So where did this idea to buy a yacht, sail the world and make YouTube videos spring from?
I remember the exact day seed #1 was planted; it was Sunday July 31st 2016. Aannsha and I were taking a week long break, staying on the Gold Coast of Queensland, Australia and on that Sunday we met up with my long-time friend Steve who’d just bought himself a Four Winns 318, which is a 33 foot long power cruiser producing 600hp from two 6.2 litre V8 engines. It was a beast, but unfortunately its full potential couldn’t be released that day because the weather wasn’t perfect for heading out into the ocean, so we stayed inside the Gold Coast seaway and spent a few hours just cruising around, dropping anchor at small beaches and enjoying the day.
As Aannsha and I drove back to our hotel, after a very enjoyable day out with Steve, we discussed the idea of buying some sort of boat so that I could get out to scuba diving sites that were further offshore from the Sunshine Coast of Queensland where we lived. The possibilities were endless, as most dreams are.
After our week’s break on the Gold Coast and settling into the normal routine back at home, reality kicked in and the usual monthly and quarterly bills kept arriving which needed to be paid and the dream of boat ownership faded (almost) into the background. That was when I found SV Delos on YouTube, I think it popped up in my recommended videos because I had been searching for Queensland scuba diving and Delos had a video titled ‘Sailing the Great Barrier Reef’. I clicked, I watched and I liked what I saw. My curiosity piqued I went right back to SV Delos video #1 and began binge watching. I was hooked. Seed #2 had been planted.
It was also at this time that our 18 year old son announced that he was moving out to a share house with his friends, he was going to become independent and wanted a bit more excitement than our country home town of Beerwah could provide, so he was heading an hour South to the bright lights of the big city of Brisbane.
Here’s a little background info to help paint a more complete picture. My wife and I (before we got pregnant in 1997) had both been travellers. We had lived, both together and independently, in many countries around the world, like France, Greece, Spain and the USA to name a few. But we had made a pact that we would stay in one place until our child had finished school and got a job. We wanted him to have continuous schooling, continuous friends and a continuous home whilst he was in his developing years. Now that he’d left school and moved out of the family home we found ourselves in a position where we had completed our commitment and our son was as ready to handle the wide world as we could possibly prepare him to be, suddenly we were able to contemplate travel again.
One night, as we sat with our newly found freedom, the question came up; what were our plans now that our son had moved out? We both agreed that we wanted to travel and explore, but the sticky point was how to afford to do that. We discussed lots of scenarios and in the end decided that we would sell our house, our possessions, our cars and anything else we couldn’t carry and buy a catamaran to sail, scuba dive and travel.
As we began our research the financial reality soon kicked in, we simply couldn’t afford a catamaran, either to buy or maintain, so we began researching monohulls. Wow, what a mind opening experience that was. Let me try and lay out our reasoning. We wanted something that would be able to cross oceans, after all this was a long term commitment. We wanted something that would be a home to us, after all we were planning to do this for more than just a year or two. We wanted something that was within our budget; after all we were going to be living on our retirement cash. And finally we wanted something that was easily handled by a crew of two. We must have spent hundreds of hours looking at monohulls on the Internet, all the time slowly witling away the ones that looked ugly, the ones that were too expensive, the ones that didn’t have enough equipment, the ones that were too old, the ones with too many heads, the ones with too many cabins and especially the ones with teak decks.
After months of looking at and researching yachts, we narrowed the field down to at least know what features we were looking for. In no particular order and by no means comprehensive, we wanted a single masted yacht, around 10 years old, minimum 42 feet long with 2 heads, no more than 3 cabins, a dedicated nav station seat, no more than 3,000 hours on the engine, a good service history, fresh water tankage of at least 400 litres and fuel tankage of at least 200 litres.
While all this boat researching was going on we were also in the process of renovating our house. Between me, my wife and my good friend Gordon (plus a weekend garden blitz with our son and his mates), it took us just over 3 months to get the house and gardens looking stunning. The house was listed by our legendary agent Dan on Saturday 7 October 2017; we had an open house inspection the following Saturday where several interested parties started making offers. A contract for a great price was signed the following Monday. We were ecstatic and we now had 35 days to start selling our belongings, give away what we couldn’t sell and pack our lives into 4 suitcases weighing just 23 kilos each. Then we would be flying off to Spain to begin getting firsthand experience of some of the yachts we’d seen only in pictures on the Internet.
To watch the video that accompanies this blog click here.
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