I am really glad and proud to you that I decided to buy Øya, this wonderful sailboat which will join the adventure, as soon as the formalities are completed.

This sloop was built by the shipyard L. Landy in Vitry le François, France, according to the plans of the model “Goëland” from the architect Elie Poinsot. The construction dates from 1974 and was launched 10 years later in 1984. Øya measures 9.6m, a beam of 3m, 1,55m in draught and is constructed of chopped steel.

A turbulent history

The story says that the first owner never had the opportunity to realize his dream of a world tour before he unfortunately died. However, the second owner went around the North Atlantic before selling it to the third owner, that is to say myself.

“Crocus” was the first name of the ship, then she has been renamed “Oya”, since the second owner wanted to visit the northern waters. Indeed, Øya means in Norwegian “the island”. What a coincidence for me who lived in Norway! I really like this name so I keep it, although I will change the “O” to “Ø”.

The story of Øya is all the more endearing since she still has her original plans, made in the old fashioned way rather than using a too perfect modern software such as Catia. In addition of that, she benefited from an extension of the mast, which had the need to add the bowsprit that gives her all her charm. Certainly she is the only of all the Goëlands to have a mast higher of one meter. This modification was made by the architect himself who adjusted the plans directly with a pencil, making them completely unique.

This is really cool isn’t it!

A photograph of one of the plans of Øya
One of the plans of Øya

An endless search

Looking for a boat is not an easy task (I would develop this in an article in the future). It must meet the specificity of the project. The experience shows that Le Vilain project is actually atypical, and so were my needs compared to other boat buyers. At the end I was standing in a niche of the market and the offers were quite rare. In total, I have visited at least 8 boats from Mars to october and no one was matching until Øya. It is a question of patience and I had nothing else to do but find a boat. Time went slowly.

It was not easy to find (or wait for) Øya. She is standing in Lorient in Brittany while I live in the south of France, 800km away. That meant a bit of planning but luckily I was invited to the wedding of Agathe and Christophe. The event was just 100km away from Lorient, and I already booked my planes for a while! In addition of that, my cousin is living there and she nicely loaned me her car. Finally, I still had to find a good maritime expert and make it fit in the planning. One has to desserve the rare pearl!

The stars aligned themselves

May the odds keep them aligned until the last papers are finished!

My capricious criteria have nevertheless been satisfied one after the other:

  1. An exhaustive announcement, photos showing an irreproachable maintenance. “Show me your boat, I’ll tell you who you are”. One picture in particular showed the boat in its current state, namely wintering. It shows that the rigging has been completely removed as well as the deck hardware and even the helm. Few people are so much meticulous to winter a boat for a year.
  2. A complete inventory for my project: an adequate sail kit (it still remains to consider its state), an old but reliable and well-known engine, a radar, a VHF radio with ASN and an AIS receiver, a receiver of weather report, an appendix, two wind turbines, solar panels, a load balancer, a new regulator and so on … This inventory almost seemed suspicious.
  3. A very good phone contact with the owner. He explained to me his journey with the boat, I explained to him my ambitions and we understood each other. This discussion made me understand that I was right about the photos. After this discussion, I hesitated to go there immediately so no one could take the boat before me.
  4. A visit accompanied by an expert who did not found anything alarming. I never visit a boat alone. One always need an objective eye, and for this boat I was definetly not objective at all! The expert did not spotted many weaknesses but the gas circuit to redo. In terms of structure, materials or rigging, nothing is wrong in his opinion.
  5. A sail kit in a medium to good state. After seing the boat i could check the state of the sails. Sails are very expensive so it is a quite important step. These ones will allow me to navigate at least the first year. I will have to start with a maintenance, and then renew it slowly.
  6. Ho yes, seeing Øya in real life, I found it marvelous. This does really counts!!

Taking up the torch

Despite all this joy I remain realistic. Boats, even when we pamper them to the maximum, will always find something to make us work and lightened by a few hundred or thousands euros.

Yet, I know that it will be necessary to do the anti-fouling. Then, one day will have to redo this circuit of gas standards, as indicated by the expert. And then there are the sails to take over here, so do some sewing… Not to mention it will also be necessary to conduct a fine inspection of the entire ship, in every nook and cranny. All in all, a retro-design of all the systems in place will be desirable if we avoid any surprises.

In short, Øya, I want to know her entirely.

The acquisition of Øya is a major milestone in the chronology, but the way is still long before I can sail.
And then… Do not shout victory, I’m not yet owner until all papers are fully over!

I can not wait to move in there… It will therefore be necessary to move up a gear and organize.