Ocean Blue is For Sale!

After 13 amazing years and a journey that has taken us through several continents and half way around the world, it is time for Ocean Blue to have a new owner.

Ocean Blue is a Bill Dixon designed, centre cockpit Moody 54 blue water cruiser built by Princess Yachts and launched in 2002. 16.7m long with a beam of 4.85m, she has a hydraulic bathing platform for easy access to the water or tender.

We have owned her since 2011 and after 5 years cruising the English Channel, Channel Islands and Brittany, we set off on a trip around the world. Leaving the UK, we travelled down the French, Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan coasts before arriving in the Canary Islands. We sailed from the Canaries to St Lucia with the ARC in 2016 then worked our way up the eastern coast of the USA via Bermuda (for the Americas Cup). The next year we returned to the Caribbean heading south as far as Trinidad via the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands before transiting the Panama Canal. Galapagos followed before a long period in French Polynesia (Covid)! On to New Zealand then up to Tonga and Fiji.

Ocean Blue is cutter rigged with a white painted Selden Mast and Boom (repainted in New Zealand 2023), a slab reefed, fully battened main (replaced 2023), staysail and Yankee. For downwind sailing she has a Parasailor (our favourite sail!), a cruising chute (on a top down furler) and a symmetrical spinnaker, flown off the carbon fibre spinnaker pole. She has beautiful teak decks and a dark blue hull (vinyl wrapped). Under the water she has a moderate draft on a fin keel (2.4m) with a skeg hung rudder. She has Coppercoat antifoul which was replaced in 2023. Fully kitted for extended cruising, she weighs somewhere around 24 tonnes.


The centre cockpit is beautifully sheltered and secure at sea with a fixed plexiglass screen below the vented sprayhood which attaches to the bimini. For the cooler or wetter days there is a full cockpit enclosure and multiple sun screens and shades, extending to the rear arch to keep the boat and crew cool in the tropics. There is a teak foldout table with integral cool box storage in front of the binnacle, and behind the cockpit is a stunning sunbathing area with padded cushions, ideal for those lazy days at anchor and watching the sunset with a sundowner. The cockpit, big enough to seat 8 comfortably, has 4 attachment points for lifeline tethers, two accessible before leaving the companionway.


Ocean Blue’s teak decks add to the beauty of the boat. At the bow is a huge anchor locker divided into two: Storage to starboard and chain to port. The side decks are wide with good handholds. At the transom is the gas locker with room for two medium gas cylinders and the large lazarette which spans the entire width of the transom. Beneath the lazarette floor is the steering quadrant and autohelm ram. The lazarette contains the hydraulic pumps for the bathing platform and steering as well as the Eberspacher heater, SSB Antenna tuner, emergency tiller and a large amount of storage space.


Ocean Blue’s interior is spacious and airy. The galley is to port as you come down the companionway and has a four burner gas hob with oven and grill, a microwave with grill, one and a half sinks, a large front opening fridge and an equivalent top opening freezer. Since Ocean Blue was designed for worldwide cruising, unlike many of our friend’s boats, the freezer is well insulated and can comfortably freeze ice cream, sorbet and other luxuries! There is plenty of storage in the galley and the Corian worktops provide ample preparation space when preparing meals.

The chart table is to starboard just forward of a wet locker, with the instrument panel above and storage below.

Just forward is the main saloon table which opens out if required to seat many guests. Seating around the table is on a wrap around settee which comfortably seats 6 people and two foldaway chairs provide additional seating if required. To port, just forward of the galley is a further two seater settee. There is loads of storage under and behind the seats and in cupboards around the saloon.

The master suite occupies the entire width of the stern and is huge. An island berth, with access from both sides, two settees, two hanging lockers and several other cupboards and drawers. The master ensuite is spacious with a separate shower compartment, sink and Vacuflush electric toilet. There is good access to the port side of the engine room from the ensuite.

Just forward of the master suite is a bunk room with storage, starboard access to the engine room and the washer dryer.

Forward of the saloon, to starboard is a double bunk cabin with hanging locker and additional storage.

To port there is the guest heads, accessible from both the saloon and directly from the forecabin. The guest heads is spacious with a Vacuflush electric toilet and a separate shower.

Forward of the heads is the large airy guest cabin, with a double bed, two hanging wardrobes, several other wall cupboards and a huge storage locker under the foot of the bed.

Stern Arch

When we left the UK, we never wanted an arch over the transom, but after a season in the Caribbean we realised the error of our ways and were lucky enough to be introduced to a very skilled Stainless fabricator in Trinidad, who built us an extremely strong, but reasonably light arch, fully integrated into our pushpit which supports our 1000w of LG Solar power and two Duogen wind generators. As a bonus, we have a removable engine hoist for the outboard on the side of the arch as well as rear deck lighting and a high level stern light.

Engine and Fuel

Ocean Blue is powered by a very reliable Yanmar 100hp turbocharged diesel engine connected to a 3 blade folding propeller. We carry approximately 1000 litres of diesel in two tanks (which can be isolated if required), which at our chosen engine speed gives us over 10 days motoring (24 hours a day), typically at around 6.5 knots. She can power along at over 8 knots in flattish water but that uses significantly more fuel. This volume of diesel is ideal when cruising more remote locations meaning you can pick and choose where you buy fuel.

Bow Thruster

Side-Power 15 HP Bow Thruster with helm mounted controls

Electrical Systems

Ocean Blue’s electrics are predominantly 24 volt, with 4 100AH 12v batteries for the service bank (powering inverter, winches and bow thruster) and a similar 4 100AH 12v batteries for the domestic bank . The Inverter is a Victron Quattro 24-3000 charger / inverter and there are additional 240v chargers for the domestic and start batteries. Sitting above the engine is the smooth running 1500 rpm Onan 11KVA genset, which has ample power for everything onboard (including the 4 aircon units!) should you want to run them all at anchor. Engine charging is via the 110 AH externally regulated alternator. As mentioned above she also has solar (3 x 360 amp LG panels) and wind power generation (2 x Eclectic Energy D400).


For Navigation Instruments, Ocean Blue has two Raymarine Axiom Pro touchscreen chartplotters in the cockpit (12″ and 9″). One at the helm station and the second under the sprayhood. On passage, when the boat is steered by autopilot, the crew on watch are far more frequently sheltered at the front of the cockpit, so a chartplotter there makes a lot of sense. Coupled to the chartplotters are the Raymarine Quantum Radar, and additional displays including the Raymarine autohelm controller driving the hydraulic autohelm. AIS and VHF is via the new generation Garmin Cortex which has fixed and wireless handsets, colour instrument display and an excellent anchor watch and remote systems monitoring. There is an ICOM SSB for long range communication, using the insulated backstay as the antenna.

Sail Control

Sail control is easy for short handed sailing. Two Lewmar 48 electric winches at the front of the cockpit are for the mainsheet, reefing lines, main halyard, spinnaker halyard, topping lift, kicker and staysail sheet. Reefing can be done without leaving the cockpit. Two Lewmar 64 large electric winches are either side of the cockpit for the Yankee sheets as well as two Lewmar manual 54 winches for spinnaker sheets. The mainsheet track is safely behind the cockpit and has a small Lewmar 16 winch at either end for control of the traveller. The headsails are both furled on Furlex 400 furlers with the tails coming back to either the electric or manual winches beside the cockpit as desired. A second spinnaker halyard is rigged as a spare. The carbon fibre spinnaker pole runs on a Selden track on the front of the mast and there is a Selden prodder for the cruising chute. Fixed mounted spinnaker turning blocks are provided for the spinnaker sheets as well as soft shackled blocks forward for the Parasailor guys.

Safety Equipment

Safety equipment on deck comprises, full length jackstays, stainless guardrails with gate openings either side for dockside access, 2 horseshoe man overboard devices with drogues and strobes, two danbuoys and a four man liferaft (new in 2023). Beneath the companionway steps is an Epirb. The engine room has an automatic fire extinguisher system and there are several smoke detectors and fire extinguishers throughout the cabins. The bilge has a high water alarm and a gas alarm. There are automatic bilge pumps in the main bilge and the lazarette. The Master suite, and bunk rooms have lee cloths on the berths.


The Selden white painted mast is keel stepped with new standing rigging in 2016. It has 4 folding steps above deck and a hydraulic backstay tensioner. The rig is triple spreader with the optional diamond spreaders at the staysail, eliminating the need for using the running backstays (dyneema) whenever the staysail is deployed. In practice we only use the running backstays when going upwind into a short chop in high winds to prevent any pounding of the rig.

Fresh Water

Ocean Blue has two water tanks, which can be isolated on passage if required. Total fresh water storage is approximately 500 litres. She has a top of the range Spectra Newport 1000 watermaker capable of producing up to 150 litres per hour. Being an energy recovery unit, the low current draw means that the water maker can be run from the inverter without running the generator or engine. There is a hot water calorifier feeding the galley, both heads and the cockpit shower. The calorifier is heated from both the engine and the electrics.

Ground Tackle

For safe and secure anchoring she has an amazing Rocna anchor on 85 metres of 12mm chain, running through an upgraded Lewmar Windlass (replaced 2021).

Dinghy / Tender

Getting to and from the shore and exploring the surroundings is via her AB Lamina 10 tender with a 20 hp Mercury electric start 4 stroke outboard (new 2021). After all these years of driving around in friend’s tenders, I still believe the AB is the driest and most comfortable tender I have ever used. The tender is hung off the transom on Simpson Electric Davits.

Heating and Ventilation

For warmer climates Ocean Blue has four aircon units. Two in the saloon, one serving the front two cabins, and one serving the master suite and adjacent cabins. The unit in the master suite is a new (2023) inverter unit that can be run from the inverter at anchor overnight to ensure the owners cabin is at a comfortable temperature all night long. For cooler climates she has an Eberspacher Hydronic heating system with outlets in all cabins. There are several fans, strategically placed to provide fresh air where needed, six Lewmar deck hatches and six dorade vents.

Price and availability

Ocean Blue is for sale at an asking price of £240,000 (US$300,000) plus any additional local taxes as applicable. She is a 22 year old fast comfortable, safe, bluewater cruiser, which has been our home for many years. She is not a brand new boat, but considering the usage, her condition is good for her age. Cosmetically there are some aspects of her that could do with some improvement which is reflected in the asking price; a new similar sized bluewater cruiser equipped to the same specification would probably cost in excess of a million pounds! Currently she is cruising the South Pacific with an itinerary for the 2024 season most likely being Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Australia.

For further information

Download Brochure
Email: derek@oceanbluesailing.net
Whatsapp: +44 7836 748343

Vuda Marina Cyclone Pit – Ocean Blue’s home for the next few months

Vuda Marina is at Vuda Point, on the western end of Viti Levu about a 50 minute drive from Nadi International Airport.

Vuda Marina has two areas for berthing. The original basin is called the East Basin and the newer basin is known as the West Basin. In the East basin, which is roughly circular, its “med-style” mooring with fixed docks. In the west basin, there are modern floating pontoons.  There are good facilities here including a restaurant and bar area, small shop, yacht services and chandlery.  Gas bottles can be easily refilled (at the gas depot next door), and there is a sail maker across the road from the marina.

The marina offers cyclone pits; effectively holes in the ground that the keel and rudder are lowered into, with the hull supported on tyres on the ground. Once strapped down the boats are far more securely stored than if they were on normal props. Cyclone season is 1st Nov to 30th April. For us its time to return to work; it has come around far too fast this time.

With Ocean Blue safely tied down in a cyclone pit, we left her to stay on land for the first night in many months. We travelled back to South Africa for work via Hong Kong.

Ocean Blue is back in the water

We have been back in New Zealand for several weeks now and finally we have a boat that looks a bit different.

Just some of the many jobs we have done since putting the boat on the hard in Marsden Cove Marina in 2021 are:

Replacement Rudder Bearing: These last a long time – ours 21 years but we had a small amount of play so it was time to replace it. Not an easy job since its a custom made bearing and requires dropping the rudder. This one should last another 20 years or more so all good.

Reapplying Coppercoat. We last applied Coppercoat to the hull in 2012, so its lasted 10 years and half way around the world. We have touched it up in places along the way (mainly the keel, since our original primer flaked off the lead), but a fresh coat is now applied which should last another 10 years hopefully! We have also pre-applied epoxy resin to the lead which should mean the primer bonds much better to it.

New Mainsail: Our laminate sails we bought in 2012 were superb, but laminate sails don’t last forever and as we closed in on New Zealand the mainsail finally began to fail, so we bought a new heavy duty main from Calibre sails. We are back to our original Yankee that came with the boat, which is still in excellent condition but has been in a bag on a bunk for the last 10 years since we had bought a laminate yankee as well which finally fell apart in the South Pacific!

New Tru-Design through hulls: Ocean Blue has over 20 through hull fittings. Two are special ones incorporating the fridge and freezer cooling, one we replaced a few years back and the other one we just replaced. The rest are standard fittings that although were not showing signs of failure, had been installed for many years so time to replace them. Now we can rest assured that they won’t fail for many years.

Mast and Boom repaint: This we were not anticipating doing, but since the mast was down (and a friend had just had theirs painted and it looked lovely and shiny), we negotiated a good deal to have ours done too. It looks a million dollars and much of the cost is unstepping it and re stepping it so it made a lot of sense.

Replacement Cockpit Cushions: These get a lot of wear as they are in use every day. The UV had also taken a bit of a toll on them so we took the opportunity to replace them with fancy foam that does not absorb water, so if they do get wet they dry very fast.

Replacement Depth / Speed Transducer: The old one was getting stiff to remove so as a precaution we put a new one in whilst the boat was out of the water.

Repairs to the wrap: Ocean Blue has a vinyl wrap (since its a blue hull and blue hulls require so much polishing over time to stay shiny and not look faded). We had her wrapped in the USA a few years ago and its brilliant – virtually zero maintenance, but over time it can get scuffed by the dinghy or mucky fenders, anchor chain etc. Luckily we knew the exact wrap specification and the local ‘wrap man’ came and put some new pieces on. Amazingly unless you look very closely you can’t even see the patches – the colour match is excellent and now she looks very smart again.

Replacement integrated AIS / VHF: We bought one of the new Vesper (Garmin now) Cortex units which is amazing. It integrates with all the boat navigation equipment, has a fantastic built in anchor alarm, big colour wireless displays and a mobile and remote app allowing you to monitor the boat systems from anywhere in the world!

Spinnaker Pole Cover: Our carbon fibre spinnaker pole lives on the front of the mast but the cover had suffered from UV damage so needed replacing.

New TV / Monitor: Since we do a lot of work still from onboard, we upgraded the TV / Monitor to the latest high resolution internet connected device.

Starlink: What a game changer – this allows us to get fast internet andywhere in the world. If we want to we will be able to stream movies from the middle of the Ocean! More practical though, we can get weather and keep up to date with work wherever we are.

New gas bottles: Most gas bottles are steel and they rust over time. Not too much of a problem in Europe where you generally exchange them, but once you get into the Pacific, you refill your existing ones (often yourself by syphoning liquid gas from one to another!) and ours were getting old, so we took the opportunity to buy two new Aluminium cylinders that will last us many years.

New Dive Compressor Motor: Ours was getting a bit noisy and temperamental to start. We don’t want to miss out on the amazing diving in Tonga and Fiji, so a new motor should ensure we can fill our tanks whenever we want.

New Cutlass Bearings and prop seal: Cutlass bearings support the propellor shaft and the seal keeps the water out where the propellor shaft enters the hull. They were all quite old so again a good opportunity to update them.

The job list is finally complete (or as complete as it ever will be with a boat), we booked the hoist and had Ocean Blue put back in the water. That moment when the boat floats, you step aboard, start up the engine and cast off to the marina berth for the first night back on board is always a tense one. Will the engine start? Will anything leak? Can we remember how to drive the boat? We had briefly started the engine the day before on the hard (at the request of the yard), so knew it should start. Our engine has been amazing, after 18 months sitting idle, it kicked into life immediately on the hard so we were confident it would start.

It did, instantly as expected, but something didn’t sound right. With the loud din of the tractor that put us back in the water overpowering the unexpected rattle we heard it was difficult to pinpoint, then after 30 seconds or so all returned to normal. We motored across to our berth with no issues, started up the fridge and freezer and put the wine in the fridge to cool. No leaks from any through hulls so all seemed good. It wasn’t until the day after, when we went to start the engine for some extended pre-departure testing that we found that nothing happened when we turned the key. It transpires that the rattle we heard on launching was the starter motor not disengaging correctly and promptly destroying itself. I guess 21 years isn’t bad for a starter motor, and the local stockists can get one in within 24 hours, so not too big an issue. Other than that, everything seems to work so all good. When the wind drops a bit we can get the new mainsail on and prepare to leave for Tonga – the next chapter in the adventure.

Catering Onboard and Underway

As this was my first trip across the ocean I did not know what to expect or how easy or difficult it would be to keep us all sustained for the 15-20 days at sea. And of course this was the first issue, just how many days to provision for?

The galley on Ocean Blue is compact compared to most houses but for a yacht it is a good size with a front opening fridge and a top opening freezer.

Ocean Blue’s Galley

It is good that you are able to open the fridge easily on either tack and that the contents don’t come out to greet you as you open the door. I invested in some clear plastic drawers to make storage and selection easier e.g. One contains cheese another cold meats etc so for lunch you could just grab one and some wraps or pitta bread and put it on the table for everyone to help themselves.

The ARC had a list of supermarkets and many of them delivered your shopping to the dockside. They also provide contacts and ordering forms for a butcher and fruit/vegetable shops. If I was doing the passage again I would not order the fruit and veg from the recommended supplier. We had anywhere from one and a quarter to three times the quantities (and cost) we ordered of every item and it was of poor quality compared to the supermarkets. We did negotiate a discount but they were not interested in taking the produce back. Consequently we had to throw overboard a lot of the fruit as it was already ripe before we left.

We did a reconnaissance visit to the Court Anglais to see what was on offer. This had a very good selection but I didn’t find anyone to discuss the delivery options with. The market had a a great selection of fresh fruit, veg, cheeses, eggs and meats. I took the opportunity to get some meat at this stage as I wanted to test the quality and start some preparation. It was a very good quality and I would recommend J P Rosper butchers in the market. I personally liked the Hiperdino supermarket which was very well organised for deliveries to the boat and had a good selection.

I started on food prep for the Atlantic whilst we were in the marina in Las Palmas. Definitely a good option to pre cook and freeze meals ready for the journey. All the mince dishes were pre prepared. E.g. lasagne, chilli and cottage pie.

Bags of flour and dried ingredients for bread were weighed out ready for the bread maker.

Fresh Bread from the Breadmaker

Different flavoured butters in anticipation of Derek catching fish enroute.

I was starting to feel like a domestic goddess in the kitchen, however it could go horribly wrong in a Bridget Jones sort of way! My children and friends can attest to my usual lack of skill and flair in the kitchen due mostly to a lack of time it now seems.

I planned the menus to alternate between beef, chicken, pork and pasta dishes and then calculated the quantities of the ingredients needed. The ARC information book and seminars were helpful and suggested 125g of meat per person and this was about right. We also found we ate less as the temperature increased.

When we were able to, we prepared fresh meals as this also helped to fill our time on board and provided more variety.

Pre cooking definitely meant I didn’t feel like my life was spent in the galley and everyone could get a meal ready even if they couldn’t cook.

With hindsight the richer casserole meals were great but not what we fancied in hot weather. We only caught a Wahoo, and that was cooked and eaten straight away. You can’t rely on fish as we were fishing most days and only caught the one fish. You also need to consider what you would do if the fridge and freezer decided to stop working and the contents are no longer edible. We bought a Serrano ham and stand to store it on.

Serrano Ham

This was a high initial expense but we continued to use it well after the ocean passage had finished and considered it a fantastic and fun investment. Together with pasta and tinned veg we would not have starved.

When we got to Antigua our fridge did stop working and needed re gassing. This was over the Christmas period when it was fully loaded and no one was working. We were lucky and could transfer the contents to a fridge in a villa that we had access to.

Broken fridge, but Ice saves the day

We were also able to get lots of ice and prioritise the produce that we needed to use regularly!

Fixing the Autohelm

Since we have owned the boat, the autohelm has given us a few headaches. Not because of any deficiency in the autohelm itself, but more to do with the installation of it.

The first issue we had with it was in 2013. The hydraulic pump failed when we were on route to Brittany. The positioning of the pump meant that stray salt water that got into the lazarette corroded the pump and eventually it took its toll. A new pump, shipped out to Benodet fixed the issue.

The ends of the hydraulic pipes connecting the pump to the ram are mild steel, and that again does not mix well with salt water, so after several years of soaking in salt water, as we tested the new pump and deliberately loaded up the system to check for leaks, we blew a pipe! Luckily we found a hydraulic pipe supplier just half an hour’s cycle ride from Benodet and we were back in business.

However as we tested it we discovered the unsettling fact that as the autohelm steered the boat, the entire lazarette floor moved from side to side! On investigation it transpired that although the boat was built with webs moulded into the hull for the ram, whoever had installed the ram had bolted it to the plywood floor rather than the mounts! Whilst the ram was mounted very securely to the plywood floor, the plywood floor was only held in place by a few lightweight screws. We fixed this by manufacturing a stainless bracket and mounting this directly to the webs on the hull. A permanent rigid solution with the added bonus that the floor can now be lifted to examine the autohelm without disturbing it.

In 2015 as we headed out across the channel the actuator on a solenoid valve failed on the ram. A quick easy fix once we obtained the parts, but of course obtaining parts when cruising is not always easy or quick. Luckily we had visitors flying out and they were able to bring a replacement with them. We started what has become a trend for us at that time – we bought two activators so we now have a spare!

Which leads us to the failure in Biscay. The ram is attached via a rose joint to a pin on the quadrant. When new the pin is no doubt a tight fit in the hole and remains perpendicular (well almost) to the thrust of the ram, so there is little if no tendency for the rose joint to work its way up the pin. Despite this, why the manufacturers decided to prevent the rose joint being able to come off the pin with a split pin less than 1.5mm diameter I cannot understand, but what we do know, is that after many thousand miles the pin had worked its way a little loose in the hole, so it could tilt over a little and the repeated forces on the ram had pushed the rose joint up the pin shearing the split pin allowing the rose joint to work its way off the top of the pin.

We decided to take a belt an braces approach to fixing this which basically involved a new pin that fitted the hole, with a plate on top bolted down so it couldn’t be lifted and a much more beefy split pin for good measure. It may be overkill but it certainly shouldn’t fail again!

Stainless Plate
Fabricated Stainless Plate

Quadrant Pin
The new pin, plate and split pin installed on the quadrant