Temptress of Down

Technical Data

  • Length Overall – 14.4m
  • Draft – 2.10m
  • Mast height – 19m
  • Weight – 12000 Kg
  • Built – 1992 (launched 1993)

Her Story

One of around 40 Sun Odyssey 47’s built by Jeanneau, ‘Temptress of Down’ originally owned by a solicitor was registered as ‘Laragh‘ in Eire and was berthed in Crosshaven.  After two years she was sold to a UK businessman who renamed her ‘Temptress’. The boat was kept in Lymington for several years until they part exchanged her for a brand new Westerly in 1998. Kevin and Susie bought her from the Westerly brokerage in March 2000. We renamed her ‘Temptress of Down’ in order to have a unique name for part I registry in the UK. Her port of registry is Belfast, Northern Ireland and Kevin’s home town is just along the lough in Co. Down.

What is life on board like?


Temptress is just 4.3m wide at her widest point (in the saloon). Aft (ie at the back) there are two double cabins, the port-hand one has been converted to stowage. Between these is a head (bathroom with loo and shower). The main saloon has settee-style seating to port and the galley and chart table to starboard. In the galley we have a three burner gas stove with oven and grill (new in February 2017), fridge, cool box and double sink. The fridge and coolbox are cavernous top-opening lockers so we use stacking baskets to organise things – not always very practical at sea but better than nothing at all. Forward of the saloon is the master cabin with a very spacious double berth to port and two small armchairs separated by a desk/dressing table to starboard. Ahead of this is the other head again with shower and forward of that is the forepeak where we stow sails, ropes, fenders and on occasions the dirty laundry!

All in all we have far more space than many boats and a good amount of storage space – almost every nook and cranny can be used and we have never really exploited it all. Wine, jars etc live under the floor by the chart table and tinned food on the opposite side. On the whole living on board is easier if everything has a ‘home’ and is returned to it after use – fortunately both of us are fairly tidy by nature so it is not too difficult. Books, we have hundreds of them on board, fill shelves above every bunk and crockery fills the main galley cupboard. At sea everything has to be stowed so that it cannot fall over, slide off or jump out of its perch. It is also more conducive to a good nights sleep if it doesn’t rattle either as even berthed alongside in a marina the boat can move quite a lot.


If we are sailing then before we leave port the hatches are closed and their plugs put in (to stop water coming through the air vents in the event of waves breaking over the deck). The portholes in the topsides are checked to ensure they are closed tight and the sink in forward head has its seacock closed as it is on the side of the boat just below the waterline so when the boat heels water is forced up, filling the sink. It does the same on the opposite side in the galley and we found out the hard way that we can fill the cupboards above the pair of sinks here with seawater.

Home Comforts


Cruising implies sailing but actually much of life is spent at rest, at anchor off some busy port or in a quiet, deserted cove or if we can afford it alongside in a marina. Getting ashore from an anchorage means launching the tin dinghy ‘Sheila’, attaching the outboard then deciding where to land without getting too wet. If the waves are breaking on the nearby beach then a pontoon or quayside is preferable. It also has to be somewhere safe, it would be terrible to come back from a nice lunch ashore to find the dinghy gone.

In port the saloon table usually has a Moroccan carpet covering, fruit bowl and whatever paraphernalia the hobbies currently being worked on require – at sea all this has to be stowed. Early on we decided that if we were living on the boat it was not to be camping-style so although we have melamine mugs, plates and bowls for use at sea, we also have china mugs, plates and a few glasses for use in harbour. In Portugal some years ago we acquired some highly decorated terracotta dishes which are used most supper times.

Whether anchored or tied up we usually do a few jobs early morning – a market shop, laundry, boat care etc and then spend some time exploring the local town or walking on the beach or fishing (not that we ever catch much unless trolling at sea). With no TV we read a great deal, swapping books with other boat to renew our supply or downloading onto a Kindle. In many marinas and anchorages there is a good social life with drinks and even meals on other boats and of course we welcome lots of visiting crew.


Laundry is something that took us ages to sort properly and we continue to refine this particular chore. In some marinas & anchorages there are machines, in Spain back in 2001/2 for example  we had to rely on ‘lavanderias’ – a proper laundry – which can be very expensive (around £20 for a sailing bag full, 10 years ago) and also means you may have to hang around in a port longer than you wanted too plus the quality was a bit hit or miss. Then we tried a Wonderwash – a sort of vacuum butter churner for laundry – simply drop in some dirty laundry (duvets & towels are too big), add a small amount of detergent and a couple of litres of hot water, screw down the lid and churn for a few minutes but as rinsing was easier done in an extra large builders trug we eventually gave it away and stuck to buckets. Once washed & rinsed the laundry is squeezed by hand (oh for a portable wringer!) and hung out to dry on lines strung between the rigging.  At least in the tropics laundry dries quickly as long as it doesn’t blow away first!