Next meet the fleet day: Friday 8th June
Get your your free guide on how to make boating more affordable!

Get your your free guide on how to make boating more affordable!

Mediterranean Sailing

We wanted to give you, as a UK FlexiSail member, a better experience than standard chartering in the Mediterranean of an under-specced, over used, and under maintained charter yacht. We also wished to subsidise the cost to make it a real benefit of membership. Consequently, the charter costs are approximately 50% of commercial rates for lesser yachts of a similar size.

Our solution was to buy our own yacht, and not just any yacht, but a top quality Wauquiez 43 foot Pilot Saloon called Dreamcatcher. With a £450,000 price tag brand new, we opted to purchase one second hand and carry out a £180,000 refit to restore her to ‘as new’ and allow us to add many luxury items. With just 48 built in the world, she is unique.

Dreamcatcher – Wauquiez 43 pilot Saloon

You know the shudder and shake as a production yacht hits a wave? Forget that! You get none as the hull is built using a foam core twin skin construction, which is 6 x stronger than standard single skin, whilst at the same time insulating you from noise, the cold or heat outside.

You know the constant issue with batteries draining and the need to run the engine for hours every day to keep the fridge working? Forget that! We have installed a silent running generator that automatically cuts in to recharge the huge battery bank when needed. As for the often elusive shore power – you can take it or leave it!

You know how hot it gets on the boat sitting in sheltered harbours and how hard it can be to sleep with the suffocating heat? Forget that! There is now full boat air-conditioning, reverse cycle heating and dehumidification available. Plus the boat has a pilot saloon so you can sit in comfort with 360-degree visibility to really enjoy your location and feel part of the action.

You know the effort involved operating in-mast reefing with stiff, salt soaked ropes and  pullies and tracks that jam, only to end up with a badly shaped mainsail that drives you nowhere? Forget that! At the push of a button you will have a beautifully shaped, top quality mainsail running on low friction Harken roller bearings. A sail that drives you forwards not sideways!

You know how quickly the crew (who often have other priorities) tire when constantly tacking up a shoreline? Forget that! Dreamcatcher has twin forestays, with both a self-tacking jib as well as a huge reaching genoa ensuring that you are never under powered.

You know how cramped the cabins are (hence you always charter a larger yacht than you need), along with bone aching thin mattresses? Forget that! Onboard you have a luxurious master cabin with a large island berth, 200mm deep sprung mattress, en suite and separate shower and lots of stowage. In the forepeak you have a traditional double cabin, with adjacent access to the second heads and shower.  A side cabin provides a further full length single berth, whilst if necessary the saloon converts to a double.

Safety

Do you share our personal concerns that many charter boats have inadequate safety kit, as after all in the Mediterranean there is no RNLI or Coastguard looking out for you? Our yacht exceeds UK safety standards and carries an EPIRB (Electronic Positioning Radio Beacon) and streamed Navtex weather information. We have also fitted a powerful WiFi system, making communication so much easier to help you keep in touch with home or business.

FlexiSail members are able to charter Dreamcatcher at our  subsidised rates as part of their membership. Payment can be made in full or part with Sea Miles – what you will save on charter will go a long way to pay for your all year round UK FlexiSail membership!

Dreamcatcher is very well built and maintained, and you feel confident that she'll look after you in any weather. Richard and Sue have equipped her extremely well, and there's nothing - other than the T towels (!) - that you'll need to bring.

There is ample cool box space for keeping your water and beer chilled, the air conditioning is fantastic, and having a (quiet) generator means that you can use it even when you don't have shore power or are at anchor. When the temperatures are up in the mid-high 30's, this is a real bonus. The boat sails very well, and in more breeze and when along a shore line the self tacker is brilliant.

The bimini is great - essential - to keep the sun off you during the scorching days. The engine gives you all the power you need to make progress at over 6 kts, meaning that on calm days you can still cover some ground and get to your destination on time! The water capacity is great and means that a family of 4 can cruise for 3-4 days with plenty of water for washing, showers etc. The boat is ideally configured for two couples, one in the double forward, and one in the large double aft. The beds are very comfortable. The deck saloon layout will be unfamiliar to many, particularly as it comes with a few steps. There is plenty of space in the saloon - useful if the weather is poor, but we hardly used it.

The dinghy and electric outboard were a great addition - I'd never used an electric outboard before and it was perfect for the job - loved it!! Finally, having 80m of anchor chain means that you can safely anchor almost anywhere - great! We tended to be a little more adventurous than some, and spent most nights at anchor. Dreamcatcher is very well equipped to allow a family of up to four, or two couples to safely explore off the beaten track in better than average comfort.

A really good boat and a great holiday! Thank you.

- Richard Stokes - Dreamcatcher in the Mediterranean