Buying our first sailing yacht – post #1

This is the post excerpt.

This is my very first post.  I am completely new to all of this, so please bear with me.  A little bit of history.

My husband, Emil, and I have been married for 32 years, have 3 children (1 daughter & 2 sons) and a granddaughter, 11 years old.  We are finally moving towards our long time dream of sailing and cruising on our own yacht.  Two years ago, almost to the day, our son purchased a 40ft Samson Ferro Cement Ketch yacht.  We live in a small town, Umkomaas, in the Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa.  The yacht was moored in a different Province.  So we took a road trip to East London in the Eastern Cape.  We had no idea what condition she was in, we had only seen the pictures that were posted in the advert.  We arrived at the Buffalo River Yacht Club ready to meet the current owner and eager to get an up close look at her.  Our main concern, being a ferro cement boat, was whether there was any corrosion coming through in the hull. Thankfully there was not.  The interior was just as was shown in the pictures.  As we walked down the companionway steps we felt at home, she had a peacefulness about her.  It’s difficult to explain, she was so inviting.  From the outside she did not look like too much as the owner had removed all the masts and rigging.  Apparently he had been trying to sell her for so long.  The advert our son found was actually an expired advert!

He told us unfortunately his wife was not interested in sailing so he decided, with a heavy heart, to sell.  We went over the whole boat, looking at all the possible things that could possibly make the decision on our behalf not to buy.   We decided to “sleep on it” and so took the long trip back home to Umkomaas.  As you can imagine the whole journey home was spent talking about the pros and cons of buying this particular boat. Fortunately Emil knows plenty about boats, he grew up fishing and building boats with his family.  He has built plenty fiberglass boats and RIB’s but not had too much to do with ferro cement boats.  He has always wanted to buy or build a steel yacht, so yes, a ferro boat was not our first choice.  Joshua our youngest son is the researcher, so on our return he was onto the internet researching everything he could on ferro cement yachts. We knew that this particular one was a factory built one, which is a huge plus.

So fast forward a couple of days and we contact the owner to say we will take her.  We pay the deposit and then plan our next trip down to East London to take ownership of the boat.  The owner had told us that all the equipment and rigging etc was at his house, we were definitely not prepared for everything that came with the boat!  There was double of all the sail configurations, except the spinnaker.

The balance of the money was paid over, the paperwork sorted and we made our way back home.  There was plenty excitement on the journey home, Joshua had just bought a yacht!  Emil and I have a scuba diving charter in Umkomaas and we needed to get back to prepare for the annual sardine run that happens every year on the Wild Coast.  The plan was to finish up with the sardine run and then go back to East London to put all the rigging and equipment back on the boat.  As newbies to yachting we had no idea how the rigging needed to go back, nothing was labelled!, so Joshua spent a lot of time on YouTube to see how it was done.

Post #2 to follow soon


Buying our first sailing yacht – post #2


So this is what our yacht looked like when we bought her.  No masts or rigging. At least the motor worked so we could move her from where she was moored to the jetty so we could have easy access to her.

After all the paperwork was done we returned to Umkomaas.  Lots of research was done by Joshua on how to put all the rigging back.  We knew we had plenty work ahead of us when we returned to East London, firstly we had to get the masts and rigging, all the sails and electronics from the previous owner’s house down to the yacht club.  Everyone was telling us the only way was to hire a crane truck to transport the masts and then a crane to install them.  Nope, not this family, we did not want to spend unnecessary money on stuff that we could possibly do ourselves, so Emil, being a genius at figuring these sorts of things out had other ideas!

As usual with anything boating the plans changed slightly, we decided to “quickly” take a weekend and go down to East London and get the masts and rigging onto the boat, as the previous owner’s wife wanted her house back and we needed to get everything out a.s.a.p.  We loaded up our trusty VW Jetta and a trailer with everything we thought we would need.

Emil rigged the mast behind the Jetta so we could tow it to the yacht club. Everything that came with the yacht was loaded into the Jetta and trailer.  We must have looked a sight 🙂

The next morning we needed to get the masts up, the main mast is 20m and the mizzen around 12m.  DSC_4110.JPG

Just up from the yacht club is a bridge.  Emil and Joshua decided to rig a pulley system to hoist the masts up and drive the yacht under the bridge to place the masts.  We did the mizzen first so we could use it to help with the main mast. Everything was worked out, even though the yacht club members doubted we would get it right.  Everything was going to plan until we attempted to place the main mast and the bridge height was too short!!  We forgot about the tidal change with the Buffalo River!!  We had to wait until the tide went out!

Post #3 to follow soon