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Latest Newsletter - July 2010

Sydney Boatshow 2010

Bluewater will be exhibiting at the Sydney Boatshow 2010 from Thursday, 29 July to Monday, 2 August 2010 the Bluewater 420 Raised Saloon "Renaissance" owned by Michael & Philippa Kalajzich. This will be a good opportunity to check out how Bluewaters stand the test of time as she is 13 years young.  She will be the first Bluewater to sport the new hard dodger / bimini cockpit enclosure as well a new forward cabin arrangement.

"Renaissance" is currently undergoing an extensive upgrade which includes replacing the teak deck with a new Marinedeck 2000 deck, new forward cabin arrangement, new electronics package, and the first Bluewater to have fitted the all new GRP hard dodger and integral bimini cockpit enclosure. The decision to exhibit "Renaissance" through the kind generosity of Michael & Pip has not been made lightly considering "Renaissance" was first exhibited back in the late 1990's, and has been constantly used over this time travelling up and down the Australian East Coast covering some 15,000 NM. 

Michael & Pip considered both building a new Bluewater as well as purchasing another brand before ultimately deciding to upgrade "Renaissance".  In their own words:
"Renaissance was launched in July 1997, and after a rough trip to Sydney with a series of 30-45 knot storm fronts and over four metre seas we knew the boat was safe, strong, and reliable. The only problem was the crew – we learnt many lessons that day.

Since that time we have enjoyed many trips up and down the east coast through all kinds of weather and never once have we doubted that Renaissance would look after us – even surfing the Wide Bay bar, which we do not want to do again.

However, after thirteen years, we and Renaissance have aged and we needed to review how we would continue sailing. We considered a new larger pilot house yacht, or a second hand pilot house, or a brand new Bluewater, but came back to the boat we understood and a size that two can handle, and a cost that we could afford. We reviewed the options we wanted to enhance and modify and, with David, set about finding the best way to achieve this.

First, the forward cabin. Here we wanted to provide a more generous sleeping arrangement – especially important when sailing in the heat of FNQ – and we wanted a taller head and shower. As this is the second head, it did not have to be large, but we wanted it as an en-suite to the forward cabin so that overnight and day guests had the use of the main head.

Second, the dodger and bimini. Due to our mooring location, under the Sydney flight path, the canvas dodger and bimini had suffered from fallout, with the stitching being the first to fray, followed by degradation of canvas and clears. We had replaced our dodger and bimini too many times over the years, and felt that with all the money spent surely a fixed fibreglass dodger would be better in the long term.Along with these main issues we then reviewed all the other items that should be checked, updated and changed. Finally, after much discussion we settled on the following upgrade items:

  • Forward cabin and head;
  • New fixed dodger and bimini;
  • Replace the teak deck with Marinedeck 2000, (otherwise in three years we would be faced with replacing the deck);
  • Upgrade the existing electronics; new VHF radio with DSC, chart plotter and radar. If we didn’t do this then the manufacturers would not have spare parts for our systems in a couple of years. (The radar, which was original, could not be integrated into the new system and the screen belonged to the “dinosaur” age according to suppliers.);
  • Upgrade internal lighting with LED;
  • Upgrade to LED navigation lights and general lighting; and
  • General TLC to the interior.

In preparing for all this work we realised how much can be accumulated over the years. Renaissance rose out of the water as we removed 13 years worth! Next time when we re-launch we know that Renaissance will be a new and lighter boat."

We at Bluewater are very excited about the new hard dodger / cockpit enclosure because it will essentially provide extra all year round living space.  With the numerous combinations of protection, 6'2" headroom, toughened glass windscreen, built in speakers, lights and holdholds, all make it substantially more comfortable to sail.  Being strong enough to climb on top of will make it easier to clean than the standard fabric shade structures.  All these features combine into a design that complements the lines of our Bluewater 420's. 

New builds with the new hard dodger will be ready 2011.

New builds with the new hard dodger will be ready 2011

Bluewater 400 "Artemis"

Nick & Kate Dattner take on their new purchase, a Bluewater 400 Raised Saloon "Artemis".

In November 2007, Kate and I owned a Nolex trailer sailer. We were on the Gippsland Lakes in Victoria. Whilst taking a walk around the docks, I was struck yet again with an ancient yearning - why not a real yacht! I didn't know anything about them. They were as mysterious as space ships. Beauty of a trailer sailer is you can take it anywhere, but, and it is a very big but, it is a huge mission to get it out and get on the road. However, what really gets you is the size - too small to live on, too small to go in the ocean. That's it. So, you start dreaming of bigger boats and once you've decided you can afford one (and that of course is as open as your wallet) then you start researching. This comes down to a basic decision: enclosed waters or the ocean and this means two classes of boats, boats designed for the ocean and everything else. The analogy I use is the comparison of an SUV to a Landrover or a Toyota troop carrier. Doesn't matter what claims manufacturers make for SUVs and their off-road abilities, they can't hack it against real off-road 4WD's. So it is true for boats.

Bluewater 400

For me, the ocean was where I wanted to go, particularly as we live in Victoria and Port Phillip Bay offers little for cruising sailors. It wasn't long before I concluded there was little to choose from. True bluewater yachts are expensive to build and are not mass produced. After endless hours on the web, I fell in love with the Swedes, Hallberg Rassy and Malo in particular. I confess I hadn't really been aware of a locally made bluewater boat and then, one boat in particular, and not for the first time, came to my attention as a result of an article in Trade-A-Boat. Owned by a Doctor, it was a Bluewater 400 and he'd spent six years going around the world in it and he lives in Victoria which meant he had to run the gauntlet of Bass Strait. Because I was contemplating (with some trepidation) that I too would have to do this with just my wife, I really wanted a boat with the highest possible specs for striking tough conditions. So, you do your research and you end up with a set of specs and the boats that match them. Who would have thought there was one in our own backyard?

Bluewater 400

Around the middle of 2009, I finally made the decision to travel up to Newcastle and see one of these Bluewater 400's. I had previously been up to Bundaberg a number of times to look at other boats I might consider which included a Hallberg Rassy and a Malo, but when I saw the Bluewater, I was taken aback. At first, the boat seems to simple. Where are all the bulkheads and cupboards that take your fancy in the Swedish boats? And then you say to yourself, what's wrong with simple? But, this 'simplicity' is deceptive, not that the Bluewater is complex, but that it did everything I wanted without making a fuss about it. The owner of the one in Victoria who had been around the world said of his when I talked to him, that he'd been sailing all his life, had many boats, but the Bluewater was by far the best, so much so that he couldn't fault it. That was one monster claim.

We have owned "Artemis" for five months and now have it for the time being at Palm Beach. As relative new comers to ocean sailing, Kate and I finally took the plunge (so to speak) and went out into the ocean. Being on a Bluewater feels like what I would imagine sitting atop an enormous elephant plowing through the undergrowth - solid and safe. But these boats are no slouch. We regularly get 7.5 knots in fifteen knots of breeze!

Bluewater 400

A final thought, everything I read confirmed what my instincts told me, forty feet is the ultimate size for two people and this is the roomiest ocean going forty footer I have been on. I didn't want a project and I didn't want to spend most of my time with maintenance issues. Give me simple any day. I just want to sail.

Nick & Kate Dattner

Bluewater 400


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