It took us almost 2 years to find our perfect yacht to sail around the world. Its though the most important point at the beginning of such a project. We were overwhelmed by the diversity of the offers on the market. We have read a lot about blue water cruising yachts, discuss with sailors and test some boats ourselves. We found out that there is not THE perfect cruising yacht, but we have to find the yacht which satisfies most our plans and needs. Security was on the top of our list. Our yacht should also be more than sailing boat, it should be home for our familiy where we feel comfortable.
Catamaran or Monohull?
To be honest we never considered to buy a catamaran. Bluntly said, we didn’t want a single-family house on a bathing platform. It should be a boat where you feel that you are on a boat, where you feel the waves and the wind. It shouldn’t be a boat where you can put a flower vase on the table in the living room. A catamaran certainly brings a lot of advantages like stability, room, speed, small draft and a big surface for solar panels. The drawbacks are mainly the price and the large beam which is not very practical in the marinas.
Keel or centreboard?
As regatta sailors a stable X-Yacht with a keel was on the top of our list. It’s a pleasure to see such a yacht sailing upwind. But slowly we realize that this would probably not become our main use case. It would be much more important to be able to find an anchor place close to the shore and to be able to enter the lagoons. Especially with the two small children we will search for the close shore and stay there for some time. This was the main argument to decide for a boat with a lifting keel aka centreboard and therefore a yacht with a small draft. As dingy sailors we are used to this kind of boat.
Yachts with a lifting keel are not very widespread and you always encounter the name of “Ovni”. From various sides we got recommended an Ovni as the ideal bluewater sailing yacht. Even bluewater guru Jimmy Cornell did a big part of his journeys on an Ovni. In one of his articles he stated that he never heard of an Ovni capsizing. Ovnis are robust yachts built out of aluminium with a lifting keel and a conservative rigg. They are specially designed and equipped for bluewater sailing.
Aluminium or GRP?
With our decision for an Ovni also the question of Aluminium or GRP was clarified. Although a lot of GRP yachts have circumvented the globe an yacht out of aluminium you gives a feeling of security. Just imagine a collision with a floating container in the middle of the ocean or hit the ground.
The ideal size of a bluewater sailing yacht?
We imagined a yacht between 40 and 45 feet. Not too big, so you can still sail the boat sigle handed, and not too small so the boat sails calmly through the waves. With this size there’s also enough space to take our friends with us.
Yacht for sale – new or used?
A new yacht has the advantage that she is new. Though there is a risk of ‘teething troubles’. Even warranties sometimes don’t help you in the middle of the lonely south Pacific… Good second hand boats have already proved that they can withstand anything. They are mostly well equipped what is not always the case with new boats and can lead to unforeseen expenses. Furthermore it makes it easier for you to put your own hands on.
How did we find our “Bajka”?
We searched the internet on various portals and blogs for used Ovnis between 40 and 45 feet. It was not that easy to find something. At the time we just found 10 offers over the whole world. Such bluewater sailing yachts seem to be a small specific market and their value only degrades slowly.
We only visited two yachts and decided for an Ovni 435. It was important for us that we felt comfortable on the boat. We realized immediately that this boat belongs to us. Our decision was quick because we exactly knew what we were looking for. This also saved us a lot of money and time what we would have spend for further visits. But also our decision was early in the schedule: 1.5 years before the planned start. Like this we still have enough time to become familiar with the boat and do some small installations.
We found our Bajka at North Sea Maritime. They represent various aluminium yachts in UK and also offer second hand boats. They are very personal and they support us also afterwards. For them it is important that we enjoy the boat and that we get enough knowledge to care for the boat.
That’s how we found our bluewater sailing yacht :=)