Our Lagoon 380 is the second boat we have owned as a couple. This time we are heading off, no matter what.
We love owning a catamaran, yes, it can be argued that they do not sail as well as monohulls, however most cruises spend 10% of their life actually sailing and the other 90% at anchor. I'll take the extra space thanks!!!
What experience do you have is the questions many people ask? Do you have to do courses and get qualifications in order to be "allowed" to sail away.
Well, Jamie (who is the captain) which slightly irks the feminist in me, however given that he has been sailing since he was a kid, I can't really argue that I have more experience. (The boat is technically owned only by me so it sort of makes me feel better.)
Jamie sailed a Hobie 16 called "Bad News Travels Fast" with his father and then friends for many years, so really understands the whole wind/sail concept. We both had a lot of boating experience (power not sail) due to our years of teaching Scuba Diving and owning dive shops. However, my sailing experience was almost non existent. Due to our shared loved of the water though I was keen to learn, so as a Christmas present one year Jamie bought us both Sailing lessons. No, he didn't really need them but a Hobie cat and a sailing yacht are two very different creatures. And, it was a great activity to do together. From there we jointly did a few more courses. Competent Crew, Coastal Navigation, Occupational Health and Safety at Sea and then finally a Master 5 course. Neither of us actually sat the Master 5 exams as we had really only done the course for the knowledge, not the qualification.
Sometime during that time line we had our first taste of yachting with a bareboat charter in the Whitsunday Islands in QLD. Probably Australia's premier bareboat charter location, we hired a Jeanneau 34.2 Yacht and headed off for a week. Although enjoyable, we had poor weather and I swore I was never hiring another boat in the Whitsundays again as it just wasn't warm enough or tropical looking enough for me (Jamie loves to remind me of this). Upon return to Adelaide we were committed to purchasing our own boat here.
Soon enough we found a boat that we could just afford, bought a Duncanson 34 and proceeded to really learn to sail. South Australia's gulf waters are not the best for day sailing, there are few anchorages protected enough for overnight stays that are close to where our boat was moored. However, it did allow us to hone our skills and teach our boys to sail. Soon enough all Jamie and I had to do was drive to the boat, the boys did all the rest. Like us, they love the water.
Our next trip to the Whitsundays (so shortly after I vowed never to go back) was with the boys. We had a great time, this time on a 393 Beneteau. As you can see our boats are getting bigger.
More trips to the Whitsundays ensued with friends. During this time the boys got bigger, needed to start High School and our dream of sailing away with them in our Duncanson died. We needed to settle in for at least 6 years of High School, and our little house was shrinking as the boys just kept getting taller and taller. We sold both the little house and the little boat and settled in for High School.
More charter holidays in the Whitsundays kept our dream alive though, and then serendipitously friends of ours offered us a free charter on their Catamaran Lukim Yu. A boat they had in charter but barely had time to use themselves. We jumped at the chance! 5 minutes on the cat was all it took, I was never going back to a Monohull. And then, our friends decided to sell Lukim Yu and finally the timing was right. To be able to afford her, we bought her and left her in charter, until we were financially ready. This turned out to be a great way to subsidise boat ownership and we used her every chance we got.
The dream was alive once again.........