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They weren't kidding! Newsletter


They weren’t kidding!

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Great house. Huge, killer views and a history as big as it is long... - photo © Brian Danyliw

Dear Recipient Name

We had a note from a reader. Thank you very much. She hails from Victoria, up in British Columbia. Cheers on that. It seemed pretty simple. One line was enough not only enough to pique my curiosity, but take me all the way in. It was just nine words long, and it succinctly said, 'This Home Has A Sailboat Hanging From The Ceiling.'

OK. I have seen old skiffs in offices and lofts, and boats in bars, so I was thinking perhaps it was a dinghy like some old Mirror, or maybe a Fireball. I mean, I had seen a wooden rowing shell from yesteryear suspended upside down in a workplace, so that as you walked under it you just had to be amazed at the craftsmanship that went in to making all the spruce frames and seats, and the riggers that were individually welded to fit each of the oarsman's spaces along the craft.

However, when I watched the video for the house at 669 Kerr Drive, Genoa Bay, I can honestly say that I was not quite ready for the old IOR racing keelboat in the lounge room! Yes there is no keel, or rudder, so that you can get around it, but there was no mistaking her form.

Yes - that is a 41 and a half foot IRC racer in the lounge... - photo © Brian Danyliw
Yes - that is a 41 and a half foot IRC racer in the lounge... - photo © Brian Danyliw

Christine Fontaine works at the Oak Bay Marina on the Eastern end of Vancouver Island, just a bit further down the coast from where the house in question is. "I'm usually reading your website for my racing news. The agent for the property is Brian Danyliw, who is a family friend, and when he showed me this listing I thought I'd email since it's just so darn unique. Although it might have been a bit of a long shot, it was just too quirky for me not to let you know," commented Fontaine.

Well it certainly is quirky, and as for the setting, well why wouldn't you be interested in this house if you were not a liveaboard at the moment... You can get yourself all inspired, and thoroughly researched for your next grand adventure, whilst remembering the joys of life, each and every day!

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Brian Danyliw said of the 'Boat House', and its history, "I consider myself extremely lucky when I get the opportunity to sell something as distinctive as the Kerr Road property. It isn't every day that a listing like this comes along. The amount of work, and expense that was put in to hanging the sailboat really demonstrates the passion that George O'Brien had for this project, and for leaving a very memorable marker for his life. I also think its important to note, aside from the uniqueness, this is a very special piece of oceanfront property, in an amazing, sought after location."

The Cooper 416 has never been in the water. - photo © Brian Danyliw
The Cooper 416 has never been in the water. - photo © Brian Danyliw

As for the vessel herself, well she is the very first Cooper 416. There were 20 more in production at the time at Cooper Industries, but they were all lost when the factory was levelled in a blaze. This one survived because she was out in the yard at the time, and has never been in the water. The moulds went to Bayliner in the USA after the fire, as Cooper went belly up, and they made them from 1980 to 1983.

It is said that the late George O'Brien was very fond of this hull, and very much enjoyed bargaining with Forbes Cooper when trying to obtain it. As for how and why it came to be in a lounge room, well reputedly O'Brien said that people would remember him for this folly, and not some of the other things he did in his life. Clearly O'Brien was a card, and is best known for buying Sir Frank Packer's second America's Cup challenger, Dame Pattie (Sail number KA 2, which was named for Dame Pattie Menzies), and then renaming her Endless Summer, after a refit to turn her into a cruiser.

As for the house, well it goes back into the 1880s, and had been a Summer House originally. It was in 1981, when George and Koula O'Brien owned the expansive, eight bedroom, nine bathroom house with the killer, majestic views, that they cut two walls out of the house to wheel the boat in, before making good once more, all the details that sets this property apart.

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So Christine and Brian were not kidding, albeit that it seems George O'Brien was rather fond of the lighter side of life. One thing that is no joke, is that you can now purchase this iconic, history laden house on just under an acre of the hill at Genoa Bay (so named for the home town of one of the original settlers), should it too be to your liking.

The Genoa Bay setting. - photo © Brian Danyliw
The Genoa Bay setting. - photo © Brian Danyliw

Where does one go after that? Well, since Bavaria came back out of staring down the abyss, they looked to keep production at Giebelstadt, which meant some of the larger new products would have to be mothballed. More importantly, what did occur was that deliveries started taking place, and production ramped up once more to meet the demand for said innovative boats.

Wholly owned subsidiary, Nautitech, was never in issue, and the renowned multihull manufacturer kept going hard in Rochefort, France. So it was not too much of a surprise to find out this week that Bavaria's new MD, Ralph Kudla, commented whilst seeing the yard in person, "Bavaria stands for yachts, Nautitech for catamarans. We believe it is important that both companies can emphasise their respective identities even more clearly in the future." With that, the Bavaria Catamaran branding was dismissed.

Nautitech Open 46 under sail - photo © Nautitech
Nautitech Open 46 under sail - photo © Nautitech

Nautitech have produced something like 75 cats, year to date. It is felt they could easily achieve just over 100, but this would stretch the existing 7,000m2 site. Expansion could be a bit of dirty word, after this strategy tripped up the parent company six months ago, so it will need to be examined very carefully.

The local Mayor, Hervé Blanché, is certainly behind them however, and he is also the Chairman of the Rochefort Océan subregion. This is more than just interesting, for the French have delivered 718 cats for the year, which equates to €333 million, and is a 35% increase over the previous year. Something like 90% of all multihulls produced worldwide are built between Lorient and Bordeaux. So that makes the region a real microcosm for what remains a burgeoning sector of the industry, and therefore one that needs to be watched closely.

Sea turtles packed in banana boxes and covered with blankets to maintain their temperature during flight - photo © NOAA Fisheries
Sea turtles packed in banana boxes and covered with blankets to maintain their temperature during flight - photo © NOAA Fisheries

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OK. Today you will find that we have information for you about whales, Yellow Fever in Brazil, the ARC, our environment and you, dolphins, Santa, Flinders Island, a sailing video of the new Beneteau Oceanis 46.1, new Swan 65, old boats being restored, sea turtles get frequent flyer miles, intel from the Ocean Cruising Club, Jean Baillargeon details all the gadgets on board (in his second language no less), as well as much more.

So you see, there are stories, lessons, inspirations and history to regale yourself with. Please do savour... We're really enjoying bringing you the best stories from all over the globe. If you want to add to that, then please make contact with us via email.

Remember too, if you want to see what is happening in the other Hemisphere, go to the top of the home page and the drag down menu on the right, select the other half of the globe and, voila, it's all there for you.

In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time...

John Curnow

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Week two is hotting up in Las Palmas for ARC 2018
There is a hive of activity around the marina in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria today. With the majority of all 174 boats taking part in this year's ARC 2018 checked-in, boat preparations and the extensive programme of events is now in full swing.

SV Red Roo: Our first haul out
A few days were spent getting organised ready for the work, multiple trips to the hardware store, the paint shop and even a trip over the border to Spain for paint supplies.

Sailing in the Age of Gizmos: Part 2
Last month, in part one of "Sailing in the Age of Gizmos" Jean shared information about the systems they have on Shamata, with a focus on communications. In part two, Jean will continue to share information about communications systems.

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Ocean Cruising Club supports the new coastal clean-up initiative
OCC Member Steve Brown, s/y Novara, has organised an effort to help sailors collect, recycle and report plastics removed from oceans and coasts where they cruise. "We believe the Earth's Oceans should be clean and safe for all life.

Hampshire Sailing School uses Atlantic crossing for fruit preserving experiment
Based in Southampton, First Class Sailing teaches RYA sailing courses to the level of Ocean Yachtmaster and also crews yachts in races such as the Rolex Fastnet, Round the Island and the Atlantic-crossing ARC Rally.

Bluewater Cruising: Cutter Rig versus Solent Rig - Part 2
In a previous blog, Upffront evaluated the pros and cons of a cutter rig as a popular bluewater cruising set up. Now, it's the turn of the solent rig. Unlike the cutter rig, it is not intended for both headsails to be flown at the same time.

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Adult female right whales key to recovery
Why is the endangered western North Atlantic right whale population growing far more slowly than those of southern right whales, a sister species also recovering from near extinction by commercial whaling?

Sail Away with Sunsail's Yacht Ownership Programme
Sunsail are well-known for their award-winning yacht charter holidays, but fewer people realize they sell boats too! We caught up with Julian Adams from Sunsail's ownership programme and found out more about their unique take on yacht ownership.

RRCs for Great Britain report on early Autumn events
Southampton boat show was a very wet and windy affair and numbers at the show in general were down. Carol Dutton coordinated the OCC presence on the mailasail stand at the Southampton Boat Show.

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Colourful National Flags Parade opens ARC 2018
The majority of boats and crews taking part in the 33rd edition of the ARC - the world's largest transocean rally for cruisers - have now arrived in their temporary 'home' of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.

Video of the new Beneteau Oceanis 46.1
Video of the new Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 - You know you're doing well when you get to sail on a boat before some of Beneteau's own Executives!

Schooner Adventuress hauled for final phase of her decade-long restoration
With another busy sailing season completed, Adventuress sat at rest in the slings of the Port of Port Townsend's 300-ton travel lift awaiting a hoist. The 105-year old schooner was ready to be moved to her winter cover for the final phase.

Sailing and the responsibility of the sailor to the environment
As ASA does its job of being an advocate for the world's oceans we asked our resident Marine Conservationist Lauren Coiro about how sailors can make an impact on the environment that they take so much from, the Ocean.

Plastic items you can stop bringing onboard today
The good news is that little changes in our day-to-day lives can have a big collective impact on reducing the plastic flowing into the ocean, and you'd be surprised how easy it is to form new habits.

ARC+ 2018: Welcome to Cabo Verde
Cabo Verde Islands is a beautiful archipelago with 10 islands, 5 islets, and lies 500 NM from the West Coast of Africa, 860 NM from Gran Canaria and 2100NM from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean.

Growing the ARC Forest
Sailing allows us to travel long distances with relatively low carbon emissions, but the reality is that all yachts burn diesel for motive power and to generate electricity.

Exposure Lights launch new LED long distance Action 1-9 search light
The Action 1-9 from Exposure Lights is a powerful 1000 lumens torch, specifically designed to aid search and location operations. The high powered LEDs are focused to a nine degree beam, through a collimated lens.

New project to focus on ocean phytoplankton
Researchers from NOAA Fisheries and colleagues at the University of Rhode Island, NOAA's National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, and WHOI will look into the ocean to help improve the quality of data collected by satellites.

Coast Guard rescues ailing man far off the North Carolina coast
A ham radio operator in Florida helped the Coast Guard rescue a man far off the North Carolina coast on Saturday.

2018 ARC - An eclectic fleet gathers
The docks are filling up rapidly here in Las Palmas and although there's been a few showers throughout the day, the sun managed to shine through and there's a buzz around the place as crews from around the world are busy reuniting

2018 ARC Caribbean 1500 / ARC Bahamas update
There has been a mixture of emotions since the start of the 2018 ARC Caribbean 1500 and ARC Bahamas. Nervousness, happiness, excitement, and stress, were all present at the Skipper's Briefing in Portsmouth, VA.

Influencer the first World ARC vessel to arrive at Richards Bay
The first World ARC vessel to arrive at Richards Bay was Influencer, arriving at approximately 3:30am on Sunday the 11th of November to complete their first ocean crossing with the World ARC 2018 fleet.

Volunteer pilots fly rescued sea turtles south
In an unusually early start to the sea turtle cold-stun season, we've seen 44 sea turtles--42 live Kemp's ridleys, one dead Kemp's ridley, and one dead green--wash up on Massachusetts beaches before November 5.

Sailing in the Age of Gizmos: Part 1
As many of us have discovered, or are about to discover, communicating from offshore has come a long way since the days of Bernard Moitessier's slingshooting his 16mm film canisters onto decks of passing freighters!

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