Lungta Life


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The Boat

Lungta is a very well-found 78 foot sailboat, built in 1970 by Herman & Gail Husen in Everett, Washington, USA (and originally named Harambee). She was designed by the marine architect Jay Benford, who also oversaw the construction of the ferrocement hull. The final cementing took 24 people working for 36 hours straight - or maybe it was 36 people working for 24 hours. Either way it was a massive undertaking and the finished vessel weighs about 124,000 lbs. Lungta was built well and the ferrocement makes the boat incredibly strong. She (we don't actually think of it as having a gender, but defer to convention) is rigged as a staysail ketch that carries 5 sails. When all five sails are full she is spectacular.


Power - The engine is a 170 horse power Rolls Royce, built in 1964 for use in locomotives. Despite its age it has low hours and has been highly reliable - though it is noisy, hot and expensive to run, so we use it sparingly. We carry 2000 liters of diesel fuel, giving a range of roughly 1200 miles. We carry two dinghies, a 10 foot inflatable and a 9 foot hard dinghy, along with two outboard motors, a 15 hp and a 9.9 hp. We have an 8.5KW Phaser diesel generator, two wind generators and 2500 watts of solar panels to keep the 24 volt, 480 amp-hour battery bank charged. We use a 4000 watt Magnum inverter/charger for AC power. The solar panels provide enough power that we rarely need to start the generator.

Living - Lungta is well equipped, as only a 78 foot sailboat can be. She has a fully stocked galley much like any middle-class American kitchen, though lacking a dishwasher. There is a comfortably sized refrigerator and a large freezer, a microwave, a convection oven, blenders, mixers, a waffle iron, an ice cream maker, a cotton candy machine and a well stocked pantry. We carry 500 gallons of fresh water and have a watermaker to keep the tanks full. There are two heads, one with a really comfortable shower. Although we have a washing machine/dryer, we generally try to conserve power by using the lifelines as the dryer, at least while we are in the tropics.

Navigation/Communication - We have multiple GPS sources, Garmin 24 mile radar, a Robertson AP20 autopilot, a Raymarine depth sounder, a Standard Horizon VHF radio, an AIS transceiver and an Iridium Go satellite link. We use a variety of computing devices and software for navigating and obtaining weather information. Our primary navigation program is OpenCPN, running on a mini-computer with a large monitor.

Ground Tackle - We carry three anchors. The primary anchor is a 215 lb Forfjord, which is rated for a 90 foot vessel. I consider this anchor to be the best in the world, but in truth almost everyone considers their anchor to be the best. We also carry two Fortress anchors, an FX-85 to back up the Forfjord in the event of major storms and a smaller one for an easily handled stern anchor. We carry 300 feet of high-test ½ inch chain rode and another 300 feet of 1 ¼ inch nylon rode for a total of 600 feet. We use a large electric windlass to deploy and retrieve the ground tackle, haul crew up the mast and move heavy items such as the dinghies on and off the deck.

Safety Equipment - We carry two Personal Locator Beacons, an Iridium Go and an 8 person life raft. We also carry a 24 foot sea anchor and a drogue. To date, we haven't had to use any of the above items for emergencies. We have an assortment of life vests, including 4 that automatically inflate, but in practice we rarely use them either. The life lines are 1/4” Spectra line, 49 inches high - under normal conditions you'd have to work really hard to fall overboard.

Recreation - We have 6 scuba tanks on board, a dive compressor, and an odd assortment of personal dive equipment. If you are of an average size, we can probably get you diving, but it would be great if you bring your own gear when you come, particularly the BCD. We also carry a snuba compressor, which is usually used for cleaning and inspecting the hull, not typically something you'd call recreational. We have two guitars, a flute, a recorder, a keyboard, and a large music collection. We have two media servers and multiple video screens for watching movies.

Life on Lungta is usually very comfortable, often quite decadent.

The Name

Lungta is a Tibetan word which translates literally to 'wind horse'.  Although the literal meaning is appropriate, the name was chosen for its spiritual meaning in Tibetan Buddhism.  The 'wind' refers to the fundamental energy or goodness associated with existence, and the 'horse' aspect refers to the ability to harness this energy in our daily lives. It is also the Tibetan word used for prayer flags which, like our sails, also flap incessantly in the wind.


* Length Over All: 78'
* Length on Deck: 60'
* Draft: 9 '8"'
* Beam: 18' 6"
* Height off water: 68'
* Displacement: 124,000 lbs
* Water Capacity: 800 gallons
* Diesel Capacity: 600 gallons
* Engine: 1964 Rolls-Royce C6NFL, 170 HP
* Rig: Staysail Ketch with Wishbone Boom
* Designer: J. Benford
* Builder: Herman Husen
* Construction: ferrocement
* Launched: December 1970 as "Harambee"
* Constructed: Everett, Washington