From Felix, to Medina, to now Take It Easy…
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 Evercool 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 third and current boat is Take It Easy, a 38ft or 11.6m catamaran, designed and built by Peter and Ann Snell. Peter is a professional shipwright who sells his plans for “Easy” cats of various sizes for the amateur boat builder. Take It Easy was the first 11.6m cat he built as a demonstration model. It was launched in Brisbane in 2003. By the time we acquired it in May 2011, it had had two more owners, was lying in Pittwater, looking a bit tired and in need of maintenance, but we could see the potential and capability.
We sailed her to her new home port of Paynesville, in the Gippsland Lakes in August 2011, and then embarked on a major makeover, when we lavished much needed TLC on our boatie. Over a three months period we repaired, updated and transformed her and made her truly ours. Take It Easy now looks quite striking in her Bass Strait inspired colours. The blue hulls are like the ultramarine water of Deal Island, her light grey decks, white topsides, orange sail trims and sign writing are reminiscent of its white sandy beaches bordered by grey granite boulders and the characteristic bright orange lichen.
Check out some of the before/after pictures:
Take It Easy is well appointed and we have gradually equipped her as a live-aboard since she is now our cruising home as we have finally given up work in July 2017. We initially enjoyed a broadened cruising range, despite the old limitations of our 6 to 8 weeks ‘holiday’ each summer. Remote trips such as Port Davey in South West Tasmania, and our epic 2000nm sail and first real offshore cruise to Lord Howe Island were evidence of her capability. And now there is no time limit, so our horizons have broadened again!
Make: Easy Catamaran
Style: Masthead Cutter Rig
Length: 38ft or 11.6m
Bare weight: 4.5 tons
Mast Height: 16.5m off water
Steering: Tiller in each hull plus wheel (very handy)
Sails: Main, furling staysail, 110% furling genoa, spinnaker
Engines: 2x Yamahas 9.9
Electronics: Raymarine GPS, Autopilot, Wind, Chart Plotter and Radar
Ground Tackle: Manson Supreme 45, 2 x Fortress 45, Marsh anchor, 50 m of chain and 50m of rope
Dinghy: Called Peasy, it accommodates 3 people comfortably, 4 at a stretch. The original dinghy was made of marine ply and epoxy, but we have replaced it with a 10ft Walker Bay tender – a lighter, more flexible dinghy, with a RID around the gunnels. We either row it or use a 2hp Honda 4 stroke engine, depending on how far we want to go! Peasy is lifted out of the water on davits when underway.
Accommodation: Full bridge deck saloon, owners’ cabin with an island queen bed in Starboard side, guests’ cabin with a double bed in Port side, 1 single berth in both forepeaks (mainly used for storage), galley down in Port hull, Shower/head including washing machine in Starboard hull, Navigation table in Starboard hull.
Toys on board:
- Walker Bay sail kit for the Walker Bay dinghy
- 2 Walker Bay Airis kayaks
- Power Snorkel & dive gear
- Boogie board
- Kite boarding kit
- Fishing gear, prawning gear & crab pot