Going through an interesting process at the moment. On one hand we have our 44' Antigua ketch Australis II almost ready for some more blue water up in Borneo, while sitting in the drive is our new purchase, a 21' timber Hartley Trailer sailer which we picked up after selling our 33 cutter Mico. The thought of not being on the water is simply unimaginable for me and the Hartley was a cheap alternative for having a vessel here in Oz to go out on the reef between visits to Australis in Borneo. Plus - no additional marina fees
She's a beautiful vessel and we've just had a new trailer manufactured after she spent 3 years being restored by a very talented guy down south. We've epoxied the drop down keel and just about to outfit her with solar panels, new wiring, batteries, auto-helm, water tanks and fridge - I like the challenge of seeing what you can fit into a small vessel — its almost the same exercise we did with our 21' sloop we sailed from Perth to Cairns.
We've rigged her down at the park and all seems to be in order. In a few days we'll launch her and make sure she floats. If she does, we'll install some floatation and then finish outfitting her with the aim of sailing up to either Hope Islands or Lizard Island over Easter.
While we love our Antigua Ketch, I'm actually looking forward to going back to the basics of dinghy sailing with a tiller and low freeboard. Australis II has hydraulic wheel steering and we miss the feedback of a tiller such as we had with our 33' cutter Mico. Our little Hartley will hopefully take us back to our roots and my childhood — dinghy sailing with a touch of camping.
While I love all the little luxuries afloat - I'm really excited about being able to get back to the basics. - The best of both worlds