I’ve been on or around trailer boats for over 30 years, and I have been in some conditions that have pushed the limits of not just the boats but my own skills. I found myself inadvertently in another one of those situations on my recent trip to Fiordland. I knew from the forecast there was a solid 2-3 m southerly swell running up the coast and 10-20knots of southerly wind to arrive mid-afternoon. I thought ‘no problem’ and expected a nice easy run home to Milford sound.

All was going as expected but next minute it turned ferocious. The winds built significantly and incredibly fast. Within seconds the sea turned into a very angry wild animal and before we could react the tender was ripped off its tow line and flying through the air. I quickly rounded and nosed back into the swell and wind to collect her. We quickly deflated the tender and stowed it along with the canopy. Then I checked everyone was happy as I planned to turn on the next swell, open the throttle and run for Milford. It was a following sea and the wind on our starboard, I advised the crew to hang on.

Well! The next 90minutes, from my perspective anyway, was exhilarating and bloody awesome all mixed with a shred of terror. It only takes one thing to go wrong and there can be a very different outcome. However, in my opinion, we were as prepared as we could be and onboard the best 10m aluminium blue water trailer boat available. This boat has been built and designed for situations like this.

Surfing 3 meter swells at 20knots plus it was hard to keep the smile off my face. The boat never once gave us a cause for concern and the flared bow performed to perfection. I had some very experienced crew on board that own yachts and boats, Duncan even has his offshore skippers tickets and many hours of experience. To say they were impressed with the performance of the boat in these conditions would be an understatement. The boat never once felt like it was going to broach or that I would lose control during this wild ride.

The Volvo engine was superb as I feathered the power surfing down one swell and then pushing up through the next. The cross winds were ferocious exceeding 50knots at times as they funnelled down out of the valley’s and 1000m high rugged mountains lining the Fiordland coast. At times the swells were literally ripped apart and flattened by the gusts.

To be honest it was a mixture of disappointment and relief as we entered Milford sound. I was having such an amazing fun time and it reminded me so much of my younger windsurfing days riding the swells off the coast in Hawaii. We looked at each other all a little stunned at what we had just experienced . Our first point of discussion was ‘What had we just experienced in a trailer boat?’ This was because it had performed beyond all our expectations and proved itself to be a true blue water boat.

I know whenever I make a decision to invest in my next boat I spend many sleepless nights stressing over the decision. Hours comparing brands, the pros and cons. One of my main drivers with my present boat was to purchase the best blue water boat available. I will not lie, I have the odd teething problem as any boat owner would know, however I absolutely do not regret my decision to invest in a Makaira.