Love the boat you’ve got!

Sometimes it is fun to fantasize, but it is also useful to be reminded that what you have is pretty good!

We had a look at a catamaran for sale while on the Gold Coast – bigger, more luxurious. I know, I know, how can we be so disloyal to Take It Easy? The blurb was enticing, the photos looked amazing and for weeks we had let our imagination wander. But when we saw it in the flesh, although the finish was superb, we realised that only one of our ‘must have’ was ticked. It actually had less to offer than ours so it was not to be.

Take It Easy is a comfortable cat, quite a good performer and even if we say so ourselves, very distinctive. We know its systems, its idiosynchrasies, and although it is not perfect, although it is not very big, it is allowing us to live our dream. It takes us to places many people will never experience. So the lesson in all this is: love the boat you’ve got.

Mid North Coast - TIE

And now we are off to the Reef! We sailed on Tuesday 26th June to Yellow Patch at the Northern tip of Moreton Island, dodging breaching whales.  It was not the most comfortable passage, in fact it was rough. The sea was confused and the 62 mile downwind sail was more akin to riding a bucking horse than a catamaran! But we still made it in 9 hours, so we can’t complain too much!

Coral Sea -7209

Leaving the Gold Coast Seaway before dawn

Coral Sea -7256

Notice the whale breaching ahead of us!

Coral Sea -7264

Humpback Whale in full flight!

Coral Sea -7288

It’s a bit rock and rolly

Coral Sea -7275

It looks flat, but notice the angle of the cabin!

Coral Sea -7313

This juvenile Indian Yellow Nose Albatross kept flying around us then landing! 

Next stops: Mooloolaba which we will reach later today. We will be there for a few days while the northerlies are blowing, and we will then head to Fraser Island once the southerlies return!

29 thoughts on “Love the boat you’ve got!

    • Yes it is amazing and can be scary. Some of them are quite inquisitive, typically the youngsters born last year. They approach and chase us! You want to be going fast enough to get out of their way. Yesterday we had a heart stopper. It spy-hopped, looked at us then went for it, pursuing us, swimming fast. and looking really big. Lucky we were doing 8 knots and managed to put some distance between us!

  1. The grass, water, somerimes looks greener on the other side of the fence until u get there. Enjoy what u have. Cheers

  2. Great shots Chris! You’re getting closer to you planned destination, That’s great! I hope you get a calmer sea to navigate. Take care! 🙂

  3. Yes!! Chris & Wade, your boat is superb and uniquely yours! It’s a great design, and it sails so well.
    As you know, the lesson we learned from taking on something bigger (our Property) is that it comes with more issues, more maintenance….and therefore more moo-lah (that’s the stuff spent on moo-cows)!!
    Good decision… to walk away if it doesn’t tick many more boxes for you. Enjoy the Sunshine Coast!

    • Hi Waz – thanks for commenting here. You saw the pics and our excitement. It’s a good exercise to go through, because it makes the non- negotiables so clear! We can head off to the reef with a clear mind. ⛵️💕

  4. Couldn’t agree more with the comment “love the boat you’ve got” Still happy with Catnap though we’re envious of you getting away from Melbourne on these cold mornings. Don & Lorraine

  5. Would like a bigger faster cat to go to Vanuatu. Have been lusting after Outremer or FP 50 ft but timely reminder that retirement savings perhaps better spent fuelling the cruising kitty!

  6. Hi Chris, spent part of last week up at the farm was a balmy minus 2 last Tuesday morning, cannot understand you wanting a warmer climate. Sounds like you and Wade are into this retirement thing, keep enjoying.

    Jon N

    • Hi Jon – yes there is no going back to work, or to anywhere where we can’t wear shorts! We are failing today, soaking wet and chilly in Mooloolaba. We don’t like sailing in the rain!

  7. I truly believe that your statement “Love the boat you’ve got” is the secret to real contentment, Chris. I’m not drawn to expensive boats, but occasionally I look at fancy cars or recreational vehicles with a certain degree of envy. We are bombarded with messages that tell us we should not be happy with what we have, that we should want more and better stuff. When I read your adventures, I see that you have taken a huge step away from those messages and are living life on your terms. For those of us drawn to make safe and secure choices, your journey is inspirational.To a significant extent, you are living your dream.

    • Oh Mike what a nice thing to say. We are living a life different to what many people choose, but sometimes it is not as easy and comfortable as it sounds. I suspect we will one day get a different boat, but it has to be right and address the aspects we are compromising on -load carrying capacity being the biggest one for full time life afloat.

      • I follow several YouTube channels of folks living full time in camper vans (and one in a Honda Element) and your experience reminds me some of theirs. There are lots of compromises to be made when living in extremely confined quarters with minimal possessions and simple chores are far from simple in many cases. Yeah, there is an idealistic aspect to the nomadic life style, but I think you are pretty clear about the challenges as well as the benefits. Like my van-dwelling “friends” who long for a little additional space, your desire for more capacity is totally understandable, as long as it doesn’t adversely affect things you value, like the ability to go to remote locations that would be inaccessible to a bigger boat. Best wishes as you continue your adventure.

      • It is good when followers like yourself, Mike, ‘get it’. As you said there can be a romanticised view of our wanderers’ life, and yes some aspects are hard, but we focus on the sense of freedom and wonder.

  8. Guys, I would agree with Waz and Mike. You have a great vessel that meets your needs; goes well, and is in good condition. You KNOW her too.
    Saw Barry’s boss’s Crowther cat in the river at Narooma yesterday.

    • Hi Doug, we are very happy with TIE, but we will keep an eye out in case something comes along that ticks all our boxes. When you live on a boat full time it is different to being on it for holidays.

  9. Only just had a chance to catch up on my required reading. Very interested in this post. Dreaming it will be us this time next year! I’m interested in the glimpses of your fore-deck as this is the bit we are working on right now. One of the things we have found interesting in building our own slightly updated version of T.I.E- is learning about the limitations a designer has when drawing up a cruising cat. For me, this has led to a bit of a fascination with boat design, so I hope you will forgive me for getting a bit nerdy, but it may be of interest to others considering the lifestyle. Our boat is 12m long (about 400mm longer than T.I.E.). This is as big as the designer says he can squeeze out of a standard sheet of 9mm plywood. This limits the hull widths at the widest point to 1220 (the width of a sheet of marine ply). This determines the width at the waterline, which in turn limits the potential payload. The advantage, however, is that the hulls, being of moderate width, are easily driven by a relatively conservative rig. Easier to handle and much, much cheaper than the big fractional rigs, similarly sized (heavy) production cats need to get them moving. The designer has a bigger version: only one-meter longer, which he tells me doubles the volume and cost of everything. So it seems, in a bridge-deck cat, 12m x 6m (plus-or-minus) is the sweet-spot for long-term cruising on a moderate budget. But as you have said, even then there are compromises. Smaller, and the payload is unacceptably compromised: longer and building costs go up exponentially.

    • Hi Pete and Deb, TIE and the Easy range have a huge performance advantage over other cats of similar size because they are so light. At half the weight (4.5 tons) of similar size cats made of fibreglass, they accelerate quickly, go well in light winds… A friend who has hired lots of production cats and can compare different set ups absolutely loves sailing on board TIE because of that! So we have a lot to appreciate about her.

      • It’s been good though, to read about your honest experiences. Made us aware that we will have to be conscious about what we really “need” when we move aboard Selah. Happy sailing guys.

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