We’ve now had our trailerable yacht, Quo Vadis, for coming up 5 years. For a light weight 25′ its been great – however we do want to do more, go further, in more comfort and with a greater margin of safety. We charted an 11.60 metre (38′) catamaran, in 2018 and 2019, and loved it – well outside of our price range to own even if we factored in selling the children. We have a long term goal of circumnavigating the continent and need to start building up our skills. So with a multihull out, we started looking for a suitable yacht. I wanted to look at purchasing a yacht 34 – 38 feet, small enough for one person to single hand and just big enough to do an offshore passage in comfort.
2016 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349
We have both admired the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 349 and came very close to purchasing one a few years ago. We contacted a broker in Sydney who made arrangements for us to visit and look at three boats – two for sale outright, and one that was a share or “fractional” ownership. The most expensive part of owning and keeping a boat in Sydney is mooring/berthing – long wait times (years) for public moorings in odd locations, and five figures annually for a private mooring or berth.
The broker introduced us to a private syndicate with a 2016 Jeanneau 349 established at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with incredibly convenient access to the heart of Sydney Harbour. Four members, with a sunset clause, that sees the boat sold in 2024 and profit divided equally between members. Boat access is a rolling allocation of weekends with an additional midweek day allocated to each owner, with Mondays left as a free day to tack onto your allocated weekend. Two of the owners are Sydney based, with one in regional NSW and ourselves in Canberra. ‘Country’ members have Friday – Tuesday in a five day block each, once a month, and the ‘city’ members have a weekend each and the boat for twilight racing mid week. Being a small syndicate there is also greater opportunity for swapping and flexing access. Yearly maintenance, fuel, repair, insurance and berthing costs are around $6K per member which makes it very attractive. Doubly so, when we looked at how often we could realistically get away from work, school and sport commitments – about once a month sounds right. Best of all it is “walk on/walk off” on a finger berth, with no need to get a tender out to a mooring.
As Dad points out, it takes a lot of skill to time buying a boat with the outbreak of COVID-19, so with lock-down we haven’t had a chance to get up to Sydney to use the boat yet! We’ve made the decision to hold onto Quo Vadis for the time being – the market for trailerable yachts has plummeted and we will still be able to use it for racing in Canberra on weekends.
I’ve signed up with the Sailing School at the Cruising Yacht Club to formalise my current skill set and get more offshore experience – aiming for RYA Coastal Yachtmaster. I should be able to do this in the life of the boat syndicate – 4 years – coincident with Cabin Boy finishing school, most likely my finishing with up with full time Army, and the Admiral with full time Navy. It will also give us a great opportunity see if 34′ is big enough for what we want.
Time will tell!