Nicki Jenkins and Paul Skelton saw the Hanse 385 at Windcraft in Auckland and instantly fell in love with her. Since taking ownership she has exceeded expectations and proven her strength and reliability in all conditions from the challenges of Cook Straight to competitive racing from Waikawa Bay, in the Marlborough Sound South Island NZ.

Paul says ‘the handover organised by Branch Manager Dominic Lowe was a breeze and a thoroughly delightful experience. We have made a real friend and sailing companion in Dom’.

In the story below Nicky gives us an insight into their sailing life and adventures on ‘On Appro’.

Why did you choose the Hanse 385?

When we laid eyes on the Hanse 385 we realised we had found a boat that met all our needs. We wanted a quality, seaworthy, strong yacht to handle the distinctive and somewhat unsettled weather conditions offshore and racing in the waters around Waikawa Bay. Things can get rough quickly and the Hanse was safe and easy to sail and the self-tacking headsail was a real bonus. The interior looked comfortable and spacious for overnighting with friends and family and the easily accessible drop-down transom was going to be great for the grandkids. The Hanse 385 fitted our specifications perfectly.

What is your sailing background?

We are both experienced yachtsmen having sailed a range of different boats throughout our lives. We have raced extensively since the age of 6 – me in England, Australia and New Zealand and Paul on the East Coast of New Zealand.

I have high expectations in the safety, reliability and quality of a yacht as I was an RYA offshore sailing instructor.

We are both also heavily involved in the Waikawa Yacht Club. We absolutely love the community, the area, and the sailing.

How was the sailing trip from Auckland to Waikawa Bay?

After the successful handover with Windcraft in Auckland we sailed the boat home to Waikawa Bay.

Three nights at sea with a total of four crew, we realised we had made the right choice in purchasing a Hanse. It was fast trip and not surprisingly, very challenging through Cook Straight. The self-tacking headsail was perfect for the rough conditions and she excelled in strong winds of up to 50 knots. Paul remembers the boat surfing and how balanced and easy it felt.

She is a heavy, well designed boat and handled every condition superbly. We felt completely safe and there was more than enough room for four crew, provisions and equipment with extra space for storage.

Where is the boat kept?

We feel very blessed to be living in Waikawa Bay. It’s a breathtakingly beautiful part of the world and our home overlooks the bay and the marina where the boat is kept. Paul thinks it is quite possibly one of the best places in the world to live and to sail.

How did ‘On Appro’ get her name?

The naming of our boat ‘On Appro’ has a rather personal and funny meaning for Paul and I. We were just starting out in our relationship and having dinner with friends in Christchurch and they asked us how were getting on. I said ‘he is still on appro’. Paul has never let me forget it, so much so that we named our boat ‘On Appro’! It keeps others laughing.

What is the Waikawa Boat Club and marina like?

The Waikawa Boat Club is a brilliant social club with a strong racing fleet. We are both very involved – I am a past Commodore and Paul is currently the Rear Commodore of Sailing and he loves it.

The club is known for its comprehensive racing program and many other popular regattas such as the Wineworks Wine race across Cook Straight which celebrates the annual release of Marlborough’s new vintage Sauvignon Blanc wines. There is always something going on, always an opportunity to sail or to socialise

The marina is huge and has about 600 berths not to mention the hardstands for launches and trailers yachts. It will be increasing its size soon by about 200. This will be great for yachting in the area as more boats mean more competition.

Windcraft’s Dominic Lowe visits Waikawa Boating Club

Dom flew down from Auckland to support Windcraft’s sponsorship of the Lawson’s Dry Hills New Year Regatta. We loved having him to stay with us! Dom fitted in really well with the locals both on land and on the water.

Dom says “I was blown away by the beautiful scenery and the people were so warm and embracing, I can’t wait to go back”.

What are your plans for the future with On Appro?

Paul wants to win more races! We won our first offshore series this Summer which is the most challenging of all the series run in the club. We find our Hanse excels in long distance races and we want more of that.

Having visited the website forum which had many reports of successfully increasing the headsail area, we did just that with remarkable results. We now compete favourably with division one boats.

We are currently taking the opportunity to do some cruising as Winter racing is every fortnight. We are leaving tomorrow for three days and will pick up moorings along way to practise fishing and visit lodges to keep up with the rugby.

How’s that for a multipurpose boat!