Vicsail interviewed Michael Roberts, Boat Manager and Skipper for the Dubois 78 “Cotton Blossom”. He runs a fleet of boats. But considers “Cotton Blossom”, which he has managed for more than 6 years, as the flagship of his fleet.
He has cruised her to Tonga, Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands. Michael’s most recent trip was to sail ‘Cotton Blossom’ from New Zealand to Australia. She will be available for inspection over the next few weeks.
V: How was the sail from NZ to Australia?
MR: The trip down to Sydney from Auckland was very straightforward with great weather. We had to motor for the first few days as the wind was behind us. Therefore, there wasn’t enough apparent wind to get the sails up. However, approaching Australia the wind came in on the beam. Then we had a fantastic run, arriving in Sydney under full sail, which was great.
With four crew members, we sailed across in six days with no problems.
V: What are Cotton Blossom’s strong points of sale?
MR: As I mentioned, she performs beautifully with the wind on the beam but she also performs well close to the wind. As a ketch, she offers a greatly balanced sail configuration, with mizzen, main, staysail, and genoa you have so many options to set to the conditions.
V: How is Cotton Blossom’s sailing ability?
MR: Once she gets going, she is fast, if you’ve got the wind on the beam and your full component of sales up, she can easily do 12 or 13 knots in 10+ knots of breeze. She really balances nicely and is very smooth through the water/
V: Regarding her inventory, what does Cotton Blossom offer that makes her extra special?
MR: She has a lovely connection to the water. The transom splits to reveal a drop-down set of stairs that gives you this connection to the water. It’s great for swimming, to easily get on and off the boat. We’ve got two tenders of different sizes that come with the boat and these stairs make he so accessible.
Also, the aft cockpit is lovely for dining. It is a very intimate space with internal access through the galley. There are different spaces throughout the boat where people can be together, but at the same time, it’s big enough that you can be separated and find your own space to relax.
There a two large pilot berths, nearly hidden behind the leather lounges, one on each side of the saloon which offer comfort, safety, and stability. Another example of how the boat presents a clever use of space. The saloon and the galley are very impressive too.
V: Can you tell us a bit about the history of Cotton Blossom?
MR: She was built in 1993 in Auckland. It is a Dubois design ketch, one of their first Dubois boats built in New Zealand. She has been between Australia and New Zealand quite a few times and throughout the Pacific. She has always been a family owned boat.
V: What about her build quality?
MR: She boasts a very high standard built. Consequently, she has a very strong and sea kindly hull with a soft motion. Underneath the waterline, she is built with kauri. And above the waterline, she is made of cedar. Furthermore, Cotton Blossom has fiberglass inside and out which makes her very strong, well-balanced and with smooth hull lines.
V: What work been done to the boat since launch?
MR: A major refit in 2010 with a new engine, new generator with an addition of a second generator in the lazarette. Then all new electronics, completely repainted, new decks, the stairs modification to the transom. Her regular maintenance keeps her in absolutely pristine condition
Recently, she has her rig inspection and update and she is all set for the new owner to come in and enjoy immediately.
More information here.