The maritime hobby and the way to a 20 yachtline
In mid-2018 the time had finally come! Bettina and I had left many eventful professional years behind us and now wanted to devote ourselves to a shared hobby that was quite new for us: it should be maritime, with our own boat, changing areas - and at reasonable costs. In the past few years (decades ?!) we had flirted with boating.
We have also been able to accumulate some practice and experience in the past. Starting with Metzeler rubber dinghies and 5HP outboard motor and finally with Zodiak and a 15HP outboard without a license. There were also charter with up to 11.5m displacer in the areas around Sneek, Holland and on the Müritz Lake District. But that's it with the boating experience. Various visits to the trade fair “Boot” in Düsseldorf and prospectus studies whetted the appetite for all sorts of things, but at the same time confused.
So, think about it and create a personal requirement profile. What should the boat look like, what technical data and dimensions should it have, what should it be able to do and what price limit should it not exceed?
Our ideas of our own boat
- visually appealing, modern design
- 6 to a maximum of 7m in length
- lockable cabin
- suitable for occasional overnight stays for 2 people
- most modern, powerful and at the same time economical outboard motor
- low overall weight
- Towing vehicle from middle class - passenger car
- trailerable and dimensions without required heavy transport permits
Several boat visits and test drives later, the internet and various test reports finally gave us the crucial information about the boat or company that might be right for us. A single phone call with Mr. Küffner from the company Öchsner-Boats was enough to get the "bacillus".
The visit to the exhibition in Kürnach with very competent advice was ultimately convincing. The 20 -Yachtline- fulfilled all the parameters we wanted. And as "coincidence" would have it, a 20-yacht line was just in advance, which could also be freely configured.
Pick-up and first experiences with the 20 Yachtline
At the end of July 2018, actually at the end of the season, she was standing there - the ordered "CARA" - all alone in the large hall, on the special trailer that was also ordered from Öchsner-Boats. After half a day of thorough briefing, including the first trip on the Main, we went home with her.
A few days later, a first slip in the port of Marina Rünthe on the Datteln-Hamm Canal. With the support of the harbor master, it worked out quite well. We tried out all the functions for two days. Except for the electric windlass: Anchoring in the canal is not really good! It all worked as described and started to be fun. The engine still had to be run in according to the specifications, but you could already guess that the 20 -Yachtline- with the 100HP Honda engine would be on the move quickly.
Out of the water again and the next weekend straight away to the Moselle in Winnenden. And indeed, you can stay overnight in this small boat. The upholstered lounger in the cabin is enough to stretch your legs.
Soon the running-in period was over and we were gradually able to get more and more full power. It was great how quickly the boat started to glide and the banks of the Moselle passed us by with a leisurely glide. Of course, we also tried "full speed" on the designated Moselle stretches without speed restrictions. Friends with their own 6.70 m cabin boat and 140 HP outboard accompanied us. We were all surprised that our little "CARA" could by no means be left behind by the stronger boat of the friends.
Well, and then it happened when mooring in Cochem. It was windy and the Moselle rocked us a lot. Actually, when mooring just before the pier, I wanted to brake the boat by engaging reverse gear and a little gas. Whatever the case, the forward gear engaged and a short throttle boost did exactly the opposite. My mistake led to the starboard railing being damaged. Crap, very annoying!
In a few days it should go to Lake Garda! Fortunately, the damage was mostly limited to the railing. The hull was not damaged except for the mounting for the railing. So the railing was provisionally set up, the boat out of the water and a few days later we went to “Bella Italia”.
With the 20 -Yachtline- on Lake Garda
On this long trip to Lake Garda, the boat and trailer "behaved" extremely well and uncomplicated. The trailer with 100 km / h approval ran with stoic composure behind our small towing vehicle (Audi A3 Sportback). Whenever allowed and possible, the speedometer needle showed around 100 km / h. Nevertheless, the thirst of the small 1.6l / 116PS diesel engine of the A3 was kept within limits. It simply did not want to consume more than approx. 8.0 l / 100 km of the precious juice. This is certainly also due to the low weight of the boat, engine and trailer.
In San Felice del Benaco on Lake Garda we had rented a pretty little apartment for 2 weeks. We received a buoy on Lake Garda for the boat from the Villa al Sol holiday complex. It was a bit cumbersome to get from the beach to the buoy or the boat. A small rubber dinghy brought along had to be used for this. An unworthy sight! Less temperature-sensitive people would probably have swum. Brrr, but not me!
The days were wonderful and the weather was mostly nice. We were on the water almost every day and - as far as permitted - "circled" Lake Garda several times. Isola del Garda, the bay of Salo and places / ports such as Sirmione, Bardolino, Moniga del Garda, Desenzano, Peschiera and Garda were our goals. The 20 -Yachtline- did a really good job. Even in strong waves, nothing disturbed the wide-beam hull, it always followed the chosen heading.
In the low speed range, the Honda engine ran extremely smoothly and really quiet for an outboard motor. Sure, with increasing speed it got significantly louder. But a motorboat is not a sailor! I can't tell you much about fuel consumption. It depends very much on the individual use and driving style. In any case, it seemed to us as if the 140 liter tank didn't want to be empty. OK then!
Croatia with the 20 Yachtline
The next time we refueled in Fazana, Croatia, the second part of our trip. It's really cool to drive to the petrol station to refuel the boat with not quite as expensive premium gasoline as in the port.
Premium petrol from the nozzle runs and runs ..., the gas station attendant did not immediately see that the boat was refueled and got googly eyes when the 100 liter display on the pump was exceeded. Alternately he looked at me in disbelief and then back at the little Audi A3.
At the large campsite Plaza Bi Village, we booked a beautiful, brick-built holiday home with a terrace and a small garden for 14 days. Right next to this holiday complex there was a tiny harbor, more of a simple pier. No possibility to slip, but because of the salt water we wanted to have the boat "craned" anyway. A few minutes by car in Pula it was done professionally. We were able to park car and trailer on the secure port area.
From Pula we took the boat past picturesque bays and islets to the small mooring right on the edge of Plaza Bi Village, near the town of Fazana. A maximum of 6 boats could be moored on both sides of the concrete pier. Wasn't busy at that time. And so our "CARA" lay here most of the time alone or at most in the company of one or two rubber dinghies.
The change from deep to high water with a height difference of 0.70 m had to be observed. So don't tie up lines too short or too long! It worked. Wonderful days at sea followed. Our "CARA" brought us reliably and safely along the coast and the Brijuni National Park with its many offshore islands to every narrow port. We saw beautiful places such as Rovinj, Vrsar and the long Limski Canal with its mussel banks and oyster farms from a completely different perspective.
From our point of view, the small boat coped with rough water journeys as well as fast stages on a mirror-smooth sea very well. There were plenty of secluded bays for anchoring and we really learned to appreciate the built-in electric windlass. Once safely anchored, the picnic on board could begin for two or three with a dachshund. When there was too much sun, the easy-to-use convertible top provided shade and proved to be completely sufficient. We didn't really try the sun lounger. We'd rather just driven on and explored the area.
At some point, unfortunately, the best time is over. The journey home was getting closer. So again with the boat for "craneing", cleaning and lashing on the trailer ready for travel. When the boat was hoisted out of the water, we saw the heavily soiled hull. Thanks to the competent and well-equipped port team in Pula, it was not a problem and was largely cleaned after a good half an hour. We were then able to clean the boat thoroughly from the salt water ourselves at the holiday complex's car wash. The next day the long journey home to Iserlohn followed.
Inspection and winter storage at Öchsner-Boats
At the end of October 2018 we took the boat to the Oechsner company in Kürnach to repair the damage to the railing, inspect it and take it to winter storage. Everything was done professionally and friendly to our satisfaction.
In April 2019 we took the boat out of winter storage and brought it to our home in Iserlohn. Almost 2km from our house, the our boat is now. Dry housed in a special single garage. Since then "CARA" has been waiting for new trips.
For health reasons it was unfortunately not possible for us to water our "CARA" for just a few minutes in 2019. Uncertain improvement. That's why we decided with a heavy heart to give up boating again. With only approx. 60 hours of operation on the meter, fully equipped with all the extras, in top condition, we are returning this all-round great boat.
All in all a convincing boat concept. In such a small space, almost 6m in length, boats can rarely be equipped so completely, of high quality and comfortably. Further advantages from our point of view: uncomplicated trailerable for frequent changes of the areas to be traveled. Easy to park in a suitable driveway or garage with the appropriate entrance height. One should be clear about the fact that the boat hobby is ultimately costly. Even with a boat length of only 5.95 m and storage on the trailer in a suitable garage.
Bettina and Jürgen