I'm writing this while we've been living on this new boat for a little over two years and we're absolutely very happy with ZwerfCat, our Bahia. Don't get me wrong, Omweg was a good boat for the situation back then. But the situation has changed and so have our wishes. We started as newbie sailors with Omweg and had no idea whether we would be cut out of the right wood to even enjoy the life on the ocean. Also, we were planning to sail for just 3 years and then return home.
When we crossed two oceans and arrived in French Polynesia, we loved it so much, we didn't want to return home. Home is where we are, with our boat! No return to the Netherlands, where it is busy, and where a way too big amount of the year it is grey, cold and rainy. Yes, we'd miss a lot but we'd also miss a lot to go back there.
So the purpose changed, now we needed a boat for long term live-aboard. We knew we would 'need' a lot of space because we were going to sell our house and be far away from family. This means that it is nice if family members can come to us for a longer period of time and then really have their own privacy. They have that on ZwerfCat, we have two extra private rooms with a double bed and private bathroom. And in fact they even have the whole port side to themselves because we sleep on the starboard side. On the previous boat Omweg we didn't even have an extra double bed..! Fine for short vacations but not nice for longer periods of time. And of course we also needed a lot of space for our large dogs who stayed with the family during the two years we were gone with Omweg but now were going to come with us!
We really wanted a good sailing catamaran and one that is nicely built, not such a tower block! Sorry Lagoon, but that's really a no-go for us (the new Lagoons, the old ones are fine. That also applies to new Fountaine Pajots though; they all build bus shelters nowadays, the focus is on comfort for charters and not on good sailing characteristics). We wanted a sturdy real blue water cat with good performance, also upwind, but with sufficient carrying capacity because we know ourselves and we knew that we would take quite a lot of stuff with us.
During the voyage with Omweg we were able to orient ourselves well, viewed many other ships and spoke with many people and even sailed on various ships. That, in combination with thorough research on the internet and available budget, made us realize we wanted a Bahia. One from before 2004 because from that year they developed some problems due to a new production process.
Three years after purchase, we are still very happy that we made that choice. It is a wonderful ship, she sails fantastic, fast and points well and very comfortable. Really nice sailing characteristics and a lot of comfort and (storage) space. The longer we have her (and the more improvements we have made), the happier we are with her. Improvements such as: folding propeller, silicone antifouling, 1500 Watt of solar panels so we could kick out the generator, renovated starboard side, so that we now have an 'owners version' with extra large bed, more space and instead of a fourth bedroom, a workshop! There's a lot to tell, but that must wait till another time.