40 years old, and after 12 years at sea, any cruising yacht will require a major refit. Tainui is no exception. In Sydney she will be given a new engine (John Deere, probably), new upholstery, replacement spray dodger, re-galvanised anchor and ground tackle, miscellaneous repairs to teak work above decks, and interior varnish and paint. Then she will be ready for more adventures with a new, younger owner.
This fine seaboat has never given me a moment’s anxiety, although I cannot say that the reverse is true. I have seen thousands of yachts all over the world but have never envied their owners. Ever forgiving, Tainui has served us well, tirelessly and with patience. She is meant to sail across oceans and to cruise remote places.
Meanwhile, her ageing skipper will be looking at further exploration of Russia’s inland waterways – fuel for dreams.