Our clients are our biggest promoters. Contact owners directly or let us pass on the message. Learn what it’s like being part of the yachting world’s exclusive community of explorers who sail a Knysna Yacht Company catamaran. Pick their brains. Find out first-hand why they’re so passionate about their cats – and why you will be too.
My wife, Ann, and I saw a Knysna yacht in Knysna and, having been aboard, fell in love with the design. A couple of years later we were very lucky to be able to place an order for the Knysna 500 SE and found both Kevin Fouche and his wife Rika to be incredibly patient and supportive throughout the building period and their after sales service is first class. We looked at many other catamarans of a similar size, but they really could not match the specification and build quality of the Knysna yacht for the price. Once our yacht, which we named “Second Chance, was launched we had the yacht delivered to the Seychelles. We were delighted and surprised when Kevin and Rika flew into Mahe, the main island of the Seychelles, where their yacht, also a Knysna yacht called Pelagic Belle is based. They very kindly introduced us to a lot of the good places to visit as we sailed in convoy round some of the islands. How many other boat builders would do something like that!! If you are wondering about the name Second Chance, it is because in 1998 I had a heart transplant and was given a second chance of life!
It’s easy to get caught up in the rat-race! As years of working life began passing in a blur of meetings, admin and many hours in airplanes, our fleeting moments of freedom happened all too seldom. But one such moment, an amazing and somewhat impromptu, yacht charter holiday in Madagascar with my adventure buddy Paul and our families, galvanised a long-held, but impossible desire to own a boat. Paul and I spent several years after that holiday visiting boat shows and looking at boats. We prodded fenders, opened hatches, peered into engine compartments, and stretched out on the bunks of many lovely boats, but each year, we raised the bar as we looked for the perfect boat to match the dream. About 4 years ago, we found her at the Cape Town boat show – a Knysna 500, built by Kevin and Rika and the team at Knysna Yacht company. I recall us both walking off the boat, saying, “Yep. That’s the one”, and 4 weeks later Paul said “I have placed an order: are you in?” I don’t think we could have made a better choice, with either boat builder or vessel. In a world of mass-produced, assembly line yachts, each Knysna is hand crafted and lovingly built. We were able to customise her to our specifications, and Kevin and Rika seem to treat each boat that emerges from their yard as one of their children, following their voyages and adventures around the world. As a sailing vessel, she is light for her size, she is quick and she is strong, as our subsequent adventures in the Indian Ocean, and our salt-stained log book can testify. Her cabins are luxurious and finishings are beautiful. As a platform for fun, there have been some pretty amazing times, whether it is diving drop offs in the middle of the ocean, catching game fish, partying the New Year away with best friends or just having a quiet braai and an ice-cold drink and contemplating yet another gorgeous sunset with family and friends. She has already afforded us a lifetime of lovely memories. Investing in a Knysna catamaran is so much more than buying a boat: it means joining an extended family of sailors around the world with the warm-hearted Kevin and Rika at the heart of it. We have never regretted it for a single moment.
When the bunch of keys gets to big, we get restless and have the need to get out of the rutt. We did this before in 1998 and spent 2 1/2 years cruising the Indian ocean Islands on our first Catamaran “Ruby” a Dean 365, which was custom built for us. So when the bunch got too big again in 2013, it was time for our next adventure. From our previous experience, we knew exactly what we needed in our next yacht. She needed to be safe, strong, fast, easily managed by a small crew and be comfortable enough to spend plenty of time on enjoying the journey. It did not take us too long to find the right yacht, a Knysna 500, which came with the added bonus of great looks and the ability to customise it to our specifications. It also came with a new family in the form of the builders, Kevin and Rika and the entire Knysna Yacht Co. We have been more than just clients to them, they have shared in our experiences and have always been there to assist us and support us when needed. Since the boat was launched in 2014 we have sailed well over 10 000 miles, all the way to the Maldives and Chagos, via the Seychelles and Madagascar, and then back again and have had some awesome experiences, through big seas and some challenging times with a small crew, the boat has never let us down and we have always felt safe. Whilst we are currently collecting keys again, we look forwards to our next adventure on Catch my Drift
We were about to order a sailing Cat from another builder when I was referred to Knysna Yacht Co by Colin Vianello, who bought hull 77, and was delighted with his purchase. I very much respected Colin’s opinion as he has owned another large Cat. I live in Australia and I would never have made such a significant investment with an overseas builder without the comfort of a respected referrer. I must say that from the day we made contact in May 2017, till we flew over in June and subsequently took delivery of Private Island in January 2018, dealing with Kevin and Rika and their team was an absolute pleasure. Nothing was ever a problem, they are very fair regarding the fitting of extras and the quality of the boat far surpasses the standard production Cats. I am sailing Private Island from Knysna to the Med and back to Australia, and I have absolute confidence that the boat will get us home safely and in exceptional comfort. I am already talking to them about upgrading to the new 55 ft. model in 3-4 years. These are good people, I highly recommend them.
Apart from being a real beauty (we get compliments, wherever we are) and a very luxourious home, a Knysna 500 SE is a fantastic sailing yacht. She is fast and at the same time sturdy despite her elegance. Most important of all: A Knysna 500 SE gives you the confidence to push her to the limits. She has not let us down those last 13’000 NM.
After 12 months of visiting various boatshows and looking at numerous catamarans we finally chose to have a Knysna 500 custom built for us, mainly due to the boatbuilders ability to cater for our special requirements of customisation. After 12 months of building we were not dissapointed. Knysna Yacht Company managed to cater for nearly all of our unique requirements and the boat was delivered to us in November of 2012. Since then we have been cruising in the Indian Ocean, South African coast, Brazil and the Carribean islands. Wherever we are at anchor, inevitably we receive compliments about the looks of our catamaran. We are liveaboards and find daily pleasure in the finishing of the interior. Although we also subscribe to the saying that “there is no perfect boat”, we have yet to find a boat that would suit our needs better.