When dreams collide with reality [a personal account] Beneteau Oceanis 50

Flagstaff - Oceanis-50

For what felt like a lifetime, Karen and David had been dreaming about buying an older boat or even building one. Never in their wildest dreams could they imagine the adventure that would become their reality. It was a pipedream. They never expected much more. Nudging 60, reality kicked in. It was now or never. Soon enough they would be too old, or too scared. Or both.

Karen is a big reader. She fell in love with reading about people’s adventures sailing around the Med. Then one day it occurred to them – this is what they wanted to do.

“We looked at each other and said, ‘If they can do it we can too.’”And that was the first courageous step towards achieving their lifelong dream.

Some people don’t make it past 40

Once you get to a certain age you start to look around and realize you are losing your family and friends. Karen herself stared death in the face. Buying a boat had taken a back seat and she was filled with doubts.

“I was incredibly ill with a very aggressive cancer. When we decided to get the boat I’d only just come off my treatment. To say it wasn’t a good time to travel halfway around the world chasing a dream is an understatement!

I really wasn’t ready to go. But David said it was the perfect time. His rationale was that I was still alive. I was young … well not that young, but youngish. We were in love, happy and a little too comfortable in life. It was time to turn our back on settling into aging and embrace the next adventure. Eventually, I agreed but not without trepidation. I overcame all the reasons we shouldn’t … and we did. Wow … it still feels like a dream. I can’t believe it’s me who did that,” says Karen.

When they first decided to purchase their boat, Karen’s mum said, “I hate to say this but you two are far too busy to have a boat. You don’t have the time to use it.” And she was right. If their Beneteau Oceanis was moored at a local marina they probably wouldn’t take the time to use it in their busy schedule running a business. But being in the Mediterranean they have to actually go there. Wherever they can get the internet, they can run their business. For a few months of the year, they do just that. From their boat, living their dream.

Flagstaff - Port-Yasmine

Te Anau – it was meant to be

After years of dreaming, researching and planning, David and Karen decided to purchase the Beneteau Oceanis 50 G5. They would fly over to France and take delivery on the Mediterranean Coast. They contacted Flagstaff Marine to place their order and received devastating news. It was all over. These yachts were no longer in production. There were no more available.

Ten days later, they received a phone call “We’ve worked some magic. We found you the last one – a canceled order!” And that is how Te Anau became their boat. The very last Beneteau Oceanis 50 G5 ever produced.

The options weren’t exactly what David and Karen would’ve ordered but they have learned to love them, including the in-mast furling and Dock & Go. The Burnetts have felt grateful for these features in more than one storm and tight marinas!

“We will never know the original purchaser, their dreams, or why they changed their minds – forfeiting in the process what was no doubt a substantial deposit. But with this canceled order, the yacht of our dreams – a yacht no longer in production, became a possibility.”

Flagstaff - Beneteau Oceanis 50

Although they had wanted to buy a boat for many years, sailing in the Med was an unexpected addition to their dream. They did their due diligence of research, speaking with people and David obtained his International Certificate of Competence. But nothing could really prepare them for the adventure ahead.

Yet having done it now, having a boat delivered in France on the other side of the world, having never sailed the waters, they achieved their dream.

Karen says, “Looking back it feels like a dream. Did we really do that? I feel so proud that we were able to achieve that. It’s truly amazing.”

“Sailing around foreign countries where you don’t know the waters, the ports or the language has been an incredible and fulfilling challenge. I feel incredibly lucky and humbled and proud that we have been able to do this.” – David

We never believed we would or could ever own such a yacht

The lead-up to, and acquisition of, Te Anau was quite an emotional experience. It was finally time to take delivery. David and Karen respectfully requested to have their first time with her alone.

“I remember like it was yesterday – walking around, touching her and patting her like she was a young child. We were both overcome with emotions. Down below they had arranged flowers and champagne for us. We sat there for a couple of hours taking it all in. It was magic. We didn’t get off the boat until after midnight. I don’t think there was an inch of her that was left unexplored. By the time we got back to the hotel the gate was closed and we had to jump the fence.” – Karen

“It’s ridiculous. It’s just a bloody boat but for us, it was an incredibly emotional experience. So many things had happened in the lead-up to this very moment. It was the culmination of decades of dreaming.” – David

The first day out on the sea with Micah it was sunny skies and cool days and the wind was the right strength and in the perfect direction. All three agreed if they didn’t have other things to do they would happily sail east. It was magic. Micah stayed for five days, going out for sails and making sure David and Karen were across everything on the boat.

For David and Karen, they wanted to name and bless Te Anau properly. Many churches around said they only bless people, not boats. Finally, they found Riverchurch who said they would be delighted to help out. The only company they had were the seabirds twittering in the background – it was the perfect evening. This was also the beginning of a beautiful lasting friendship with Sue and Peter from Riverchurch.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain

Flagstaff - Moorints-Berth-shipyard

Please contact us if you’re interested in your own Beneteau Oceanis 50, and see our other boat owner stories.