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Date: 13 Jul 2013 14:34:00
Title: Getting ready in Cowes

The Boat, The Crew and the Plan

This blog is about “living the dream” of giving up paid work and sailing round the world to explore new places and make new friends. We can go where we like, we can befriend people we like and we can stay in places we enjoy or wish to explore more and I can share the experience with friends,old and new and family.

To bring the dream to reality I bought Romano, a Swedish built a Najad 441 blue water cruiser that was for sale in Holland. At 44ft she is big enough to sleep 6 in three comfortable cabins and small enough to sail short-handed in most weather conditions.

Romano in Dover en-route to Cowes

In August 2013 myself and a few others will set off to take her across the Atlantic via France, Spain, Portugal, the Canaries and Cape Verde Islands in time for Christmas in the Caribbean.
The crew so far are myself, Sim Rendall a longstanding friend of mine and keen sailor, Gill Walton also an experienced blue water cruiser and her friend Ray.
As I write the boat is being fitted out by .RHP in Cowes on the Isle of Wight with lots of long distance gear and this is where we will set off from once the sea trials are complete. We have had a series of setbacks in getting the boat ready however we are now on the last stages of preparation.

The Preparations

The germs of a plan to buy a boat and sail around the world started to first form in January 2012. I read everything I could get my hands on by people who had done this sort of thing before.
In May 2012 I started looking at boats and reading up on their perfomance, cost and accomodation. The shortlist that followed was unsurprisingly dominated by Swedish boats Hallberg Rassey 49, Najad 441 and Malo 42 with a smattering of British and French examples in the form of Ovni 43, Moody 46 and a Westerley Ocean 49. I made an offer for the Moody but that was not accepted so after searching Europe I found Romano, a Najad 441 in Sint Annaland in Holland, the picture below shows her being towed to the hoist for a test sail and in-water survey.

Romano being launched for her test sail in Holland

When we returned to Holland to sail her back to the UK the snow was 6″ thick on the deck. I brought her back to the UK with my mate Sim in very cold, minus 15C degree, weather on leg one to Dover where we had to take refuge from some heavy weather and with Gillian, my niece on leg two from Dover to Cowes on the Isle of Wight where she is now being fitted out with .

Romano on route to UK in -10C

The plan is to set off in early August after 6

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