Basically we are both too lazy to wash cars, clean the house and do the gardening! In 2004 we bought Crystal Dream, a 34.2 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey. For 3 seasons we honed our skills and added to our experience around the Solent and South Coast of England. We completed the RYA Day Skipper Theory and Practical courses, then the RYA Yachtmaster Theory. A couple of wonderful charters in Greece and the British Virgin Islands cemented our dream of giving up work and sailing to sunnier climes but we realised we would need a bigger boat.
In December 2006 ‘Crystal Dream’ was tearfully sold and we started our search for our long term cruising boat. The criteria changed over the 18 months as we spent many hours and days looking at a variety of ages, styles and equipment levels on sailing boats. In the end we decided the lifestyle we were chasing would mean 80% of our time anchored in a bay and almost always following the sun. So with that in mind, we discounted those with a smaller centre cockpit and narrowed the choice down to boats which would give us plenty of cockpit space for entertaining and room for equipment and storage for all the living aboard items you need. The Beneteau 473 Clipper was one of those on the shortlist.
We found ‘Beyzano’ by good fortune just a few minutes after her ‘for sale’ details were posted on the web, when she had just returned from the Caribbean having done the ARC in 2007. We saw her on the Sunday and bought her the following day to beat the other interested parties. The survey didn’t show up anything too dire and by July 2008 she was safely tucked up in her new home.
We have listed the technical details about her elsewhere but suffice to say we spent plenty of money getting her updated to our satisfaction and still have a few projects left to complete in the next 18 months.
Now we are hoping to take part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) in 2011, planning to finish work on 3 June and spending a few months getting to the Canaries for November, it seems like time is slowing down as we get closer to retiring but no doubt the last few months will race by and we will be panicing to finish everything!
We will post information about our preparations later in the hope it might be useful to someone else.