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History

The Obi-Wan was built in 1973, with hull number 816. She was constructed by Mistral shipyards, in Rubi, Spain. She was then imported in France by commandant Plichard, where she was bought by Mr J. Mattei. She was originally named EOS II

On November, 28 1977 she was sold to Jean de Locht from Uccle, Belgium, for the price of 65.000 FFR. During the ownership by Mr. de Locht, the EOS II received a new log, the stove was changed from gas to alcohol, and more importantly, she was re-engined with a Volvo Penta 2001 in 1993.

I encountered the EOS II for the first time in July 1999 in Bruinisse (NL) on one of my voyages with the seascouts. At that time I was looking for a decent boat to acquire. I noticed the for-sale message, posted on the window of the harbour master's office. When I found her in her cradle on the lot, I couldn't believe it. Here was everything I wanted in a boat: a fairly long keel, not too many accessories, a good sail wardrobe, and best of all, at a decent price.

I called the owner, and asked him to fax a report. When I arrived home, a week later, the fax was there, and I contacted the owner immediately. A week later I was back in Bruinisse, going over the boat with the owner. I didn't bother with a survey, because after ten years of seascouting, and sailing with everything possible afloat, you have a pretty good knowledge of what is a decently maintained boat, and what's a neglected ship.

During a conversation over a cool beer, I told Mr. De Locht that I would think about making an offer.

The next few days were filled with contacting the bank, making calculations, calling insurance companies and marinas. Tuesday afternoon, I decided on an offer, a bit lower than the asking price, but one I was sure that Mr de Locht would accept. When I powered up my mobile, I noticed that I had a message in the voice mail. I called the voice mail, and it was Mr. de Locht. He had received an offer, but it was valid until 12:00h. I couldn't believe my misfortune. As it was already 16:00h, I immediately called de Locht and gave him my offer. Unfortunately de Locht had already accepted the other offer.

 

A month later, I'm walking in Terneuzen marina, which the seascouts use as home port, and suddenly I stop: a Sirocco 31. Even worse, on closer inspection: it's the EOS II. Here's a missed opportunity looking right in my face. I mention this to a friend, and walk away.

Two days later, I get a call from my friend: the current owner isn't very happy with his new ship. Seems it's not exactly what he wanted, and he might consider selling it to me.

After a rather ridiculous round of negotiations (I called de Locht to ask him how much he sold the boat for, and the current owner called de Locht as well, to know my offer), I bought the EOS II from Piet Dumez. I have never looked back since.

Post Scriptum:

I've never believed in calling your boat "[name] II" or XXVI. It always want make you ask "What happened to number one ?". It either means you lack inspiration, the previous boat sank underneath you, or you own a fleet of ships. Since neither of these applied to me, I rebaptised the boat to Obi-Wan. But beware, it does require some ceremonial effort to re-name a ship: to avoid bad luck you have to remove any item which might refer to the previous name: ship's papers, items marked have to be sanded down or removed, and the ships name has to be removed completely, not just painted over.

Then you have to make an offering to Aeolus and Neptune, the gods of wind and sea, thanking them for the care of the previous boat, and asking them to accept the new ship in their realm.

In April 2000 my mother poured the champagne over the deck of the Obi-Wan, and a new ship was born.