The SV Whitmar

Whitmar is a Glen-L Marine Designed, Ketch Rigged sailboat with a LOA (Length-Over-All) of 56’ and 42’ at the DWL (Design-Water-Line), and a Main Mast height of 57’ with a Mizzen Mast height of 38’.

The beam on the hull is 14’1”

Draft when complete is designed to be 6’-6”.

The hull should displace approximately 40,000 lbs. with the lead ballast keel weighing in at 13,000 lbs.  I am not sure yet how close I am to the designed displacement because of some modifications I made to the construction.  All of the upper deck is double plywood and much steel was added to the structure which is going to add to the displacement.  I don’t think it will be enough to affect anything substantially.

The engine is a 64 h.p. four-cylinder V-Drive Westerbeke diesel with a full-feathering prop.

Off-shore DC power is from a house battery bank of eleven sealed gel batteries and an 8 KVW diesel Westerbeke Gen-Set for daily battery charging and 120 V electric for occasional uses when needed.  Shore power is 240V 60 cycle for American use and 230-240 V 50 cycle for other countries. There is a step-down transformer, a sine inverter, and battery charger that rounds out the electrical system.

Whitmar carries 120 gallons of fresh water and 200 gallons of diesel.

The refrigerator is built into the hull with the refrigeration system in the engine room.

The most important part of the appliances is the ice maker, which is powered by 120 V electricity and fresh water.

The aluminum masts are fabricated by Sparcraft and are being shipped directly to the gulf coast and roller fuller booms will be ordered soon.

Vessel Details

What started as a dream and a desire, a set of plans a stack of plywood and 3,000 linear feet of white oak has slowly, systematically transformed into a magnificent vessel, the SV Whitmar. The boat has three staterooms with two heads, one with a shower, and will sleep 10 people very tightly, or six comfortably. The living area below the deck will be around 600 square feet with another 800 above.

Jim constructed the hull using a process called cold molding (four layers of quarter-inch plywood epoxied together and covered by 9-ounce fiberglass cloth. The hull just invites you to stroke it and feels like polished glass, free of any blemish. It took 10 coats of marine-grade paint to accomplish; Along with four 55-gallon drums of epoxy resin throughout the construction process.

Meet Jim

Engaging and charming in a rough-around-the-edges sort of way, Jim Benge is a man who’s as comfortable in his warehouse in worn-out jeans with sawdust in his hair as he is at a high-end social affair in downtown Dallas. And he’s spent a fair amount of time both places.

His career has included 37 years of commercial construction in Dallas. His company Benge General Contracting is responsible for, among many other projects, the construction of more than 100 restaurants in the Dallas area alone. Jim always enjoys the opportunity to go back and dine in an establishment his company played a role in creating. He also enjoyed a stint as a contract freight pilot for a few years.   

Jim is fun-loving and spirited with a healthy dose of “never quit” as exemplified by his 20-year on-and-off journey to completing the construction of the SV Whitmar. He’s crazy about his daughter, the namesake of the boat and his five grandkids and plans to teach the grandkids all to fly and sail.

Destiny of The Whitmar

Once she is completed, Jim will transport The Whitmar to Kemah, Texas, where he will put the finishing touches on her. The installation of the masts and the rigging will take place in the warm gulf waters in Kemah.

Jim, along with the lucky crew it takes to sail this big girl, plans to run several trials in the bay area before sailing across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida. Then he will head up and down the east coast of the US before embarking on his ultimate trip – across the Atlantic Ocean to the Greek Islands – where he plans to eat as much fresh Mediterranean cuisine as he can handle.