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Fine Gem


Guest Jhb Geoff

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Hi all

We're narrowing own our choice of hire craft for end September/early October and Fine Gem looks to be top of the pile.

We've five people, need three cabins, good visibility and access. Also we know we are taking a chance with the weather so probably won't be able to use advantages of a centre cockpit or dual steering position craft. We've hired many boats before as well as having our own for a while.

Anyone have any ideas or experiences of Fine Gem recently? Also any thoughts on Contessa which looks a bit difficult in terms of access for stern to moorings, especially for a bunch of 50 year olds and we normally do Salhouse, Wroxham, Womack and Beccles Yacht Station, so it does come into play.

Regards

Geoff Pethick

Johannesburg

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Hello Geoff

Contessa is a nice boat, but I think it's fair to say aft boarding is (along with height as the only other really ) her biggest weakness. I've attached a picture, like John says it's a climb up really.

The Fine Gem's are good for the money, and very spacious... but if she's available Supreme is the one to go for as the interiors 100% new (*for 2008) after being totally refitted rather than updated in places, and the layout very flexible... the bow thruster also making mooring a doddle!

Dan

P.S Good to hear your up for helping on the past fleets... must catch up on that at some point!

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HI Dan, Jonny and all

Many thanks for all the input on Fine Gem and Contessa.

We are a bit worried about visibility from Contessa if the weather isn't suitable to be outside, especially those of us resident in South Africa who are used to, shall we say, warmer weather. Having said that it does look as if Contessa's side windows are low enough to see out of while seated unlike the shallower version. Rear access looks like it can be overcome, perhaps we can 'borrow' a milk crate or similar. We like the idea of being higher up for greater visibility, particularly on the southern rivers. Anyone know if the bunk beds could be used by an adult?

Considered Supreme for a long time, couldn't come to terms with the fact that one of the cabins has no internal door, so anyone walking through boat, or going to the loo, can see straight in. Can't understand why they did that, it could have been first choice.

We had Pacific Shadow last year but with two en suite toilets its not ideal for five.

Again, many thanks for the info, its a great help when trying to book from 6000 miles away.

Dan, must discuss the boat history project further.

Regards

Geoff Pethick

Johannesburg

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Hi Geoff

Had to look at Supreme's layout to see what you mean.

The reason they've done it is, I think, because no-one does have to enter the cabin in the night to get through to a loo. The aft cabin has a bathroom, and the forward double cabin is seperate.. you'd come out of there and there's a bathroom, or you'd leave the 'open' cabin, through your dividing door and the bathroom is there without disturbing the people in the seperate double cabin - if that makes sense.

If they'd made the 'open' cabin a seperate cabin it'd have to have been a very claustrophic double cabin, whereas being open it is airy & spacious, and can also be set out as two singles which if seperate it couldnt - as a seperate cabin the door would have forced a set berth layout not the either or configuration.

The only downside your left with when its open is that if you wanted to be up at different times to one another those in the aft cabin couldnt get through without disturbing you. We tend to all get up at similar times so weren't bothered by this but I guess it could be a problem depending on personal preference, but all things considered I think they made the right choice... and the boat layout is flexible and can allow all doubles - something quite rare in its price range... so we were well chuffed! :trophy

Dan

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Jonzo.. do you know what the bunk room on them is like? I seem to remember it a bit tight, but assuming the height of the bunks is well spaced I guess the bottom bunk could be ok for an adult?

Dan

P.S The saloon layout is very sociable on Contessa, and the windows are certainly a good size.. so no probs there

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