2015 - Part 1 - The Search Begins
The good ole USA probably has the highest concentration of sailboats in the world predominantly positioned on the east coast. Safe waters, thousands of bays and inlets, rivers and lakes abound making sailing/boating a very popular pastime. With so many safe havens and with the Caribbean and Bermuda so close, the regatta circuit attracts the big guns on J Class Yachts, Super yachts, Open 60/50/40s, Class 40, One Designs, IRC cruiser racers right down to the dude in his tricked up surfing 30 footer.
So, we arrive in the US in 2015 and not one to let an opportunity pass....the search begins. Friends already on posting here have landed a nice Stevens world cruising yacht so there are some great bargains to be had if in the right place at the right time. There are boats everywhere for sale.....some at ridiculous prices and others at bargain basement prices.....even give away! So many were neglected and way past their prime. When you see 40-50 footers for sale stating 'fresh water use only' its hard to imagine when coming from Australia.
I love watching the old and new Vendee globe racers, especially now with their foiling monos (not so much a cat fan). So it was only natural Class 40 boats caught my eye - solid, safe and fast and whilst promoted as 'affordable' I am not one who consider EUR300,000.00 as 'affordable' and don't know too many folk other than marketing peeps who do. However, without an active Class 40 scene in Australia it did not make sense to buy a Class restricted boat. The other problem was there was only one for sale in the US (and waaaay over my budget) and all the rest were in the UK or Europe.
Don't get me wrong, Rogue Wave is a cracker of a yacht for a displacement hull; sweet lines, seaworthy, comfortable, fast and performs well under handicap..... a certain and proven winning combination in the right conditions. I have done a ton of work with a lot more to go as I love working to improve her and share experiences and lessons learned with other Sigma owners. What I am looking for is more of a 'racing' orientated stablemate for the old Rogue.....not a replacement.
As you can see from my goals and aspirations on my Blog title page, my sailing leading up to and throughout retirement is busy....much to do and in many parts of the world. I certainly cannot afford to freight Rogue Wave around the world to compete so the only way is to sail to the start lines. I also need to factor in my age (56 this year) so I am fit and able to achieve my goals with no regrets.
Rogue Wave is perfect boat to see me to my end of sailing days. I have no desire to own a plastic production yacht with apartment like interior and three heads. I am happy to visit these boats at anchor or in a marina to share a beer....but not to own one.
So I went web hunting with a set of requirements to find a 'race' orientated boat of around 40ft that met all my my needs (and budget) and without compromise or design limitations related to handicap ratings.
To be cont......