Ocean Blue is a Miura-class sailboat, a 31-foot sloop moulded by Nebe Boatbuilders in Hout Bay, South Africa, in 1975. She is allegedly the very first fiberglass hull**, commissioned as a hull-deck-and-bulkheads package by Dieter Mielke and outfitted in his garden in Cape Town.
The Miura sprang to life as an alternative to the Cape-to-Rio racers of the day [i.e. the van der Stadt designed RCOD]. Designed by the legendary Oswald Berkemeyer, and built pre-dominantly by Nebe Boats of Hout Bay, the Miura’s quickly built up an enviable reputation as an affordable entry into the offshore sailing arena, quickly proving themselves to be tough, sea-kindly and seaworthy, all necessary attributes considering the rough and unpredictable waters of the southern African coast.
Originally launched, nameless, in the small craft basin at the Royal Cape Yacht Club, a nearby Iranian freighter and crew inspired her original name of Inshallah. She was successfully campaigned on the local racing scene winning many round the can races and also the first Agulhas offshore race amongst others.
Some unknown time later, possibly in the late-80’s or early-90’s, Inshallah changed owners and was trucked up to the Vaal, an inland reservoir 100km south of Johannesburg, South Africa. She was also re-engined at some point at Manten Marina’s, currently still running this little 12-hp single cylinder Yanmar that was reportedly the original motor installed in Ellwing, a Miura that was owned by Dicky Manten himself. As usual in the used sailboat world the rest of her history is somewhat obscure and vague.
I purchased Inshallah from Rob Green in December 2012, immediately and irreverently renaming her Ocean Blue and moving her to Pennant Nine Yacht Club. in Vaal Marina.
Finally, in June 2016 the big decision was taken and ‘Blue is now floating in the South Atlantic once more. Follow along while ‘Blue teaches her rusty skipper how to navigate the treacherous waters around the Cape of Storms.
For those interested in Ocean Blue’s days on the Vaal, as well as her predecessors Clewless [a Vivacity 20] and SolesUrchin [a Trapper 28] – www.inlandsailing.co.za
** Whether Ocean Blue is indeed the very first fiberglass Miura depends very much on who you talk to. The original Miura was built in wood by Pat O'Connor and the moulds were taken from this boat. There were a number of hulls [somewhere between 5 and 10] moulded by Nebe in the original batch. I'm pretty sure each proud new owner felt that his boat was the very first though. Either way, true or not, it makes for a good story.