It was time to go and have a look at the shortlisted boats, two of them in the Seychelles. The preferred Mahe 36 and a second option, the Nautitech 40. While the Maldives and the Seychelles are actually not that far apart, unfortunately one must travel via the middle East, so what would ideally be a 3 hour direct flight ended up being a travel of almost 24 hours.
Nevertheless a long flight later I ended up in the Seychelles on the island of Mahe, rather matching that I would travel there to look for a boat model called by the same name…
I was scheduled to meet the owner of the two boats who came all the way from Europe as well. She manages a Charter business with a big fleet spread across the Caribbean, Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean so it was a good excuse for her to check out the base, I guess.
seeing both boats I quickly realized what was the preferred choice and our internet research seemed to have pointed us into the right direction. while the Nautitech 40 seemed like the bigger and stronger boat, it seemed harder to handle, especially by one person and definitely did not provide the same space down below. The big advantage of the Mahe is that it is a Duo (or Owners) Version, which means 2 bedrooms and to baths (or ‘heads’, like I am now supposed to call them). While small in comparison to the baths we have been used to all our lives, they are HUGE in comparison to those of the Nautitech and actually all other mono- or multihulls that I have looked at. if we are to spend some extended time living on a boat we must have the necessary space and what use are 4 cabins, if we really only need one (and of course another one for friends who will surely visit).
Lastly, the Mahe definitely looked sexier to me and I immediately felt a connection that I could quickly learn how to handle her and sail her singlehandedly.
Unfortunately she was only available for a quick look as she was chartered out and the new clients were already waiting anxiously for their trip. Because of this the test sail only lasted less than 30 minutes, which nevertheless was enough for a novice like me to determine that I liked her… a LOT!
The next day and a half I spent sailing on the Nautitech, which was a pleasant experience without a doubt. But all I could think about was that I would have much preferred doing the same thing on the Mahe! Everywhere I looked I found things I did not like. the helm stations at the very end seemed very odd to me, perhaps even dangerous if one was to sail in rough waters. standing so close to the water could quickly mean falling of the end of the hull and ending up in the water. Not my idea of the right thing to do on a windy day on an ocean crossing…
following through with my impulsive behavior when it comes to things that I want (well, usually these are things like iPads, iPhones and the like) I quickly decided to make an offer for which I am now waiting for an answer. Of course were we to come to an agreement then there will be all kinds of other things to consider, such as doing a survey and getting the boat from there to here, but I figure these are small details that will sort themselves out…somehow.
so, stay tuned for maybe the big news, or the continuation of our search.