In Part I, we got to look at some of the details about the European Sailboat of the Year, the new Beneteau Oceanis 45. Now, in Part II, we get to meet her owner and find out how this new vessel was the perfect match for his family’s requirements.
Champagne, the vessel, is owned by Chris and Ren Barlow. Chris is very gracious, humorous, helpful and genuinely interested in his sailing. He’s also smart, for he very wisely gave Ren the naming rights to their new craft. He’s been a member at Sandringham Yacht Club in Melbourne for five years and found that now was the time to get themselves a new craft, as the kids have all got to the right age. ‘We’d been looking at a couple of older 43’s and then David Beck of Sundance brought this one in to Melbourne. The team there have been simply incredible, as has Shane Crookshanks from Vicsail Pittwater, for that matter. I show up, throw him the keys, he looks after it all, fixes stuff and it is really great. A wonderful experience in its entirety. I’ve always wanted to own a Beneteau and honestly, never thought the experience of buying one and getting to know it would be such a joy! I just have to think there’s a problem and someone is on board getting it fixed. Really, it has been so good, that I just want to go ahead and buy another one. If only you could get that experience with other significant acquisitions in your life, like the car or house. It’s been everything you expect and more. In terms of investment and expectation is it an over and above experience’, said a thoroughly delighted Chris.