How did it happen that two landlubber computer programmers, on contract in the far corners of the world, decided to exchange their perfectly good if somewhat hectic lifestyles for the uncertainties and trials of bluewater cruising?
This is the tale of the how. The why you can figure out for yourselves.
Looking at Real Boats Part Two
In time, a second-hand Hunter showed up in nearby Pittwater. We hopped in the car for the four-hour trek, but were sadly disappointed to discover that the actual vessel fell far short of the published specifications. It was old and tired, the berths were built for children, quite substantial parts just came away in my hand, and the bilges were full of dirty water.
Things That We Need
- Large bed (aft?)
- At least one good-sized locker
- Ventilation in the main cabin
- Access water from the stern
- Sleep four comfortably
- Two-burner gimballed stove
- Ice box/fridge
- Full-size nav station
- Shower in head
- Hot and cold water
- Traveller not in cockpit
- Production boat less than 12 years old
- Depth sounder
- Sails in good condition
Things That Would Like
- Full-sized galley
- Double sinks
- Four-seater dining table
- Sea berths
- Single-handed sailing
- Stern shower
A little disillusioned, and facing a four-hour drive back home, we got talking to the salesmen and explained what we were looking for. We produced our two lists of 'wants' and 'nice to haves', and explained our interest in long beds and reasonable resale value.
'What you need,' they said, 'is a Bavaria.'
Now, we had dismissed both Bavarias and Beneteaus early in the game. All of our charter experience had been on these boats, and they were always uncomfortably cramped and badly thought out. In addition, the models that we had visited at the boat show had been shoddily constructed. However, it just so happened that the agent who we were talking to was the sole trade-in dealer for the Australian Bavaria importers, and they also just so happened to have an as-new five-year-old two-cabin Bavaria 34 on their books. OK, OK, we'll go and see it.
She was gorgeous. She had everything on our 'wants' list, and almost everything on our 'nice to have' list (missing only radar and windvane, not so important on an inshore cruiser). The master's cabin contained six foot eight of queen-sized bed. The head was conveniently placed by the companionway. The galley was fully equipped and gimballed for cooking at sea. She had full navigation and autopilot, a furling headsail, single-handed reefing, a spotless teak interior, electric anchor winch... the list went on. She was also only five years old, with an almost guaranteed resale value in the two-to-three year bracket.
The price? A snip at exactly twice our available funds.
This was not a problem for our enterprising agent (for the record, David Bray Yachts, we recommend him), who put us in touch with a loan company (DB Finance; we recommend them too) who were happy to arrange an almost profit-free thirteen-month loan for the remainder. We'd heard that finding a mooring was a problem in the Sydney area; David waved that away, he could get us a mooring nearby.
There was nothing for it but to go for survey.
The Virtual Reinhard Archive
27.07.06 Front Page
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