Gladstone and the unsuitable ‘Kailani’

Posted in: Buying, Featured on Saturday, July 16th, 2011

It’s becoming clearer with the passing of each day that we have grossly underestimated how easy it would be to find our yacht.  And our recent trip to Gladstone has only served to reinforce this realisation. We drove to Gladstone from Bundaberg, having driven to Bundaberg from our home in Brisbane on Friday.  The weather should’ve been an indication of the disappointing day to come, for it was wet, windy and overwhelmingly bleak.  I had to keep reminding myself that there will be days like this on the boat, it won’t all be sunshine and calm weather.  I’ll be honest and admit that I will struggle to live on a boat on days like that. I will struggle with the cold and will struggle with being almost constantly wet.  Part of me is looking forward to that struggle and the growth that will come of it.

Having found the office of Ensign Ship Brokers we introduced ourselves and were asked to wait for the broker, Steve.  We waited a while.  When Steve showed it was handshakes all round and out into the marina to look at ‘Kailani’, a little Adams 31 sloop that had so tempted us with her lovely interior and roomy aft cabin.

This is where I confess that up to this point I had only climbed aboard 2 yachts previously.  I was a little unsure at first of how to get up, there was no indication of where to put my hands and feet. Thankfully I’m in love with a  gentleman who duly extended a strong arm and guided me up.  I know with Ben by my side and at the helm I will be safe and looked after and have no need to be afraid of anything. Even my own footing.

The second we were onboard and got our bearings it became apparent that ‘Kailani’ was going to be much too small.  I’m not usually claustrophobic, sometimes I even enjoy being cocooned in a small space, but below decks on this little boat was something entirely different.  I had the distinct impression of climbing down into a coffin or more accurately, a floating tomb.  It was so small and dark that my mind struggled to reconcile the boat we saw in the pictures to the boat we were seeing with our own eyes.If Gladstone has taught us anything, it’s how naïve we’d been when estimating the minimum size we’d need for a decent liveaboard.  32ft is just not going to be big enough, nor will it provide comfortable headroom for my 6.2ft skipper.

Getting off the boat proved even more daunting being that it’s usually easier going up than coming down. Once again Ben was on hand to provide strength and support as I clambered down okay.  If not facing the wrong direction.  Steve had only just finished advising to always climb down facing forwards.  This is in case of an accident I can put my arms out to break my fall.  But it doesn’t feel natural so I did it my way.

After ‘Kailani’ we were under the impression we’d be shown around a few other yachts, but that wasn’t to be the case.  The other yachts Steve didn’t have keys with him for, another was being extensively repaired on hardstand and yet another the owner hadn’t been advised of our inspection and was still aboard and not keen for us to see what he was hiding below.

Back to square one.



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