2014 © Graham Rabbitts [You are welcome to use original material from this site, but the source should be acknowledged]
When son Iain and his wife, Clare, moved to New Zealand, and eventually produced the twins, Harry and Alice, we had quite a lot of motivation to go there for regular visits. Our family has a long connection with the country, three of Dairne's cousins have been there since the 1950s. Dairne visited the country a couple of times with her mother, and since then we have made a further four visits.
The trouble is that you cannot go to New Zealand for a week, it is simply too far and it takes that long to get over jet lag. On the other hand, even though they are very welcoming, it is a significant disruption to family life if we stay with Iain and Clare for a long period. The solution was to buy a yacht. The deal was very simple.
Iain has ownership of the boat (although the twins, now aged nine, have a significant proportion as they are full NZ nationals and that is a requirement for a New Zealand registered boat). He looks after the boat, pays all the bills, and has full use of it-
The result is that we purchased a fairly old Orchard 39 called True. This boat, one of quite a long build series, was built by the designer for himself, and it is fairly clear that he was both tall and probably left handed. I have to stand on a bunk to shut the main hatch in the saloon! The last owner, Reg, had the boat for nearly 20 years and has clearly looked after it with a great deal of affection. Although the boat had not been used much in the last two years, it has clearly been sailed, is extremely well equipped, and is capable (with very little attention or renewal) of making major passages, should we wish to do that.
Some of the technical aspects of the boat are reviewed by selecting from the menu to the left.
What a country! The cruising ground is quite different to NW Europe. Use the link above to learn more