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Clipper Ventures

I'm so excited

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com 13 Jul 05:00 PDT
Entertaining and with ample space to give everyone their own haven as well - new Astrea 42 © Gilles Martin-Raget

Indeed there are many reasons that I am so excited. So much so, that I could just about become one of the Pointer Sisters! Nearly. It would be the distinct lack of pitch in the upper vocal range that would bring me undone, however. Doh.

What got me all fired up - Hey I just realised that was Pat Benatar, so it is all very musical here today - anyway, back on track, and yes that pun is totally and fully intended, was that our friends at Multihull Solutions have just confirmed that I am going to have a run on the new Fountaine Pajot Astrea 42, very soon indeed. Woo Hoo!

This is the vessel that won 'Multihull of the Year' for 2018. Nice work, team. Now it was not the fact that she has twelve different configurations for her heads inside the two main classifications of owner's hull (for a total of three cabins) or charter version with four cabins. Yet you would have to think it played a hand.

The cruising cat continues its rise, and the aft deck flowing off the living space is certainly a huge component of the mix, as is the performance gains made in the latest generations. This craft seems to blitz on both counts. Air, literally, and well as in terms of ambience is a big part of the equation. It is light, as in the visual version with large saloon windows, and at 11.5 metric tonnes, pretty good on the scales too, when you consider a mono of the same sort of LOA is going to be around that and not give you the same space.

It is hard not to notice the reverse or dreadnought bows, and with AC and RTW Multis showing how it gives the ability to offer volume, LWL, and seakeeping, then these will be hard to miss visually and dynamically. Yes Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design have ensured they are not as aggressive as the others we just mentioned, but the points remain...

All the above also means she is stylish and fresh, with graceful lines that do allow for less of the 'Walls of GRP' that many cruising cats are seriously inflicted with. The massive lowering marlin platform will deliver countless hours of waterborne fun and make easy work of the tender issue. No doubt a little mini-jet will fit there and look the part, too.

So yes, this is a highly anticipated vessel, and with a sizable rig I am very keen to establish her performance credentials, along with ease of sail handling. Yes. Excitement mounts, and thankfully has not ridden away. It's right here, so thanks Multihull Solutions. We'll be ready with bells on.

Now I also got a tad excited by seeing that Oyster appears to be on the right track. Their interim CFO, Becky Bridgen (who has marine experience) has accepted the role on a permanent basis, with the owner, Richard Hadida becoming CEO.

So he'll be keeping a close eye on his investment. Yet the little thrill was actually seeing that former F1 driver, Eddie Jordan, is also on the board. So along with the other non-executive Directors they all have a job in the new world of boatbuilding and brand maintenance. If in a few years time we can add Oyster to the likes of Sunseeker as back from the dead, then the industry will be better for it.

Another that had a serious hiccup not so long ago was Bavaria. The assets and the forward order book were always going to be attractive to many. Elsewhere I wrote about how they could come from non-marine, just as much as from inside the game, but what was always interesting is that Bavaria knew exactly whom they wanted to go cap in hand to. Around ten parties, and now we appear to be close to finding out who of them have opened their wallets.

Some dealers in Europe must have been very close to the source, for they kept sending orders in, even though production was only guaranteed until the end of June when the factory went on holiday. The mighty Atlantic trade wars could also help buyers get keen on Bavaria, but the Australian distributor, Ensign Ship Brokers, is also very buoyant.

As they got stuck into preparing a new arrival in the brilliant C45 from the new range, Tony Ross confirmed that an announcement was imminent. "We have a pair of C57 buyers that I think will be locked in once the clarity of the situation is made public. These craft are very competitive in the market place from a style/design/price perspective, and quite hot property."

Talking of catamarans in this here editorial, Ross also added, "We also have a 542 under build at Nautitech/Bavaria, and expect to order another one by end of next week."

All of this is exciting news from many standpoints, whether it is from an industry, new innovative designs, healthy markets for new craft and the enjoyment people are having with their boats perspectives, all of them together.... Time to get Nile Rodgers guitar licks (with heavy use of the Wah Wah pedal through a valve amp) up on iTunes, and really kick in the volume!

OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about the World ARC, currently in the Pacific, Sydney International Boat Show and Jeanneau to feature the new Sun Odyssey 490 amongst others, SV Crystal Blues continuing to share the wealth of knowledge from their years globetrotting (and thank you so much for it) Antarctica, Brittany, Salty Dawg, Mallorca, Bahamas, Outremer 5X cat, as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other hemisphere, go to the top and the drag down menu, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow, Editor, Sail-WorldCruising.com

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