How it all turned out with the sailing vessel idea…

The last article was about our way to a break year and about the idea to spend this time on a sailing vessel. Now you will see learn how it all turned out…

The idea came on Corfu in summer 2017. But what’s the next step?
I started looking for sailing vessel on the internet and it quickly became clear that it should be a catamaran.

There are many arguments for a catamaran as a sailing vessel (in our point of view):

  • more space
  • hardly heeling –> good if you are prone to seasickness
  • safety
  • low draft

At that time we had absolutely NO idea about catamarans!

Tom already had all sorts of sailing licenses (SBF See, SBF Binnen, SKS) and had sailed with friends on the IJselmeer several times with small sailing vessels. Tom only had few experience as you can see.
Once I was sailing with him and once on a motorboat in the dutch canals. You can not say that I have any experience at all. 😏Oh, and I’m quite prone to seasickness.
(I only did my SBF See (lowest license) in February 2018. This last February I did the radio exams for VHF.)
The children sailed once at the age of 4 and 2 years, but really, you can not count that, can you?

But back to the internet research …

As a first attempt, I contacted a woman who offered her catamaran for sale in Portugal.
A Prout Quest 33 from before 1990.
We emailed each other a few times and quickly we both knew that this sailing vessel would be too small for us as a family.
But this contact is a very good first example for our great experiences with sailors: Ariane and her husband Fritz have always been helping with words and deeds to the side since the first contact and we still write emails on a regular basis! THANK YOU! 😘
For example, they once met with Tom to visit a catamaran together. Another time they let me stay with them on their catamaran for the night when I came to south Portugal to see another vessel nearby.

First, we looked at a sailing vessel or a catamaran in the Netherlands. Then, for Easter holidays 2018, we went to Mallorca to visit a catamaran there. Later the two vessels in Portugal.
For a long time we were interested in Prout catamarans, but later we turned towards Fountaine Pajot.
For that we drove to Denmark by car last year and a few weeks ago (in March) to a Germany isle, Fehmarn.
We also considered Lagoons but they were too expensive for us for a long time…
In addition to the search for vessel purchases, we also inquired after long-term chartering. In fact such a catamaran is much more expensive than a classic sailing vessel. Unfortunately, we quickly realized that renting a catamaran was not worth it. An offer that was created for us said to pay about 40,000 Euros for four months. And that was already an offer with much discount …

We were actually torn.

Do we really want to buy or rent a sailing vessel or spend the year completely different?

Finally, we decided that we should test a catamaran before the final decision. So we booked a Lagoon 380 in Lefkada, Greece, for autumn holidays in 2018. This was mid to end of October.
An acquaintance, whom I had met through online sailing groups, accompanied us the first three days and introduced us to the handling of a catamaran and anchoring.
(Incidentally, he also supports us till today with words and deeds! Thanks, Ralf. 😉)
The charter vessel was quite bad from maintenance point of view and had many “defects”.
But after only two days all of us were deeply relaxed!

At the end of the two weeks everything was clear for us:
That is it!

After that decision we just had to decide on one type of catamaran and find the right one …


PS: By that time, we had looked at five different boats, plus the chartered Lagoon.
Well, most of the time Tom had to go and have a look, because as a teacher I can not just leave in between …

March 2019

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