My first yacht – Compass 29.
Buying your first yacht can be a little daunting if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, and finding a broker that will listen to your needs rather than moving his stock is very important.
I’m reminded of this when new comers to yachting come into the DBY office looking for their first yacht and I remember my own experience.
After years of sailing dinghies and off the beach cats I decided it was time to get into yachts.
20 years ago I was spoilt with choice, there were so many well-made Aussie production yachts available at an entry level budget.
“Must haves” for me were: a good reliable engine; accommodation for 2 adults and 3 kids; a tidy layout the family would enjoy; good sailing characteristics capable of short off shore passages; and a good turn of speed as I wanted to club race with mates.
After inspecting dozens of boats, of various values and conditions, I narrowed the choice down to two: a Hutton 28 and a Compass 29.
The Hutton 28 was my first choice as I still had the desire to race and this had a great cruising layout with a good turn of speed, however, the “social director and minister of finance” (aka my wife) fell in love with the Compass 29. The broker said about the Compass 29, ‘these boats are so tough you can’t kill them’ which I think must be true as there are so many still seen in bays &
harbours all around Australia nearly 40 years on from when they first hit the scene.
The added advantage that came with the Compass was a great support network of other like-minded owners that the broker had mentioned. The members of the Compass Yacht Group are an innovative bunch with lots of ideas on how to do repairs and where to get spares. Some were first time owners like myself and others are sailing veterans that now take the grandkids out sailing. They also have a wonderful annual regatta in Sydney which is well attended, the co-founder of Compass Yachts, Don Lees now in his late 70’s, still competes.
This particular Compass 29 was a bit rough inside but she had a solid hull and I knew whatever cosmetically I did to the boat would be rewarded with longevity and resale value.
Over the next 5 years of ownership we had some amazing times, great family adventures on Pittwater & excursions to Sydney Harbour, all a big learning curve and thankfully on a solid boat. I also took great satisfaction in doing her up over this time and even made a few dollars when we finally decided to upgrade.
Well, many years on and 4 boats later I still have fond memories of our first boat and remember how important it is to get things right the first time so the venture into yachting can be a pleasant and memorable journey.
At DBY we have a huge range of yachts for all comers, for the experienced cruiser through to the first timer and we pride ourselves in offering first class assistance and advice to all. We also focus on after sales service and building long term relationships within the boating community so it’s no surprise when many of our first time boat owner customers come back to us for assistance and advice when the decision is made to upgrade.
If you are thinking of getting into yachts and not quite sure what to look for or which style of boat would suit, come and have a chat to the experienced team at DBY who are all boat owners themselves, you may even be offered a coffee if you have the time.
Graeme Hedges – Broker – DBY Boat Sales