This picture is of our Miss Catana still under construction and the chap to the right is Christophe whose in charge of all the boat building at Catana Yard. Unfortunately neither Captain nor I took this photo, as this week we surprisingly did not win lotto. How nice would it be though to pop off to France to have a chat with the people who are building our girl. Yet through the amazing connectivity of the Internet we have now spoken with a man who did.
Before I explain I will say the photo demonstrates several things
1. That the world is truly an amazing place
2. That passion is always attractive
3. Life is about relationships be they with ones that have been around a while or new friendships that are only just beginning
4. The Internet allows connections that none of us could have dreamed of 20 years ago
So who took these up to date, how is she looking photos of the Miss Catana and how is it I publish them?
Mike an English born, world citizen who happens to live in France near La Rochelle. From what I now know, Mike is an experienced sailor, understands a great deal in regards to boats, how they work and what they should do for you. Mike has an obvious love of sailing and yachting (yes he tells me there is a difference) and in his spare time is a candidate for Grand Designers as he is currently restoring an old, seriously old (OK I don’t know how old except very) stone house, saving it just before it fell into wreck and ruin.
I like this man very much already.
Last week Mike traveled to the Catana Yard to look at the boats and test sail a 42, the sail didn’t happen but a great conversation with the designer did. Included in the exchange Mike and Christophe spend some time on our Miss looking at a girl part way through construction.
In a speed dating version of events this is how it happened…
Looked around and went on our boat as part of process
Question whose boat, answer Australian couple
Later click on Internet visit Australian Catana 42 – you find the Miss Catana (cool)
Email and say hi
Skype – wave and say bonjour
(Mike had just had breakfast we were having a glass of after dinner red)
Introductions, sharing, discussion and connection – it was just like a date but even better because it had none of that awkward uncomfortable silence of dating I remember as a teenager.
Great story, hey….
So a stranger interested in our journey contacts us, he has been on our boat before us and spoken at length with the designer. As you can imagine the questions and answers flowed. The exchange of information was a delight, in particular coming from an independent third party. Regarding Catana, Mike liked what he saw but more importantly he liked the people responsible for the end product.
Products are always about the people behind them – don’t you think?
Mike was excited about the knowledge and obvious passion Christophe the designer has for his boats – my heart was singing at this stage of the conversation.
Buying a boat overseas can be scary. You are a long way from the action so all steps are based on faith in who you speak to, what you read and a belief in the end product being the right fit for you. Even our agent Patrick is at the other end of the country and Australia is a very big country, so everything we do is a little out of the comfort zone.
To hear from an independent, other than the designer and the men and women of the Catana yard who are passionate and excited about what they do, is a wonderful gift indeed.
Very Important Things That Mike Said About The Visit To Catana Yard
The boat was beautifully made, strong, really strong and very clever
Mike was impressed at how much carbon fiber was in the boat, making this boat was tough. I think I’ve said this in the above sentence, but worth repeating.
The designer was passionate and excited about every aspect of the boat and his design
The designer was interested in other points of view and open to questions and ideas on why and how for next time – put simply it appears that Clever Christophe is not ego driven but driven to have the very best that is possibly available for his boats
The yard were professional at every aspect with a potential client – interpreters on hand – nice.
The yard treated our boat with respect and not because they thought they had to but because our girl was obviously special to them as it is to us – Austin Powers Yeah Baby!
Mike has looked at many boats in his search for the right one and after 1000’s and 1000’s of sailing experience under his belt he said to us, this is the one he too would like to buy. (No doubt if Catana Yard are reading this, then they just smiled and sat a little straighter in the chair).
See that door opened underneath, that is a hatch so if (God forbid) your boat is upside down and you haven’t got the life raft yet, you can open this door and pull the life saving life raft out. Now that is clever and prior to conversation I didn’t know this. I’m impressed.
This is a photo of the first engine which has just been installed – 30 HP Volvo
Mike was really impressed by the hull construction and how much carbon fiber is used for strength and integrity of the design. Over the conversation I just kept getting the emotion of “impressed”. (Keep talking Mike, you’re throwing it and we’re definitely catching!)
The Captain was very interested in the shape of the hulls, this is the first time we have had this view.
No doubt when we haul her out to clean and polish we will know this underwater shape well… For me I don’t think boats look half as impressive out of the water, but the Miss C is still very beautiful from every angle! To see better click on photo and then enlarge via top right hand corner.
I know this is the least glam of the photos but I love this shot, not because it is a work in progress but because this is my new home in waiting.
I’ve Really Enjoyed Talking To Mike And The Hours Slipped By
When I met my Captain on our first date we talked till dawn and then spent the day together. It was effortless because of the connection. Meeting Mike is similarly effortless. Through this encounter we have made a new friend and hopefully one we will be able to spend many hours with, we are so pleased to welcome him aboard our journey.
So last night I slept well, that is until 3.15am when I decided it was a good idea to write down how I was feeling, so what am I feeling?
I am now more at ease with the process. It’s good to hear that things are as they should be. Hearing it is a comfort.
Good end product is vital if your investing your life’s savings and more precious, your life’s dream into another mans passion. Get it right and amazing things can happen.
I know you can say Catana Yard have it in their interest to keep all their customers happy, but this is even more true in today’s modern inter-connected world where many of us post, blog and shout to the hill tops of the day to day journey.
Cheers the Miss x
PS Mikes definition of Sailing vs Yachting will be a post of its own sometime
PPS The sail for Mike didn’t happen because the port gates had broken so on the day there was no in nor out to be had for all sailors at La Rochelle.