Off piste in Switzerland

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I have to say, February wouldn’t normally be my first choice of month to go boating on a lake in the Swiss Alps but when an opportunity arises to go to a part of the world you’ve never been to, it would be churlish to say no thanks – even when the temperatures are down to -9 by virtue of the freezing wind whistling down from Russia.

My mission, and I chose to accept it, was to sea trial F48-003 before we handed the boat over to the dealer and the customer.  Some of you may have already heard about my trip on F48-001 down the east coast of the United States last year – this will appear as soon as I catch up with last year’s adventures – so it was good to get back on a boat that I have a particular soft spot for.

Before we could contemplate doing any testing the 48 needed to be lifted off the truck, have the pods fixed back on, and the flybridge put back together.  Once the boat was ‘whole’ again we used a massive mobile crane to lift her into the water.  I have to say I always find this process unnerving – seeing 20 tonnes of motor cruiser dangling in the air is quite something!

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The following day we zipped across the Luzern area of the lake to fuel up and then headed south.

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We had to deliver the boat to Alpnachstad, where the Swiss dealer Ivo Herzog has the most fantastic facility.  Talk about German efficiency, these guys take ‘attention to detail’ to a new level.  Apparently there are approximately 100,000 boats on Lake Lucerne and from what I saw, most of them were at Ivo’s yard in Alpnachstad.

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Here are some of the smaller ones, suspended above the lake, for obvious reasons and at least a hundred or more were on the hard standing out the back of the main workshops.

I love this little one in it’s own garage…

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The testing went surprisingly well.  I say surprisingly because the lake is fresh water and this characteristically has a detrimental affect on performance. However, we were getting 30 knots SOG (speed over the ground) with full water tanks, waste tanks, fuel tanks, equipment and 4 crew on board – the F48 proved itself to me yet again – I love this boat!

Actually, the testing went so well, that we ended up with some spare time and after much discussion as to what to do with the rest of the day, we headed into the mountains to get a look at the scenery and see if we could find some skiers.  You will probably find this hard to believe but the British contingent did not have a skier amongst it’s ranks and we were really keen to see what all the fuss is about.  So, we set off for the hills…

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We eventually made it to the top of one of the passes at a small mountain village called Melchsee Frutt.  There were lots of skiers, snow-boarders and tobogganists, whizzing about the place, all looking very nonchalant with their appropriate clothing on.  I must admit that, had I anticipated having the time to visit a ski resort I would have packed more suitable clothing, specifically any other shoes than deck shoes, which are fabulous on wet decks and pants on snow!

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I think this means, ‘I’m turning left’ but not being a skier, I couldn’t swear to that…

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I’ll be putting the ‘Grand East Coast Tour’ up soon but first I think we’ll stay on this side of the ‘pond’ for an SC35 handover in the Channel Islands.

This has been another Captain Corbett’s Adventure.  If I’m not on Jersey teaching a private tuition Day Skipper theory or Yachtmaster theory course, then I’m either spending time with someone on their boat, giving them the confidence to take their boat out with their family and friends on board or I’m off somewhere exotic delivering a boat. Either way, I’ll write it up and put it on the Blog for you all to see, so keep popping back to see my most recent adventures.

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