#1 The search for a used sailboat


In November 2011 we began our search for a used sailboat. We decidated three weekends to visit all of sailboats we were interested in.

  • The first weekend took us on a tour of Normadie
  • The second weekend a tour of Britain
  • The third weekend a tour of Barcares, Port Leucate, Mortagne sur Gironde, Nantes et le Crouesti.

arbutus_sailboat6 At Port Barcarès we saw Arbutus for the first time. Jean-Guy and Josiane invited us on board to introduce us to their sailboat Sevelot ll. We could quickly tell that Jean-Guy and Josiane have accumulated many nautical miles and equally as important that they are extremely organized. Everything on the boat was well maintained and accounted for. We were also confident and reassured when they were able to answer all of our questions.

We narrowed our search to an aluminium sailboat with a shallow draft and a length of around 11 metres (36 feet). We visited a dozen boats, most of which were in good condition and some in very good condition. However, none could compare with the level of comfort and confidence we felt with Sevelot ll. The engine was almost new, the rigging was new and oversized, and the deck paint was in excellent condition. The other boats we visited had major flaws like a slippery deck, questionable renovations, an engine that looked older than the boat, an empty boat where it seemed the owners never sailed their own boat.


Another major determining factor for choosing Sevelot ll was Jean-Guy. It was evident he loved his boat because he took such good care of her and knew her so well. He is also a confident and informed sailor. Sevelot ll’s home in Port Barcarès is in the South of France and Jean-Guy agreed to help us sail Arbutus a portion of the way to Carentan in the North of France. He was very patient and reassuring with us…two beginners.


The boat was in excellent shape, we felt very cozy because of the wood interior, and the large windows permitted a lot of natural light. We felt comfortable, confident, and reassured with the owners…we found our boat. But, the asking price was over our budget after calculating all of the modifications we would have to make for our circumnavigation. Paul was able to negociate the price down, and even though it was still over our budget by a few thousand euros we bought Sevelot ll !!!

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