A couple of posts ago we dropped our bombshell about hoping to have found a successor to our beloved Take It Easy. Well after the longest two weeks ever we are delighted to announce we are the very proud owners of Anui, a 52ft (15.9m) Crowther with dagger boards.
This is a long post, with lots of photos and videos. So grab a comfy seat and a cuppa and enjoy the guided tour.
Anui is a blue water performance cruising catamaran designed for fast passage making. She is a bit of a gun, sailing at wind speed off the wind. This means in 15 knots of wind on the aft quarter, she does 15 knots speed. That’s really fast! In comparison, TIE does 50% off the wind speed. So Anui is in a different league! She has long, slender hulls, she is light at 9 tons, has beautiful lines and she is luxuriously appointed inside – a Lock Crowther classic.
After seeing quite a number of boats we decided she was the one that really excited us, the one we kept coming back to… It was interesting to hear the advice of one of the multihull dealers: “Regardless of price, when you look at a boat, if you don’t feel a bit of spark when you step on board, she is probably not the one for you.” We saw some that ticked the boxes yet left us indifferent. But Anui stood out for us and there most definitely was a spark!
We hesitated for months because she was initially out of our price range, she is not a production boat, she is BIG, she is an older cat (2000), she is one of a kind and with a custom built boat you are dependent on the skills of the builder. But we kept coming back to her because of her slick lines, her high quality build, stunning interior and sailing performance. And she had a refit in 2016. The rigging, some of the sails, the electrics, the batteries, the gas fittings, the paint work are new. She looks like a new boat, and makes our heart beat faster! We both wanted her as badly as each other!
A year and a bit after first noticing her, things have changed. Her price came down a couple of times, making her more affordable. She was not totally perfect, but we realised we would never find the perfect boat and would have to compromise on some things. The few compromises are on the accommodation side only, because on the sailing side she is a weapon as Wade puts it! For instance the roof line in the bedrooms comes down lower than we would have liked on one side. Wade was quick to volunteer to sleep on that side!
And the dining table is in the cockpit rather than in the saloon, which just has a coffee table, although with splendid inlaid woodwork. It is not ideal but we can work around this, particularly in the tropics as the cockpit is well sheltered.
But these are really minor things. Her high gloss cedar internal fitout is spectacular, the galley and the two bathrooms are fantastic and exceed what we hoped for.
We may make some changes down the track, but don’t want to rush into it. Right now we want to see how things go and just get used to her.
Survey and Sea Trial
We had Anui surveyed on Monday, which confirmed she is a sound vessel. Our marine surveyor Geoff Cruise found a few things that need to be fixed as is often the case with second hand boats: some rot around the anchor locker hatch, a small amount of delamination in a couple of spots, and new solar panels to be installed. Scott Armstrong, owner-builder of Anui has been wonderful and has agreed to have all this sorted. It may require the boat to be at the marina for a few days, but we will see. It might be a blessing anyway because the tail end of a cyclone is coming down the coast and we would rather be tied up safely at The Boat Works than floating around in horrible winds and rain.
As for the sea trial, it just confirmed she is the boat for us. We went out in the ocean in less than 10 knots of wind on Wednesday and put her through her paces: into wind, main up, jib up, reacher up, reef in, reef out, down wind, spinnaker up. Boy, does she fly! She is a powerful boat and very responsive at the helm. And the instruments are impressive, all top notch world cruising marine electronics, even though they are a little old. We were particularly taken by the remote control for the autohelm, and the digital displays.
With Scott, Geoff and Ian, the Catamaran Company broker, all on board, we really got the run down on how the sails work, and how Anui handles, plus asked lots of questions. We came back from the sea trial with our head spinning, knowing we would go ahead with the purchase, subject to the repairs being carried out. She will be perfect pretty soon but we are moving on board today anyway! We are so thrilled!
Anui is a fantastic mix of good aesthetics, sailing performance and liveability. She is a significant step up from Take It Easy and will be very comfortable for us and for our guests. We will take it even easier, faster and in style, that is after we get over the huge jitters of the transition! And the bonus: she is blue, not the usual plain white. How lucky is that?
For those interested in the significance of the name Anui, it means “the big canoe” in Polynesian. A big canoe indeed! And now it is time for the grand tour. Here is a set of photos and videos.
And here are three youtube videos: