Every once in a while, somebody asks us why we bought a sailboat of a completely unknown brand. Well, let me tell you, I know exactly why! And here’s the story :
Max and I have been chartering boats for years, Max even longer than I. For the past 15 years, we would charter a boat once or twice a year for our friends and us. Sometimes, only for the two of us. Then we would simply rent a smaller boat. People who have ever had the pleasure of chartering a boat, know what to expect…
The range would go from quite acceptable plastic cups with evaporated solvent, that would cause you a one-week-high, down to decaying almost-wrecks, which we would give back in a much better state than we got it in. Sometimes, we would get small, streamlined, speedy gems which, after a week of crawling around stooped inside, you were happy to return quickly.
Some boats were spacious condos with a totally overgrown hull, that would have been able to slow down a torpedo. Sometimes, the galley would be on starboard, sometimes on port or somewhere in the rear and sometimes it was squeezed into a corner.
Some bathrooms would give off a smell that could be rated as a health risk, some were so small, that you had to enter with your butt first because you were technically unable to rotate inside.
We had Mainsails, which were either stuck, completely worn out or ripped and patched. Not always though…
We have seen brilliant ideas cleverly implemented or shaken our heads for days about useless or stupid details. In short, every boat was different, but some details would linger and get stuck in our heads. After all this time, some kind of «dream boat» would start to take form in the back of your head. Even though the dream of a boat of our own had not yet come up.
Or had it…?
One thing is for sure: sailing was our passion and as it grew and grew, it became more dominant over the years. We ordered yacht magazines, visited exhibitions and booked training courses.
Especially the visit of the boat exhibition at Düsseldorf would become an annual ritual. We enjoyed visiting all the fancy, silly, astounding, clever, impressive and expensive boats and we enjoyed to criticize them to death! After a while, we were able to distinguish – in our minds – between «good» and «bad» boats and would get to know all the shipyards by name. Sometimes we would specifically look at boats we would charter soon. That was a good way to advance the excitement for the next sailing-trip.
In 2006, when we visited the exibition in Düsseldorf once again, our interests were already more specific and we only looked at the «good» boats, namely Najad, Hallberg-Rassy, Malö and so on. We even booked a guided tour to see a French « Amel » and these beautiful, convenient, exorbitant boats and their exquisite manufacturing hopelessly impressed us. Well, one can dream a little, right?
While pottering about the exhibition, we discovered a boat of which we have never seen or heard before. The dark blue hull and the red belly of the boat caught our eye and tripped our curiosity in the never ending sea of cream-, white or egg-shell (if one was courageous) colored boats. Even from afar, we could already see that the boat was of outstanding quality.
And what was the name of the boat? „C-Yacht“. Never heard of it! From Holland? O.K. So we climbed the stairs of the booth to take a closer look at those C-Yachts. Even though, there were four different C-Yachts, the 1250 caught our eye instantly. Maybe it was because it was about the size of the boats we normally chartered or maybe something else…
We took off our shoes, stepped onto a C-Yacht for the first time and were instantly overwhelmed. We did not get to see something exclusive like that every day. Even the deck held a few clever surprises. In the cockpit, there was a lid which, if you opened it up, granted access to a little storage-room for you to take out your heavy-weather gear without having to crawl inside the boat to fetch it. Now how cool was that! It also seemed as if every windlass, every clamp, every little detail was exactly where it was supposed to be and where it made the most sense. Unbelievable! Up until then, we thought we have seen it all on charter boats…!
After that, we explored the inside of the boat. I remember vividly, how I turned around after climbing down the ladder and how I took in the boat and instantly knew: this is it! This is the boat of my dreams! I was overwhelmed! Max and I instantly agreed, that’s what our „back-in-our-heads-boat“ looked like. Therefore, we went on exploring the boat from top to bottom and from aft to bow. We were in awe of the care and the quality with which the boat has been built. As one can see on every picture taken of the boat…
We realized, that this boat has been built by people who were experienced sailors and boat builders. This boat was obviously spared by the devastating grip of designers out of touch with reality! How refreshing!
This is the list of clever details that caught our attention:
- The center-cockpit. Everything is controllable from the cockpit; therefore, the yacht is controllable one-handedly.
The gearshift is placed at the steering column.
- The cockpit table has a strong handle and is safely attached to the cockpit’s floor; therefore, 5-6 people could be safely secured at it during a storm.
- From the cockpit accessible storage-room. Life belts and heavy-weather jackets are accessible in no time. The storage room is man-high and accessible from the bathroom.
- The windlass for the anchor is built into the bow locker and the anchor is attached out-of-way. No danger of being injured by accessing the boat via the bow. Also, plenty of storage room and space for up to 80m of chain.
- Two man-high lockers aft. Lots of storage room.
- The clever, strong, high quality rig. The boom is attached way above the crew’s heads, so no danger there. In addition, the traveler is attached to the very end of the boom, reducing the danger of the boom getting out of control.
- The keel as 40% (!) ballast of the boat.
- The high quality craftsmanship of the hull.
- A ram safe enclosure in the front section of the bow.
- The spacious, comfortable bathroom with shower, toilet, and a window.
- A wooden grill covering the floor of the bathroom, allowing the water to drain during a shower.The beautiful and well-ventilated owner’s cabin with a real bed with a real mattress and many lockers.
- Stand-up height in the entire boat.
- A spacious galley along the stern side of the boat with a strong handrail for the entire length of the galley. Safe cooking during rough weather guaranteed.
- One window directly above the stove and two additional windows towards the cockpit for ventilation during cooking, therefore cooking is also possible while the window above the stove is closed due to rain.
- The windows are small but plentiful. If one window breaks, it can easily be repaired and the safety of the boat is still guaranteed.
- The engine room is accessible from three sides.
- The table in the living space can be folded away on both sides, which makes the living room more spacious.
- The two sofas in the living room make two comfortable beds.
- Handrails all through the boat guarantee safe movement, even in the heaviest of weather.
- A spacious navigators-table makes a perfect working space.
For us, it was love at first sight!! But one look at the price tag made us realize, that this love would most likely stay unfullfilled…
Soon I will tell you what made us change our minds about the price an why we took the plunge…!