The Oceanis 48 Story: Bonbon

It starts from a simple conversation, often with the same premise. ‘Oh what a lovely boat, we could really see ourselves on this…’

Whether at a boat show or simply dropping past the office one day out of the blue, you never really know who is going to walk through that door… actually buy the boat… actually embark on the adventure.

Many people dream about it, imagine the life out there on the water, but at the very moment the decision is made, that is when the fun really starts.

For us we are merely here to help along the way and pass on as much information as possible to make the whole process easier. We listen to the needs of the customer in trying to find the best available options for each individual project. Experience helps us to remove the headaches (or as many as possible) and use the knowledge and associated skills  to navigate the pitfalls and actually enable to them to be out there on the water. Which is where we find most of our customers enjoy themselves most.

This desire is not a new concept, as humans have been exploring the seas for centuries now, and yet still the urge to be out there continues. The feeling of being alone, with just the horizon and the wind behind you, having time to catch a sunset without distraction, or spending a night under the stars. These are experiences that remove you from the ordinary and the mundane, giving you precious time to think.

One such conversation started a few years ago with An Xiaodi here in Melbourne, and turned into the purchase of an Oceanis 48 as a first family boat.

Recently back from a trip across Bass Strait, the Xiaodi family have made huge progress since taking delivery of the vessel in 2016. The project has been a great example of how research and diligent learning can be transferred into adventure and excitement on the high seas. Not that it was all plain sailing of course, but as Andy pointed out…

Every single trip presents challenges and the reward of overcoming them and reaching that final destination is always the bit you take away with you.’

I managed to stop An (or Andy) for a quick chat this week as I was fascinated by the thought process that goes into purchasing a family boat, the part that begins before that first step through the office door.
Q1. Andy as a first time boat owner, how did you come to choose the Beneteau Oceanis 48 as the right choice for your family?

We were aware of the Beneteau brand from exposure in both China and Australia, we felt that this was a prestigious product and were impressed when we saw the boat at both the Melbourne and Sydney boat shows. In fact, it was the contact with Sundance that helped us to narrow down the choices and really concentrate on what we were actually looking for. When compared to the competition, their facilities in Melbourne along with the access to service and advice it has been a very good experience. The support and knowledge of the sales staff is excellent.

Q2. How much research did you undertake before settling on this particular model?

I would say approximately two years of study, we actually attended Sydney boat show twice in that period and were looking at a lot of different options

Q3. Are there any features that specifically attracted you to the Oceanis 48?

The Targa arch in cockpit and safety features throughout the boat. Making sure my family and crew are safe is the priority.

The interior finishes and fittings felt high end too, we are very happy with Bonbon.

Q4. Have the recent trips given you the desire to keep exploring?

Certainly, we try and plan a big trip every year. Next we are thinking New Zealand, then possibly Tahiti or New Caledonia. 

Q5. What would be the ultimate trip on S/Y Bonbon?

After our daughter graduates possibly a bigger trip, perhaps ocean crossings in the pipeline – future planning really, we are not quite there yet

Q6. Highlights so far?

Sydney was impressive with the coastline and facilities. We enjoyed exploring,there were plenty of options and places to explore.

Deal Island & Refuge Cove were really special too.

Q7. Advice for anyone looking to do this?

It takes time to learn and remember that everyone will make mistakes.

Do not hold back with the expense, the money can be daunting but we have absolutely no regrets with purchasing a new boat over a second hand.

Having a new boat has been good for us.

Practice on other boats – get out on the water on your own boat, that is my personal advice.

Q8. What has been the most challenging part for you as a new boat owner and what has been the most rewarding (part)?

Learning the many systems and functions of the boat itself, I have gained experience with the boat plumbing, the electronics the sails and so on…

Sailing itself is ultimately rewarding – to reach the destination after a difficult trip, the sense of achievement, that you can prove yourself and conquer  things, this makes you feel good and has a positive psychological effect.

There are many highs and lows – I would say it is not easy but highly rewarding. 

 Respond to challenges and come out happy!