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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Join our journey on SV LUNA as we explore the world, visit wild and exotic places, and prove its never too late to begin your adventure. We will demonstrate how a middle-aged couple from outback Australia travels the world exploring remote places and living the dream. This site offers a unique journey through our videos, photographs, and real lived product reviews and advice. We will introduce you to the unique characters and people from all walks of life and places. All from our 30-year-old yacht "SV Luna. So join us enjoy the adventure and always feel free to get in touch.
The story so far...
Where should I begin hmmm, well it all started when I was 13 or 14. The sea was angry that day, my friend, so I remember the day well ... Nah I am not going to make you suffer through all that. Suffice to say I have had the dream of sailing around the world in a small yacht since Adam was a lad motivated by my reading Joshua Slocum's "Sailing Alone Around the World" and Bernard Moitessier's "The Long Way". In terms of my journey, I took a few wrong turns along the way, had about 20 different jobs in 15 different industry's and played Rugby in the front row past my use-by date.
I also managed to scare off two ex-wives with my dreams and the fact that I was born under a wandering star and had several false starts. Notwithstanding these setbacks (self-generated), I managed to accumulate a shit load of savings (yes shit load is a technical term). I saved up enough coin to overcome the first hurdle of my dream. I am pleased to report that I eventually found and purchased a seaworthy sailing vessel—a beautiful Tayana 42 circa 1991. Now you might say the adventure begins and I find myself here with my third wife Amanda and our crew Lola and Lilly starting the next phase of the journey ... the dreaded refit... Anyway enough about how we got here, let's tell you what this site is about.
However, if you can't sleep and you would like to know more about the journey and what some might call a fortunate life ( some might comment it was unfortunate) then check out the blog where I go into more detail
Now, what is our purpose?
Firstly we are journalists, photographers, videographers, and self-described adventurers and explorers. So sorry you won't find any gratuitous Tits and Bums here ( unless they accidentally get captured within an innocent photo of local wildlife)
Secondly, Although we are a sailing channel we are also interested in bringing you land-based stories and content in a kind of travelogue style as well as non paid life tested product reviews and tips ( not the usual advertorials) and other tips and hacks.
Who We Are
CHIEF PETTY OFFICER AMANDA
Chief Security Officer
MID SHIPMAN LOLA
Chief Taster and Scrounger
NEWS & UPDATES
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COVID 19 AND BREAKING ALL THE RULES
Greetings Tax dodgers
After two years of research, 18months of searching, and several false starts, we finally found a boat that is suitable for our needs and wants. However, I digress firstly let me point out my 5 unbreakable rules for purchasing our preferred blue water yacht.
# Authors disclaimer these are my rules based on nothing but personal preference and beliefs. I follow the sailing forums, I know these rules are controversial, and I also know you can sail around the world in anything you want. Shit people have crossed oceans in bathtubs, kayaks and canoes. With the correct planning and sensible sailing, a new keel fin lightweight modern production yacht with a spade rudder is capable.
Having said that I do question the comfort and risk profile. I personally wonder their ability to heave to and importantly lay a hull in stormy confused sea states and the higher risk profile a non-protected bolted-on fin keel and exposed rudder yacht is exposed to.
Keeping in mind SV Luna is not doing a single circumnavigation but ten years of remote sailing. Now before anyone writes to call me a knob and tell me all the reasons Im wrong. Let me remind you I started this diatribe by stating that its all about personal opinion. Its all about what floats your boat and what risk profile your happy with.
Hmmm, then again there may be that bloody sunfish sleeping on the surface just waiting to ruin your day.
So here are Moppa's Rules for buying a bluewater yacht
Rule 1: A blue water yacht must have a full, three quarter of half, fully encapsulated keel.
Rule 2: It must be a centre cockpit
Rule 3: It must have a keel hung or at least a full-length skeg hung rudder.
Rule 4: You must personally inspect the boat.
Rule 5: You always get a professional survey done and attend the survey to observe and ask questions.
It's not that complicated !
Soooo did we break any of the 5 rules? you bet your life we did.
This was mainly becouse of strict border restrictions and the lack of the kind of boat that we wanted in Australia. As a result we broke my cardinal rule we had to buy a boat sight unseen.
How did it work out you might be wondering well so are we as we havnt been able to collect her as the day after we signed the contract the borders went into hard lock down.
We also had to forgo the centre cockpit because we just could not find a boat that met all our criteria in a reasonable knick. Having said that I was only keen on a center cockpit so Amanda ( my wife would feel safer and more confident when on night watch. In hind site I think the enclosed rear cockpit is going to be a better option.
The take away is as I often hear, people say there is no such thing as a perfect boat, and our experience supports this. We learned buying a boat is all about compromise. I think this is more so when looking for a liveaboard, that will be you're home for the next ten years as you take the long way sailing around the world than say buying a yacht to sail around the cans on the weekend.
So Tax dodgers we now commence the dreaded refit. Well when we can actually take posssion of our boat that is ! This should be fun to watch as two nobs with bugger all trade skills refit a 30-year-old yacht that recently completed its previous owners own 10-year journey around the third rock from the sun.
THE BLOODY COVID STRIKES AGAIN
August 08 2020
WTF the borders just went into total lockdown, and our boat is stuck in
So here is the latest update. The day after we contracted to buy the boat, the Queensland / New South Wales border went into hard close.
Our plan was to fly down to Sydney from Townsville at the end of the month spend a couple of days prepping the boat and provisioning and then sail her the 1200 nautical miles home ( rum line distance)
Simple right? ... Wrong! Our next option was to hire a delivery skipper to sail her to the Gold Coast ( just over the NSW/ QLD border, pick her up from there and sail her up via the inner Great Barrier Reef route. But as John Steinbeck coined “The best-laid plans of mice and men oft go awry.”
So here we are trying to work out a solution to the COVID dilemma. What is frustrating is I can get her to the border, there is a border marina, and if we can have Luna sailed there, we can see her as there is literally a road with plastic barriers down the middle between us and her making it even more frustrating. Sadly we are not allowed to cross the border walk the 500 meters to our boat and sail her 3 miles around the point which is the border into a marina on the Queensland side… BLOODY COVID!
THE TROUBLE WITH TRIBBLES
( INSURANCE WOES)
January 1, 2023
This is a salty review of my recent experience dealing with insurance companies.
As you are aware, we recently purchased our next yacht (actually we are still buying it and yes, it is taking longer than it should all in all its because of what I now call the "Insurance shuffle")
Ok viewers, I am going to use inappropriate language in this article ( explicit content warning) so stop reading now if you're sensitive. But first, some context as mentioned in previous posts because of the COVID we had to break one of my immutable rules, and we purchased a boat without inspecting it.
In my defence, I am familiar with this brand of the boat. I have examined others, so had a good understanding and knowledge of the things I wanted my surveyor to look for and pay particular attention to.
As stated, the survey came back, and all in all, it was positive and basically said that this brand of boat is well known for its excellent design and build quality.
The survey went on to say "although it needed some minor maintenance work it was a perfect example of the model, and that there was no reason that it couldn't continue to give years of service doing what it was designed to do whether coastal sailing or crossing oceans".The surveyor stated that "this boat was a textbook example of a very well designed boat built by a quality professional boat builder that knew what they were doing". He went on to say," The vessel could be described as over-engineered and that you could run her aground on a beach and only the beach would be damaged"… anyway you get my drift.
Now the four main things that he raised that needed addressing I am quoting the surveyor in order of importance are:
"The seacocks are in various condition, and they should be replaced on an as needs basis as soon as was practicable". The surveyors, the main concern was the condition of a few of the hose clips needed replacing. (note they were double clipped, and I intended on returning any dodgy ones before her first sail) and in terms of the seacocks, I plan to replace not only the seacocks but all hoses and plumbing in the boat with modern composite fittings including the skin fittings which were reported as in good condition.
The Chainplates are now due for removal and resealing, which is necessary for boats of this style and age that have fully lined interiors. ( this clearly is referring to water egress possibly damaging the liner and nothing to do with the integrity of the plates I know of new boats that leak via Chain-plates due to poor sealing having said that there are no watermarks or evidence of water egress via the chainplates or chainplate seals (#note the boat had its mast removed checked and re- stepped and standing rigging replaced 12 months ago)
The electrics in terms of navigation and instruments are all in working order however older models, and the wiring is original with the original management board all still working and in good condition, however, could be replaced on as needs basis
There is a fair amount of accumulated dust and debris in the locker bases and bilge area which should be removed to prevent blocking the bilge pumps and limber hole.
Tidy up hose clamp mount on bow light. This is for the deck/ anchor wash, and the hose mount is broken, its an easy fix but not relevant as to the safety of the vessel or the integrity of the boat
The plumbing is original, and the hoses have hardened, and hose clips rusted, these should be monitored and/or replaced as required. This is correct; however, we are talking about internal plumbing here nothing to do with the integrity of the vessel in terms of being seaworthy and watertight.
Plumbing system, deck wash/shower needs to be replaced ( I have no idea why a broken deck shower fitting would be critical to insurance.
So all in all 6 insurance companies were approached by my broker, two refused to insure due to the age of the boat ( keeping in mind that we are talking about an over-engineered bluewater boat that's has been serviced and looked after, and I am refitting her above and below the waterline over the next 12 months. (in fact, I bit the bullet and all the skin fittings and seacocks are being replaced with Marelon composites as I write this) let us talk about the boat age notwithstanding that all the standing and soft rigging was replaced 18 months ago, this boat is a hand laid up the vessel that will outlast many of today's modern production boats ( now I am not bagging out modern production boats I don't want to have that shit fight, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with owning a current production boat, in fact, I like them and they suit a purpose and if I sailed in less remote areas like the med or Caribbean I'd prefer one if only for the space ease of getting parts and the and speed). Still, I am saying that if I run aground, hit a sunfish or anything else or get caught in a severe storm I will lay my money on the fact that my 30 years old purposed designed blue water hand-laid production boat has more chance of surviving or being less damaged than many of today's vacuum bagged, lightweight, built to a price, off the shelf brands of production boats with exposed spade rudders and bolted on keels.
Two refused due to the age of the boat
Two refused to insure due to both the age of the boat and her home port (yes we live in cyclone territory although in a marina berth)
One said they would insure but wanted 5k a year for a boat insured for 100 k with a 2k excess
One agreed they would guarantee for 2k with 1k excess if I get all 7 items on the survey repaired first (I am still struggling to understand the deck wash)
One agreed to insure for 2 k with a 1 k excess as she was ( naturally I went with this one after I checked their credentials)
Now, this is the disappointing thing about this insurance journey, these insurance companies are supposed to be Marine specialists, but to me, it seems like most just did the old tick the check box without understanding boats in general and made calls that just simply fit within the boxes no matter how misguided the boxes or selection criteria are.
Don't misunderstand me the boat does need some work particularly the replacement of several seacocks, however other reasons are, just plain silly, one wanted the deck shower replaced why I have no idea its certainly not a critical component. I was going to replace the seacocks and thru-holes. I asked for a month to organise this( which is a challenge with the COVID situation. Unfortunately, this was denied. ( I have since replaced all seacocks and thru-holes under the waterline with Marelon components.
Anyway here is the list of insurance companies and their reasoning
CGU Decline to Quote Vessel Age, Value and Location
Multiple Repairs Requested
Decline to Quote Vessel Location
Decline to Quote Mooring Location
I don't actually have a problem with Club Marine requesting multiple repairs and as I have already stated I agreed with the seacocks needing replacement however some of the other reasons seem well silly such as removal of all dust and dirt from the bilge and they also wanted the chainplates resealed which I also don't have a problem with as two are leaking however again this is not going to sink the boat it's not critical to the vessel's seaworthiness ( I know of near new boats that have leaky chainplates)m
Anyway, I have gone with New Wave marine. However, some of their caveats are eye-opening such as not covering the engine for flooding which I assume was because of the seacocks, it will be interesting to see if they change this now the seacocks and associated hoses have all been replace with the latest and best technology.