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GETTING TO KNOW the Knysna 480… in the Maldives!

Published on 01 june 2011 at 0h00

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It is rare that we are lucky enough to be able to test a boat in its real cruising configuration, as it would really be used by its owner. Aboard this Knysna 480, the n°1 of the series, we were able to live aboard a boat in working order for a full week, with all tanks full, loaded with food, our belongings, and with its full crew... In short, a real-life test!

How to combine business with pleasure? Imagine: having to test a cruising catamaran...in the Maldives! Just before the Dubai Boat Show then, we set off for this rather unusual test... Our Knysna 480 was the first one produced by the builder in 2009. It had been delivered by sea from the yard in South Africa to its operating base in Malé, a distance of more than 3,500 miles. A test which speaks for itself! And for almost two years now it has been used for crewed charter. Thus for once, we were not going to test a new boat, but one which was well ‘run-in’ and above all in real sailing condition, with full equipment (from the generator to the watermaker, via the freezers, water, refrigerator and of course provisions and diesel for 10 people for one week...). We were about to spend a week from our dreams! The adventure began at the airport. As in many airports in the tropics, leaving the aeroplane was a real shock: the heat knocked us out, whilst the environment promised a magical week, between the turquoise water and the palm and coconut trees. It only took a few minutes to complete the essential entry formalities (beware, importing alcohol into the Maldives is prohibited) and coll...

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