On our most recent Zoom call with Leon the Director of Kinetic Catamarans in South Africa, he informed us that our boat would be launched on May 5th with the Spring high tide. Although we are excited about this, we were a bit confused about the relevance of the spring high tide. Apparently, when the boat rolls out of the factory and rolls down to the water (a mile I think), they need at least 2 meters of water to launch the boat, and this only happens every couple of months. So now we are on pins and needles, hoping that everything comes together for this May 5th date, otherwise we have to check the tide table…… Although the boat is mostly ready, the boom which is made from carbon fiber, is being built in the United States and they’re trying to figure out how quick they can get it to South Africa. This is a special boom, not a run-of-the-mill boom. It’s roller furling and it’s huge. What that means is the main sail on our boat will roll up inside the boom instead of sitting on top of the boom and covered with a sail cover. This will certainly make the boat sleek looking and protect the mainsail. It also makes it really easy to deploy and stow. Of course, all push button. Our latest build report has great pictures showing the floor being installed, the teak decking in the cockpits, and of course the boat is painted with her custom color from Alexseal call Happy Together Silver. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably seen those pictures from a few weeks back.
The plan changed and changed and changed again…
The plan all along was to go to South Africa for three weeks after the launch and spend time sailing the boat, living aboard, testing the systems, performance sailing (more on what that means later) and everything else to get ready to ship it back to the states. We inquired about sailing it home and decided that a new boat is best cruised for a while before you cross an ocean with all newly installed systems. If you followed our experiences on previous boats, this has proven to be a good strategy. Fortunately for us we have been communicating with the couple that bought hull number two (we are #3) and followed along their journey since their boat launched. What we’ve eventually figured out and decided on is…. we will fly to South Africa for the launch in the first week of May and spend about eight days there. Then we would leave the factory with the boat for 4 to 6 weeks for them to do all their “in the water” commissioning and Lennie and I will head back to Florida and wait for them to tell us she’s ready for our proper shakedown cruise. Then we will return to South Africa, and sail the boat from Knysna to Cape Town, and spend two weeks aboard, shaking her down before she goes on the ship. Twice in two months for a long trip like that is a lot of work, but we think it’s the best method to give them time to get it right and give us proper time when the boat is ready.
In the meantime…..
This has been our longest time Between boats since Lennie and I have been together, which is about 25 years! To say we sold our Leopard 50 too early is an understatement, however we have enjoyed our time in Park City where we have a second home. We spent the season skiing and the summers touring national parks etc. We also took delivery of a new Tiara 34 center console day cruising boat, which we keep behind our home in Florida, so we still get out on the water most weekends when we’re in town.
What about a video…
I know I’ve been promising a video of our factory tour for a while, but I’ve actually finished it! and it’s with the editor now to do some refinements so we will have a video up in the next month.
It’s going to be an exciting year!
Sorry everyone but the comments link was broken. its working now!
Thanks for sharing your experiences! Nice article in April cruising world mag. My husband Bob and I were in SA a few weeks ago and had the pleasure of meeting Leon at Kinetic. We got a sneak peek of your boat— it is going to be amazing. We love many of the custom choices you made. We are currently in a 50 Hunter and are considering the leap to a cat. We hope to retire in 4 years and do some year round cruising. We can’t wait to hear about the launch and your experience with the Kinetic team learning the ropes!
Hello Linda! Thanks for your note. Wow you saw our boat! That’s awesome. Unfortunately we just learned after booking our may trip that it will be pushed to June…oh well! New video coming soon!