I'm surprised to see that so many people have taken such a keen interest in my ownership
of African Innovation and my lack of blogging or writing lately.
The reasons are quite simple: I bought African Innovation from Gideon in June 2008. I paid more than I could afford, but after having looked at a TON of different boats, I decided that a FastCat
was what I wanted. Now I couldn't afford a new one, but I loved the lay-out, the design and how she moved. I bought African Innovation, because she was what I dreamt of when I thought about my ideal boat
(anyone who read my thread
2 years ago can see that a FastCat fit the image of the cat I was looking for. I wrote my list in that thread long before I had even heard of FastCats. It took another year and a few months, before I set foot in African Innovation and did a test sail together with Gideon and my father.
Now I couldn't afford a new one, but I could get African Innovation second hand, because it had been hull
number 1 and Gideon's demo boat. I paid more than I could afford, but that's unfortunately normally the case when we fall for something.
I bought African Innovation and sailed her back to Norway
. Since then I have sailed her through the English Channel
, across the Bay of Biscay, across the Atlantic and cruised the Windward, Leeward, Virgin and ABC Islands. A lot of comment has gone into why African Innovation is still registered in South Africa
under Gideon's company ... The answer is simple: Tax reasons. If I registered her in my name in Norway
I would have to pay an additional 24% ... Now that's a chunk of change I don't have. I am now working on ways to avoid the VAT and time will tell how successful I am.
The reason why I haven't been blogging is also simple: African Innovation has been on dry land in Aruba
since May 1st enjoying the hurricane
season in safe refuge. I on the other hand have been working my ass off for Royal Caribbean
to save up some much needed cash for further travels after my initial plan to do charters, kind of failed due to the impeccably timed credit crunch.
I haven't been active at all on any forum, mostly because I have been working on a cruise ship
with crap Internet
connection and to be honest, I didn't want to be reminded that I have a beautiful boat laying unused in Aruba
. It hurts. That all changes in 2 weeks, when I return to Aruba and resume cruising. This is also why I am active again now. You will also see that my blog
will be updated soon.
As to Gideon bashing and FastCat bashing. I'm not going to dive far into that hornets nest, but will say that Gideon and I have had our discussions and disagreements as any owner will have with the builder
(and/or previous owner). Do we sort out whatever is wrong or whatever I am in need of? Yes. Gideon has been very helpful and I honestly can't complain. Have I wanted to strangle him? ... Yes, but it's normally because I've done something stupid and he points it out to me. No, seriously, I have a very good relationship with Gideon and as with any relationship, you get what you give.
As to FastCat bashing, make sure you see and sail one before you attack. I have yet to have anyone onboard my boat that has not been very impressed. Do I have technical issues and problems? Of course I do ... It's a boat. Would I trade
her for any other boat of this size ... Yeah, Green eMotion when she is launched next week, until then ... no.
If anyone has any other questions about African Innovation, please fire away. I have a bunch of things to work
on when I get back onboard and if I showed you the list, I don't think the list would look remarkably different from any other do-list after your boat has been on the hard
for 6 months.