Steve and Katherine first met in 1987 on a caving expedition to Spain. They have always loved the outdoors and adventure sports, which led them to take scuba diving vacations on live-aboards. Being natural explorers with a growing love of the water, it’s no wonder they decided to dedicate their retirement to live aboard on the open ocean.
The couple started sailing in 2002 in a landlocked area of Yorkshire in the north of England, which is about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK! However, their passion for sailing encouraged them to take more classes, leading them to 12 years of racing monohulls in the Irish Sea.
A few of their favorite memories sailing are when Steve performed in the Round Ireland Race in 2006, going 600nm in 5 days. Following, the couple did the Three Peaks Yacht Race in 2009 with a friend in some seriously challenging water around Scotland. The group happily finished in 4th place out of over 40 boats! They were also part of the ARC, which starts in Portugal and finishes in Gran Canaria, taking about 21 days.
In total, the couple has experience sailing on the west and south coasts of the UK, in Greece, Turkey, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Thailand, and all of the Leeward and Windward Islands in the Carribean, from the BVI’s to Grenada.
On land, Katherine trained as a dietitian and worked in the NHS, specializing in diabetes and food tolerance. She later moved on to Head of Therapy Services, managing dietitians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and mobility service therapists. Steve trained in Outdoor Education and has worked for 35 years in the adventure sports industry. He owned the world’s biggest climbing wall manufacturing company for 10 years before selling the company and the couple moved to Oman, where he began to advise the Omani government on the development of adventure tourism.
After watching a few videos on the Balance Catamaran website, the couple fell in love with the Balance 451. The performance and comfort combination of the boat was the real selling point for Steve and Katherine, stating that, “When we first sailed on our boat in Grenada it was fantastic, even better than we had expected, especially upwind… It truly is the perfect balance.. The quality for the price is so clearly obvious to anyone who seriously compares the 451 with other performance and or voyaging focused catamarans. The quality of the fiberglass lamination, the interior cabinetry, the quality if the fittings, rig, sails and wiring systems is first-rate. The beds and baths are spacious and comfortable, and the flow from the salon and salon galley to the cockpit is open and connected. And for all of that, she sails very, very fast!”