Wendy and I visited Dartmoouth on Friday 15th to meet our surveyor Julian Mann. We arrived at 11:30 Julian had been on board for a while and was tapping every few inches of the teak decks. So far he had only found a blown light bulb and was pleased with the general condition and build quality of the boat.

At 12, as arranged, the broker Phil Howling arrived to drive Oystermist across the Dart to Darthaven Marina. This we did, I was slightly supprised to see clouds of white smoke from the engine exhaust, but was assured that this wasn’t a problem. I later found out from Bruce Murdoch, friend and diesel engineer, that it was OK and just water vapour resulting from lack of use.

Oystermist was lifted out and cleaned off with a power washer. There wasn’t much slime on her but the surveyor requested it was done. Julian then started tapping away at the hull, in the same way as he had done to the deck, he told me that that the sound and feel from this gave a good indication of the structure under the surface. Following that he scraped 20 or so 75mm sqaure sections of antifoul off the hull, took a moisture meter reading from each. The readings were all good, suprisingly good for a hull that had been in the river for months and on a rainy day.

We all noticed that the anodes on the propellor and bow thruster were part used. Julian’s view was that they would need to be changed before the end of the year. As we hope to use her during the winter I decided to have them changed there and then while we were out of the water. Of course if the purchase wasn’t completed I would be paying for someone elses anodes but it was a chance worth taking. All the engineers on site were busy, but bless him Martin in the marina office agreed to do it himself and borrowed some tools.

Once all was complete Julian borrowed a tin of antifoul from the marina and painted over the areas he had scraped off, not critical but good to see such attention to detail. We then re launched and returned to Dart Marina for Julian to complete the internal inspection and for Wendy and I to have a good look around and see all the systems working.

Problem, we couldn’t get the heater to work. So we found and started to go through four A4 binders of user manuals, Oyster seem to over engineer everything, including the manual. Julian went into the aft locker to inspect the rudder, autopilot arrangements and found a 3 breaker fuse board fitted to supply the heating, once switched on it worked perfectly. The Websasto system is a Diesel fired hot water circuit with individual fan heaters in each cabin, this allows seperate thermostats in each cabin.

Final conclusion Oystermist is a great boat that has had little use, to quote Phil Howling “all dressed up but never been to the party” Only a couple of minor issues are items that havn’t been replaced, beceause they have had so little use. Nanely the standing rigging and saildrive diaphram both are in excellent condition and it seems a waste to bin them and fit new but both, at 13 years, are beyond their normal life span.

Offer Accepted

So at last we have found the perfect boat. An offer has been accepted on Oystermist an Oyster 42.

Yes an Oyster, far too good for us I know, but somehow that’s what we have ended up with. Just need to get through the survey, pay the money and buy a cravat.

Trip to view yachts

We are off for a 2 day trip to Devon to see 3 yachts.

1st Dartmouth to see an Oyster 42

2nd Salcombe to see a Beneteau 473

last Plymouth to see a Moody 44.

All of these are in competition with a Moody 47 we have seen in Swanwick. It’s too large and expensive, but would be fantastic to travel and live in.

Can’t say too much yet, will add more detail later when negotiations are complete

Vertigo Sold

At last we have sold our Maxi 1050 Vertigo. We hope she has gone to a good home after serving us so well.

So now we start the search for our Blue Water cruiser. During the time Vertigo has been on the market we have been following the market and have looked at a few boats.

The choice seems to come down to:

A) Nearly new 45 ft French production boat, modern design, light and airey, large cockpit. Excellent in light airs and at anchor comfortable and spacious. Poor in heavy conditions due to light construction, liable to slam with movement in the structure causing a lot of noise from parts rubbing against each other. Having said that many of these boats are out there and will probably do the job but at times be uncomfortable.

B) mid age (10 years) 40/42 ft British yacht eg Moody reasonable space, slow in light airs mid sized accomodation.

C) Old (20 year) 40 ft traditional British yacht eg Bowman or Scandanavian yacht eg Hallberg Rassey. Dark, old, cramped, slow in light airs but bulletproof in stormy conditions.

On top of the basic choice between these types. The question of what equipment is fitted and what has to be added is important. We would like a large fuel tank, holding tanks, generator, water maker, rib based tender, davits, modern electronics with AIS, Radar etc. these could cost several 10’s of thousands if they are absent or fitted but worn out.

The search continues.

Not a Holiday!