An unusual semi liveaboard choice.

Grith

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6 Nov 2018
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Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
We have an unusual semi liveaboard cruising and exploration platform.
The newish breed of trailerable powersailers are not to everyone’s taste (or perhaps even many) but our Imexus 28 is now heavily modified for extended cruising.
Whilst no racer or offshore cruiser it has proven a competent inshore and inland waters cruising yacht with a range of attributes outperforming many more conventional craft in several aspects.
We rarely use the very large outboard and powerboat type attributes but on occasions they are very handy.
The super low draft of around 1 foot allows access to locations out of reach for even relatively shallow draft yachts and catamarans.
We often park right up onto the beach or riverbank and dry out flat in appropriate locations.
In wind, swell and wave effected anchorages we are almost always the closest in to shelter and can also access over reef and sand bars to calmer waters.
The ability to trail to distant coastal cruising grounds right around the country and to also access inland waterways, lakes, dams and rivers opens a huge range of destinations to explore.
The time and effort taken to reach these destinations behind ourIMG_1353.jpeg vehicle is very short compared to sailing/motoring between locations and even the fuel consumed is likely to be less.
This allows more time at our chosen destination for enjoyment and exploring.
At 28 foot with standing headroom at the galley, an enclosed shower/toilet compartment, 2 very large double berths (without deconstructing the 6/8 person dinette), lots of storage and ventilation for its size and a swim platform and low easy access stern and big cockpit with lots of shade/protection it is an adequate liveaboard size for a couple and occasional short visit guests.
The ability to get so close to shore compensates in some way for the smaller size onboard.
Unlike most even larger trailer sailers it feels like a small cruising yacht on water whilst on land it sits very low on its roll on roll off trailer making climbing onboard easy. It also launches on relatively short and shallow ramps for such a big craft and has some superb solo mast raising, rigging and launching and recovery innovations simplifying and shortening these tasks.
Over 50 years of involvement with trailerable yachts have lead me to this trailerable cruising solution now.
Many a traditionalist sceptic has come around now whilst cruising in company or meeting out on the water as the intimal dislike of powerboats combined with poor opinions of some of the earlier attempts at this jack of all trades, master of none style of craft is swayed by side by side comparison and observed performance as a cruising package.IMG_1653.jpeg
 

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Grith

Active member
Joined
6 Nov 2018
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150
Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
Can we see more of the truck - that looks amazing?
The truck is an Isuzu NLS AWD 3 litre turbo diesel on a car license with a GVM of 4500kg and GCM of 8000kg with a beyond slide on camper mounted on top. This makes it legal to carry the camper and tow our yacht at the same time.
The camper has remote control electric legs which lower allowing you to drive the truck out from underneath then to lower the camper unit close to the ground to act as a base camp whilst the truck is used for other purposes.
The truck has an alloy box mounted between the camper and its front tray protection wall giving the truck a secure large boot when the camper is off.
The camper has its own alloy box mounted on its base frame that remains with it.
The package allows me to indulge my partners love of wilderness camping and backpacking whilst still accommodating being able to tow our yacht to remote cruising grounds. It replaced my VW Touareg and using the yacht on land as a caravan as well as on water cruising.
Less comfortable, less economical but hugely more versatile.
We also use the truck with or without camper towing our other trailer with other adventure equipment like our hobie adventure islands, kayaks and foiling catamaran and it can also carry both my and my daughters tiny classic cars on its tray using long alloy ramps to drive up onto it.
Like our unusual crossover yacht, powerboat and caravan/houseboat I love jack of all trades multi application appliances despite their master of none limitations. 🙂
Both truck and camper can accomodate three allowing my adult daughter to occasionally join dad and step mum on our adventures at times. The yacht can accomodate 5 at a big push!
When the truck with camper is towing our Imexus 28 yacht it draws a lot of comments especially when a long way from navigable water!
IMG_1023.jpeg
IMG_0717.jpegIMG_0472.jpeg
IMG_0535.jpeg
IMG_7117.jpeg
Truck show here before the new large gullwing alloy tray mounted extra storage box was fitted. Its tray also has folding alloy sides which we only occasionally need to fit and these clip off.
 

Grith

Active member
Joined
6 Nov 2018
Messages
150
Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
I very much enjoyed your post here on the Facebook Motorsailers group about your adventures downunder.
Motorsailers, motorsailors, Cruising Motorsailors & Motor Yacht Maintenance | Facebook

Folk on the YBW Forum will have to join the Motorsailers group though to see your post.

Could you post some interior photos of the yacht and the camper van on here as well please?
Sure no problems.
I first early retired about 23 years to put together a trailerable expedition sailing package to tow around and explore Australia with my daughters mother.
At that time I chose the newly Australian designed and built Mach 28 as the basis for my platform.
My ex and I then had a very unplanned, very late life, only child and life changed and my plans were put on hold.
About 6 years ago, long after being pitched out and turned over for most of my assets by my “disabled“ ex I recommenced planning my dream with my daughter Annabel (first mate) after we chartered a yacht in The Whitsundays together which she co sailed alone with me at 12 turning 13 whilst we were out sailing!
3.5 years ago I connected with a new partner who was happy to assist and participate in my dream just as Annabel advised she now had other priorities and I had better look for a new sailing /adventuring partner!😂
By that time I had already selected and purchased a secondhand but expensive near new Imexus 28 as a further update to my original selection of the Mach 28 and commenced upgrading and done initial cruising with Annabel planning for longer expeditions.
Hooking up with a lovely lady who is a seriously capable bushwalker/backpacker who had never set foot on a boat had me modify my plans to replace my VW Touareg tow vehicle ( and sleeping on the yacht when long distance towing ) with a unit that could both tow the yacht but also separate to be an inland and mountains bushwalking, cycling and kayaking base.
That vehicle is an Isuzu NLS AWD 3 litre turbo diesel tray back truck purchased new on very cheap special ($52,500 drive away) and I then found a like new secondhand Beyond slide on camper to sit on top of the truck whilst able to come off on remote controlled electric legs to be a base station or allow other uses for the 2ton tray back AWD truck.
This vehicle used separately is a very flexible remote area self contained transport and accommodation unit replicating in some ways on land the flexibility of the Imexus 28 on water whilst also being able to tow the Imexus to remote cruising destinations.
I can seat three at a pinch allowing Annabel the occasional opportunity to grab an adventure holiday with us if timing suits.
We have been using both platforms for 18 months having retired again with Clare the moment my daughter finished high school and flew the nest.
We are now progressively further upgrading both units and extending the difficulty of our expeditions and cruising.
Some photos of both as requested follow.
IMG_1003.jpeg
Inside the Imexus 28 from the big v berth looking to the stern and big under cockpit main berth. Standing headroom ( over 6 foot) at the galley and closed door shower toilet compartment to the starboard side. IMG_0433.jpeg
Looking forward to the v berth.
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Inside the slide on camper looking forward. Very big over cab double bed and very high internal roof height required due to needing to clear the high cab on the truck. Shower/toilet to the right. This extra height over usual gives heaps of extra storage and suits my 6 foot 2 frame. IMG_5540.jpeg
Only other shot I have of the interior of the slide on showing the 3 person dinette which converts to a shortish bed and the door of the shower toilet area. Misses the narrow pantry by the door. IMG_0725.jpeg
The yacht and camper parked on our verge as we were just about to leave on our current multi month trip as seen from the 2 storey kitchen window of our new exceptionally cheap waterfront retirement home with jetty in SA having both sold homes in far mor expensive NSW and moved 18 months ago.
 
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Neeves

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Sydney, Australia.
'Sliders' in Australia are common place and in a 'Ute', friendly country - you will know them as a pick up truck - fill a niche. They don't enjoy a second glance as they are almost common place - though Grifth's is bigger than most and few tow a yacht (I do see motor homes towing a Jimny).

https://rvly.com.au/?utm_source=goo...1jD-HpePqX1Ds_zAqloCamJd3q8CEZ1BoC3qcQAvD_BwE

I'm not sure where the original ideas for 'sliders' came from but 'roof top tents' (sort of Dormobile) are attributed to some sort of collaboration between South Africa and Australia.

Home Page - Adventure Kings

We have an acquaintance (who had a motor home), races a 28' (plus or minus) yacht and also owns a rather nice Halvorsen style Mobo intends to retire with a slider to do the 'Australian Circuit'.

Australia is a big place, 4,000km from Sydney to Perth, with both varied scenery and climate and if you want to see a lot of it - sailing would take more time than retirees have left :( (and miss all of the interior)

Grifth's ideas have a lot of merit.

Jonathan
 

Bajansailor

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🎼From St Kilda to Kings Cross is thirteen hours on a bus🎶

I only did it by train, but it was still an overnighter.
I had a 6 week mini-walkabout in Australia in 1999. I arrived in Sydney not knowing what to expect, and easily found a nice youth hostel to stay in at Coogee Bay. I was surprised to find that it was a large mixed dorm - the following day I bumped into one of my room mates who had just travelled from Perth to Sydney on a bus, which took her three days...... I think she had a lot of sleep to catch up on. My 12 hours from Heathrow to Bangkok, and then another 8 hours to Sydney paled into insignificance compared to her bus journey....
 

newtothis

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I had a 6 week mini-walkabout in Australia in 1999. I arrived in Sydney not knowing what to expect, and easily found a nice youth hostel to stay in at Coogee Bay. I was surprised to find that it was a large mixed dorm - the following day I bumped into one of my room mates who had just travelled from Perth to Sydney on a bus, which took her three days...... I think she had a lot of sleep to catch up on. My 12 hours from Heathrow to Bangkok, and then another 8 hours to Sydney paled into insignificance compared to her bus journey....
I'm from NZ... That's a minimum 24 hours travel from the UK by air. Done it twice in the past eight months. Kiwis are good at traveling long distances because they have to be.
 

Neeves

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There is now a lot of overlap between the, lets lump sliders, caravans, motor homes and roof top tents together and call it - 'camping' and yachts. Many in Australia camp 'off piste'. and water, or absence of same is similar to a yacht. An ability to set to and sort out a mechanical problem is an essential skill, there are few service stations in a desert. The current big common aspect is lithium and every slider, caravan, motor home is offered with batteries, solar and all the controls necessary + all the units that rely on stored power, washing machine, electric cooking, freezer etc. Go to a camping show and the kit we buy, often expensively, is common place and sometimes cheaper (I think because the camping market is bigger (more people buy a fridge or a lithium battery for camping compared to sailing).

Today we have no local big boat builders, leisure yachts, but a host of companies building caravans and converting vehicles etc. Lots building sliders. There are a long list of companies servicing that industry, both wholesale and retail.

Have a yacht and want to convert to lithium, or buy a new sink - look at the 4WD market.

For the picky - I'm not denying the differences - simply indicating the overlaps.

Jonathan

edit

I'm on a 4wd mail list, and am testing a folding, 2 big panels one hinge, solar panel - to much criticism here in YBW. One of the problems with the one I am testing is that it is huge, even when folded and finding room to store it when not in use is an issue. For a 4wd - simply put on the roof rack or on top of your slider or trailer. Not to easy on a yacht (the panel I am testing would fill a single berth).

This might be an neat answer:

Home Page - Adventure Kings

and maybe I need to extend my investigation. I'm not sure how small this thing folds - but it appears to produce a lot of power, is not overly expensive and maybe folds down sensibly. And for those who are sceptical - I'm testing the quoted spec, for power output, in as ideal conditions as possible (our roof in full sun - and for doing this I've been labelled a liar). I'll then test under more typical conditions where the panel will be located and possibly shaded (I'll make sure it is) by variously mast, boom and rigging, I have access to a variety of yachts. To me testing the quoted spec and then divining what the actual output might be seems - well, so, so sensible. But then I've been testing for years and comparing an actual spec with that quoted by the manufacturer is second nature. Commonly the testing under ideal conditions might be done in a lab, approved testing station etc - where all conditions are well defined - but not necessarily typical of actual application.
 
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Grith

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Joined
6 Nov 2018
Messages
150
Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
We are just about to pull off the water now after 8 weeks living aboard our Imexus 28 Trailer Sailer out in The Whitsundays and including going out to the Outer Barrier Reef a feat rare for trailer sailers. It has been the holiday of a lifetime but only the shakedown cruise for next years planned 3/4 month Kimberley’s expedition which has no resupply availability meaning needing to be self sufficient on a small yacht for months.
The Imexus has proven both comfortable and uniquely flexible and capable as a cruising/ liveaboard platform whilst obviously not for crossing oceans.
We have sailed in winds charter yachts were banned from even motoring in and visited places unavailable to regular yachts.
I feel I have completely vindicated my unusual choice of yacht and remaining with a trailerable platform to hugely widen our cruising destinations and exploration abilities. 🙂
IMG_2018.jpegIMG_2225.jpegIMG_1979.jpeg
This last shot is anchored in a coral surrounded lagoon Hardy’s Lagoon way out offshore. The reef completely submerged at high tide leaving you feeling anchored in the deep ocean. Access is via a narrow gap in the otherwise completely surrounding reef which turns into an inward and outward running waterfall at most periods with a brief slack after the lagoon partially drains or fills at the top and bottom of the tide.
 

Grith

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Joined
6 Nov 2018
Messages
150
Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
We have towed our yacht back from Northern Queensland to South Eastern South Australia in four 8 hour daylight drives camping roadside on the way. The shot below was taken at the free Leap Pub roadside camping spot. A bit noisy being close to the highway but free and the outback pub food and drinks were great value. We have rushed back rather than our planned slow trip with short cruises at some interesting spots on the way home due to wanting to see a property with large land and lake frontage along with its own boat ramp and jetty that has just come on the market incredibly cheap around the corner from our current tiny canal block front home. A home with its own boat ramp is incredibly tempting! IMG_2254.jpegIMG_2263.jpeg
 

Grith

Active member
Joined
6 Nov 2018
Messages
150
Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
There is now a lot of overlap between the, lets lump sliders, caravans, motor homes and roof top tents together and call it - 'camping' and yachts. Many in Australia camp 'off piste'. and water, or absence of same is similar to a yacht. An ability to set to and sort out a mechanical problem is an essential skill, there are few service stations in a desert. The current big common aspect is lithium and every slider, caravan, motor home is offered with batteries, solar and all the controls necessary + all the units that rely on stored power, washing machine, electric cooking, freezer etc. Go to a camping show and the kit we buy, often expensively, is common place and sometimes cheaper (I think because the camping market is bigger (more people buy a fridge or a lithium battery for camping compared to sailing).

Today we have no local big boat builders, leisure yachts, but a host of companies building caravans and converting vehicles etc. Lots building sliders. There are a long list of companies servicing that industry, both wholesale and retail.

Have a yacht and want to convert to lithium, or buy a new sink - look at the 4WD market.

For the picky - I'm not denying the differences - simply indicating the overlaps.

Jonathan

edit

I'm on a 4wd mail list, and am testing a folding, 2 big panels one hinge, solar panel - to much criticism here in YBW. One of the problems with the one I am testing is that it is huge, even when folded and finding room to store it when not in use is an issue. For a 4wd - simply put on the roof rack or on top of your slider or trailer. Not to easy on a yacht (the panel I am testing would fill a single berth).

This might be an neat answer:

Home Page - Adventure Kings

and maybe I need to extend my investigation. I'm not sure how small this thing folds - but it appears to produce a lot of power, is not overly expensive and maybe folds down sensibly. And for those who are sceptical - I'm testing the quoted spec, for power output, in as ideal conditions as possible (our roof in full sun - and for doing this I've been labelled a liar). I'll then test under more typical conditions where the panel will be located and possibly shaded (I'll make sure it is) by variously mast, boom and rigging, I have access to a variety of yachts. To me testing the quoted spec and then divining what the actual output might be seems - well, so, so sensible. But then I've been testing for years and comparing an actual spec with that quoted by the manufacturer is second nature. Commonly the testing under ideal conditions might be done in a lab, approved testing station etc - where all conditions are well defined - but not necessarily typical of actual application.
I went in to purchase their 300w flexible solar panel fold up version on the way to our Whitsundays cruise but each of the several Kings outlets we visited had all sold out of these flexible fold up style panels in all sizes but the tiniest one. I had hoped to install one on our central at anchor fold out Bimini.🙂
 

Neeves

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Sydney, Australia.
They have the 200w on special;, today, plus (I assume post and packing). $149.

Home Page - Adventure Kings

They do a smaller one, also on offer today, but have not seen a 300w version on special.

Good luck with the house - sounds great - if the price is right for you.

Don't ever buy anything at list price from them - everything comes round on special eventually. If you sign on as a new customer they usually give you a $10 first time buyer coupon. If you both join your wife can also get a coupon (I assume different email address) but you may only be able to use one with one purchase.

Jonathan

I noticed when looking for their offers on 200w blankets that they do a 120w blanket as a square, 4 panels, or as a long strip, also 4 panels - so, I assume, same panels - just a different configuration. So if you are looking they may do different configurations of the 200w or 300w - so don't stop at the first offer keep scanning - their website offers are not logically in any sensible order :). They also offer, all and sundry, as packages - panels often with cables, again keep scanning. They are a strangely, different, company.

We bought a 12v chest fridge from them - excellent product (though we have only had it for 6 months). It will also freeze. Maybe we should have bought the alongside fridge freezer, 2 compartments and 2 lids, chest.....?? But a 60l chest full of frozen food is almost impossible to lift (though you might go to a gym). A conventional fridge from them with front opening door is much more expensive and I think their smallest is 65l.

Fridges are topical currently its 34 degrees now, 4pm. Warm :)

J
 
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Grith

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Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
Thanks Johnathan Yes I have used Kings before and if you pick through their stuff carefully and buy on special there are some real bargains.
Our under main bed ventilation in the Imexus is one of their products allowing air circulation after originally getting some moisture collecting there. It’s a woven mat that holds the mattress off the base and sticks out at both the head and foot end being 2.3 metres long allowing air circulation under the mattress. Shown here before refitting the mattress. It was apparently meant for their car roof top tent unit.
The rear queen sized berth in the Imexus is both long and wide if a little cave like with only a sit up section at the head end into which I have fitted a lewmar opening porthole into the cockpit which was an unfitted manufacturer option. I have also modified the rear removable fire/noise wall by fitting opening inspection port holes to reach the fuel tank primer and bilge thru hull shutoff along with a hatch with storage box and inspection hatch in the back of it for personal items storage and access to the hot water system relief valve and temp control.
It’s amazing that manufactures could fit a fuel tank with primer that required you to pull out the rear mattress and then remove the entire rear fire wall just to reach the fuel line hand primer in the event of running out of fuel and losing prime.
That’s likely to happen at the moment when you are least able to spend the time doing all that!
IMG_6432.jpeg
We are very excited about our new (old home) just purchased as a huge direct waterfront block with its own boat ramp and lovely unobstructed views out to the lake and islands which is perhaps many trailer sailer owners ultimate dream.
Just spoke to the current very elderly owners today and they used to launch a 26 foot Bayliner Powerboat there so should accommodate launching our lower draft 28 foot Imexus.
Still cannot believe so little value is placed on these properties here only just over an hours easy freeway drive from Adelaide and right on The Murray River and that we have purchased it cheaper than possibly the worst house in the worst suburb in Sydney!

IMG_2285.jpeg
 
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Neeves

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Sydney, Australia.
For under mattress ventilation we used IKEA curved wooden bed slats. Our queen berths on our cat took 2 single sets of slats for each. We have a roof top tent (from Anaconda), on a trailer, and added IKEA slats about 2 months ago.

We detect, maybe incorrectly, that if you are brought up in Sydney - you spend the rest of your life there - you know the job market, all your friends and family live there and the alternative Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane are 1,000km away (and Perth further). You then get used to the prices as once you are on the Sydney ladder its easier. The trick is moving from Sydney to ????, to retire - similar to living in London and moving to Newcastle or Edinburgh. You do it once and then stay as you cannot afford to go back - unless you inherit.

Jonathan
 

Grith

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Location
Kangaroo Valley NSW Australia
For under mattress ventilation we used IKEA curved wooden bed slats. Our queen berths on our cat took 2 single sets of slats for each. We have a roof top tent (from Anaconda), on a trailer, and added IKEA slats about 2 months ago.

We detect, maybe incorrectly, that if you are brought up in Sydney - you spend the rest of your life there - you know the job market, all your friends and family live there and the alternative Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane are 1,000km away (and Perth further). You then get used to the prices as once you are on the Sydney ladder its easier. The trick is moving from Sydney to ????, to retire - similar to living in London and moving to Newcastle or Edinburgh. You do it once and then stay as you cannot afford to go back - unless you inherit.
Yes it was incorrect as I grew up in Perth Western Australia and my partner of now just over 3.5 years grew up in China. We both moved to NSW over 20 years ago.
Me to early retire and her to accompany her partner doing his PHD in Wollongong.
As such we have both already experienced leaving friends, family and familiar behind and moving to a new place ( and also the trauma of partnership breakdown including a young child both with one now adult daughter each).
I understand your point about leaving an expensive city/ location and never being able to afford to move back and regretting the move. I have seen that myself in others.
However more adaptable people do this highly successfully all the time and an astute move from a peaked overpriced market to and under valued rapidly growing one can be a positive game changer for both reallocatable wealth and lifestyle.
Our newly just purchased water front home on 1708sqm with its own boat ramp and jetty and massive water frontage with lake view cost less than close to the very worst freestanding house in the worst suburb in Sydney. It is our second waterfront home here in remote South East South Australia and an upgrade to one of the best blocks in our tiny canal subdivision for better views, space and toy storage whilst having an older slightly smaller house which we will renovate to our style.
Since selling out of Sydney and rural NSW respectively to buy and live together in South East South Australia our wealth via property has actually grown.
You are right however about never being able to afford to move back but just because our current lifestyle here and equivalently enjoyable home and features would probably cost tens of millions to achieve in waterfront Sydney not way under a million even after we have paid for ripping it apart and completely renovating it! 🙂
These properties are an ideal base for our semi liveaboard trailerable yacht lifestyle with far better long term wealth retention prospects than the sell the house buy the fully liveaboard yacht move move made by some.
Just an alternative way to access a boating lifestyle.
 
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