Our Selene journey began in May 2018 when we suddenly realised we had finally saved enough money to bring our dream to life. I have spent most of those 10 years trying not to think about the boat. I couldn’t take another disappointment like 2008 so just kept the thought at the back of my mind of maybe “one day”.
For those who haven’t read “Our Story“, we have been down this route before. We had to cancel our order when the global financial crisis nearly wiped us out. On this occasion Ed has been more impatient – he has spent the last few years trying to persuade me that we could buy a used Selene 60 and give it a complete refit. There has been one on the market for a long time now and he has kept watching it and working on me to accept the idea. Although it looked terrible in the pictures, he was convinced we could change it all and still spend less than a new one. His fear was that if we delayed until we could afford the new one again, we would just never get there.
Re-awakening the obsession
As soon as the penny dropped that the day had finally come, the idea became an obsession again. We were in different countries at the time but for three solid weeks we talked about nothing else. We didn’t sleep and spent night after night calculating and researching and going over the old plans to work out what we wanted. I still wasn’t sold on the “cheapie” and spent weeks looking for Selene trawlers for sale all over the world. We contacted agents and dealers and analysed the specifications of every Selene 60, 62 and 66 on the market. Actually there aren’t that many! We came to a total list of 12 boats. Almost none of them had the specification we wanted, so would all involve changes and money spent after purchase.
Analysing the Selene Yacht options
Everything went in a spreadsheet – as always with me. We costed out all the options once our extras had been included and converted the prices all back to euros so we could compare them together. We ended up with a shortlist of 6 – spread all over the world from France to Cyprus to Hong Kong to Australia to Thailand. There were almost no Selene 60 models on the second-hand market. Lots of the ones we found advertised turned out to be sold, including the one Ed had been watching for years.
The only suitable Selene 60 was in Cyprus. However, this had a galley up configuration with the kitchen in the pilot house, rather than down in the saloon. This was a layout we had always said we didn’t want. The favourite option was a 62 in France – but the owner had it in charter and didn’t want to sell for another year. He is building a bigger Selene and wants to wait until it’s ready before selling the current boat.
There was also a 66 in France – older but bigger and around the same price. There were also a few 66 models in various other places. The perfect 60 was advertised in Australia – but we never got any response from the owner, so can only assume that it’s sold! We decided to spend a small fortune on plane tickets and I then spent a further week planning a very complicated itinerary.
Time for viewings
We decided first to go to Cyprus – and then on to France – covering the closest destinations first. I booked our flights – which was even more complicated. I was in the UK at the time and Ed was in France so matching everything up was a bit tricky. Off we went to Cyprus in May and were pleasantly surprised by the galley up layout. There was much more room in the pilot house than we thought there would be. It now seemed a much more sensible option. That decision probably counted out any other Selene 60’s which could have been on the market! While we were there, the dealer also showed us a number of other models he had in the marina. We got a much needed refresher of the pros and the cons and lots of new ideas.
A lot of time was spent thinking carefully about the larger models. We felt comfortable with the size and handling the boat with just the two of us. However, the layouts of the larger Selene models were not really what we liked. They are mostly designed with crew cabins or more cabins which we didn’t need. We were also hesitant about twin engines – which was a negative with the boat in Cyprus. Although it makes handling the boat easier, there are lots of downsides. Two engines means using more fuel as well as double the maintenance. It also means a lot less space in the engine room. On the fuel question this is a “double whammy”! You use more fuel but the fuel tanks are smaller – so the range is cut considerably.
Just for completeness, let’s check the new price – we said
Just before we flew to Cyprus, I was surfing on Facebook one night and came across the Selene dealer – Brian Calvert – we had previously worked with in Selene Seattle. Brian had left Seattle in 2009 with his own Selene 48 “Furthur“. His plan was circumnavigating – having recently divorced he wanted to realise his own dream. He managed to make it across the Pacific to the Far East and got as far as the Philippines. His journey stopped there! He fell in love with the country and a lovely local lady, and decided to stay.
Brian is now working as the Selene dealer in the Far East and I asked him for any knowledge he had of a Selene 66 which was for sale in Langkawe (Thailand). He didn’t know this particular boat but suggested instead that he would speak to Selene’s owner, Howard Chen, to get us a quotation for a new boat as he felt we might be surprised by the result. We were nervous of the response we would get. Having cancelled an order before, we were not convinced we would be welcome again! On the contrary – Howard was delighted we still wanted a Selene! After a bit of negotiation he and Brian gave us a deal which was just slightly more than buying and refitting one of the second hand options.
Too good to turn down, although slightly more than we ideally wanted to pay, we decided to go for it. We cancelled the remainder of our travel plans and set about consolidating our funds to send the deposit. The rest is history, as they say!
A new build will enable us to configure the boat exactly as we want it to be from the outset. We found a 2009 boat (long since sold) which has layout closest to what we want.
This dream has been so long in the making, and now it is real. We set about pulling all the old designs and technical plans from the archive and started working on the layouts. We booked a trip to China to the factory in July to start the planning process with our project manager, Candy. It turned out that this was also the time when the first stage of manufacture would be complete with the release of the hull from the mould so we will be able to see our boat being “born”!
Apart from dreading the long haul flight, neither of us can wait to get there …. China here we come 🙂