn into a queen size
bed.  I usually have not done this,
because the table is somewhat
heavy and awkward to move and the
toaster oven generally stays on the
table.  Not wanting to use up more
space in the galley, I removed the
cabinet door in the salon near the
galley and installed a microwave.  
Removing the back wall of the
cabinet, created enough space
above the microwave to store all of
the cups and glasses that were
previously stored in the cabinet.  
Also with this arrangement, the
microwave is easily accessible
either from the galley or from the
dining table.  Just before I left
Marina del Rey, I picked up a couple
of teak drink holders, which
accommodate both coffee cups and
the foam insulation for cups.   One I
mounted next to the chart table.  
The other one, I rubber cemented
some anti skid matting to the bottom
and it just sits on the galley table.  
Both have been very useful while
passage makeing.  Lastly, I have
Hella Turbo fans above the galley
table, one near the stereo speaker
and another above the microwave
which can be directed either toward
the dining table or the galley.  After
spending a summer in Mexico, I
realized how much of a difference
the fans make and installed one
over the chart table as well.
Whisker pole rigged and ready for the genoa to be unfurled
Galley, Small but efficient
Starboard Settee, TV, DVD Recorder, Library (Mostly Videos)
Main Salon