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Kormoran of Dart
and when she eventually gets to Cape Town, to be renamed......
The Boat
27/03/2013, Cape Town

So, what exactly did we buy......

Kormoran of Dart
Designer : Alan Pape naval architect
Builder : Western Approaches Yachts Limited
Year of Build : 1991

Type : Center Cockpit Auxiliary Sailing Ketch
Use : Pleasure Yacht

LOA : 50.50 ft (15.35 m)
LWL : 38.75 ft (11.78 m)
Beam : 14.38 ft (4.37 m)
Draft : 6.25 ft (1.90 m)
Gross Tonnage : 28 t
Displacement : 23 t
Sail Area : 1110 sqft (103 sqm)

Displacement / LWL ratio : 404
Sail Area / Dispt. Ratio : 14.2
Coefficient fineness : 0.706

Diesel : 226 gallon (1025 L) tank
Water : 2 x 110 gallon (500 L) tanks
Sewage : 150 gallon (682 L) tank

Perkins Main Engine : 130hp
Bow thruster : Vetus 3 kW
Generator : Kohler 6.5 kv
Tender Outboard : Yamaha 2hp

Voltages : 24 & 12v

Shore power
Batteries : house & general, 6 x 200 ah
engine & generator start, 1 x 250 ah

Gas : 2x 9kg Propane

GZ Curve
Required range for Cat 0 - 121.94º
Calculated range 10% load condition - 139.263º
Calculated range 100% load condition - 143.621º

For images see Favorites link 'Drawings 1' and 'Drawings 2'

Anyway, that's all the formal stuff that I could find - none of which helps much after receiving the surveyors reports......

After long debates between Giselle, the consultants and myself, the way forward was actually quite 'simple'.....

We want a boat that is structurally sound; and safe !
After the repairs, the hull and structure must be good for at least another 15 to 20 years, assuming a reasonable level of maintenance every year !

As for all the 'gadgets' would be nice to have all the newest bells and whistles, however, these are not essential. We actually don't mind how old 'gadgets' are, as long as what there is, works, properly.

Altho we would have liked a nice new interior, if we dont get one, to bad.
It was decided that 'cosmetic' work that could be done at a later time / by myself in Cape Town, would be left.

Everything else that would make the boat sound and safe, had to be done.

Based on this, it was decided to commence with the sandblasting of the hull below waterline....... (s)

Access and Discovery
19/03/2013, Cape Town

Ok....we have bought a boat, lying somewhere in Antigua, and which we have never seen. From the data we have been able to get our hands on, as well as some of the pics....she looks good....reasonably anyway.....

By mid 2012, we had managed to effect transfer. The boat was now 'ours'. Happy christmas !
This meant that we could now enforce our right to access. You guessed it, the previous owner refused access until transfer....that SHOULD have been a warning !

While waiting for transfer, the surveyor had recommended a shipwright to effect any repairs we may have wanted done. Manfred Schweizer, the shipwright contractor, turns out to be an ex South African from Natal side.

Within a day or so of transfer, these gents are on KoD (Kormoran of Dart), opening up, clearing out and emptying.....

Oh boy !!

By end July the surveyor had prepared a formal report to determine the immediate list of deficiencies. This contained 43 items, in general terms, which were of concern to the surveyor. On initial reading, we grew very despondent !

His conclusion sums up the actual state of the boat "...The general condition of the vessel Kormoran of Dart is considered to be average to below average. It is apparent that the vessel was very well constructed and equipped at the time of construction. The basic structure and the technical / mechanical installations are in good repair but the vessel is not structurally sound at the time of this survey. There is an extended list of deficiencies and recommendation noted and it is the surveyor's opinion that many of these items are part of a neglected maintenance plan / program...."

Agggghhhhhhh !
Have we bought a lemon.....Were we thoroughly ripped off....... ! ?
At this stage we are experiencing sheer terror, or maybe anger, coupled with a level of despondency - of note !

A while after receiving the report, we came to the conclusion that the report, and the initial inspection, were in fact very similar....and if we thought carefully about it, not much had changed. A bit more detail, definitely more thorough, and some new items, but essentially still the same.
Well, at this stage anyway !

For more images see Favorites link titled 'Access'

I went back to the numbers. The shipwright and surveyor prepared a rough Bill of Quantities. We argued time. We debated costs.

Things were not looking good !

Oh poo ! (s)

Areas of interest
13/03/2013, Cape Town

Where do we want to cruise - everywhere and anywhere it seems

Obviously we have certain places we would like to visit. If we think about the most obvious route we would probably do something like :

Leave SA, over to St Helena, then across to the Caribbean, the West coast of USA, Canada, the Great Lakes, then over to Ireland.

From Ireland, over to Scotland and the UK, up to the Scandinavian region, into the Baltic, and back down the coast to the Med.

From the Med (European side), into the Black Sea, down the Med (African side), and back across to the Caribbean.

From here, probably down the west coast of South America, around the Horn, up the East coast to the Galapagos - or the other way round going thru the Panama Canal twice.

From the Galapagos / Canal, moving up the East Coast USA, to Japan, 'the East', and down to Australia and NZ, and then back to SA !

And how long do we have in which to do this ?
Until Giselle throws me overboard I suppose : ))

Basically we envisage spending about 4 to 5 months (or maybe 6 +) cruising each year. The remainder of the time we would be back in SA, either in Still Bay or Hout Bay.....altho certain friends travel Southern Africa in 4x4's, and this idea has been tentatively thrown 'out there'......we shall see ! (s)

Making an offer
08/03/2013, Cape Town

Almost a year after that fateful morning - the coffee one - we found and started making enquiries on an Alan Pape 50'.

Click on the "favorites" link - previous owners pics - for images supplied by the owner.

To continue our weird way of going about things.....the boat was lying in Antigua, we obviously were in Cape Town, the seller was in France, and the broker was in New Zealand !

The seller - who was on our timeline - would only deal through the broker, who was about 7 hours ahead of us. In the meantime, the Antiguan surveyor (Canter de Jager of Dutchman Marine Services) was 6.5 hours behind us !

My sleep patterns were shot to hell !

The initial inspection by the surveyor revealed certain issues with the boat. Regrettably access for a full survey was not available so a 'best guess', based on the surveyors experience, had to be made.
Based on this, an offer was made....and accepted.

In hindsight, the reduced offer was - well, lets just say it should have been a lot less I think !
20/20 vision !

We knew there were issues. Seems I got the numbers wrong. My bad !
Not the way to start our adventure !

Images can be seen at the 'Favorites' links : Pre-survey 1, Pre-survey 2 and Pre-survey 3 (s)

Boat type and sailing lessons
06/03/2013, Cape town

We eventually settled down to some serious study on what type of boat we wanted, what to look out for, and how to go about buying one of these things.

Boy was this confusing, and hellava irritating !

What we found particularly frustrating was that we had so many questions (and they were probably stupid ones), but do you think we could find a South African broker / boating specialist type, who would be willing to 'educate' us. Even when we offered to pay for their time !

At the same time, we enrolled on sailing courses at Good Hope Sailing Academy, Cape Town. What fun was had !
For those who don't recall, I used to do a small amount of sailing many many years ago; while Giselle on the other hand, had for all intents not done any sailing at all.
As for Adam, well he was still to young.

Many people warned that we should first see whether or not Giselle actually enjoyed sailing before we made any plans....which I ignored, hoping I knew, what kind of appetite for adventure my wife had.

I am happy to say that I was correct. During her Competent Crew course, after a day on the water, she came home and gave me what for - get this - for not having introduced her to sailing before !!

It was at this point that I knew Giselle would be up for this adventure !

We started to research the various types of boat designs, from modern to classic. We researched boat designers. We read books and internet articles on buying boats. We listened to every ones opinion on the matter, and slowly thro all of this, we started to develop a 'picture', of what we thought the ideal boat would be, for us.

As we were researching, we also started looking for boats. Both local and international. What we did find, we had to deal with ourselves as the local brokers were not interested in anything offshore. As for the local boats for sale....they seemed to be just a tad overpriced. Just an opinion mind you !

There were some really disappointing times. One in particular, when we found the 'dream boat' for sale on the internet, but was just out of our price range, and had been sold a month or so previously. Maybe a good thing, otherwise we would have sold the house for it.

In addition, a number of the boats we made initial inquiries on, were suddenly no longer for sale as soon as we requested detailed information on the boat (stability data, hull information, last surveys etc etc

For images of a small selection of the boats we looked at, see Favorites link 'Boats'

Being 'on our own', was turning into a really frustrating thing ! (s)

The story begins 1
12/02/2013, cape town

Fortunately for me, my wife knows how I...well....lets just say, 'bull in a china shop' doesn't come close to explaining how I operate at times.

After the initial shock of my opening statement, she calmly listened to what I was trying to say - and then agreed - with a few proviso's of course !

I recall a discussion regarding 'mother by law', and what we would do with the house while we were away. I also recall that Giselle would not hear of sending Adam to boarding school so we could leave before he finishes school. Oh well, suppose every vessel has a slave. Mmmm right, like she will allow that !!

3 hours later, we had made an offer on a freehold title unit in a retirement village; and mapped out in rough how we are going to afford our new adventure. Things just seemed to be lining up and falling into place !

I must admit, over a year later, I am still trying to figure out how it all happened so fast - but while there was surf, we were going to ride that wave! (s)

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