Experience report 20 -YACHTLINE-: Main and Rhine

  • Boat model: 20 -YACHTLINE-
  • Engine: Honda BF 100
  • cruising area: Main
  • crew: 2 people
  • crew experience: Beginners

The eventful season of a 20-YACHTLINE

“Conscious decision for a boat of the Öchsner shipyard – the 20 -YACHTLINE-“

For the first time in 2016, we noticed the boats of the Öchsner shipyard at the Boot trade fair in Düsseldorf: the compactness (equipment relative to the length/width of the boat) and, above all, the WIDE-BEAM hull shape combined with the corresponding driving characteristics.

With this realization and the desire to fulfill our dream of our own boat in 2020, we were back at the Fair Boot for an information visit and informed ourselves about the boat class 6-8 meters. Also at the company Öchsner we looked at the different boat sizes of the -YACHTLINE- again and arranged an appointment directly in Kürnach. We quickly decided on the 20 -YACHTLINE-, because we will only use the boat for two and the model is just right for us as beginners. The professional advice of Sven Küffner and his expertise also convinced us.

We then picked up our SuRa on May 15, 2020 in Kürnach, watered on the same day in Frankfurt and moored at our boat berth in Frankfurt-Griesheim.

Of course, we were very excited to slipping the boat in Frankfurt for the first time. But it has done surprisingly well. The practical introduction to the pick-up by Florian Öchsner and the corresponding video material was helpful here.

“Experience in the first weeks”

We quickly had to learn that the area on the Main also has its disadvantages. On the one hand, it must be taken into account in every day planning that a lock can be managed at intervals of approx. 12 – 15 km and, on the other hand, that the Main also offers no possibility to refuel. It is advantageous that the 20 -YACHTLINE- has a tank with a capacity of 140 liters and thus – first fully fuelled – also about 15 hours of driving pleasure are secured.

As far as locks are concerned, this has worked well from the beginning and we are now well-rehearsed professionals at the lock. Among the ‘smugglers’ they also help each other, so this was not a problem at all.

Since we are both working, we used the weekends – which was also possible because of Corona – to get to know our SuRa. Often we stayed on the boat overnight and got used to the sleeping cabin after initial problems – after all, it is more cramped than the home bed. The sleeping comfort is OK for the size of the boat, if you only spend one or 2 nights on the boat. We don’t have any experience with a longer stay. We will certainly collect these in 2021.

During our weekly day tours we got to know the driving characteristics of the SuRa and were completely convinced and enthusiastic. Quickly you get into the gliding ride and enjoy the wind that blows you around. At the same time, the boat lies calmly in the water and also convinces when cornering as well as with an extremely small turning circle.

What we have also seen positively is the reaction of the boat when mooring and dropping off the jetty. After some manoeuvres you are already experienced, because the boat is relatively quiet in the water and with ‘perfect’ approach to the berth the boat can be fixed without any problems. With this, the initial nervousness was quickly taken away from us and we are now rewinding this very routinely.

More than ever, we are convinced that with the 20 -YACHTLINE- we have made the right decision to buy a boat from the Öchsner shipyard with a so-called wide beam hull. The stability in the water is already remarkable.

“And then came a day in July that will be remembered in a negative sense”

In the middle of Frankfurt, just outside the zone “Avoid waves and waves”, we had an accident that, in hindsight, was very busy. We were driving at the edge of the channel because of stand-up paddlers and rowing boats when suddenly a speed boat approached us from behind at high speed. We had only seen it just before the impact and the speed boat only steered the boat to starboard at the last moment, took away gas and so thankfully we only caught us at the stern on the starboard side. Nevertheless, our SuRa was pushed sideways under the speed boat, which then slipped down over the starboard side of the SuRa. Through a reflex I turned away to the left, and from the corner of my eye I saw only a black wall – the boat hull of the speed boat. 

Happiness in misfortune: neither us nor the people on the other boat have done anything, so only material damage.

In hindsight, this could have ended worse if the boat had nailed and probably passed directly over us. 

Since that time, we have also been particularly attentive with our eyes to the back, because such an experience is in one and one also has the realization how quickly something can happen.

On the positive side, the quality of the boat was completely convincing in such a situation, because almost nothing happened to the boat on the outside. One could see the impact point and inside 2 places where the pressure of the impact was discharged and the boat skin was slightly ripped open.

The shipyard then checked our boat and determined the ability to drive, so that we could continue to use the boat in the summer. In the winter months, the boat is professionally repaired by the shipyard.

“Excursion on the Rhine”

In August we took a trip to Speyer, which is an easy route of about 135 km of waterway. Here the SuRa has also shown itself at its best. With the experience of 3 months on the Main, we also enjoyed the trip on the Rhine. Of course, the flow rate of the Rhine cannot be compared with that of the Main. But we gladly took this small challenge and maneuvered ourselves easily through the waves in places like Ludwigshafen / Mannheim, where the waves are very extreme due to the paved shore walls.

The journey showed us that the average fuel consumption per hour was about 9-10 liters, even though we drove against the current on the outward journey and often also went into the faster gliding.

Also the anchoring at the bays was possible with the SuRa without any problems, so that we also enjoyed the time on the way to take a refreshment bath in between.

Arriving in Speyer, we docked at the harbour – we pre-booked the berth. This port is relatively new, TOP sanitation and water and electricity right on the jetty. It is located in the immediate vicinity of the cathedral and the city centre, so that you can visit the city and its sights on foot.

At the end of the summer we also took our first night trip with the SuRa and experienced the skyline of Frankfurt at night. We do not want to deprive you of this panorama.

“Fazit after the first season with our SuRa 20 -YACHTLINE-“

We have gained about 75 operating hours on the clock and a lot of experience on the inland water (Main and Rhine) with the SuRa over the season, so we can say: “That was definitely the right decision”. We have experienced many beautiful hours of the SuRa and are convinced of the 20 -YACHTLINE.” She brings with it all the things we expect as beginners for two, the size fits perfectly for weekend trips.

In detail:

  • The quality of the boat as well as the driving characteristics convince us 100%.
  • 100 hp are enough to have fun with this boat.
  • Ideal is the large lying area in the Plicht, which is perfect especially at bathing stops.
  • For the next season we have ordered a recumbent mat for the bow, so that we can also use the lying possibility on the bow perfectly (SX20 mat for rolling up).
  • The multifunctional use of the table is well solved: as a bed support in the cabin and as a table both in the cabin and in the plight.

Looking ahead to 2021, we will certainly test the SuRa in the Adriatic – a holiday in Croatia is firmly planned.

We would also like to thank the team of the Öchsner shipyard, who not only helped us with the purchase of the boat. The team is always responsive and the support in our accident with all the activities involved was perfect and uncomplicated. 

With this, we say goodbye to 2020, wish everyone a good start to 2021 and 

Stay healthy!

Dear Greetings

Susi & Rainer

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