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We got lucky and fell in love with the second boat we viewed, but there are just so many to choose from out there, both locally and overseas. We spent hours online looking at options. Knowing what you want is important and even writing a wish list helps to narrow the search.

My biggest advice would be to make sure you view each boat as a boat, especially if you are planning to live on it full-time. It is always going to be a boat first and a home second.

The monohull vs catamaran question did come up, but between still mastering our sailing skills, maintenance costs and marina berth charges, the answer was monohull for us.

Catamarans probably offer a better live-aboard lifestyle, but we didn’t want to double every single cost from day one. Even just considering┬áthe yearly antifoul for a catamaran; double the hull means you will be covering almost twice the amount of boat when compared to a monohull. Catamarans have two engines so double the maintenance again.┬áMarina berths are another cost and trying to find not only a suitable marina to live at but also a suitable berth available at that marina can be tricky. Add the catamaran factor and you could be looking at two side by side berths or waiting for a catamaran berth to become available – both options costing significantly more than a regular berth.

You do need to consider and plan for what happens after the purchase!

Our first sailboat (the one we taught ourselves to sail on) was a 25ft Spencer Stiletto, so we are definitely more familiar with the handling and sailing of a monohull, so in going forward keeping everything nice and simple for us meant we are going to enjoy it more straight out of the box. I’m not suggesting catamarans are not a possibility in the future, but for us money and current sailing experience was definitely a factor in deciding on our first live-aboard yacht.

So how did we find Sognare?

There are so many boats available on the internet. Some are found on the odd broker website so off to the local broker we went. Although he didn’t have many boats available to view right there and then, he showed us a 14m monohull just so we could get any idea of size etc. It was just awful. It had dark wood all throughout and very little natural light downstairs. A weird layout, stale air and leaking hatches… It had a great price but that was about it.

In the end Trademe came through for us and on it was a stunning Beneteau that had over 700 views. We looked at it only hours after it was listed; we called the owner straight away and organised a viewing. One hour later we were at Half Moon Bay Marina and fell in love straight away. Going back to the wishlist you should have, every single item on ours was ticked off.

We were mainly excited about its furling sails!

The next part of the story is all about the Survey.