To go around the world you need a good boat. But what is a good boat? As an early adopter and as someone who likes good looking technology I was attracted to buying the latest new boat show yacht. With the budget I had this would mean a production cruiser. This was 15 years ago when I had not yet learnt about the requirements to circumnavigate safely. Much reading and listening to trusted friends I gradually came to realise that what was a fabulous holiday charter boat for the med was not going to get me around.
The requirements for every circumnavigator will be different and the sailing requirements have to be merged with the domestic requirements. Asking my wife had a very different list to mine. Island double bed, ability to stand up everywhere, and a washing machine! My list included heavy displacement, quality feel, above 40 feet and the island bed. The latter feature became important as we had had a caravan for a number of years with a fixed end bed. I always ended up on the inside and clambering to get out to go to the loo in the middle of the night always was a drama. I didn't fancy this for a whole circumnavigation.
So we settled on a short list of 3, Island Packet 465, Nauticat 44 and Oyster 406. It soon became clear that the Island Packet with Island bed was still too new and was going to take all our cash so the hunt settled on the Nauticat 44 and Oyster 406. Yachting and Boating World web site searches were saved and obviously the ubiquitous yachting magazines were poured over. This was two years before we actually ended up buying a boat.
After a year a fabulous Oyster 406 appeared on the market. I was sure it was going to be the one but it was in the med and so I waited for it to return to the UK. I will spare the owner blushes but he was incredibly helpful in answering my sometimes naive emails while we waited. Fate always rears its head and just as I was arranging to go and see it in Ipswich low and behold another 406 came on the market. This ended up being Sephina and the boat we purchased. If Beluga is still available I suggest you buy it! The reasons for buying this over the other 406 remains for another article but it is only fair to say it was a very very close thing.