A projectless PBO: but not for long

It’s been quite a busy month. In the aftermath of London Boat Show, it’s been all hands to the pump to find our Project Boat Hantu Biru’s new owner, a mere matter of processing several thousand competition entries filled in from the magazine, online or from the forms handed out at boat shows around the UK.

We’ve had a tremendous response, and I’d like to thank all those readers who have taken such a lively interest in the project, visited us on the boat and made the 46 days the PBO team have spent standing at boat shows both interesting and enjoyable.

During the competition, many of you made such convincing cases for winning the boat that we could have given her away many times over: by the end, we were grateful that a random number generator would make the final decision!

But the wait is now over, and it’s finally time for Hantu Biru to move on to her new home. And, I have to say, our concerns that the boat might be won by some serial competition enterer just itching to put this ‘luxury yacht’ on eBay, proved ultimately unfounded.

We couldn’t have asked for a more suitable winner in Anna Millington, the lucky young lady whom fate chose to be the new owner of what must be the smartest Snapdragon 23 afloat.

You can read her story in full here, but, in short, Anna and her partner Andrew have been enjoying the water for the past couple of years on board a Fletcher 19 powerboat.

They recently decided that sailing was more their style, and had decided to sell their existing boat and fund a mid-20ft sailing boat with the proceeds when Anna saw Hantu Biru at Southampton and entered the competition on the off-chance that she might win.

If you ever needed a definition for serendipity, this is it.

We met Anna and Andrew a few days after the competition was drawn, and it was a great vindication of the four years’ work we have put into the boat to see someone so enthusiastic to make use of her.

So enthusiastic, in fact, that Ben Meakins and I towed Hantu Biru to Southampton last week for her first launch in new hands – at least a month earlier than most boats will manage!

We’ll be catching up with Anna and Andrew later in the year, but I wish them a fun-filled season, and formally forgive them if they scratch the paint – so long as it’s not too much!

Meanwhile, we’re temporarily projectless. It’s not a situation which can last – your interest in Hantu Biru has made that clear and, to be honest, neither Ben nor I are that good at sitting at a desk when there’s a chance of getting our hands dirty on some boat work.

The only question, of course, is ‘what next?’ On that, however, I’ll have to remain silent a little longer, but suffice to say that we’re most of the way to negotiating a very different project, but one which we think will be every bit as engaging.

I’ll say no more for now, but next month I hope to be able to announce Hantu Biru’s successor.

In the meantime, in company with most other practical boat owners, we’re working hard getting our own boats ready for the season, and setting some time aside to get ahead with some of the more demanding equipment tests and seamanship articles we have planned for 2016.

All this to come, but for now I hope you enjoy this issue. Our annual Marina Price Guide gives you an at-a-glance reference to find the best-value berthing in your area, while elsewhere in the magazine we’re tackling keel repairs, top-overhauls for engines, and tools to help tweak your rig. And, my personal favourite, Will Steynor’s onboard innovations on page 61 of the latest issue.

Fair winds,


David Pugh, PBO editor

David Pugh, PBO editor

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