The time came where we made up our minds that we could, with some planning take up to 6 months away from work, (with some remote working) and home tutor our daughter for a couple of months either side of her summer holidays. Josh, our son, had finished his business degree and was now available to take the reigns of our business and keep things running while we are away. The timing was right and we decided to bring our retirement plans forward while we are young and fit enough to go for it! Our dream was to purchase a sailing boat large enough to live-aboard for several months at a time. The next decision is where to sail. We decided on the Mediterranean for its beauty, warm sunny weather, a welcome change from the rain in Ireland and the none tidal waters make things all the easier. The plan is to start in either Spain or Greece and with no set time limit or schedule make our way to the Ionian Sea to sail the Greek Ionian Islands. Once we have sailed the Ionian Islands, which could be months or even years, the whole point is no schedule, to sail up the east coast of Italy to Venice and eventually over to Croatia then turn south to sail through the islands off the west coast of Croatia.
For many years my dream boat has been the Amel Supper Maramu as I believe it to be one of the best ever boats designed for live-aboard blue water sailing. At the time we were not intending to change our boat as we had invested the last 2 years into updating and refitting WHUATI 2 our Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45.2, ready to cross the Atlantic Ocean. However a string of events lead to us looking at the possibility of owning and Amel sailing yacht.
We were in Kefalonia and berthed stern to on the town quay between an Amel Super Maramu and an Amel Sharki. The Super Maramu was flying an Irish courtesy flag, so we said hi! From there we became good friends with Eammon and Caroline, the owners of “Travel Bug”. We buddy-boated with them form time to time and I installed new Raymarine instruments for him. During this work I got to see all the Amel systems and how the boat was built, very impressed. This got us looking for Amel yachts for sale on the internet, though still thinking they would be out of our price range. However the price of second hand Amel Super Maramu boats has dropped and we found one in Spain needing quite a bit of maintenance work and updating. PAOMIA was found, could we actually get an Amel!
We contacted the broker and started negotiations, only to find that the boat was sold subject to survey. However after a while we were told the buyer had backed out due to the survey listing many recommendations, but no failures. We put in a low offer that was accepted subject to no further negotiation. We had a copy of the latest survey, it was extremely thorough and although there were 56 recommendations many of these were just maintenance or upgrade / refit issues that we intended to do anyway. Not being put off in taking of a substantial refit project as we had already carried out such work on our last 2 yachts as we did a €50000 refit on WHUATI II. Flights were booked and Jay and Hannah flew out to Barcelona for 4 days to have a good look at PAOMIA. We were happily surprised as PAOMIA was in far better condition than we were expecting. The hull, rig, masts and all the main parts were in very good condition for a 26 year old yacht. There was also much evidence that the previous owner had indeed spent money maintaining the boat. The main issue was a problem with the heat exchanger on the Yanmar engine, a €4000 part required! However we had the same engine on WHUATI with a similar problem. so we knew we could have the original heat exchanger welded and machined for around €500, fixed like new.
We spent 4 days going through every part of PAOMIA and got an offer accepted, so decided to buy her. However we would need to sell WHUATI first to liquidate her value towards the cost of PAOMIA. We listed WHUATI for sale on Apolloduck in October 2018. Lots of interest as she had just had a full upgrade including new sails, new Raymarine instruments, Victron electrics and new solar panels etc. she was ready to go!