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1988

At the end of summer 1988 my father had been invited to sail as delivery crew for one of his work colleagues. Mike had just bought a Heavenly Twins catamaran in Portsmouth named Catmandoo.

The plan was for the two of them to sail her from Portsmouth to Porthmadog where Mike had a mooring waiting.

 

  Catmando on the pontoon, ready for them to start the trip  
         
  My Dad on board Catmandoo early morning  

Early morning on day one, my dad is over the moon to be awake at dawn as is easy to tell.

Catmandoo is a mark iv Heavenly Twins; Mike had to sell her in 1993 after he had been in a major car accident on his way to Porthmadog for the weekend. She was recently sold again, I spotted her on a brokerage site.

 

         
 

My Dad begins to inspect Catmandoo, the seeds are beginning to be sown.

Unfortunately the trip was cut short due to weather and they had to leave Catmandoo in Portsmouth and return home by car.

Mike later had her brought up by low-loader.

  My dad starts inspecting Catmandoo  
             

 

It was pretty much from the first time he saw Catmando he was smitten with the Heavenly Twins. This was to be a dream that would take fruition, he just had to convince my mum that this was a boat they could both enjoy.

All he had to do now was show my mum some Heavenly Twins catamarans and surely she would be as smitten as he was. Luckily she was, although they saw quite a few poor specimens before finding their boat.

I remember they had only one subject to talk about during the search, they were very excited and eventually found the right boat during the summer of 1989.

  Al sits in the saloon of Catmandoo  

I still had no idea what a Heavenly Twins was, I was not a big sailor back then, I was more interested in fishing, I was also the skipper of a 40ft diving vessel, yachts did not figure for me at the time.

Things have changed!.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

         
  august 1989

In about August 1989 my parents purchased Top Cat. She was then moored in Salcombe in Devon.

They had spent the summer visiting brokerages and private boats looking for the right vessel. It is a shame, but not all Heavenly Twins on the market were in a condition that you would want to dig deep in your pockets for.

 

 

 

Al opens the bottle of champagne to Christen Top Cat and ask her permission, 'may we own you please?"  
         
  A happy Al shares the bubbly with Top Cat  

Top Cat was not the vessel in the best all round condition that they had seen, in fact internally she had dark stained wood and brown draylon upholstery. But, what she did have, was an almost full inventory, this meant they could begin sailing almost immediately. My dad could see her potential.

This is the day that they took ownership, here you see my father cracking a small bottle of champagne in celebration. This was their biggest investment in a boat up to date, we had as a family owned sailing dinghies, angling boats, fishing boats, but never a yacht.

 

         
  first night onboard

Proud as punch, Top Cat is now a member of the family and she is definitely feminine, throwing the odd strop, sulking and of course always taking over the pay cheque of anyone who owns her!

 

 

 

 

Their first night onboard,  shame Salcombe council tried to charge a mortgage for the two weeks he kept her there before we went down to get her