MENTOR is the last Amazon 44 hull laid up by Dieter Pollack, the builder of the Amazon 44 line of round chined, raised salon, steel sailboats. While the hull exemplifies his expertise in steel fabrication, her deck layout, rig choices, interior configuration, fit and finish are unique in this well regarded line of offshore vessels. In 2007 after a four year build out, she cast off the dock lines for her first test sail before beginning a long distance voyage in 2009 that would ultimately take her owners to Mexico, Central America through the Panama Canal and on to the east coast of the US. Seaworthy and sea-kindly she was the perfect boat for their cruise. With a stout build, thoughtful systems, huge load carrying capacity, MENTOR was also a joy to sail. Her aluminum dodger provided great protection from the elements with all navigational equipment close at hand. And when all was said and done and the anchor was down, it was pretty nice to sit back and enjoy the view of the anchorage from the comfort of the main salon! Once back to the PNW, her owners have continued to test her mettle on two voyages to SE Alaska as well as frequent gunkholing trips along the central coast of British Colombia.
Choices throughout construction were influenced by the owner’s sailing experience. Ownership of seven previous yachts and over 40 years each of coastal and offshore sailing directed their choices regarding systems, sail and rig configurations, safety and layout. Their design objective also focused on an offshore vessel that was well found and capable with high standards for interior finishes and accommodations while keeping exterior maintenance to a minimum.
MENTOR has been carefully maintained through her life. In 2014 her hull received a new coating of Alex-seal two part LP paint and all fixed window glazing in the raised house was replaced with 1” thick tempered clear glass (two laminated ½” layers). Before leaving on her cruise to Haida Gwaii in 2017 the following upgrades were made: New Garmin 1242 chart plotter and HD radar; new 3/8" HT anchor chain (400'); new AGM house battery bank; anchor windlass DC Motor rebuilt; refrigeration DC motor rebuilt; new refrigeration compressor (York); new watermaker membrane; and new carpet Installed.
While the exterior build and deck layout of Mentor suggests a strong, no-nonsense passage maker, the interior fit and finish harkens more to an era of craftsmanship that celebrated the beauty of wood. The glow of Honduran mahogany finished bright showcases a consistent and pleasing joinery. Bulkhead veneer panels were all fashioned from a single tree, with cabinetry, bookshelves, and locker doors consistent in detail and material. Mahogany trim in the fore and aft cabins off-sets classic white bulkheads. All furniture and bulkheads utilize marine grade plywood with cabinet and locker cleats, and main salon ceilings constructed of yellow cedar. Light from the raised house windows ensures a bright interior as well as a view to the surrounding seascape or anchorage. Seven large fixed windows, eight opening ports and three Bomar Offshore hatches provide ventilation and natural light with led lighting fixtures further augmenting interior lighting. Handholds are strategically placed to protect crew as they move through the boat. Storage capacity is impressive in lockers and cabinets allowing for long periods of time without the need to reprovision as well as the ability to carry the requisite spares and tools. New carpet was installed in 2017 throughout the boat
The master stateroom is a forward with storage under the berth. The latex foam mattress with wool topper is on a platform that lifts up to access the storage beneath the berth allowing mattress and bedding to stay in place for easy access to the two layers of lockers below. The overhead is a Majilite fabric and ceilings are yellow cedar battens. There are hanging and shelved lockers to port and starboard. A mahogany dresser with six drawers is to port. Immediately forward of the berth is access to the chain locker.
The open plan main salon is next aft and is configured in three sections. The forward most section is the “library”. A sea berth with open lockers above and cabinets outboard is to port with a built in floor to ceiling bookshelf to starboard. Up two steps and to starboard is the main settee. The settee is raised about 6” in order to access views to the outside. The main salon table is built of mahogany with an inlaid strip of yellow cedar and a hinged section that increases the size of the table. Lockers and drawers are under all settee cushions. Outboard of the settee is easily accessed storage providing lots of room for everyday provisions and ship’s stores. To port is the nav station. Facing outboard the chart table is a good size accommodating paper charts or computers. SSB, VHF, chart plotter and radio are easily accessed by the navigator. The adjustable stool at the chart table can be used for additional seating at the main salon table.
Immediately aft of the nav station is the U-shaped galley configured to keep the cook and bottle washer contained when the seas pipe up. The counters are a solid corian type material. The forward counter provides access to the Glacier Bay refrigerator /freezer. The refrigerator is also accessed from a front opening door below. When the galley is not in use the forward counter provides a good layout surface for large scale Admiralty charts. The two burner Force Ten stove is outboard with pots and pan storage below. An above counter cabinet with sliding stainless steel doors runs the outboard length of the galley for plate storage. There are five additional drawers under the outboard counter. The double stainless sink is set into the aft counter with hot and cold water, a seagull water filter and fresh water hand pump on either side of the sink. Two large cupboards and two drawers are below the sink and a cabinet with sliding doors above.
The companionway stairs are between the galley and access to the aft cabin with two lockers on either side of the companionway. The electrical panel is located just forward of the steps to the aft cabin. There is a double berth, three hanging lockers, cubbies with yellow cedar ceilings in the aft cabin along with storage under the berth. The area under the cockpit sole can either be used for an expanded berth or for storage of large items such as additional sails, bikes and cockpit cushions. Continuing through the aft cabin is the shop. The shop space has a work bench with fold down seat and lockers forward and outboard. An opening port provides ventilation. The Hurricane heating system is located aft of the work bench and the Charles Isolation transformer below. There is also room in the shop for line storage.
The head is aft and to starboard of the forward stateroom. There is a large separate shower with porcelain sink and vanity outboard. The Lavac head is on the forward bulkhead with towel hanging rods aft and to port. A mirror is fitted above the vanity on sliding doors to the cabinet behind. Drawers and lockers are located along the outboard side of the head with additional cabinets over the Lavac head. A wet locker is accessed through the shower stall. There is a storage locker below the floor. Ventilation is provided by two opening ports.
Up the four companionway steps is the T- shaped cockpit. Purple heart staved bench seats, an aft lazarette and protection from the elements as a result of a fixed bimini and aluminum dodger make this area safe at sea and a comfortable extension of the interior accommodations. Cockpit chart plotter, radar and AIS are located on the cabin top and solar panels are fitted on the bimini frame.
At Nav station
The hull of MENTOR is constructed of welded steel with round chines. The hull and deck are 3/16” plate with 1/2” keel sides and 1” shoe. The interior of the hull (to the top of the deep bilge) and deck are insulated with 2”- 3” of poly-urethane foam, providing good insulation as well as protection from rust. All exposed areas of the bilge are fiberglass clad. The hull was repainted in 2014. Glazing in all fixed ports was replaced in 2014 with 1” thick tempered clear glass (two laminated ½” layers). The boat was hauled in 2017 for routine maintenance and application of bottom paint
The aluminum spar was one of the last masts built by at Spartech in Redmond WA. The double spreader mast is tapered through the top section. It is deck stepped with 1x19 3/8th” wire and Staylock terminals and toggles. There are aluminum retractable mast steps to the mast head and a removable Staysail inner forestay with Hyfield lever.