EUROPEAN SEABBATICAL ONBOARD AN OUTREMER
Mark and his wife Lillian took delivery of their new Outremer 49 in La Grande Motte, located on the shores of the Mediterranean in the South of France. From here they used La Grande Motte as their base as they settled into their new boat with the factory’s service team at hand close by and then started exploring the Mediterranean.
Mark comments on taking delivery of a new Outremer, “I had a few mates come over with me and we did a shake down cruise from La Grande Motte for three weeks and we went back to La Grande Motte. That was a good learning experience and from there I just took over. I didn’t take anything lightly, but I did my research and followed a few basic rules, and sail the trade wind routes at the right time of year.”
They spent a season exploring Europe, before crossing the Atlantic and arriving in the Carribean. Then they spent a season exploring the islands of the Caribbean before transiting through the Panama Canal and making their final season crossing the Pacific. When asked what were the standout highlights, he is split,
“Well so many moments, but the Marqueses islands are pretty special. And the little old historic ports in the Mediterranean are pretty special. French Polynesia is pretty special though with all of the little lagoons. “
Mark has worked in the renewable energy industry in New Zealand and before that he was a guide on Fox Glacier in New Zealand, so the combination of an efficient sailing platform to sail the world was appealing.
Mark explains, “You have to decide if sailing fast is important to you or if you just want comfort I guess. So for me I’m always trying to optimise the boat for performance, so it was always going to be a boat that could sail well. I got real pleasure out of picking windshifts and sailing on the wind, and so if that is important to you would have to go something like the Outremer.”
The Outremer features retractable daggerboards that help the boat to point higher, but also offers a lower draft.
“I would definitely get daggerboards if you are keen on sailing performance and sailing upwind. And where we live there are very shallow ports so you can get really shallow draft when your bring the daggerboards up.”