The Preparations

The germs of a plan to buy a boat and sail around the world after I had given up paid work started to first form in January 2012. I read everything I could get my hands on by people who had done this sort of thing before.
In May 2012 I started looking at boats and reading up on their perfomance, cost and accomodation. The shortlist that followed was unsurprisingly dominated by Swedish boats Hallberg Rassey 49, Najad 441 and Malo 42 with a smattering of British and French examples in the form of Ovni 43, Moody 46 and a Westerley Ocean 49. I made an offer for the Moody but that was not accepted so after searching Europe I found Romano, a Najad 441 in Sint Annaland in Holland, the picture below shows her being towed to the hoist for a test sail and in-water survey.

Romano leaves Holland

Romano being launched for her test sail in Holland

When we returned to Holland to sail her back to the UK the snow was 6″ thick on the deck. I brought her back with my mate Sim in very cold, minus 15C degree, weather on leg one to Dover where we had to take refuge from some heavy weather and with Gillian on leg two from Dover to Cowes on the Isle of Wight where she is now being fitted out.

Romano on route to UK in -15C, January 2013

In the meantime Gillian, my niece and I and I had been attending lots of training courses, visiting boat shows and starting to equip the boat with the myriad of kit you need to live on board for several years. The fit out should be complete the first week of May and we can then take her for a few shake down cruises.

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