In the Beginning
Timing is everything, as they say, and Bas’ was spot on when he suggested that we buy Redshift, a Steiner Custom 29.
We were delivering Redshift from Puerto Galera on the Philippines Island of Mindoro to Subic Bay north of Manila on Luzon Island. The day before we had crossed the Verde Passage and cruised up the coast of Luzon to Punta Fuego enjoying a 12-15 knot breeze on the quarter. A full cruising main and the big kite saw us happily maintaining speeds in the mid-teens.
Pulling out of Punta Fuego the next morning, we were met with similar breeze in reaching conditions. As we quickly crossed Manila Bay and passed Corregidor Island the breeze began to build and a following sea developed; we were in perfect reaching/surfing conditions!
That is when Bas whispered in my ear,
“Let’s buy her.”
“Nah”, I replied. Quickly adding, “it needs too much work!”.
“We could make an offer to Hans to buy into it. Spread the cost that way”, Bas insisted as we were maxing out a particularly long ride with the boat effortlessly surfing along.
“Mmmmm”, I grunted non committedly.
Arriving in Subic Bay we tidied the boat up and headed for the bar.
“What kind of speeds did we reach today”, was the first inevitable question.
Navionics was spun up and our track for the day appeared. Max speed: 23.7 knots. My mind turned back to that long effortless ride … at 23.7 effortless knots!
“F.ck it!”, I said to Bas, “Let’s talk to Hans!”
The Steiner Custom 29 is a one of a kind sports boat, built in Tasmania, Australia. Raced in the land down under it was bought to the Philippines in 2015 by Hans. It’s of foam sandwich construction, has a lifting bulb keel, decent sized aluminum rig, wings and a very big bowsprit. It was designed as a down-wind weapon and it does not disappoint in that department. However, I couldn’t help thinking that the boat had more to give. Paraphrasing from that iconic Kiwi movie, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, she was a bit like ‘Sarah Conner (from the Terminator); but in the first movie before she could do chin-ups’. Well, if we were going to buy her, Sarah was going to have to hit the gym and get fully buffed up ready for the Terminator sequel; bad-arse and pumping out those chin-ups.