I am always interested in owners who are sailing a King´s Cruiser 33 and that’s why I was happy to find Andy Stenzel after another research in the net. Andy and his family are currently cruising the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: Family cruising at its best. Daddy, Mom and their little son. I was happy that there was no hesitation after I contacted them and asked for an interview. I am excited to featuring another King´s Cruiser-story about his family and their adventures on their SY PADNEA.

The distinct shape of the King´s Cruiser is easily recognizable

Lars Reisberg | NO FRILLS SAILING.com: „ Andy, first of all thanks for sharing some insights and taking time off of your precious time aboard your boat to grant me this interview! Tell us about yourself, your family and your boat.”

Andreas Stenzel: „My Name is Andy Stenzel, 37, I´am a self employed graphic designer, I love sailing and traveling. Together with Eva and our Son Johannes, we are aboard our boat PADNEA since May 2017 here in the Med since we´ve bought her back in March 2016.”

NFS.com: „Tell us more about the boat.”

Andy: „PADNEA is hull number 177 of the Fiskars built King´s Cruiser 33 and has been christened on March 3rd 1977. She is thus one of the last boats to be produced by the yard in Finland. Back in those days the owner, an Italian guy living in Chioggia near Venice, had ordered the yacht and there she spent most of her life sailing the Gulf of Venice. She has been treated very, very well and substantially she was in a very good condition when she was off to be sold after her owner died in 2016. When we bought her – then her name still being LEONIA – we are now the second owners in her life, which is seldom for a yacht that old.”

“A combination between cosy & comfy and extremely seaworthy.”

NFS.com: „Why was it the King´s Cruiser 33 you bought in the end? Did you have any other used boats on your shortlist?”

Andy: „Before we actually began our search we´ve put together a list of requirements of our new-old boat. After adding our budget, this list of course became more clearly arranged and after a kind of tedious research phase we indeed found only two boats remaining on our list: The King´s Cruiser 33 and a Neptune 33. In the end, we opted for the King´s Cruiser because of the outstanding combination of safety and comfort this yacht actually offers. Another pro which was with our particular boat was the perfect condition in which we found the boat.”

Little big boat: The King´s Cruiser 33

NFS.com: „How funny! I actually had a Neptune 33 in Bremen and the King´s Cruiser OLIVIA on my own shortlist too! What a nice coincidence! I remember this certain feeling I had when I first entered the boat …”

Andy: The most important thing from my point of view that was having the most impact in favour of this boat was this feeling of “arriving home”. This particular feeling that this “is just right”. I cannot describe this in words and it really isn´t also a purely rational thing, but we did have this positive feeling about the yacht and so we took her.”

“The King´s Cruiser simply offers everything we looked for in a yacht.”

NFS.com: „Let´s get more into details here, talking about the King´s Cruiser: How is she sailing, what does she feel like when under canvas?”

Andy: „Plain and simple: She is sailing just really, really well! I mean, with the right sail trim she will completely sail herself alone without any need for helming holding her due course with ease. She can also take a lot of wind but she is also light enough not to require a stiff breeze to get underway. And third but not least she will pardon minor mistakes as well as reefing too late. She simply is a great boat to sail with!”

Sailing a King´s Cruiser 33 is true pleasure

NFS.com: „What about her interiors? The King´s Cruiser 33 is an IOR-era boat and thus limited in space considering modern yachts.”

Andy: „First of all we have everything we need and the boat has everything it needs in order to be seaworthy and capable of making passage. I think she is a very neat combination of practical things and yet offering a cosy interior. There are grab handles exactly where you need them, the saloon area offers more than enough space and cushion and even the berths have stunning sails and enough space as well. I think for a boat barely measuring 10.30 metres the internal layout is very modern concerning her age. We also have a lot of stowage all over the place: On one occasion we were able to let disappear the yield of a hoarding-session of 7 fully stuffed push carts! That was amazing. The one fly in the ointment is that I sometimes miss standing height: I am 1.94 metres tall.”

Internal space in the King´s Cruiser 33

NFS.com: „So life on board is …

Andy: „ … it indeed is absolutely possible to live aboard a “small” yacht like this on a long haul cruise with a small family! We are now sailing around here in the Mediterranean since six months as a three person crew. Sometimes we are receiving friends, mostly couples, who are giving us company for a week or two. That´s absolutely no problem. Given the fact that weather is warm and most of the action takes place outside. On the other hand, I can imagine that travelling on this yacht during colder or weather periods it may be a bit overcrowded, that I would assume two persons is cool, three could be a bit too much.”

NFS.com: „Sounds like you love your boat?”

Andy: „Of course! She has so many pros: Like all the technical details I can´t count, but Pelle Petterson the designer made a very good job here. There is also a big community of King´s Cruiser-aficionada and a King´s Cruiser 33 Club based in Denmark. The fact that at least two King´s Cruisers made it around the world as far as I know and so much more … I love most about this yacht that my own relationship with PADNEA is one of deep trust. A relation based on skills and mutual trust. I trust the yacht a lot. As I love to say: I protect you from the shores – you protect me from the Sea.”

Another day of leisure sailing on the Med

NFS.com: „But there must be something not so nice about the boat, honestly…?”

Andy: „Believe me, I have to think hard to find something I don´t really like about the boat. Partly because everything I didn´t found perfect has been changed overtime now. There´s just the one thing with missing standing height. The rest … is pretty perfectly suiting all our needs and demands.”

“Exploring the Eastern Mediterranean.”

NFS.com: „Tell us about your trip on PADNEA.”

Andy: We acquired the yacht in May 2016 in Chioggia, Italy and fitted her to our needs. Crossing the Adriatic to Croatia where we arrived at Novigrad, leaving PADNEA for 3 months mooring. Back then it just wasn´t time to live full time on the yacht yet. Later in September 2016 – take it as the dress rehearsal – we sailed one month aboard the boat the Croatian shores, crossing the beautiful Kornati archipelago further down South, leaving the boat for winter storage on the beautiful Island of Korcula. We took our time back in Germany to get everything rigged for the Move aboard, like selling the car, terminating our old lives and get rid of all the „land“ stuff. We arrived back at the boat in May 2017 to rig her for the long voyage and then … we finally hoisted sails and set off.”

Sailing a King´s Cruiser 33 is true pleasure

NFS.com: „Was leaving easy? Especially the fact of leaving behind so much?”

Andy: „For us it was easy i would say. We were looking forward to this Moment for so long now. Arriving at the Boat was also made easy by a number of other cruising people with whom we found it easy to get acquainted and even be friends very soon. Naturally, saying Goodbye to the lovely Island of Korcula was finally a bit sad although some of our new friends from another yacht did sail with us the first legs to the Island of Cavtat.”

NFS.com: „Then you left Croatian waters towards …”

Andy: „ … next up was Montenegro of which I was most fond of the beautiful Bay of Kotor and down south to Bar. From where we set sails towards Albania.”

Andy and his family are exploring the Eastern Med Sea

NFS.com: „Albania is seldom talked of in Europe. I think this is a country that is perceived as being poor and maybe dangerous?”

Andy: „I can tell you this as a matter of fact: Sailing in Albania definitely is one of the highlights of our whole cruise so far! It would by far go beyond the scope of this interview, but let me tell you just this: Every new bay along the Albanian shores bears a different character and it´s definitely worth to go there and get yourself into this fantastic country and culture. We in fact have been the only one of just two or three yachts sailing these waters but … imagine a crystal clear sea, a completely untouched coastline, no concrete bunkers and big hotel resorts. It was pure paradise! Apart from four tame checks by the „Guardia di Finanza“ (Coast Guard) of Italy and a radio contact with cruise Ship MS EUROPA for weather forecasts we had been completely alone without any contact to the outside world. Just in the middle of the Adriatic! It was purely a treat. Watching seals hunting for fish in the water. Jollying with Dolphins. Breathtakingly beautiful skies at night seeing the vastness of the galaxy and anchoring completely alone beneath huge cliffs. Amazing Albania!”

Mooring in paradise …

NFS.com: „What about sailing in Greece?”

Andy: „We are sailing very short legs here in Greece. Through the Ionic Sea further down south with a short dash into the Ambracian Gulf through the Channel of Lefkas. Having summer drawing to an end we sailed towards Kalamata in the Peloppones archipelago where we are right now. Eva and our son Johannes are off to Germany now to avoid the ever increasing days of rain and the growing days of strong winds. They are going to spend the winter in Germany and I will visit them over Christmas. We are resuming our voyage in spring 2018. The plan ist, to cruise through the Kyklade archipelago next year.”

“Stay away from the big charter fleets.”

NFS.com: „Speaking of Greece. What is sailing in Greek waters like now? There are some rumours that it´s full and crowded of people since Turkey´s charter market is down due to political reasons.”

Andy: “We only experienced overcrowded scenes during the months of July and August around the Greek Islands of Corfu, Paxos and Antipaxos. But the remedy is to keep a distance to those charter hotspots. Pricewise there´s a difference to Croatia here: Most of the Greek harbours are free. Say, there is no demurrage. Anchoring is always free of charge so that´s a great thing sailing here in Greece. You just pay some 50 Euros for the Greek permit for 2 Years, that´s it.”

Classic IOR-cruiser transom

NFS.com: „Did you notice anything about the current refugee situation? Boats with people trying to enter the EU waters?”

Andy: “We didn´t see Refugees, but the Boats they have probably arrived with. You see abandoned sailing yachts and power boats ranging from 30 to 60 feet, in most of the Harbors of Peloponnese. Some under Austrian, Swedish and American flag. Stolen OwnerShips I guess. From afar they look like normal yachts but if you look closely – especially into their interior – it speaks for itself.”

“The Big Loop is out of question. For now.”

NFS.com: „Last question, Andy: You are a classic “boat family”. What do you think will it be like to return after such a long trip being free from the ordinary life of ordinary people? Do you have cravings for maybe circumnavigating the world?”

Andy: “We in fact do not think of returning to a so-called normal life in Germany yet. That´s not in our minds now. Also the trip around the world is not a question. For now, we just enjoy the opportunity to live and work aboard a yacht, sail around, see great places and meet nice people. It´s a joyful life we really love being that free. Of course we do meet other cruisers, having completed the Big Loop and some who are on their way to make it. It´s fantastic and of course sometimes we talk of it. We´ll see.”

Fully laden with all the stuff needed on a long haul cruise

NFS.com: „So Andy, what would be the closing sentence of this interview? What would you like to tell people who are reading this?”

Andy: “If you have this tiny seed in your thoughts to go out and free yourself from your daily routine and the treadmill of ordinary life – do it! Don´t fear the change. The is a whole new life waiting for you – and it is fantastic indeed!”

Andy, thanks so much again! Andy Stenzel is regularly keeping a log on his Website.

News on Andy´s King´s Cruiser: As he is currently stepping up to a bigger boat, the PADNEA is up for sale – see here


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