Two greybearded gentlemen in a very small boat
Two not so greybearded gentelmen from Sweden decided for their life time adventure! After years of planing, Anders and Kjell decided for a big journey on a very small boat. Because, as we like to say, there is no dream too big or a boat to small. All you need is the right spirit! And this two sailors certainly have it!
After getting the boat, out Swedish Top Gear team started their preparations for journey that will take some time – starting in Sweden by joining the 170 NM Bohus Race, continuing to Venice, Adriatic coast, Greece and Florida during the winter.
The journey starts on July 1st and you can follow all their preparations and actions on their blog, Signia Cruises. You will definitely find some interesting and useful material there since this two guy don’t lack ideas.
Meanwhile, find out the full story behind Anders and Kjell and their adventure in this interview!
How did it all began
Kjell and I have been running a plumbing business since 2008. In 2014 we built my new house, and one night sitting in front of the campfire after a hard days work and enjoying a glass of rum (or two maybe) we thought that it was time to do something else in our lives. The kids had flown out and our wives did not mind us going away. So what to do? “Maybe sail across the Atlantic” i said to Kjell, and as open minded person he is, he said “why not”. So there and then we started to plan for a one to two year trip from Sweden to the Caribbean.
A bigger boat
First we thought of using Kjells boat, a Tango 30. And we planned to do that. But after a while I said to him ” Kjell it´s to small for us to use, I need more headroom” (and now we are going to sail in a Seascape 18, strange isn’t it?). Well, we started to look for bigger boats and finally we found a Bavaria 49 moored in Hvar, Croatia. The boat was owned by a Swedish couple and registered in Sweden as a ship. So it would be fairly easy for us to transfer the boat to us and do the modifications that were necessary for the trip. We had already decided to buy the boat when we called the insurance company for a quote. You can’t imagine the shock we got when we heard of the price they asked. First of all we had to replace all of the standing rigging to be able to insure the ship at all. On top of that we would have to pay 5000 € a year for the insurance. So I turned to Kjell and said ” no way are we going to buy a boat that is practically unsalable when we get back home and on top of that has an engine used to the limit, plus paying 5000€ for the fun of it. We have to find another solution for our trip”. Larger boat, larger problems it seemed.
Much smaller boat?
Then we came to think about Seascape. We spent almost an hour talking to Andraž in a Seascape 27 at the Dusseldorf fair in 2014, and we really liked the concept of the boat. It’s a very versatile boat and also very fast. Being two old motorcycle riders, we do like speed. So, anyway, I gave Michael Berg a call and as it happened he had the Seascape 18 demo boat for sale right away. I told him on the phone ” it’s sold now”. We took the car down to Gothenburg the following Friday and towed it back home to Stockholm. After that the practice started. I can say we have a lot to learn when it comes to getting full speed of the boat, but we are getting there. Lucky for us, we have also bought a couple of drysuits from Ursuit that has proven to be very helpful in the cold spring temperatures in Sweden.
The Swedish Top Gear Team
Kjell did some dingy sailing when he was very young and for the last five years he has owned a Tango 30. From my part, I sailed around in a Becker 27 (a Swedish boat) for four years between 2000-2004. Both, Kjell and I are a little like the tv-show Top Gear ” How hard can it be?” We love to learn new stuff. Some people would say restless but I don’t now about that ;-).
Why going on a sailing adventure?
As for why we are going on a sailing trip and not going into some different adventure, it is mostly because Kjell already had a boat that we could use, and that triggered our imagination. I think it could easily have become a different kind of trip. Because it’s the journey that’s important. Don’t get me wrong, I love sailing and this journey is going to be fantastic, but it’s not the last adventure we are going away on. Next time maybe a bicycle ride across the USA, who knows.
We are going to be in the Bohusrace as you have seen on the blog. After that the plan is to travel down towards Venice. Maybe with a stop at Lake Garda for some sailing. But one thing that I really want to do is to lower the mast, and go by engine through the channels in Venice. Of course we are shooting a movie of that with the GoPro. I think it would be great way of showing how versatile the boat is for a lot of people. After that we continue down the Croatian coastline down towards Greece. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to visit Slovenia and have a look at the factory. After Greece we have not decided yet, it depends on how much time we spend in each place. Remember it’s an adventure, one should not plan to much ahead. In November, when the weather gets to cold in the Mediterranean we are thinking of shipping the boat over to Florida for some sailing there. That is, if we are still friends then.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A6yn5w7Yj2U
Pros and cons of Seascape18
Of course we have had some doubts about the Seascape 18, for one thing I can’t seem to find the toilet on board. That is going to be a problem on the Bohusrace for sure. Maybe you guys should manufacture some Seascape diapers?
There are a lot of benefits with the boat. I’m looking at the boat right now when it’s parked beside my house, and from my house it takes an hour until we are in the water and ready to sail away. We can take the boat all over Europe, enjoying sailing at it’s best. If it rains in Italy, well take the car and the boat somewhere else. Easy as that!
Modifications on Seascape18
There are a couple of reasons for the modifications. First of all we are a couple of creators, and we like to make good things better. Maybe not better, just better suited for our purposes. We need power, that’s the reason for the solar-panels and the battery. The autopilot mount, well we don’t like to hold the tiller all the time when just cruising around. When we understood that we had to adjust the angle of the engine mount because the rigg of the engine hit the water when sailing, the rest was pretty easy.
The idea of the window came from the Austrian couple that sailed around The Mediterranean a couple of years ago.
We have also installed a AIS aboard. Both so that we can see other ships and they can see us, but also that our relatives can keep track of where we are.
The car that goes with the boat
We are rebuilding the Mercedes Vito into a campervan. We have built a double bed with lots of storage underneath. There are going to be a mattress on top of the bed with the same color as the Seascape bags. I also have talked to Michael about the Seascape logos, that we want to put on the sides of the car, I hope that he will have them ready in time for the Bohusrace. I think it would look really neat, with a custom-built campervan with a Seascape 18 on tow.
Anders and Kjell, thank you for the interview. Seascapers will be following you on your journey! Fair Winds!