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A new lease on life

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Above: Regent Express afloat and looking pretty as a picture in Germany.

Overhwelmed with joy at the sound of his first child being born, Stevie Wonder went home, sat down at at his Fender-Rhodes, and penned the million seller hit song "Isn't she lovely?"

Those were my thoughts too when the new owner of Regent Express, Jann Loell, sent me this photo of the lovely lady sitting impatiently at the dock near a lock off the North Sea in Germany - eager to give her new owner some high speed thrills and spills. Writing that short and sweet sentence belies the the many hours of emails and phone calls to shipping agents, engineers, cradle designers, yacht clubs, friends, and all manner of boat sales agents all over South Africa in order to make this happen.

The local market is as dead as a Dodo
So let's have a quick look at just how difficult it is selling a keelboat in South Africa. I'm a marketing guy and I set to the task with enthusiasm posting the details of the boat with every keel boat club in South Africa and with every yacht sales agent as well. I advertised it on Gumtree, OLX, Cape Ads and Sailing Magazine. I also posted it on this website. The inquiries were sparse - even that is a kind version of 'just about buggerall'. I had one call from a potential buyer from Knysna looking for a yacht under 10 meters, but I had to be honest and tell him the Pacer 27 is not a cruising boat by the furthest stretch of the imagination. The original owner of the boat, now living in Australia, was keen to buy it back, but when the SA Government reworked his pension fund payout, the deal 'fell out of bed'with a rapidity of a Highveld hailstone.

Europe is the market.
A few months went by and then I had a call from Germany - Jann Loell had sailed on a Pacer 27 during the Mykonos Offshore two years ago and had wanted a Pacer 27 ever since. It had been the best sail of his life. And so negotiations began. It was complicated. At first it was going to go over on it's trailer as deck cargo, but the prices were staggeringly high - almost R100,000!

Every dark cloud.....
The only viable option was to go for a container - at about one third of the price, but the trailer would not fit in. That meant removing the trailer from the equation and reworking the price. Meanwhile the NUMSA controlled Rand started falling, which worked out very nicely for the buyer and by the time the date arrived for final payment, the Rand had plummeted by 20% in six weeks - almost exactly the value of the import tax into Germany for second hand goods. And that, more or less clinched the deal.

The patience of Job to get through the red tape.
Litle by little, bit by bit, every obstacle was overcome. A special cradle had to be built and I appointed Wayne Robertson Yachts, who worked perfectly with buyer and seller to successfully complete that crucial part of the job. The shippers were zuper-professional and soon the boat had to be delivered for containerization. The most important factors in making the deal successful were trust and service. In the meantime another buyer called from Abu Dhabi expressing keen interest, but the German deal had been virtually concluded. The Abu Dhabi inquiry resulted in a new Pacer 27 being sold by the factory.

The trip by sea took about 3 weeks and the entire unloading and re-rigging procedure went off smoothly. Happy buyer/happy seller!

Above: New owner Jann Loell on launch day. I wish him many fast knots of sailing happiness.

The Mooring?
The mooring also has a new owner and I am happy that Gawie Fagan's old RCOD is already gracing our old spot in front of the clubhouse.

The Trailer?
The trailer is still for sale at time of writing. The price has been reduced to R 35,000 o.n.c.o. Perfect for an L26! And it's licenced and registered.

The website?
I also need to make a decision as to what to do with this website. If anyone is interested in taking it over as a pure sailing site, please contact me. The site receives between 1000 and 3500 views per month, depending on how active it is.

The Future?
What of the future - Sailing is in my blood. I truly love the sport. I am searching.......something new....something fast.....?

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