Bagadeus - the History
Click on any of the photographs below to see a larger image.
September 2001 - February 2002: Acquisition
We, David and Malcolm, the two owners, took the decision to purchase Bagadeus more or less during a visit to the Southampton Boat Show on Friday 14th September 2001. We wanted to buy a boat which we could operate as a charter yacht, and which we could use ourselves on perhaps a couple of cruises a year. We went on board an number of boats with a budget in mind; after looking at a number of options, it was quite clear to us that by far the best choice was the Bavaria 34 on the Opal Marine stand. Whilst on the stand, we stood quietly with everyone else at 11:00 for the three-minute silence in memory of those who had lost their lives three days earlier in New York.
A discussion was held with a firm of chartered accountants, Lewis Smith & Co., who advised on the formation of a company to own and operate a charter yacht. In due course we bought through Lewis Smith an off-the-shelf company: DatePower Limited. We briefly considered changing the name - but then, DatePower has a certain ring to it.....
A deposit was paid and a trial sail arranged, which took place in Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent towards the end of October.
We placed a formal order for a Bavaria 34, three-cabin version, with Opal Marine on 24th October 2001. Bavaria offer a number of factory options, and these were discussed with Opal - and most of them ordered - at the same time.
We also held discussions with Fairview Sailing who were at that time recommended by Opal as chartering agents. An agreement appointing them as charter agents was signed on 28th October 2001 (for a variety of reasons we became unhappy with Fairview Sailing and have now appointed Hamble Point Yacht Charters, a reliable and experienced company based at Hamble Point Marina, as our charter agents).
Opal Marine also offer a further range of options which are fitted in the UK following delivery, and these were discussed at the same time. After a further month of consideration, and research particularly into the electronic systems which are available, we paid another visit to Opal Marine at their base at Sparkes' Marina in Chichester Harbour to discuss the equipment to be fitted in the UK. We met with Wayne Moreton (Customer Services Manager) who brought in others as necessary, in particular the people who would supply and fit the electronics systems. This was particularly important because we had opted for a very comprehensive electronics fit, which had its own complications; it was also the first time that Opal had fitted the new Raymarine 150G autopilot system we had selected. A firm order was placed for the UK equipment on 10th January 2002.
A number of further items of equipment (particularly safety equipment), and some modifications to original fittings, would be required in order to meet charter coding requirements. These were discussed and then ordered from the chartering agents.
During this period there was much discussion, involving both ourselves and our wives, concerning the new boat's name. Finally we decided on a combination of our respective cats' names, "Baggins" and "Amadeus"; hence - "Bagadeus".
The boat was delivered from the Bavaria factory to Opal's base at Sparkes' Marina at the end of January 2002. There the additional equipment we had ordered was installed and her name and SSR number were painted on in our chosen font (VAG) by Martin Hickson of "On the Spot Signs". She had now become "Bagadeus" and she went into the water for the first time in early February. Handover day had been set at 20th February and on that date we met Wayne Moreton who took us through the boat's systems, the system calibrations Opal had done and the considerable amount of documentation and equipment manuals. We paid over the balance of the purchase price, picked up the keys and Bagadeus now belonged to us - well, actually to Datepower Limited in which we each own 50% of the shares, but it felt like "us".
February 2002: Delivery to Port Hamble Marina
This first, short, sea trial convinced us we had made the right choices; we are delighted with Bagadeus. She is roomy, comfortable, sails well, has ample engine power and is extremely well equipped. She is every bit the boat we hoped she would be.
March 2002: Transfer to Camper & Nicholson's Marina, Gosport
After her final fitting out and charter coding work, we took Bagadeus from Port Hamble Marina to Camper & Nicholson's Marina at Gosport, her first operational base, on a pleasant spring day on 26th March 2002.
Because of the good weather, and because we had Alan, a friend, along for the trip, we tried her handling under various sail configurations, practiced some MOB manoeuvres off Lee-on-Solent and put into the Medina River for lunch before the eight-mile beat to the Swashway and C&N. Above, you can see a few photographs of Alan undergoing training in helming and basic galley skills.
April 2002: Out on Charter
In April 2002 Bagadeus started her work as a charter boat. Amongst the charters, the owners used Bagadeus for three cruises during 2002; details are on the 'Cruises' page.
August 2002: Canister Life Raft fitted
Initially Bagadeus carried her liferaft in a valise packing, in the port cockpit locker. We did not like this arrangement because of the effort involved in getting out and launching the liferaft if ever it was wanted in anger, and because we lost the use of that cockpit locker for anything else.
In August 2002 we arranged for the liferaft to be repacked into a canister and mounted on deck, ahead of the sprayhood, on a teak mounting frame. The new arrangement can be seen on the right. The liferaft is attached with quick-release shock cord and tether line fitted with a cutter on a hydrostatic fuse. Launching the liferaft is now just a matter of releasing the shock-cord mountings and throwing the canister overboard. The liferaft will then inflate, attached by the tether line. When abandoning to the liferaft, crew board the raft and cut the tether with a knife (the raft carries a suitable knife). If the boat sinks with the liferaft still in place, at a certain depth the hydrostatic fuse fires and cuts the tether so that the liferaft automatically rises to the surface and inflates.
January 2003: Pacamain Mainsail Stowage System installed
Throughout her first season, Bagadeus had been fitted with lazyjacks to aid in lowering the mainsail, but we were not completely satisfied with the simple system we had. In January 2003 we had a Pacamain system fitted. This consists of a canvas bag carried along the boom into which the mainsail is dropped; lazyjacks are fitted running from the top edges of the pacamain bag to a point well up on the mast. The pacamain bag can be zipped up to pack the main away simply and quickly. In use, to drop the main one has simply to lower the mainsail halyard; the mainsail will then fall, guided within the lazyjack lines, into the pacamain bag. The bag is then zipped up and that is that - the mainsail is secured and stowed.
February 2003: Winter Lift, Scrub and Antifoul
Bagadeus was lifted for an annual underwater scrub and antifoul on Thursday 6 February 2003. We visited her to have look at her undersides on Monday 10 February 2003. When we saw her she had had an intial scrub before final clean, paint and antifoul. The anode around the propeller shaft had done its job, as can be seen in the photographs below. The anode was renewed shortly after the photograph was taken, the propeller and saildrive painted and antifoul applied. She went back into the water on Thursday 13 February 2003.
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