Pleiades – Seawind 1260.
Last week at the Seawind Headquarters we launched the two new Seawinds into the Saigon River. I was lucky enough to join in on the trip to Vung Tau, a coastal city of Vietnam to commission and handover our newest Seawind 1260 Pleiades. We left Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday morning. The weather in the morning was beautiful with sun shine and quite strong winds, suitable conditions for test sailing. Our plan was to head out of the Mekong delta and head 40NM offshore to windward before making a turn to our destination – Vung Tau. At the first night on the way to Vung Tau, the weather turned with heavy rain all night which came with strong wind and rough seas, a challenge to our crew and a great test for the boat, The 1260 performed exceptionally in these conditions, not surprisingly that she is a really tough and well-built design and punched through the negative weather to bring us to Vung Tau on Monday morning. Thanks to the build quality, stable structure and our sailors, Mark, Shane and the new owner Alan, we arrived at our destination safe and sprightly.
What are you looking for, sailor?
On Monday, Shane and Alan got a day to walk through all of the systems on the boat. One more time, she proves us that she is really easy to use. Every single system worked to full functionality including the engines, lighting, electricity, power sources, appliances and especially the autopilot system. Then later that day we took her to Marina Café, just inside the river mouth, for a place to anchor at night. That night we gathered in the cockpit to have dinner together. Some pizza and a beer are good for a quiet night at the anchorage. The cockpit was smartly organized with quality furnishings, giving us a comfortable night despite the strong wind and rain outside. Sometimes I saw some fishing boats try to get close to us to have a look at the boat to work out what this two hulled, sail boat could possibly be, each waving as they passed.
Sunset at the Marina Cafe
On Wednesday, the last day of commissioning, we welcomed two more crew onboard, Alans son in law Kenny and neighborhood friend Stefan. Then we headed out to sea for a final sea trial and sailing handover. A few more hours sailing and the most amazing moment came when I saw Alan tack the boat on autopilot when she was at high speed. I only could said Wowwww at that time, as the boat moved with conviction through the turn, the headsail swiftly shifted to leward on the self-tacking system and the boat began to regain momentum without the touch of a sheet line. In the evening I completed all the legal documents for Alan, including his port clearance and customs docs. Later that night, Shane and I handed over all the legal documents to Alan, the last step of commissioning. The boat is now totally ready for Alan and his friends to sail to Indonesia, a short 4-5 day sail before he continues back to Australia.
Godspeed and fair winds Pleiades.