Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Yacht "Blue Heron" Finding Blue Heron

We found Blue Heron advertised with a small add at the back of New Zealand Boating Magazine, showing her anchored in Tahiti.

She was moored in Lyttleton Harbour near Christchurch. We got all the sales information sent up. A good friend had a look at her for us and sent up more photos and we decided she was worth a closer look.

The weekend before I was due to fly down to Lyttleton, a bad storm destroyed the partly finished Marina. Dozens of boats were sunk, some very sad stories of 12-year restorations sent to the bottom. Blue Heron must have been the luckiest boat in the Marina, as it was hauled out the day before the storm hit.

The owner couldn't sleep aboard during the height of the storm as she was shaking in her cradle so violently, so chose instead to sleep in his car.

First impressions were not good. She had an underwater shape aft of the keel that was very different to anything I'd seen before (and I'd seen a lot). Keeping an open mind I continued to look.
The moment I walked inside I was sold. The interior woodwork and layout were stunning. Six-foot minimum headroom all the way through, despite the flush decks. Three separate living areas, two companionways, heads and bathroom aft. The best layout for a family cruising boat I had seen yet in our price range. After much deliberation, we agreed to buy her. I flew back to Auckland and returned to Lyttleton in December 2000 with a delivery crew to take possession and sail her back to Auckland. It was a good thing that she was reasonable to windward as we had headwinds the whole way. Every Cape we rounded during the 800-mile passage, the wind changed to head us.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Introducing Yacht "Blue Heron"

Blue Heron was Launched in 1981 at Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Length; 43 ft / 13 m
  • Construction; Fibreglass Hull, Glass over Ply decks
  • Designer; Oswald Berckemeyer
  • Class; Gitana 43
  • Weight; 13 Ton
  • Draught; 6 foot /2.1 meters
  • Engine; 40 hp, four cylinders, Kubota
  • Generator; 6 hp Petter with 4 kva AC Alternator
  • Rig; Cutter Rig Sloop, Aluminum Spars
  • Keel; Fin with stainless steel bolts
  • Rudder; Spade - Balanced
  • Propeller; KiwiProp 3 blade feathering
  • Steering; Tiller, Aires, T2 AutoHelm Smart Pilot
  • Anchor; Rocna (very very good)
  • Interior; solid Sapali, Origin Pine, and Plywood
Her first owner was a boat builder who sold her in the Mediterranean to a New Zealand engineer. The third owner was a New Zealand builder, who sold it to a New Zealand Navy sailing instructor in December 2000. This is where most of the content for this Blog begins. We've been getting her ready to take offshore again. I'll be adding to it lots of photos with a few explanations to put some perspective on them. Hope you get some value from it.