Friday, 11 May 2012

The Dehler Top 34

The Dehler Top 34
Our newfound dreamboat is a Dehler Top 34, 1992 by naval architect Van de Stadt.  It’s robust, stable, and rapid, designed for open ocean and short-handed sailing, has a hand-laid fiberglass hull reputed to be impervious to osmosis, and has a beautiful mahogany interior.  The chart table is the most impressive I’ve ever seen, with a full sized table and modern instruments next to an electrical control panel that looks like something you would find in a small airplane.  And there is storage space EVERYWHERE.  It is clear that this boat was designed to sail, and sail, and sail. 

We had learned that one of the first questions to ask owners is what sort of sailing they did with the boat.  This tells you immediately whether the boat has just been lolling around local waters on family outings or if it has been outfitted for real sailing by real sailors.  I was already over the moon about the boat just based on the photos and description in the announcement.  When the owner told us he and his girlfriend had just come back from a one-year tour around the Atlantic, I was sold.  And just before their Atlantic tour, they had replaced just about everything:  rigging, sails, and electronics, and all were still in excellent condition. 

We are currently stumbling clumsily through the arrangements between buyer and seller like kids at their first dance.  We have never bought a boat before and they have never sold one, so we’re all babes in the woods here. We have laughed our way through most of the official hurdles and have become quite chummy.  When we signed the first slew of papers, they asked us if we intended to keep the name of the boat.  That sounded like such a simple question.