Julie and I love to travel and experience new places, time at sea and the arrival at a new destination by boat is a particularly nice way to live together. Just simple cruising.
Having previously owned a couple of boats we gave up sailing whilst work and other commitments got in the way, but a few years ago we retired and so….
Time for a new boat – What were we going to do? Where would we be based? How big? Power or sail? GRP or Metal? Cat or mono? Etc etc. We enjoyed the time that we spent looking but ultimately one boat stood out. Was it the careful analysis and tick box exercises? Or both of us simultaneously saying “Oooh this is nice”. Somehow you just seem to know…
Versatility was the main thing the Southerly 47 offered over others, the swing keel (3m down to 1m draught), high quality and heavily built with decent tankage, stowage and living space in a layout that really suited us.
She was launched in 2013 and immediately impressed: comfort when moored and under way, reassuring in a blow whilst rewarding to sail she has been a talking point wherever we have been; a joy to own. I can’t claim we knew at the time we had chosen the right boat for us, but with 20/20 hindsight I can say that she is, crucially I can’t imagine ever going back to a fixed keel boat.
Southerly’s are as suited to crossing oceans as they are sneaking into coastal shallows. Distant Shores is a great example, a cruising couple with several transatlantics and on their third Southerly, they are completely confident in the boats abilities. For us the 47 beckons us to go further.
So why change from a 47 to a 480? Well in a nutshell Best of Both…..
Through Paul and Sheryl Shard (of Distant Shores TV show) I learned that Discovery Yacht Group had purchased the rights and tooling to build new Southerly yachts. MD Sean Langdon explained they wanted to work with current owners to understand what might be improved, whilst also taking the best bits of their bullet proof and beautifully finished Discovery 55, 58 and 67.
With the input from Distant Shores, Discovery’s team and a few observations from me the new Southerly 480 began to emerge and it was clear she was a big step forward. Best of both clearly works!
When we became involved in the 480’s conception we truly had no intention to replace our 47 but as time went by I began to think about the new 480 and the various tweaks. It must have shown because eventually Sean asked, Why don’t you just get on with it? So we did.