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Newsletter - June 2020

A Total of 26 Cygnet 20’s Now Sold

Bluewater Cruising Yachts is pleased to announce we have sold a total of 26 Cygnet 20s since we launched #1 Cygnet at the Sydney Boatshow in August 2017.

A lovely story I can share is where wife Lizzie recently placed a deposit with Bluewater for a Cygnet 20 for her husband Neil without telling him.  Last week she surprised him by taking him down to East Coast Marina, Manly, QLD to meet, view and sail Michael Shannon’s Cygnet 20 #3 “Hopewell” which was a birthday surprise for Neil.  They had a lovely sail out on Moreton Bay.

Neil saw these beautiful trailer sailers at last year’s Sydney Boatshow 2019, and we remember him coming back on a few occasions looking, talking and admiring the boat.   A few comments they made as follows:

“We loved the simplicity of the boat, and getting going.  Neil could easily sail the yacht on his own, and he is super happy to have the Option of an electric outboard.  We love the clean lines, attention to detail and the space below would make for a comfortable week away!  We have started making plans already and wish we did not have to wait so long.  Also, Michael Shannon was a huge fan and generously gave his time.  He says he never needs an excuse to tinker or to take “Hopewell” out on the Bay.  We look forward to that!”

To Neil & Lizzie we are so pleased you have decided to build your own Cygnet 20, and welcome you both to the Bluewater family.  Also, a special thank you to Michael Shannon for always making himself available, and showing his beautiful yacht “Hopewell” to prospective customers.  Michael, we thank you for your continued support.

And also, Andrew from NSW #26 visited the factory last Friday and met with David and Will and thoroughly looked over the Cygnet 20, viewed the moulds and boats on the build in the factory, met the staff who build them, and enjoyed a sail on Lake Macquarie.  He enjoyed it so much he placed his deposit the next day.  A warm welcome to Andrew also to our growing Bluewater family.

And just out of interest so far we have sold numbers as follows:

NSW – 11

QLD – 6

WA - 4

VIC – 3

NT – 1

ACT – 1

SA – 0

TAS – 0

Total    26

We would love to have Cygnet 20s sailing in all States and Territories of Australia so come on SA and TAS we want to hear from you.  Anyone interested in viewing, and having a test sail on one of these special Bluewater Cygnet 20 trailer sailers please email us at so we can organise. 

Now that numbers are growing we are looking forward to raising our Cygnet 20 Gaffer Association Profile with the intention of meeting 2-4 times a year for fun and festivities.  Typically a long weekend whereby there will be a couple of short, fun races and cruise to a pretty anchorage for catching up, and sharing stories of adventures and getting to know other like-minded Cygnet 20 owners.

Cygnet 20 #7 “Barcoo” and #8 “Dreamkumtrue” Handed Over

#7 Barcoo

Bluewater recently handed over #7 “Barcoo” to proud owner Paul from QLD.  Paul was able to drive down from QLD to the factory, and we obtained from RMS an “NSW Unregistered Vehicle Permit” for $22.00 which allowed him to drive the trailer and Cygnet 20 back to QLD where he could complete the QLD Registration of his vessel and trailer.  Paul is looking forward to spending time on Moreton Bay.



#8 Dreamkumtrue

Also, #8 “Dreamkumtrue” was handed over to Steve from NSW.  Steve was the first person to go out for a test sail with Will Hardcastle (Designer) down in Pittwater and around Lion Island some 2 years ago.  They were in some fairly strong breeze and chop, and Steve was really impressed how well the Cygnet 20 handled.  He then placed his deposit at the Sydney Boatshow 2019.  “Dreamkumtrue” was supposed to be exhibited at the Sydney Boatshow 2020 but unfortunately due to CoVid 19 was cancelled.  Steve has also recently retired and is really keen to get out on the water to start exploring our beautiful waterways.

Congratulations to both Alan and Steve.  Happy Sailing!



Cygnet 20 “Kotare” Enjoying A Getaway off Denmark, WA

The small town on the South Coast lies 5 hrs drive from Perth (including the mandatory stopover at Williams for the world’s best meat pies).  55 km to the west of the historic city of Albany nestled on the edge of the Wilson Inlet, a body of water around 7nm long and 2.5nm across, at its deepest around 4 metres.

Setting off from Perth mid-morning had us arriving at the Wilson Inlet boat ramp around 4.00 pm, and in the water half an hour later having stocked up with ice from the adjacent Holiday Park.  A strong southerly wind blowing in across the ramp made “Kotare’s” exit from the pontoon interesting almost wiping off the bowsprit on the piling on departure.  Checking for damage revealed no harm done, and the pile location noted for next time, hiding plain site!

Motoring around the corner and into Payne’s Bay for the night we anchored in a metre of water between the reef and Poison Point.  A couple of beers came off ice to be enjoyed in the cockpit while we strung up the anchor light, deployed a couple of bungees to quiet the rigging and ensured the anchor was holding fast.  The wind now around to the southeast and expected to be easterly overnight had us tucked into the lee of the land, and a comfortable night’s sleep lay ahead.  A movie on the Ipad hung over the lower washboard followed dinner of home-made bread, patties and fresh garden salad.  With the pop top up and the stars out, life’s hard to fault.  This really is a beautiful part of Australia, and there is nothing quite like the quiet of a natural surrounding, suspended securely in the Cygnet 20 waterbed!

Pulling anchor in the morning brought up around ten kilos of mud putting to rest any concerns we had about dragging.  With the consistency of black tar I think it might have held on the chain alone.

Sailing off the anchor we headed for the south western corner of the Inlet in the hope of following the channel all the way to the sandbar across from Ocean Beach. 

The channel is extended through the bar to the Ocean some years but not this time.  We had on a previous trip decided there was enough water down the end to get close, and this time we would test the theory.

Lowering sail and cranking up the outboard as we approached the shallows we picked our way carefully down the channel with around a foot beneath the keel most of the way.  Just enough to keep the outboard out of the sand.  A slightly deeper pool rests between the beach and the Inlet providing premium parking for the surf beach for a shallow draft craft.


The surfboards came out from “Kotare’s” forward cabin, wetsuits on for a short walk, and a few hours in the unexpectedly mild water of the Ocean Beach surf.

Any thoughts of staying put for the night were discouraged by the interest shown by the local mosquitoes.

We reversed our course back up the channel with a little more confidence and made for Payne Bay.  Settling a little further into the north western side, closer to Honeymoon Island for a change of scenery, and added shelter from the wind expected to move more northerly overnight.

Some smaller distant (and not so distant) thunderstorms provided night time entertainment after an afternoon and evening of chilling out reading and watching the extensive birdlife.

A brisk wind the next morning meant a good sail up to the north eastern corner before returning to the boat ramp for the trip home.

This was the first multi day trip for “Kotare” and her marginally competent skipper and quietly suffering crew, and proved the value of a small and simple but robust shallow draft yacht in this type of environment.  A full weekend of sailing, surfing and relaxation free of charge courtesy of the wind and water.


Brett Webster, #4 “Kotare”

Cygnet 20 “Hopewell” Caught in 40 knots

Michael Shannon gives an account of an interesting trip last Thursday , 14 May 2020 as it involves a broken topping lift sustained in winds over 40 knots when he was caught in a storm about 5 miles northeast of the Manly Marina. It was not the most pleasant day out but all ended well :(

The day started like this:

There was moderate rain activity well to the south which was moving very slowly away to the Northwest. However, the weather system changed direction, picked up speed and intensified rapidly as I was returning to Manly from around Green Island. I decided to drop all the sails before the squall line approached, as had a couple of larger 35-40 feet boats nearby. I then used the engine with about 20% jib to sail further west in about 20 knots of southerly wind to gain more sea room from St Helena Island and head away towards the end of the squall.


This proved to be a mistake because as the wind increased and I stopped the engine (no use in these conditions), I couldn't furl the jib completely as it was wrapped too tightly around the furler so that about 15% of the jib was still out. All I could do was let it flap de-powered and try and hold the boat straight. The noise was deafening with the flapping jib and the wind and spray increasing then the windward topping lift broke during a gust and the boom and gaff (already tied together) came down into the cockpit on the starboard side. 

Visibility had dropped to less than 200 metres in heavy rain and I estimate the wind speed had increased in gusts to over 40 knots which was accompanied by hail pellets as well! I tried to keep the boat at 90 degrees to the wind and swell and avoid being blown downwind. In big gusts the heel angle increased to over 60 degrees forcing me to climb right up over the windward gunwale while I steered the boat using my foot on the tiller. This happened three times and I was very concerned about a capsize but the Cygnet stood back up. These were scary moments.

My GPS data shows that the event lasted just over 10 minutes (seemed like half an hour) and the Cygnet travelled westerly in a fairly straight line for about 1,500m. The wind eventually subsided to about 10-15 knots and visibility increased so that I could see the Beneteau I had gone into the squall with about 300 metres away sitting at 90 degrees to the wind, bare poles and engine off.

After a cockpit clean up (topping lift line was dragging in the water behind), I started the engine and put the jib out all the way and motor sailed at about 4 knots the remaining distance to Manly.   Normally I have a beer after pulling up in the marina but on this occasion it was time for a hot cup of tea and some of Jan’s fruit loaf to warm up a cold, wet sailor!


Michael Shannon, #3 “Hopewell”

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