Our current yacht – Wildwood is a Young 88. She was built in 1985 and is one of about 140 boats made in this design. Wildwood is one of about five wooden boats that were built and the rest are made in fibreglass.
Andrew was recently in Auckland and he visited an exhibition on Jim Young designed boats. Here is a bit of history about the Young 88
I have owned Wildwood since 2003 – so eleven years now. I can clearly remember the day she arrived in Lyttelton on a ship from Auckland. I didn’t have the time, skills or confidence back then to sail her down to Christchurch myself – it would have been over a week long trip in a boat I didn’t know – so I paid for her to be shipped down instead. As they craned her off the cradle and lowered her in to the water, I could never have imagined the amount of fun that we would have in the forthcoming years.
I was on my ex-husbands speed boat, waiting beside the ship. We removed the slings and I found the hidden key, opened her up and started the motor. It was the middle of winter. We went over to the floating jetty and took absolutely everything off her and loaded it in to the cars. I grabbed my dinghy and we went over to the piles that she was going to stay in until we could haul her out. As we were motoring in to the pile mooring, we got a line wrapped around the propeller… as we had taken everything off, there was absolutely nothing to use to cut the line away… I cant remember how we got it free, but we eventually did and then found that the dinghy had gone! I hadn’t tied it on properly… my friends who were helping me out in the middle of winter and now getting close to the middle of the night were fast losing interest! Anyway that was our first day. I learnt a lot that day! And I continue to learn new things every time I take her out!
People told me that owning a boat is expensive and that I wouldn’t be able to afford it, I wouldn’t get enough use out of it, or be able to manage it on my own – well that is partially true. However I have never regretted any dollar I spent on her, and as I use her most weeks, she definitely gets used. I also have a great crew and a great partner, who all love her as much as I do, and with their skills and help Wildwood gets pretty well looked after.
Wildwood sleep’s up to 9 people – it is a bit of a squash, but the V berth is a double, there is a double and a single in the saloon and two double quarter berths – so five separate beds. There is a head, a sink and stove, a great fridge which keeps the beer cold and a huge cockpit for socializing!
We usually sail with 7 crew – two headsail/kite trimmers, the helm, mainsheet, keyboards (operates all the halyards), mastman and bowman. However they are also very easy to sail shorthanded, and we have had up to 13 crew on board as well!
They are great racing boats, and convert really easily to a family cruiser. There is a very popular Young 88 Association who organise the class racing.
For Wildwood’s early 30th birthday present I got her sides wrapped in vinyl – she now looks like this!
I love my boat!