With Freya nestled into her new berth in Redcliffe we focused on enjoying beautiful Moreton Bay.

The primary update that was still not done on the boat was the installation of a new chart plotter.  We had been unable to complete this update in Pittwater as the latest unit from B&G was still not available in Australia.  Finally the new B&G Zeus 2 became available on the Australian market and I quickly had one installed.  However, despite many assurances that the new chart plotter would be able to interface with the existing Simard IS15 instruments it became frustratingly apparent that this was not the case.   Numerous efforts were made to bridge this electronic gap without luck.  Very frustrating.

For quite some time we simply sailed with the old instruments and the new chart plotter providing position information only.  Well not only – we were able to control the stereo from the chart plotter – thats one expensive remote…

With a new chart plotter installed I moved on to sorting out some of the minor updates the boat required.

  • New LED lighting installed in all interior lamps
  • New LED reading lamps in all of the berths
  • New fenders and mooring lines
  • Additional 12V and 240V outlets fitted
  • New single mixer galley sink faucet
  • New single mixer faucet with shower head in the head
  • Installed a microwave
  • Installed a coffee maker
  • Installed a TV with DC/AC independent power supply in forward berth
  • Installed ventilation fans
  • Added bluetooth streaming capability to the stereo
  • New anchor chain and anchor
  • New sheet bags in cockpit and winch handle holders
  • New cupholders in cockpit

Pittwater to Brisbane – April 2014

Once Freya was completed we started preparations to sail the boat up to Brisbane.  As this was going to be our first true off shore, multi-day sail, we decided to recruit some seasoned sailors to be part of our crew for the journey.  Fortunately, one of our distributers Greg and his sister Deidre were both very experienced. Greg being a very experienced club racer and Deidre having recently crewed on a Sydney to Hobart race boat!  With both of them aboard we knew we would have good company and be in capable hands.

The day we left, the seas were 2 to 3 metre swells and as soon as we left the relative protection of Pittwater we were all immediately very uncomfortable!! However, we didn’t feel conditions were dangerous just very stomach turning!  Off course with any off shore trip in a new to us boat we had our fair share of dramas – broke the main sheet block, ran out of fuel on the primary fuel tank before switching to auxiliary, fouled the main halyard on the new radar reflector all within the first 2 1/2 days!  However, once the weather turned for the better we had a wonderful but slow motor assisted sail for most of the trip with just enough breeze to keep us moving.

We produced a short video of our trip, below:

Sailing Sydney to Brisbane from Jennifer Ussi on Vimeo.

New Caledonia

Prior to our purchase of Freya we had already booked a sailing trip in New Caledonia.  We booked this trip as it was one of the few places that had a Hanse 400e available for charter.  As it turned out we found Freya and completed the purchase before we managed to take this charter.  However, once the charter was booked we couldn’t get out of the deal so we ended up sailing on a Hanse 400 in New Caledonia.  We had a fantastic time.  Our friend Teresa was able to join us for the trip.  We produced a short video of our adventures in New Caledonia.

New Cal2 from Jennifer Ussi on Vimeo.


We purchased “Freya” in Dec 2013.  It was love at first site.  She was a very clean boat, ready to sail and in good condition.   She was set up for club racing and had all of the makings of the fast light displacement cruising boat we were after.  We kept her moored in Pittwater Harbour while we started on the process of getting her ready for our planned ocean crossings.

The first priority was finding a local specialist who could undertake the work and that we would be confident in executing the work to a high standard.  It didn’t take long for us to settle on a local company “Cruising Conversions“.  Over the next 4 months Karl and his team of tradesman prepared our boat with the care and eye for detail that only a true craftsman can.   On the Cruising Conversion web site you can find images of many of the upgrades Karl undertook on our behalf.  We produced a short video for Karl that showcased Freya and his craftsmanship.

The improvements included:

  • Addition of removable back rests in the cockpit
  • Enlarged cockpit table
  • Added zipper window to the spray dodger
  • Added grab rail to the dodger frame
  • Added bimini with 4 solar panels
  • Added wind generator mast and wind generator
  • Mast included fitment of a outboard engine lift
  • Upgraded all navigation lighting to LEDs including mast mounted deck lamp
  • Added LED cockpit lighting to bimini
  • Prepared boat for installation of planned new cockpit chart plotter
  • Upgraded VHF to latest DSC model
  • Installed AIS transponder
  • Installed Fusion i700 radio in salon with remote control mounted in cockpit
  • Upgraded battery system from single start and dual house system to a single start and a four battery house system
  • Added a auxiliary150 litre fuel tank
  • Installed a high pressure wash system with thru deck fitting
  • Installed a fresh water maker integrated into boats fresh water system
  • Main sail modified to allow installation of oversized bimini
  • New lazyjack system installed and boom bag repaired
  • Main halyard winch replaced with full electric version
  • Side curtains and link sheet for bimini and dodger
  • Installed BBQ and upgraded LPG plumbing to current standards
  • Added 1.8kW inverter

While this work was underway, we were able to make many trips to Sydney and enjoy sailing the boat in Pittwater – an absolutely magical place to sail!