Richard Edlin, boat builder and designerMatakohe, North Auckland, New Zealand
Thistle Dhu review continued - pg3
The owners have opted for warm, bright colours that reflect the Scottish theme - Liz McKenzie is Scottish - in a refreshing change from the nautical theme.And so to the inside, well up above the water, and with 360 degree views through huge windows in 8mm, MSA specified glass. The chart table to port has three hefty batteries and switches beneath it, and the rest of this side of the saloon is taken up with the rimu saloon table and comfortable settee. When sitting in a calm bay at night all lit up, Edlin says Thistle Dhu looks "like a mini-mega-yacht". The Yanmar turbocharged lOOhp engine is easily accessible beneath the saloon flooring. Also to port is the hot water cylinder run off the heat exchanger on the fresh water-cooled engine. The engine powers the fixed, three bladed. 16 x 21 propeller through a carbon fibre strut and 1:1 gearbox. The galley is scrumptious. The McKenzies wanted the cook to be part of the action and Edlin suggested dropping the galley down a couple of steps to gain extra bench and cupboard space beneath the side decks. Once tucked in here in rough weather, the cook would be as safe as houses but still have a view and be near the cockpit. A rectangular sink is for'ard - a minor point, but sinks that slope down towards the plug are better as they still drain whatever way the boat is leaning. The top and front-loading fridge gives excellent. access- to all parts of the fridge
Anyone who has spent several minutes digging deep in the bowels of the fridge for the camembert while the boat grooves along in a generous swell will appreciate that. Aft is the gimballed four-burner stove with a second freezer set athwartships at the back of the galley, next to the microwave. There is heaps of stowage, in nifty compartments, and underfloor. A servery separates the galley from the saloon from where guests can collect their plates, although the lip on this wouldn't contain them if Thistle Dhu was really on a lean. The person in charge of beverages can serve from from the fold-down drinks cabinet - very nifty at the for'ard end of the saloon The pilothouse makes Thistle Dhu a double decker. Steps for'ard lead down to the accommodation. A generous double berth to port tucks back under the saloon, and a similar set-up to starboard has two stacked bunks. There is one manual head well for'ard to port, a bit of a hike from the cockpit, and a LectraSan head as ensuite to the spacious owners' cabin in the fore-peak Crew can use the manual head off-shore which pumps directly outboard, while the LectraSan will satisfy the authorities in overseas ports and the new marine discharging laws here. A shower compartment separates the two heads, accessible from both. if you don't have a shower separate from the head, Edlin emphasises, you spend all the time cleaning it. Good point. Again, along with her cruising /chartering philosophy, the interior finish is textured paint, in cream, easy to wipe clean and yet not show every mark.

In conclusion, even as a motor sailer Thistle Dhu offers some new options and fully meets her brief as a boat that will be easy to maintain, easy to live on, easy to sail short handed and guaranteed to get here in good time - even if it's to windward. No doubt about it, this'll do.
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