Moving Aboard - 49° 38' 27" N 01° 37' 00" E

Wow, that was a big week.  We are exhausted.

... and smitten!

Monday was a paperwork day, but aboard Chinook.  We went over the contract, item by item, to ensure that everything the contract stated would be delivered.  There were a few things missing or incomplete (mixups in ordering, vendor delivery timing issues) but they were noted with written assurances that they would be delivered, changed out or corrected.  This all needed to be clearly stated before we transfer the lion's share of the purchase amount to Garcia.

Signing and double-checking the contract

Anything that wasn't in place, was incomplete or not working properly would be dealt with by the warranty team.  

There was no refuting that they had delivered A boat. We had no idea how she sailed and there was no way that a single day of inspection would allow anyone to check every bit of the more-than-5000-person-hours of labour that went into this sleek looking vessel.

The "Grin and Grab" photo op - the keys change hands.

Satisfied and excited, we made the transfer, it landed in Garcia's account and we took possession.

Tuesday was the beginning of a practical introduction of the boat.  Kate and I both know how to sail a boat, but we needed to be taught about the particulars of THIS boat.  With Christophe, our handover liaison, we started inside at the bow of the yacht and opened every hatch and cupboard, touched every valve and switch, lifted every floorboard, turned on and off every electrical and electronic device. 

Christophe and Sean look at the JEFA steering system
through a watertight hatch in the aft bulkhead

Kate and Christophe go over inspection points on the Volvo Penta D2-75  

At the end of the day, we were overwhelmed but much more comfortable with all the systems.

Wednesday was to be the first time Kate had ever sailed on this model of Garcia (her Fastnet adventure was on a Garcia Exploration 52).  There wasn't much photography happening underway.  We were too busy.

The morning began with systems check (engine, steering, safety systems and safety briefing), then off to the fuel dock where a very large number of Euros was handed over to the marina.

Nearly a metric tonne of fuel and half tonne of water

Just time for one quick picture, using the headsail (solent) and one reef in the main sail

We motored out of the marina, and got the feel of how Chinook performed under motor.  We left the breakwater where we deployed and weighed anchor, went through sail changes (just the solent; solent and full main sail; solent and first reef in the main; solent and second reef in; staysail and second reef in; staysail and third reef in) and heaving to.  We even went through jibes and tacks, including using the autopilot to tack with the staysail ("Gameboy sailing" as Christophe calls it).  Then it was time to return to the marina where we practiced port maneuvers with a crosswind.  There are differences between Chinook and other yachts we have piloted - Chinook has two rudders, a single prop and a bowthruster - so we had excellent instruction on the differences AND advantages of Chinook's setup.

The black line is the track that we made in and out of the marina.
Christophe made sure we were comfortable doing port maneuvers with a crosswind.

At this point we still hadn't moved any of our stuff aboard.  We went back to the rented apartment to try and let all the information soak in that we had been exposed to.

Thursday was a question and answer day.  We reviewed systems on the boat with Christophe, asked for clarification on how some things worked, found out when we could expect workers to appear and start to touch up some details that needed attention (Christophe was better and spotting things than we were, in some cases).  We learned about the after-sales process, as we were expected to return to the yard within the first three months for checking the standing and running rigging, the engine and steering systems.

Christophe shook our hands, congratulated us and said he would check in with us next week.

Now, the grunt work would start.  Moving onto the boat.

Friday morning, we handed the apartment keys back to the landlord and made the commitment to fully live aboard Chinook.

From this ...

... to this.  

Now, we have to organize and set up a kitchen and place to sleep.  We have to have a self-reliant workshop, fresh- and waste-water management system, all our clothes for weather (literally from tropical to arctic and antarctic).  Chinook did not come with any storage bins and we need to manage keeping things dry in a very, very humid environment.  Although we have been on many other boats, each one has slightly different storage locker sizes and capabilities.  We need to figure out a system that works for us.

Good thing there is an engineer on staff.

The galley and saloon are mostly set up and a surprising amount of gear is stowed ... until we revise how and where things go.

A view from the aft cabin forward, towards the saloon.
You don't want to see the aft cabin yet - trust me.

We can report that we are MORE than thrilled with Chinook.  confirmation bias aside, she sails well, has lots of power from the motor and the sails are super easy to manage from the safety of the cockpit.  We were comfortably cruising at 8 and a half knots with 18 knots of true wind speed.  Chinook has cavernous hidey holes for gear and provisions.  She feels solid and carefully built.  The yard is being very helpful to smooth out any wrinkles we find and are willing to discuss changing anything that we didn't know we needed or didn't specify properly.  

After two days of moving stuff aboard and setting up, we spent the night (last night) sleeping aboard.  The mattresses are firm and comfy, the boat is quiet, warm and snug.  

Although there will be a formal christening later, last night before we tucked in, we went up to the bow for a moment.  We brought three glasses: rum and coke for Kate and I, straight rum in a third glass.  We raised all three glasses to the good fortune of sleek and beautiful Chinook and all who sail on her, then poured Chinook's ration onto her bowsprit and poured the rest onto the water in front of her - an offering to King Neptune, hoping only for fair winds and following seas.

Beautiful and inviting in the day ...

... and at night with the porch lights on.

Let the adventures continue!


  1. Wow simply wOw, GOYguys ! Incredible silly incredibleTY for.sharing amazing !!”

    1. That comment is from Billy Norrie and he meant to say "Incredible, simply incredible!" Darn auto correct!

  2. She looks like a beauty inside and out. Sea kindly and comfortable... a perfecto combo! Here's to many nautical miles of joyful sailing and numerous adventures for you two...fair winds and following seas!

  3. So so happy for you two. I am looking forward to watch your adventures. safe sailing and ten fathoms below your keel. Bon voyage!

  4. So happy for the both of you! Let the adventures begin!,,


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