22 October, 2011

A new yachtie!

Gabriel on my Nanook
Gabriel Phang contacted me while I was on holidays in Kuantan. He was a Singaporean, migrated to Auckland more than 20 years ago. He had sailed a catamaran and owns a 10 ft. dinghy. He was thinking of upgrading to a trailer yacht and while researching for a suitable yacht to buy, he googled Noelex 22 and found my blog!

I invited him to come to Hamilton to test drive my Nanook. He quickly accepted and we fixed a date. The conditions on Lake Ngaroto were just perfect, with winds of 12 knots from the NW. He said that he will wait until next year before buying. He needs to complete the NZ boating courses for boat masters before venturing out into the Huraki Gulf. My advice was for him to get a 25 footer, a  6.7M Joker or an Elliot 7.4 because they are bigger and safer for him in the open sea. Basically he has 4 choices depending on his available budget:

19 ft. Kestrel, a good robust and stable trailer yacht suitable for a small family. It is in fact a floating caravan but cost much less. Mobile homes are getting really too expensive to own.
Noelex 22
Noelex 22, which looks fast and sleek, is only slightly faster than a Kestrel. Both these boats are suitable for a single hander, either for racing or for cruising the freshwater lakes of NZ. Erecting a boom tent, (after dropping anchor), will convert the large cockpit area into more useful space for family cruising.

This 6.7M Joker sails much flatter than most trailer yachts because it has built-in ballast tanks. The hull is made of wood, glassed over to save weight. It is therefore faster than most yachts of this class. All Jokers were made from kit sets by its first owner. It is not found on Trademe for sale, as often as other factory produced boats.

The Elliot 7.4M is the largest size of the trail-able yachts. It has a winged keel controlled by a hydraulic jack.  It is a very powerful boat. Ideally you need a 3 men crew for rigging up, launching and raising the spinnaker. You may also need a more powerful towing vehicle than the family car. Beyond this size, you exceed the maximum width, permitted  for NZ highways. It is time to consider a yacht with a permanent fixed keel. These keelers are normally stored at a marina. So, size is no longer a limiting factor.

60 footer
Just look at this luxury yacht berthed at the Cup Village in Auckland. It is every man's dream boat. You can actually sell your house and live on board (if your wife agrees!) Imagine, no more phones ringing, no utility bills to pay, no lawns to mow or trees to prune. To change the scenery, simply cast off, raise the main and sail into the unknown for a month or two.

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