Scout Around The World

Our journey from buying a trimaran in France and the voyage and adventure sailing her back to Australia

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To Kill A Mockingbird- or how to name a boat


To name a boat is no easy feat. It has to be a name that encompasses many concepts that you feel strongly about and purvey the image that one wants. It has to stand the test of time. Like naming a child, you have to be sure that you will still feel good about it in years to come and you both have to agree on it.

We both liked the idea of a girl’s name but wanted it to be strong and feisty- see us safely through adventure and times of trouble but also be soft and sweet when just cruising along. We wanted it to embrace exploration and adventure as this is primarily why we are setting out on this course and we wanted it to be short, sharp and succinct. A lot to ask for in a girl’s name.

We deliberated for weeks. One’s suggestions met with the others disapproval until we thought about perhaps searching literature, something that we both love, for a name.

“To Kill A Mockingbird” is one of our favourite books and the characters of Atticus, Jem, Boo and Scout resonated well with us. Scout was feisty, trusting, endearing and warmed to our hearts when we read this book in our school days. Adding to this is the imagery of a scout going ahead to explore and discover.

On a practical note – the Neel 45 is a trimaran with 3 hulls and the name of the boat usually  adorns the centre hull. Not a very wide area, so a short name will be a perfect fit. I don’t think we could have picked a better name.

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We bought a boat!

The last 2 weeks have been hectic. From actually making the decision, to where we are now has been an exciting, tumultuous, stressful, sleep depriving fortnight. There hasn’t been any time to write in this blog and as there has been so much going on and too much to write about, it has all seemed so overwhelming to contemplate writing it all down.

So to recap the last fortnight.

We bought a boat! A cruising multihull trimaran- a Neel 45 which we have commisioned to be built in La Rochelle in France. Deposit has been paid. Contracts have been signed and completion finish date decided on . We will pick up our trimaran on the 10th march 2017 and start our sail and adventure, eventually heading back to Australia.

Our business and our farm equipment has been put for sale. Mike has contacted people in our industry who may be interested and so far we have had 2 companies negotiating with us.

Mikes employer has locked in two lots of  six months leave without pay for him. Never thought they would be so agreeable so far out but we now have 6 months off from March 2017 to September 2017 and the same for 2018. We will sail the mediterranean for two seasons, put the boat on the hard for the in between seasons and make plans for how we will continue our voyage. Perfect arrangement for us. We won’t feel like we are completely abandoning our families and helps keep the sailing kitty topped up.

We have told our families and close friends about our plans. Most have always known about our desire to cruise a boat back to Australia but like us were unsure how we were going to pull it off. It was my 50th birthday over the last fortnight and we had lots of family visiting and celebrating- so what better time to announce to all. We also feel it is symbolic to welcome us into our fifties -this new exciting adventure which we hope will take us through our fifties and perhaps beyond.

Met with Mark Elkington today- owner of Multihull Solutions who are the agents for Neel in Australia. Someone to share our excitement with and officially welcome us to the cruising multihull world. He even dropped off our interior options for the boat. It is starting to feel real. IMG_1448 As you can imagine the level of excitement has been high between Mike and I. Lots of talking and contemplating and some stomach turning decisions in regards to winding down our business and Mike’s passion- his farm. But we feel good and so excited about the decision we have made and our future. We have 23 months to be out the door and on our way to France with lots to do in the meantime. We know the time will go very quickly.

PS. 30 minutes after Mark left today, we received an offer for our farm equipment. A little bit of negotiating and it is sold. Yee Haa! We are one step closer to getting out the door.


So the dream starts to become real

The Dream…… to buy a cruising multi-hull yacht in France and over the next few years sail it back to Australia via the Med and the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and the Pacific.

A dream that started for me two years ago when Mike intrigued me by stating that he has always wanted to own a yacht. My interest was piqued immediately. I have always loved the idea of sailing and being near the water, but neither of us had had much experience. Me- sailing camp in high school and Mike, quite a bit of time on a wind surfer but none of it what you could call real experience. Our lives are pretty hectic. Mike is full-time employed in his profession. I run and manage our family business. We also have a full-time farm in the Northern Rivers NSW and 6 children. We both knew that if we were to own a yacht and have it sitting at our local marina, then chances are it would never get sailed and would just cost us money. No real joy in that. The only way that we wanted to own a yacht was to make sure that we would have the time to enjoy it. Then, if we had the time would we be happy just cruising the Gold Coast? Again no real long term joy there for us either. The dream then, was how could we take off from the commitments and structure of our life and make an adventure out of sailing a yacht.

We decided fairly quickly that our ‘dream’ would be to buy a new yacht and to fulfil the adventure side of it, buy it in France and sail it back to Australia. We then quickly entered the logistic phase of how could we possibly make this happen. Two years ago we still had our two youngest finishing high school. Mike and I were entering our fifties, so although there was no great rush we soon quickly become obsessed with this dream and how and when were going to make it happen. Do we wait until retirement? Do we sell our business and farm and Mike take leave from his employer? Could we afford to make this happen? How do we leave the kids and parents? The real allure for us was to do this while we were still young enough. Our kids ( now ranging from ages 23 to 17) are hopefully not contemplating children and our parents ( 6 in total) are still fit and well. There would be no better time than the next few years but could we afford it and the time off the work.

This is our blog of how we make it happen, our adventure ahead and how we got to where we are. It has not been a whimsical notion. The last 2 years have been spent studying books, reading blogs, searching the net and a bit of sailing all in readiness for us to depart from France in 2 years time. We know we have a lot more work to do but are inspired by the people before us who have done similar. It has become an obsession that we have talked of and have made plans for almost every day for the last 2 years. Today marks the day that all our deliberations have paid off and we move forward from here with a firm plan in mind and a schedule to make it happen. The big decisions have been made and now we just put it all into action.