Five years flies by faster than you realize. Since moving aboard in December 2018, we’ve logged a lot of miles and anchored in many bays. We’ve also spoken – or tried to speak – several languages, and met countless people in the last five years living on a sailboat. As many of you know, we’ve also made changes and mistakes. This year we visited countries we hadn’t visited or even heard of before moving onto a boat. We’re happy to spend the rest of 2024 in New Zealand, over 8000 miles from where we started in 2018. Here’s a small recap of what we learned this year, after five years living on a sailboat.
Wind and Weather
We finished our year in French Polynesia this May, and looked forward to heading west to other South Pacific islands. After French Polynesia, we skipped the Cook Islands because of limited anchorages and strong winds. In fact, the weather this winter all throughout the South Pacific was bad. We got battered by storms en route to Niue, shivered through record-breaking cold in Tonga, and were poured on in Fiji. Our friends in French Polynesia dealt with the same conditions. Fortunately, we left Fiji before a cyclone, and are supposedly safe in New Zealand as long as last summer’s storms don’t repeat.
We’ve spent the greater portion of five years on Sava, but now that we have another boat, we’re selling Sava. She’s a great boat for crossing oceans or cruising around beautiful motus. If you or anyone you know is looking for a comfortable and reliable monohull, here’s Sava!
Sava is a 2000 Bavaria 46. This German made 46 feet long boat is known for being blue water ready and a good-value sailboat. From our experience, definitely.
After nearly five years on board Sava, Brian and I are making a change. We bought a catamaran and will sell Sava.
Our New Sailboat
We only recently started looking for a different boat. When we saw this sailboat, it was a go! We bought a catamaran; it’s a Leopard 43.
After almost five years and thousands of miles on board Sava, we’re ready for more space. A head for each of us plus one for guests. Lots of lounge space indoors and out. This boat provides all of it.
It’s also been lovingly maintained by its previous owners, is registered to Canada, and has lots of power. The decision to buy a catamaran was even quicker than when we bought Sava, which we never regretted.
We spent a year in French Polynesia, exploring beautiful islands, communing with marine life, and meeting amazing people. We also dealt with lots of broken equipment. From sails to machinery, something was always broken on board Sava. Sometimes it was easy to solve, sometimes it wasn’t. Here’s what it’s like fixing a boat in French Polynesia.
Location Location Location
One of the cliches and constants of life on a cruising boat is fixing your boat in exotic locations. At least we have nice views while we’re dirty, tired, and frustrated. In French Polynesia, the views are beautiful. That’s an excuse for a scenic shot!
papeete is best for fixing a boat in French polynesia
The best place to be when fixing a boat in French Polynesia is Papeete, Tahiti. Since all the stores selling marine hardware, and regular hardware, are in Papeete, you almost always have to source from there unless you get very lucky. In our three different stays in Papeete over the year, we visited every possible chandler and hardware store. Multiple times. And a machine shop. Living the glamorous yacht life!