The months and weeks before our adventures started we tried to do as much research as possible to help us with the boat purchase and sailing as such as soon as we got to Europe: We contacted brokers in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain (all around the Med, really) to have them look out for the kind of yacht we were wishing for. We also organised vets and flights for Tiny, sold everything we wouldn’t be needing anymore living on a boat, arranged for storage for all our belongings we didn’t want to sell but didn’t want to/couldn’t take with us, organised a crate to be shipped out to Germany, put our house on the market (and sold it within 2 weeks), had awesome sailing lessons from Penny Whiting in Auckland and got married – this all happened between December 2015 and March 2016 with Nicola still working full time until 2 weeks before we flew out.
We arrived in Germany end of March 2016 and a week later we had our first appointment to check out a sailing yacht in Italy.
Once we got the appointment sorted, there were no more flights available to fly to Pisa. So we hired a car and drove all the way down. We left Tiny with Oma and Opa and we hit the road on 1st April. Half way down to Pisa we stopped in Basel for the night – it always pays to have relatives in different parts of the world. We were able to stay with my sister who also gave us a tour of the city. Basel is really pretty – only nightmare is the parking in town!
The next morning we left at 6am as our appointment in Pisa was at 1pm. We had a great drive through what felt like 500 tunnels including the awesome Gotthard Tunnel, which is 17km long. It was amazing to see the temperatures rise in the middle of the tunnel to 30 degrees!
We managed to get to Pisa in time, unfortunately, we missed the road off to the shipyard and went right past it and had to resort to calling the agent who agreed to pick us up from the nearby IKEA parking lot – even we could not miss that!
And then, there she was – potentially our Bavaria 47 Cruiser 2009. We checked the outside as much as we could and understood and then went inside. We were amazed how neat and clean it looked, as if it was hardly used at all. The inside was light and airy and was much roomier than we had imagined. After checking on the generator, engine and a few other bits and bobs, we definitely fell in love with this 47ft beauty!
What we did know at this point was that the hull needed to be antifouled and the anodes replaced and there was a big IF on the chart plotter working. With those things in mind, three days later we put in an offer – on condition of a survey and a sea trial.
That was not bad going – one week in Europe and already found the yacht of our dreams and put an offer in to purchase it.
With all the paperwork, survey/sea trial and the money side of things we should be able to set sail by June!
It sounded all too good to be true!
And boy, it was!
Follow Alistair and Nicola as they share their experience of traveling around the world.