Farewell - Sept 07                          

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August  2007

Simon, Katherine, and Shear Madness during the surveySince 2000, Bradley Rosenberg and Kathy Clark have enjoyed many great adventures aboard their Oyster 56 sailboat Shear Madness. Ready to take a short break and spend some time back in the U.S., we are pleased to have found a fantastic new home for her and congratulate Simon and Katherine van Hagen on their purchase of this incredible yacht. We are sure they will continue to show her the kinds of adventures she has become accustomed to.

Simon van Hagen, who is Dutch, and his wife Katherine, who is English, have been cruising aboard their 44-foot aluminum sailboat Duet for the past ten years. They are both serious and very accomplished sailors, with a great deal of racing experience as well as many years of cruising. After departing from Europe and eventually arriving in Sydney, they began to dream about a larger boat for their eventual return trip. Just as they began seriously shopping, Shear Madness came on the market. Knowing the reputation that Oysters have, Simon and Katherine were immediately interested. They soon made arrangements to fly to Auckland for a first hand look. It was to be a quick trip - arrive one day and depart the next. Unfortunately, that one day turned out to be the day that the worst storm in 150 years hit Auckland!

With winds over 150 kilometers per hour (90 MPH) and rain coming down in torrents, they arrived at Gulf Harbour Marina and boarded Shear Madness, immediately retreating below. One thing they were certain of - she was a dry boat as not a drop of water penetrated her even in those conditions! Chris Smith, an experienced Oyster captain, was on hand to show then the boat in our absence. He was able to answer all their questions and was quite impressed by their knowledge of boats and sailing. Despite a very limited opportunity to view the topside due to the weather, the van Hagen's liked the boat. They knew they would be happy with her spacious accommodations and luxury appointments.

After a brief price negotiation, we began the final steps and made preparations to travel to Auckland for a survey and test sail. A survey of a boat is like a home inspection - the boat is pulled out of the water and an expert - someone with shipwright or naval architecture training - examines the hull in detail to ensure it is sound. He also goes over all major systems on board, looking for anything that might be a problem. As we expected, the survey went very smoothly. Simon and Katherine board for the first time after the sale is complete

Next was the test sail - Simon and Katherine's first opportunity to see how the boat performed in the water. It looked like we would only have one day of good weather, so off we went. We started with about 8 knots of breeze and our new Doyle sails were soon full and moving Shear Madness at 6 knots. The wind picked up, we put a reef in the main sail so demonstrate how it's done, and she continued to sail smoothly. Soon Simon and Katherine understood why we had fallen in love with this boat!

After completing some paperwork, the deal was complete - Simon and Katherine are now the proud owners of a beautiful Oyster 56 which they will re-christen Duet II. We were able to spend several days with Simon and Katherine, sharing as much as we could about how things work and how she likes to be taken care of. A major project was removing all our personal gear from the boat, sorting it, and arranging to ship home all the things we want to keep. We were able to catch up with most of our Kiwi friends before departing.

While we are sad to be closing this chapter in our life, we are delighted that this boat has found such a great home with the van Hagens. If you run across Simon, Katherine, and DUET II, please be sure to give them all a big hug from us!


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