We searched the web and contacted the broker of some of the more interesting yachts. It is really surprising how much time this takes. Finally, we had reached the point where we had shortlisted the most interesting ones. It turned out that more than half of them where located in the southern UK, so that was where we headed.
Picking a suitable autumn weekend, we flew over on Saturday morning from Helsinki to London Gatwick, where we picked up a small rental car. We headed southwest towards the Solent area where we visited yachts in Poole and Lymington. In addition to the three First yacht we’d planned to se, the brokers of course showed us a few additional ones as well.
It turned our that our #1 choice, a 42s7, while otherwise very nice, was smaller than expected. It was therefore not suitable for charter, so we turned our looks towards the 44.7 and 47.7
The 47.7, while magnificent with new synthetic teak deck, had two arguments against, apart from the price.
It was a bit on the deep side, with a draft of 2.80m. Which is no problem whatsoever when spending your time on the ocean. But not so good when in the Bahamas or back home in the Finnish archipelago.
Secondly, being quite wide, it wasn’t very fast in light weather or upwind. Again no problem on the ocean, but more so in the Finnish archipelago.
Therefore, disregarding the other Bavarias and Oceanis boats shown that day, the winner was a First 44.7
At first we had actually disregarded it, as there were some signs of wear in the interiour. All of that, however, was only a metter of some restauration work to be done and not significant in itself.
The second day of visiting other yachts didn’t bring anything better along. Suddenly even the fact that this First 44.7 was deep enough, 2.65m, didn’t feel as much of a problem anymore. It anyhow felt sleek and fast both on the ocean and in the archipelago, even in the grey autumn weather of Poole.
Which led us to start the negotiations of course. And through the normal survey procedures and mendings of the faults found, we bought ourselves our new working home. Only a year or so of restauration an preparation until fit for charter.