From little things, big things grow!
Boat ownership can be a bit like home ownership. You get what you can afford, you do it up, you upgrade. We started small, loved sailing, yearned for something better; and thus started our love affair for catamarans and cruising.
Our first boat was a trailer sailer: a 5ft Jarcat called Felix, designed by Ross Turner. It was a two-man tent on water. You walked inside the tiny cabin and literally stepped onto the double bed. You swung your legs one way and you were facing the Evakool fridge. You swung your legs the other way and you were ready to cook on the small stove or rinse your dishes in the tiny sink. No toilets on this cat! But we had loads of fun, discovered Port Phillip Bay and the Gippsland Lakes, and became hungry for bigger and better things.
Our second boat was a bigger version of the Jarcat, and also designed by Ross Turner. It was a Coral Coaster 29 called Medina. It was such a change: much more space at 29ft long, and able to sail out of the protected waters of the Lakes. We had her for eight years and discovered with her many of the Bass Strait islands. Medina gave us a taste for adventure, coastal sailing and Bass Strait crossings. But she was always the smallest craft wherever we threw the pick and if Felix was the two-man tent, Medina was the 1970s caravan on water.
Our next boat was Take It Easy, a 38ft or 11.6m catamaran, designed and built by Peter Snell. Peter is a professional shipwright who sells his plans for “Easy” cats of various sizes to the amateur boat builder. Take It Easy was the first 11.6m cat he built as a demonstration model and launched in 2003. We acquired her in 2011, had great fun on her and explored far and wide. She was a very capable cruiser, well appointed and we gradually equipped her as a live-aboard since she was our full time cruising home for 18 months. Remote trips such as Port Davey in South West Tasmania, our epic 2000nm sail and first real offshore cruise to Lord Howe Island, our Coral Sea cruising voyage in 2018 were evidence of her capability.
And then in December 2018, we upgraded again to Anui. She is a 52ft Crowther, a performance cruising catamaran built for ocean crossings and long distance voyaging. She is a bit of a gun, able to sail at wind speed. After a year and a half living on board Take It Easy, we decided to take the next and hopefully final leap in our catamaran sailing progression – more space, more payload, more strength, more speed! As well as a performance sailer, Anui is a beautiful home for us. She is luxuriously appointed inside with cedar wood paneling throughout. She really is a fantastic mix of good aesthetics, sailing performance and liveability.
This is her under sail; she is a powerful boat that gets us places fast.
Length: 52ft or 15.9m
Bare weight: 9 tons
Mast Height: 21m from deck
Steering: Two wheels, each with engine controls
Sails: Main, screecher, furling headsail, spinnaker, storm jib
Engines: 2x 54 hp Diesel Yanmars (re- powered in June 2021)
Electronics: NKE full instrument package with Time Zero charting software
Ground Tackle: Maxwell Anchor Winch, 1 x 25kg Rocna with 100m of chain and 50m of 22mm nylon, 1 x 25 Sarca, 1 X Fortress
Dinghy: 3.1m RIB dinghy on electric davit winch
Accommodation: Full bridge deck saloon with galley up and navigation table, owner’s hull with Queen Island bed, bathroom and walk in robe in Port hull, guests’ cabin in Starboard hull with en-suite, Starboard aft cabin with two singles. Here are a few photos of the interior.