About three years ago almost to the day we sold Iolanthe our last boat.
Since then life has been a blur of work, parenting, and collapsing on the couch with a glass of cheap wine and scouring yachtworld when we had the energy.
Looking for the next boat
As we started to look at some boats in Sydney that met a rough description of what we wanted a common theme emerged. Either ridiculously out of our budget or old and tired.
I then started to ponder our cruising plans and realised that having already cruised the East Coast of Australia the next step for us is basically in the Pacific or Asia.
EXCEPT… at the same time amongst some of the blogs I was following and sailors I knew/spoke to I saw a theme developing. Australians were buying boats in Europe and sailing them back en masse.
I could understand why. The Euro was low on the Aussie dollar. A downhill run from Europe would be the makings of a pretty swell cruising plan with plenty of scope to be flexible.
We spent a week chartering in the Med a few years ago and have fond memories. The charter we did back in those pre kids days (in Italy) far exceeded our wildest expectations and the food and warm water made for great memories. Of course to get to Europe by boat from Australia is somewhat of an ordeal. Besides given the boat market seemed far more buoyant in Europe it would also be a little bit akin to taking tea to China perhaps.
So over wine and yachtworld a rough plan was formed.
Let’s just buy a boat in the Med that we like and can actually afford and bring it back to OZ.
So what kind of boat?
We have decided that compromise is key when it comes to selecting the right sailing boat. We have owned and sailed everything from solid, slow full keelers to modern cruisers/racers. All have their pros and cons.
So we have firmly landed on a boat selection mantra.
We wanted a mid sized, mid priced, moderate displacement, modern, cruiser.
- Centre Cockpit
- 41-50 foot
- Reasonable performance.
- Ready to cruise, no refits thanks.
What kind of boats did we look at?
So then what?
We did the whirlwind shoestring tour of France, Greece and Malta.
We found in general a similar sad story in the Med. Boats sitting disused in Boatyards sometimes not sailed for a couple of years and owners who had an inflated idea of what they were worth.
“Oh the engine hasn’t been started in 3 years…..no they don’t know the engine hours and the standing rigging is 20 years old but it’s a great boat”
We put in an offer
So it was in Malta that we found a Moody 425 that spoke to us. It was the right boat at the right price. While approaching 30 years of age and a little tired around the edges it had a great inventory of cruising gear, it was in good condition and it is a design we really respected and was spot on for our needs.
So we put an offer in. It was knocked back. We haggled and it was accepted.
In a month if everything works out we will travel to Malta and move onboard. The plans at the moment are super loose and will evolve as we find our cruising legs again.
But it looks like we are back on the water!