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Cygnet 20 24 Cirrus

Cygnet 20 #24 Cirrus

When I started out on the journey of looking for a new boat I knew what I wanted, I just wasn’t sure if it was there. Priority number one was a trailer sailer as I didn’t want to be stuck sailing from the same marina week in week out without being able to explore some of the beautiful sailing areas we are blessed with in Australia.

Too many times I had watched trailer sailers taking what seemed like hours to rig and needing three people to achieve a simple day on the water, so something easy to rig was also high on the list. Last but not least was that I sail a lot of the time single handed, so easy to handle was also a high priority.

I read an article about the Cygnet 20 from Bluewater Cruising Yachts which led to many YouTube videos, and as much else as I could read about this very pretty, little boat. I knew of Bluewater’s reputation already for building high quality seaworthy cruising sailing boats so felt reassured that the Cygnet 20 would come with the same quality.

Discovering that the ordering time was up to 18 months was disappointing but also reassuring as many others had come to the same conclusion about how good the Cygnet 20 could be. I placed an order and a few months later made the trip up to Lake Macquarie to have a test sail, and a good look over the boat for a couple of days. David and Corinne were very helpful assisting us chose the specification we wanted, and we left for home assured that the right choice had been made.

We took delivery of Cirrus on November 2021, and I can comfortably say she has been everything I could have wished for. Great fun to sail, easy to rig, comfortable to take cruising, and always attracts admiring comments wherever she is seen.

I have always enjoyed racing and cruising both but never really expected Cirrus to be as quick as she has proved to be. Despite her classic lines and gaff rig the Cygnet 20 is not a slow boat for her size, and we have been lucky enough to have plenty of success in regattas in the time we have had her. From the Marlay Point Race to Airlie Beach Race Week she has coped admirably in many conditions, and has been easy to tow the many kilometres north and south over the last winter.

Whether racing or cruising, Cirrus has been a delight to own, and I have no hesitation in recommending the Cygnet 20 to anyone.

Tim Bardon
#24 Cirrus
Matther Gralton

Phil & Jodi Rose, Cygnet 20 “Uccellino”

Occasionally, a collaboration is formed, and a beautiful thing is created for people to enjoy. It may be music, art, architecture, or a scientific breakthrough. The Cygnet 20, the result of a collaboration between boat builder David Bradburn and marine architect Will Hardcastle is one of those things. Taking delivery of “Uccellino” from the factory in late 2020 was the start of an amazing year of adventure that took us from Sydney Harbour to Lake Macquarie, The Clarence River,  Darwin Harbour and the mighty Victoria River in the remote northwest of the Northern Territory. It has been a life changing decision for my family, to be able to see the country from a different angle, to have sailing adventures we never knew could be a reality.

I realised we had outgrown our Hobie 16 when we were trying to have twilight dinner and drinks as a family of 4 on Fannie Bay. I needed a boat we could easily handle, that I could store under the house in the cyclone season and didn't take hours to get ready to sail. I stopped looking at second hand trailer yachts in Trader Boat when I saw the Cygnet 20 ad in Afloat magazine, and watched the YouTube videos in February 2018. I arranged a sail with David via Corinne when we next visited Sydney in September that year.

It was love at first sail. It felt like a yacht on the water, could be managed like a (big) dinghy on and off the trailer, and took less than an hour from the driveway to be sailing. We ordered on the spot.

There has been no regrets, no modifications, tonnes of rookie mistakes, tonnes of learning and tonnes of sailing. We simply use it and love it.
David, Corinne and the crew at Bluewater Cruising Yachts, made the business of building our boat very comfortable considering we are a long way from Newcastle. We never felt any pressure during the build, we were sent photos throughout, Corinne took care of many small details so we could drive into Newcastle from Darwin 2 days before Christmas amid covid confusion, have sea trials on the lake, and be sailing on Sydney Harbour by Christmas Day.

I could talk more about the classic lines, design characteristics, the practicalities of the gaff rig and carbon spars, but one sail on a Cygnet 20 will tell you more than any words.

Regards, Phil and Jodi Rose
Matther Gralton

Darryl Collins, Cygnet 20

Some years ago I enrolled in a sailing course at the Canberra Yacht Club. I'd hire Hobie cats and occasionally get a chance to crew on a trailer sailer on race days. But, relying on others for a sail wasn't working out ... I needed a boat of my own. After searching the 'boats for sale' websites for some months and finding mostly 30-50 year old sail boats in varying stages of decay I came across the Bluewater Cruising Yacht website. 3 minutes later I decided a Cygnet 20 was a possibility. A few weeks later I was sailing on Lake Macquarie on a Cygnet 20 with Corinne and Will. An hour later I placed an order for one. The main requirements for me were:

a) had to be manageable single handed
b) easy to rig
c) good sturdy construction, and
d) an Association where we will have organised group outings.

Being Australian Made is also a huge plus. During construction Corinne's advice/help made the decisions on inclusions, sail colour, boat cover colour, etc. much easier, along with a mid-build inspection at the factory, and another sail on Lake Macquarie.

I had been able to sail my Cygnet 20 on Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra on numerous occasions, then the Canberra's winter arrived, and Covid with lockdowns and restrictions arrived.  Fortunately, I was able to travel, and compete in the Noosa Regatta, and cruise the Noosa River to the Everglades for 2 days, an excellent first away from home outing.   I'm so happy with how the Cygnet 20 performs, especially that I can do everything singlehanded, from rigging, launching, sailing, reefing, tacking etc ... I now look forward to many more days sailing on local lakes and more group outings.

Daryl Collins
Matther Gralton

Matthew & Lindsey Gralton, Cygnet 20 “Duyfken”.

The purchase, building and now the sailing of the The Bluewater Cygnet 20 has been a fantastic and life changing experience for me from the very start.

I was hooked on the Cygnet 20 from the time I first sighted her in the Cruising Helmsman magazine in July 2019 whilst sailing on a rented catamaran around The Whitsunday Islands in Queensland.

On return from my sailing trip in late July 2019, I contacted David Bradburn and from the outset, I felt very comfortable dealing with David whose passion for his business (Bluewater Cruising Yachts – BWCY) and one of his products (the Cygnet 20) was both refreshing and inspirational.

I quickly placed an order for a Cygnet 20 and paid my deposit … to beat the rush.

During the boat’s build, I often visited the Cardiff factory and was always kept well informed via David’s superb team of boat builders and craftsmen.

Once the boat was completed, I spent time with David and his family for a couple of days for the commissioning of my Cygnet 20 (Duyfken) and have also recently had sailing lessons from the Cygnet 20’s boat designer, Will Hardcastle, who has come to Sydney for selective days and his expertise and knowledge has assisted me greatly.

To have ongoing access to the boat builder (only two hours from Sydney) and the boat designer, is a real bonus and adds a local touch to after sales service.

In my decision to purchase the boat, I was attracted to the fact that the boat was locally made and I would be supporting an Australian designed and beautifully crafted product.

Plus, I knew if I had any problems, repairs and support would be close-at-hand and this gave me peace of mind.

After the initial month of ownership and testing in early 2020, David’s team provided all the support I needed in relation to a few dings and some technical changes and backup as required.

Duyfken is very well constructed, looks great and is a pleasure to sail and I am so pleased with my decision.

I look forward to a long relationship with David, Corinne, Will and the entire BWCY team as the Cygnet 20 Australian fleet continues to grow and prosper.

I have no hesitation in recommending Bluewater Cruising Yachts to any sailing enthusiast.

- Matthew & Lindsey Gralton
Bob Graham

Paul & Diane Hayter, Cygnet 20 “GiGi”.

After spending five years sailing around this beautiful world in a custom built 45ft sloop designed by a New Zealander named Bakewell White, and then downsizing to a more family user Seawind 38ft Catamaran, my wife and I decided to hang up our sailing adventures. This decision was due to the lack of time we were spending on the water.

However, having missed being on the water for a while we decided to buy a stink boat. She is a beautifully built craft a 44ft Griffen Cruiser. After a short while my wife and I came to a joint decision that we really missed the sailing aspects of just sailing around in a sail boat.

After looking around at smaller boats on the market we were introduced to Bluewater Cruising Yachts based in Cardiff, NSW. We liked what we saw on their website and decided to fly over from WA, and inspect their latest creation, the Cygnet 20.

We met both David and Corinne who showed us around and explained the process in producing this compact and stylish gaff rigged yacht. We met the designer, Will Hardcastle, and were impressed by the quality and workmanship of the yacht.

David had arranged a test sail for us and unfortunately the weather could not have been worse. We could not cancel as we only had that time slot before flying back to Perth. Undaunted by the strong winds David slipped the Cygnet into the water and off we went. Naturally we were reefed down to just the main, and I was immediately impressed by the stability and pointing ability of this vessel. In my humble opinion it was possibly the best way to see how she would perform, and handle the strong winds and sea state. She came through with flying colours.

The next day we placed an order and now we have our beautiful “GiGi “resting on its trailer at Quindalup on Geographe Bay, WA. We decided to have her antifouled as we leave her on our mooring in the Bay where she shows off her beautiful lines.

As for the sailing she is all you could ask for: fast, stiff and easy to handle. The reefing points are easy to handle and just great for me to teach our grandchildren the art of sailing.

I have enjoyed dealing both with David and Corinne who have been most helpful, and share a deep love of sailing. David flew over to WA and stayed with us to sort out a couple of minor problems which confirms Bluewater's after sales service is Australia wide.

In conclusion I would not hesitate to recommend the Cygnet 20 for the sailing enthusiasts.

- Paul & Diane Hayter
Bob Graham

Brett & Sue Webster, Perth W.A. Kotare, Hull #4

Having been looking into the possibility of a Trailer Sailer for some years it appeared that the options were many on the used market while not a lot on offer new.

Nothing against the older boats - most were honest, well built craft testified to by the fact that they’re still around some 30 to 40 years later and commanding reasonably high prices. However there has been significant technological and safety improvements since the mid ’70’s.

When we became aware of the Cygnet 20 (Cruising Helmsman magazine article) it seemed to offer the combination of high build quality, good sailing performance, ease of use and realistic cost.

An unannounced visit to the factory confirmed that impression and introduced us to the enthusiastic and proficient team at Blue Water Cruising Yachts. A second visit during construction of our boat including a sail out on Lake Macquarie in 30+ knot winds in Davids boat ratified the Cygnet’s capabilities.

Having had our Cygnet now for a few months (and learned the ropes!) we’ve been impressed by the very high standard of build throughout as well as the sailing performance and general user friendliness of the whole package.

Being able to deal directly with the owner of BWCY, meet the builders as well as the designer was a real bonus for us not possible with the available imported production yachts.

Would definitely recommend the Cygnet 20 to anyone interested in a modern, high performance take on a timeless classic craft.

- Brett Webster
Bob Graham

Michael Shannon, Cygnet 20 “Hopewell".

About a year ago I started looking for a sailing boat which I could sail on Moreton Bay, Qld which met the following requirements.

1. 20-25 feet LOA
2. Stable and forgiving 
3. Could be sailed single-handed
4. Simple to maintain (no electrical system, inboard engine, etc.)

I wanted to keep the boat in the water but couldn't find anything until I realised that the boat I was looking for was probably in the 'trailer sailer' category. That's when I found the Cygnet 20.

In January 2019, I went to the BWCY factory in Newcastle where I spent two days with David and his boat builders, Kevin, Joe and James. I was able to sail the Cygnet with David on Lake Macquarie, and placed an order before returning to Brisbane. The Cygnet was a lovely boat to sail, built to a very high standard and perfect for my requirements!

I returned to BWCY in May and was present for the final completion of my Cygnet 20 including a test sail on Lake Macquarie. David and his team were able to solve a number of particular issues, including attachment of the electric outboard motor adjusted for the particular propeller depth specified by the manufacturer. No bracket on the transom!

Delivery to Brisbane went without a hitch and David sailed the Cygnet with me for two days going over various details of the boat as we enjoyed ourselves on Moreton Bay. David's passion and attention to detail and quality were very evident. It was also lovely to meet the Bradburn family as well and see the support given by Corinne, Will and Jessie Rose. BWCY is very much a family business!

Since delivery last week, I have sailed the Cygnet as much as possible with my brother in law as we have fitted 2 months of 'weekend' sailing into 2 weeks. From no wind to over 15 knots the Cygnet handled very nicely. This boat is fun to sail! I really enjoy the gaff rig and the 280 litres of water ballast is a great innovation which assists stability without sacrificing performance.

I am very happy to have found the Cygnet 20 which has met all the requirements that I was looking for in a sailing boat.

Well done to the BWCY team!

- Michael Shannon
Wayne and Heather Reed

Mark Stringfellow Testimonial, Cygnet 20 “Tide Rider”.

In 2017 I attended the Sydney International Boat Show with the intention of looking for something to replace my much used and enjoyed Hobie TI (Tandem Island). I was after something just as versatile but a bit more civilised. Something that could go in the shallowest of waters, with a simple to drop mast on the water for low bridges, be beached easily, was quick to setup/pack away, trailerable, sailed well and could handle the occasional open waters/island hop safely.

Nestled among the super yachts and catamarans in the marina was  the Cygnet 20, and I was so impressed with how beautiful she looked that I took many pictures to show my father. We had just done up his Investigator 563 for sale, and I thought he’d appreciate the design and craftsmanship of the BWCY modern take on the trailer sailer. I had not considered it at the time as a TI replacement though. I had always hated the long setup/mast stepping common to most trailer sailers I knew of. There was no one around on the Cygnet 20, and I assumed it had a keel, something I did not want.

A few docks down I noticed the Seascape 24 and I began to see how it might be what I was after ...though a little too much boat. After a bit more research I discovered its smaller sister, the Seascape 18. This seemed ideal for my needs. Problem was there were only 3 in Australia and 2 of those were in WA. The only one in NSW was at Jervis Bay and though I tried hard I could not get the Aus importer to get me a sail on it before ordering.

A year passed and I went to the 2018 Sydney Boatshow wanting to see trimarans like the Dragonfly and Corsair. After closely inspecting both boats I could see they were too much boat for what I wanted.

Then I saw the Cygnet 20 again. This time it was on a stand in one of the pavilions. I was surprised to see it had a flat canoe bottom with a swing keel. I met David who enthusiastically detailed the benefits of water ballast, gaff rig, etc. I was impressed with the cabin layout and began thinking this may be what I was after to replace my TI.

David kindly arranged for a test sail on my local Brisbane Waters. My wife and I really enjoyed how civilised and comfortable it was, how well it sailed and how easy it was to set up/pack up. My TI used to take twice as long! It was great to return to the dock dry after the test sail.

After watching the Cygnet 20 race on Lake Macquarie, visiting the BWCY factory with David and going on another test sail we decided to go ahead and purchase Cygnet #2.

During the build David and his team have been exceptional. I visited the factory regularly and was keen to have input on trailer, outboard, outboard bracket, etc. The team have been very accommodating and helpful and I couldn’t be happier. Their workmanship is first class and David and his team have delivered a high quality and unique boat that always draws compliments.

It is also very easy to set up and launch and it sails beautifully. I’m not into racing but this boat is very competitive. I have mates who are experienced sailors and they have all been impressed with the Cygnet 20’s sea worthiness and speed on the water. One trip from Woy Woy to Pittwater we had to negotiate a small craft advisory with a 3m swell off Box Head. The little Cygnet handled it without drama!

BWCY’s exceptional service has continued long after the sale. A newbie error in shallow water with the rudder up resulted in minor rudder damage from the outboard prop. After a visit to the factory it was expertly and quickly repaired  - without charge! A couple of minor issues have been fixed immediately at the factory. As this boat is a new design it will evolve. Recently, David sent me an upgraded boom connector  that simplifies set up - once again at no cost. 

I have got to know the team at BWCY very well, and I would like to thank David and Corinne, and their craftsmen James, Kevin, and Joe for the quality build and exceptional service. It has been great dealing directly with a local company that knows its product because they built it, not just sales middlemen.

PS. In the late ‘70’s an Investigator 563 was about $8,000.00 new. In today’s value that equates to about $44,000.00.  This makes the Cygnet 20 exceptional value considering its design, build quality and fittings.

- Mark Stringfellow
Bob Graham

Bob and Kerry Graham - Bluewater 420 "Footloose II"

Kerry and I have been sailing around South Australian waters for over 30 years. We had always planned to cruise further afield when the time was right. Kerry said if we are going to do it we will need to purchase a more suitable yacht. We put our 34ft steel yacht on the market and before Iong it was sold.

As we no longer had a yacht our friends invited us to join them on their Tayana 42ft centre cockpit for a four day cruise to Kangaroo Island. We were impressed with the ease that she handled the 35kt winds and sloppy seas that were not forecast. We then knew that we needed a yacht of similar size and displacement with a cruising fin, and skeg hung rudder but with a more modern layout and no teak decks.

After searching the web for 2 years my son recommended that I look at a Bluewater 420 Centre Cockpit that was back on the market. I contacted David Bradburn and we spoke for a long time about the construction methods used by Bluewater Cruising Yachts. Having the ability to speak to David with his knowledge of the yachts history convinced me that an inspection was warranted.

My son and I were most impressed by the construction and the ability to access everything that may need to be serviced or replaced. The staunchions and lifelines are rock solid, and all the stainless work is still highly polished after 20 years. Kerry was most impressed by the huge aft cabin with a queen sized bed and generous storage. The well laid out galley with plenty of bench space and storage. The head being located amidships at the bottom of the companion way was another desirable feature.

We have now owned Footloose II for six months and so far she has exceeded our expectations in her ease of handling and performance in both light and moderate winds. We are confident that she will take us wherever we decide to venture in both safety and comfort.

- Bob and Kerry Graham
Wayne and Heather Reed

Andrew Robertson and Margaret Campbell, Bluewater 400 "Polaris 2"

Why we chose a Bluewater 400 Yacht?

My wife Margaret and I have been dreaming of our ultimate cruising boat for many years (or I have at any rate!).  We have both sailed dinghies since we were kids and more recently raced small keelboats on Sydney Harbour. 

We were looking for a cruising boat that sailed well, was easily managed by one or two people and could handle long distances in safety and comfort. 

The Bluewater 400 fitted the brief perfectly as an outstanding example of a high quality Australian designed and built long distance ocean going cruising boat. The Joe Adams designed hull with integral keel and skeg hung rudder is fast and very seaworthy and combined with the build quality from the Bluewater factory has created a good looking robust addition to our family. 

It was love at first sight when we first inspected Michael and Merle North’s beautiful Polaris 2 mid 2015. After 17 years and over 30,000 sea miles including a circumnavigation, Polaris was still in immaculate condition. Michael still had the hull cores from the original build (from installation of hull fittings etc) which showed the carefully laid layers of fiberglass and the generous reassuring thickness (some over 1’’ thick ). 

Margaret and I are only the second owner of Polaris 2 and we feel very privileged to own such a beautiful boat. We are planning to sail to Hamilton Island later this year and then to Melbourne and Tasmania later in the year in preparation for a circumnavigation of Australia and, hopefully, another go around (the world) over the next few years. 

David and Corrine Bradburn have been very helpful in introducing us to the wonderful Bluewater family of cruising boats and we recently enjoyed an Easter on Lake Macquarie with six other Bluewater yachts  who made us feel very welcome. 

- Andrew Robertson and Margaret Campbell
Wayne and Heather Reed

Wayne and Heather Reed, Bluewater 400 "Leyla"

Why we chose a Bluewater Yacht?

Well the rationale behind this decision was very simple. I had sailed for many years on a range of different yachts in harbour races, coastal races, offshore races and chartered yachts in various locations around the world. The majority of these yachts for 'fit for purpose' - lightly built, sparse and reasonably complex to sail well. In 2011/12 we competed in the Clipper round the world yacht race.

These yachts were built to withstand rigorous conditions and were strong, solid and instilled great confidence in some of the worst conditions one could encounter. One failing however on these yachts was lack of protection form the elements on deck. From the Southern Ocean to the tropics, there was no relief from the cold wind and rain nor from the relenting heat of the tropics.

We wanted a yacht that had to meet a lot of criteria that had been slowly added to a long list of 'wants and needs' over the years. Solid, spacious, safe, capable of being handled solo if required.

When we decided to retire and commit to pursuing a sailing lifestyle the search for a suitable yacht commenced in earnest. We looked at a vast variety of yachts over several years, visited almost every boat show and spent a lot of time searching the web.

At a boat show in Sydney a few years ago I had met David when I had look at his Bluewater 420. What was not to like. It met virtually every criteria that was on my list, well built, solid, strong, integral keel, skeg hung rudder, spacious below, protection from the elements and most importantly, manageable by one person if required. So the search began for a pre loved one. David and his team were very helpful and accommodating. A tour of the factory and an opportunity to see a new Bluewater 420 being built sealed the decision that this was a yacht that could handle any conditions that we may encounter. The build quality was outstanding. We purchase 'Leyla' in April 14 and asked David to make one small modification/addition.

We plan on cruising Australia/New Zealand from Tasmania to the Kimberlies and hopefully beyond and after our Race experience being exposed to the elements we knew protection whilst on watch was critical. We decided that a permanent hard dodger/bimini combination was a 'must have' option. David and his team were
very easy to work with and were very patient with answering all of our questions, perhaps the same question several times.

If you are looking for a comfortable, well built yacht to make you feel safe and secure in any condition, ensure you have a chat to David at Bluewater Cruising Yachts. the name speaks for itself.

- Wayne Reed
Greg & Heidi Turton, Bluewater 420 "Sabbatical II"

Greg & Heidi Turton, Bluewater 420 "Sabbatical II" 

Our initial interest in evaluating a Bluewater cruising yacht was purely practical. We wanted a yacht with far greater structural strength than any of the typical production yachts, an encapsulated keel, a skeg hung rudder and a high angle of vanishing stability - in other words a genuine cruising yacht.

Once we had established the practical issues, our decision to purchase was purely emotional. We just loved the build quality and finish levels of the Bluewater 420's that we inspected. We look forward to launch day although we are also enjoying the building process where we are welcome to drop in anytime to check on the progress.

- Greg & Heidi Turton
Gail & George Grant - Bluewater 420 "Southern Belle"

Gail & George Grant, Bluewater 420 "Southern Belle"

Why Build a Bluewater? 

It has taken some considerable time and research to finally come to the decision to build a Bluewater 420.  Our decision was based on the criteria we felt was important…
  • The best size two people could comfortably handle… we decided 40-45 ft was the optimum;
  • A manageable sail plan;
  • Large tankage and lots of storage;
  • A powerful engine with solid construction (no cored hull for us) and a skeg hung rudder;
  • A comfortable motion at sea was important as well as all-weather protection from a hard dodger.
The build quality had to be second to none. There is nothing like knowing who will be building your vessel….after all your life could be at stake in a lesser yacht. We have all heard and read about the horror stories of keels falling off while at sea on other yachts.

With all of this in mind – and after years of looking – we decided on a Bluewater 420.  Bluewater have a commitment to quality that is rare in today’s world.  Their attention to detail and the way they partner with an owner throughout the entire building process is exceptional.

Our experience at every stage in the building of our Bluewater 420 by David and his team has been unbelievably positive. Their professionalism, pride and workmanship are consistently at a high standard. But it’s their enthusiasm for innovation and inclusion has been the most welcome and will result in a beautiful and reliable Bluewater cruising classic yacht for years to come.

- Gail and George Grant
Matthew Percival, "Artemis"

Matthew Percival, "Artemis"

With a family heritage of engineers and master mariners the qualities of structural integrity and sea worthiness have always been paramount to me.  For differing reasons many of the production yachts I considered seemed to fall well short.  However,from the moment I stepped aboard a Bluewater 420 I could feel and sense the difference. Further examination of every aspect of construction from the quality of the joinery to the structure of the hull served to confirm my initial impressions.

Now that I have my own Bluewater yacht, Artemis, she is a continuous source of great comfort and pride and of course she sails like a dream.   Most importantly the reassurance and value of having the team who handcrafted her maintaining her is inestimable.

- Matthew Percival
"Charlie's Dream"

Peter and Virginia Lewis, Bluewater 450M "Charlie's Dream"

We wanted a yacht that had 4 essential features. The first was that it had to be a true “Bluewater” yacht; i.e. to have the structural integrity to withstand severe conditions, including knockdowns, and to have a good righting ability, i.e. an AVS of greater than 120 degrees. It also had to be a cutter rigged.

The second was that it had to have a “shallow” draft. This was so that we could anchor “close in” to the many anchorages that we anticipated visiting while cruising the Pacific and also to allow freedom of passage to and from Manly Harbour at any state of the tide.The third was that the layout below decks fulfilled our needs.

We wanted 3 cabins so that we could cruise with our children and their kids, or with two other couples, so that all parties could have their own accommodation. We also wanted an aft owner’s cabin. An aft berth is much more comfortable than a forward berth during passage making.

The fourth feature was that the quality of construction and fit-out was of high standard.

- Peter and Virginia Lewis
"Friday's Child"

Ranald and Georgie Mackay, Bluewater 450M "Friday's Child"

My wife and I moved from the Upper Hunter to Port Stephens at the end of 1999, which gave us the opportunity to pursue a love of sailing with the purchase of a yacht. We met David from Bluewater during the time we were looking, but we were still unsure of what we wanted or needed, so purchased something we thought would do the job.

It turned out to be of inferior build, and the more we looked, the worse it got, so we started to look at other production yachts with better build quality. We found fuel capacities were very limited for cruising Australian waters and water capacities were too low without having a watermaker. Thus we arrived back at David's door.

He had the moulds for a 45ft yacht suitable for cruising, but which had a racing pedigree, so fast passagemaking was a bonus.David suggested the 45 would suit, and of course doing it from scratch, you can put things wherever you want (within reason)!! It sounded good so eventually we went ahead and started the project.

First and foremost we wanted a strong seaworthy yacht that would come through the worst conditions without having to worry about structural failures, and then we wanted comfort, headroom, large bunk, comfortable seating, good refrigeration, freezer and galley - what everyone wants I guess, but in the highest quality. We also increased fuel tankage to 600 litres, and water to 1100 litres with the ability to catch rain water off the decks via deck drains. In our three years of ownership, we have never had to fill the boat with water at a marina.

In our quest to modernise the original moulds, Bluewater made something like 35 changes to the deck which changed the whole look of the yacht, and a number of changes to the hull.Throughout the project we were involved in every aspect of the boat's design and build, whilst Bluewater provided a talented and professional design team. We feel the Bluewater 450M is a sound cruising design with some interesting modifications to make cruising life easier, and has not only met but far exceeded the original brief.

The boat itself is stiff and well balanced, fun to sail, and comfortable for travelling. She inspires confidence in rough conditions and is very easy to sail short-handed.We have had great support from Bluewater throughout the whole project, and this has remained an ongoing support, and one of the many bonuses of owning a Bluewater.

- Ranald and George Mackay

Richard Ham, "Seabird"

I am the second owner of the Bluewater 400 "Seabird". I have been sailing ocean waters for 65 years and in that time have circumnavigated Australia, sailed 35,000 miles through the Pacific including New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. I have been to Bali and returned on three occasions. We have recently done a world circumnavigation in "Seabird" visiting 37 countries over a 6 year period with my wife alone as crew.

I have raced my own yacht in every ocean race conducted from Victorian waters, two Sydney to Hobart races and the Hamilton races. In "Seabird" we have won the Skandia race week cruising division passage race across Port Phillip Bay (about 45 miles) and won the Darwin to Bali Cruising division passage race (1120 miles).

We have weathered two severe open ocean storms in "Seabird". We regard her as by far the best cruising yacht we have ever owned, having had three prior deep sea cruising yachts, the last being 57', too big for two of us to handle in all conditions, and too expensive to run. We are both over 70 years old."Seabird" is in 'as new' condition after two circumnavigations with no structural defects, and is a fine testimony to her design and construction. I intend to die with her.

Thank you.

- Richard Ham
"North Polaris II"

Michael and Merle North, "Polaris II"

Its ten years since Polaris II was launched and with over 30,000 miles to her credit, including a circumnavigation, we have come to respect her for the true bluewater cruising vessel that she is.As we started looking for a “retirement” boat to take cruising we had the good fortune to be introduced to David Bradburn and his line of Bluewater yachts.

Just as well for we were naïve about what we really needed and had no experience of long term cruising requirements in a vessel.In hindsight, we didn’t realise how good a boat we were getting. The attention to detail in the design, the quality and strength of the construction, the finish of the product – they have all been top class. She is a pleasure to sail and has been a pleasure to live aboard for the last seven years.

We could wax lyrical about all the wonderful attributes of our Bluewater 400 but probably the best recommendation of all comes from the long list of fellow cruisers we have met around the world that have offered to buy her from us! But no, she is not for sale; we still see many enjoyable years ahead of us sailing Polaris II and besides, how can you sell one of the family…

- Michael and Merle North

Alan and Margaret Pearce, "Antares"

For sometime we have been looking for a “go anywhere – do anything” ocean cruising yacht to realise our dream of over the horizon sail cruising. We found what we were looking for in a Bluewater 400.Our main selection criteria included;

• Full displacement hull with integral keel and supported rudder
• High seaworthiness and stability
• High strength construction
• Cutter rig
• Good load carrying ability, including maximum water and fuel storage
• Centre cockpit
• Conventional straight shaft propeller drive

We looked extensively at all the imported production yachts in the range of 37 to 42 foot and for the most part they could not meet our criteria. We have found the Joe Adams designed Bluewater 400 has exceeded our expectations. Not only did the Bluewater 400 meet the above criteria, but we have found it to be a very kindly sea boat that is easy to sail.

In conditions that often leave lighter displacement yachts struggling, we have found our Bluewater 400 is completely comfortable and a pleasure to sail.While it is a heavier full displacement design, the Bluewater 400 has a surprising turn of speed and we have made some very fast passages. We have the rig set up for short handed sailing and in most instances it can be handled by one crew member.The interior layout is very good.

With a large saloon and the aft cabin with full sized double berth, it is ideal for long distance cruising.The continuing full support by the Newcastle based builders, Bluewater Cruising Yachts, is another real plus as advice and assistance can be obtained from the manufacturers who take a real pride and ownership in what they have produced.

- Alan and Margaret Pearce
"Cyrene II"

Kevin and Frances Dunn, "Cyrene II"

I am more than pleased for you to add our thoughts and praise to a testimonial about Bluewater Cruising Yachts.

Frances and I purchased Cyrene II, our Bluewater 400 in the year 2000 second hand, 4 years old, in Scarborough, Qld. We have both sailed far up the eastern coast to Lizard Island, and over to the Papua New Guinea, Louisiade Archipelago in 2002, as well as many trips along the eastern coast of NSW with Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newport within the Cruising Division.

I being a carpenter, and having built two fiberglass boats myself with strength as prime criteria, am continually amazed at the strength of construction in my Bluewater. This is especially evident in my mast pressure pole shroud fixing points, and rudder post supports. Not to mention the integral keel being part of the hull, and not just bolted on like most yachts around today.

I humbly admit to twice !! trying to knock off the keel in very remote localities using submerged rocks, resulting in … a 2 mm graze on the leading edge of the lead keel !! Utterly amazing !! The Bluewater yachts being designed by Joe Adams have a pleasing turn of speed on all points of sailing, the overall displacement of the yacht in some cases is 2/5ths heavier than imported production yachts of similar size.

The concept of allowing individual input into internal layout, timber trim, veneers, and colour scheme constitutes a huge drawcard to David Bradburn’s company. Each yacht becomes unique, and thus leaves far behind the mass production limitations of currently available ‘production line yachts’.

If I was inclined to sail around the globe Cyrene II would take me there and back…my confidence in its builders and in its quality of construction is unsurpassed.Back up and after sales service… David carried out a minor cosmetic repair to the keel 10 years after service !! at no cost !! WOW.

I have a prospective buyer friend closely watching me should I ever contemplate selling Cyrene II … he’ll sure be waiting a while…

- Kevin A Dunn - 50 years on the water.
"Footloose II"

Sel Parlane, "Footloose II"

After investigating Australian and overseas yachts in the 42 foot medium to heavy displacement range I settled on the Bluewater 420 built by Bluewater Cruising Yachts.

Footloose II was launched in May 1999.

Over eight years later and many thousands of sea miles I consider I have made an excellent choice.

The Company is easy to deal with. The yacht is sea kindly and gives the crew confidence when the weather conditions are poor. Examine the difference in ballast ratios, stability figures and displacement/length ratio between the Bluewater 420 and any other production yacht and you will get the picture.

The internal features are designed by sailors who have actually been cruising. Check them out in person.

I recommend the Bluewater 420 to those that want safety and first class cruising.

- Sel Parlane, S.V. Footloose 11, Mooloolaba, QLD

"Rasa Sayang"

Mort Clark, "Rasa Sayang"

I have owned a preloved Bluewater 400 for only six months, but I am delighted with the yacht. It is very strongly built, sails like a dream, it’s easy to handle (I often sail singlehanded), and down below it is roomy and comfortable.

I purchased my yacht from David Bradburn of Bluewater Cruising Yachts and I was pleased with the excellent service provided during the purchase period and the “can do” attitude of David and all the staff.

I would recommend a Bluewater 400 to anyone who is looking for a great cruising yacht. It’s designed by a well known and highly respected Australian Designer and built by an Australian Company that is committed to quality construction and excellent customer service.

- Mort Clark


Ray and Ronda Laws, "Antares"

We have had a Bluewater 400 for nine years, which was just marvellous.

Living in Port Macquarie, NSW on the Hastings River, we were restricted somewhat as to where we could go for a yacht this size but we managed many enjoyable hours sailing.Our decision to buy a Bluewater 400 was made after searching for a yacht for two years in various areas of NSW and numerous marinas etc in Queensland.

We found that the quality and finish, particularly the woodwork, upholstered interior which was far superior to any other boat we had looked at.

We have had numerous trips across the notorious Port Macquarie Bar which Antares always handled admirably, we would ocean sail for about 3 or 4 hours and then return.Coastal trips that we made include:

- Port Macquarie – Laurieton – Port Macquarie
- Port Macquarie – Sydney – Port Macquarie
- Port Macquarie – Whitsunday Islands – Port Macquarie
- Port Macquarie – Port Stephens – Port Macquarie

We found the Bluewater 400 to have a safe and strong feel with excellent sailing ability, with never a worry about her seaworthiness, even when we were in exceptional wild conditions.

ANTARES was an extremely comfortable boat to sail in.We have now sold ANTARES after only three months on the market with Bluewater Cruising Yachts Pty. Ltd. Acting as our broker. The first prospective buyer was overwhelmed by her roominess, fitout and sailing ability. Hence the first person to look at her actually bought her, and from reports they are more than happy with their purchase.

Although we had her for nine years, we were able to recoup our costs, which says a lot for a boat, although we must admit she was still very beautiful and in excellent condition when we sold her.

- Ray and Ronda Laws, Port Macquarie NSW Australia


Michael and Pip Kalajzich, "Renaissance"

We looked at a range of yachts, both second hand and new, Australian and imported, before happening upon David at the Sydney Boat Show with one of Davids earlier production yachts: the Bluewater 400 - a Joe Adams hull design.

We were also keen, if possible, to purchase an Australian built yacht and one that could be built or adapted to our requirements and price. Over a lengthy period of reviewing standard cabin layouts and finishes and the batch of yachts that David then had under construction, we arrived at a layout and interior design that we felt would be a great boat.

Our initial concern was that the original interior needed to be revamped to include more modern styling and finishes, the final outcome, the Bluewater 420, owes a great deal to David's patience and the craftmanship of Bluewater Cruising Yacht's staff.

We have installed a furling boom, operated by an electric winch which allows both of us to easily handle Renaissance. The additional variations which we included to the standard bluewater were: extended boarding platforms or sugar scoop; solar panels; furling boom; extended galley bench (for those days when entertaining the hoards); cherry wood veneer interior; liferaft and various electronics, built to survey.

Renaissance has served us well and continues to do so. The delivery trip, from Lake Macquarie to Sydney, was done in a 40 knot storm, and in 1998 she went to the Whitsundays and back. While in the Whitsundays we had another couple on board with us for a week, and we were very thankful for the triple cabin layouts and twin heads, which gave us all privacy. We look forward to many more cruising trips in the near future.

- Michael and Pip Kalajzich

"Cyrene II"

Michael and Margo Altria, "Cyrene II"

Approaching retirement, Margo and I were looking for a safe, comfortable, low maintenance cruising yacht with sufficient performance in all conditions to satisfy former racing sailors - yet easily handled by a husband and wife crew. Our Bluewater 400 has exceeded all our expectations.

In the four years since launching Cyrene II we have lived on board three years in total, and have covered more than thirteen thousand miles around the Australian coastline from southern NSW to Darwin. During this time we have experienced a wide range of conditions including near cyclonic winds of 60 knots.

At all times the Bluewater 400 has proved predictable, light on the helm, sea kindly and remarkably dry. One of the major features that contributes significantly to comfort at sea is the inherent high stability of the yacht.

Cyrene II will easily exceed 150 miles per day with minimum effort coupled with full headroom throughout, and a spacious interior finely crafted in teak, life at sea is very relaxed. Everywhere we have sailed Cyrene II she has attracted attention and envy from cruising sailors who recognise a true Bluewater yacht with the capacity for extending cruising in comfort.

An indication of the capability of the Bluewater 400 was provided by our 2700 mile return from Darwin to Brisbane last year when we sailed hard on the wind for almost the entire trip without any dramas or hassles. Since launching Cyrene II Bluewater Cruising Yachts have continued their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. We have no hesitation in commending Bluewater Cruising Yachts as builders of fine yachts to the highest standards.

- Michael and Margo Altria

Karen and Robert Black, "Krackt"

It is now eight years since we have launched our Bluewater 420 yacht and we remain satisfied with our home. After living with the design there is nothing we would change, we travel knowing we are in a safe, well built boat that will take us anywhere.

The comfort and stability are necessary when doing long distance travelling, the storage areas, fuel and water capacity enable long periods of cruising.It was important that the yacht was built locally enabling our input with changes to suit our requirements, and your teams experience with ideas on design and materials available. The finish to the boat has meant very little maintenance is required to maintain it in as new condition.

Having now travelled three times to Tasmania, five times to New Caledonia/Vanuatu as well as the cruising of the East Coast, we can only praise the design and wish others who chose the Bluewater400/420 the same good cruising lifestyle.


- Robert and Karen
"Girt by Sea"

James Neeson, "Girt by Sea"

I’ve had my Bluewater 290 for almost 2 years now and I continue to be thoroughly delighted with her. When I was looking at buying her, I knew I wanted a strong, well built yacht and one that looked the part. I also did not want a yacht that was too big for me to handle as my family do not mind sailing but they do like to relax when they are aboard.

I had a production built yacht earlier and found it was not well suited to the waters of Port Phillip. I kept it for only 6 months and then started looking for a better sailing experience.

One of the sailing instructors down here knew of Bluewater Cruising Yachts Pty Ltd, and when I showed him the Bluewater 290, he said it would be a great yacht and would perform well here. He has since been on board and has said openly to one of his classes that it is a go anywhere yacht and that when the others have to come in, we will still be able to keep going.

Another instructor has described it as an ocean going 29 foot boat. I’ve since found both of these comments to be absolutely accurate descriptions of the yacht’s ability and performance. She’s well appointed both above and below deck and it is clear that my yacht has had skilled people’s time spent on her from design through to her build.

The Bluewater 290 sails very well to windward. The mass of the yacht and her fine lines allow her to make good way in heavy conditions. Reaching and running are equally good points of sail and the yacht’s speed is very good for the size of yacht.

In light conditions she does exceptionally well also.We race regularly on Port Phillip and often get a placing and have managed to win a few races also. We recently won the 2 handed trophy at RBYC. When a storm hit, the bigger yachts had problems and without having to reef we passed them by. My favourite trip to date was sailing around Port Phillip last Easter.

My wife and our two children sailed around the bay over a period of 3 beautiful days. Our children ended up doing the bulk of the sailing whilst I did some trimming and cooking.I love my Bluewater 290 – she’s easy to handle, sails very well and is a lovely looking yacht. The quality of design and workmanship is evident every time I have the pleasure of sailing her. I knew what I was looking for and I’m so very happy I found this yacht.

Yours Sincerely.

- James Neeson, Owner of Bluewater 290 Girt by Sea (previously named Vaka Tepi)
"Vaka Tepi"

John Oswald, "Vaka Tepi"

I am the owner of a Bluewater 290 "Vaka Tepi" based on Lake Macquarie, NSW. Bluewater Cruising Yachts were featured in the Australian Amateur Boatbuilding magazine and the two sizes of the Joe Adams designed yachts they were building.

I recollect meeting David Bradburn at the Sydney Boatshow where we discussed possible construction.

The Bluewater 290 design appealed to me as it offered the accommodation I sought in a seaworthy design and cruising rig. The hull and deck were layed up at Castlereagh and brought to the new Bluewater facility at Cardiff for fitout.

I appreciated being involved with decision making in the interior layout.This layout has proved very satisfactory as has the later fitting of forward facing windows in the coach house. The Bluewater 290 has exceeded my expectations in comfort and sea worthiness.

Apart from twilight races at Lake Macquarie some coastal voyages have been made to Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and Port Stephens. The yacht performs well in winds 15 to 20 knots with genoa and full mainsail. Above 20 knots with a smaller jib and a reef in the main she performs well.

After sales service provided by Bluewater Cruising Yachts has been excellent. I have no hesitation in recommending Bluewater Cruising Yachts and the construction of his able ocean going yacht.

- John Oswald
"Currawong of Pittwater"

Robert and Lesley Eltringham, "Currawong of Pittwater"

Concept by Jim Stuart. Designed by Naval Architect, Rod Sullivan (Melbourne). Built to a superb standard by David Bradburn of Bluewater Cruising Yachts, Lake Macquarie.

This yacht was built to survey at David's insistence. He said he wanted the highest standard, and it is the best I have seen.Temperature and humidity were graphed every day on lay up.

First, after extensive consultations with David, the moulds were repaired as they had been lying in the weather in Queensland.The drawings were reworked by naval architect, Peter Lowe of Newport, Sydney and subjected to Waterways for their scrutiny.

Changes weremade after computer stress analysis tests were done on flat areas around the engine room, and ribs were added. The hull was then laid up with vinylester and isothalic resins. Test pieces were sent to DeHavilland for stress tests.The hull was then fitted out from drawings supplied by Peter Lowe with some sketches from us.

David also designed and built the one piece shower and head units, the shower and toilets being reversed. As each of these were one-off designs, David did a fantastic job. Cabinet work is New Zealand Red Beech and Myrtle supplied to an incredible standard of excellence by Howard Mitchell.

- Robert and Lesley Eltringham
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