When we bought our boat I had no experience with boats except for the few sailboats I had sailed on during my training and chartering. We only looked at sailboats, not power boats, mainly due to a subconscious bias that power boats are more expensive to buy, run, maintain and with less flexibility due to the need to find fuel along the way.
Some of this true but not all of it. At the Vancouver boat show the only power boats we saw were many times more expensive than Viatori with fuel consumption measured in gallons per hour not miles per gallon because the number would be too small… (less than a mile per gallon). The interiors of these boats were nicer than our house and the dual captains consoles belong in airplane with dual screens, dials and gauges for all kinds of things. Definitely out of our league.
Enter Bill and Phyllis on Oh My. We met them in Staniel Cay when she announced that she would be willing to do some sewing jobs during the morning cruisers net. I had started sewing a cover for the generator but it was slow going with only about 12″ of the ten feet of seam complete by hand after an hour. I also wanted to make a wind scoop for the forward hatch to direct more air into the boat. This would take about twenty feet of seams to make, somewhat monumental of a task.
I responded to Phyllis on the radio and discussed the task. She had intended to do smaller jobs like mending flags but graciously agreed to help me out. The next day on the way back from Thunderball Grotto we stopped at Oh My and introduced ourselves. We were heading to Black Settlement the next day but agreed to reconnect in Georgetown to complete the job.
We caught up with them in Black Settlement an the boys and I went over for a play date… That was when I got Defever fever.
Defever’s seem to be pretty common in the Bahamas, and a quick look at yachtworld.com shows they are relatively inexpensive when compared to their modern brethren. For only slightly more money than Viatori one could get a Defever that would house all of us in relative comfort.
The biggest attraction is the living space aboard a boat like that. Oh My, which is a 44 foot Defever, has two decks each of which you can sit six people on, a living room that is the same size, a kitchen which would be average size in most condos in downtown Edmonton and an engine room that holds two generators and two large diesel engines. The aft stateroom is huge with a queen bed and an ensuite while the forward stateroom has its own head and a vee berth which we would convert to a bunk bed to sleep three kids.
It moves at 7 to 8 knots which is 1 to 2 knots faster than Viatori and in a rough sea they passed us at 6.7 with some comfort while we could barely make 4 and where bouncing around inside the boat. The burn is 3.5 gallons an hour which is three times Viatori but the boat weighs twice as much. Steering for the boat can be done from either the top deck or from inside the living room if the weather sucks. Range is about 2000 miles which is enough to get from Miami through the Bahamas to Puerto Rico and back without fueling up.
Most power boats also have a crane to lift a dinghy from the water on to the roof of the boat. The capacity of the crane and the storage space for the dinghy will allow one to carry almost any dinghy you want.
We love Viatori and she is great sailboat, with enough room for all of us and the price was right. We haven’t sailed as much as we thought we would because of light or adverse wind and partly to keep up with power boat friends. We aren’t sailors, we are cruisers who live on a sailboat. I love it when we use the sails but the comfort of the crew comes first which prevents getting everything out of the sails. Viatori was the right boat in terms of size, modern-ness, cost and budget for our year. We love this boat but like most things it is a compromise and the grass is always greener.