Our Boat

After parting with the Jeanneau 43DS 'Alcheringa' we had sailed the Mediterranean in for a couple of years at Licata in Sicily we returned to Australia in late 2013. We then began the search for the boat we plan to spend as much of the rest of our lives on as possible cruising the western Pacific and South East Asia. During five months of scouring the internet, walking on, looking in and crawling through heaven knows how many yachts we kept coming back to a ketch we had seen very early in our odyssey. She was a full keeled, heavy built ketch constructed by Whitby Boatworks in Ontario, Canada back in 1982 and launched under the name 'Indigo'. Since then she'd only had two sets of owners. The most recent, Jens and Allyson, had sailed and lived on her for well over 20 years traveling throughout the Caribbean and Pacific. 

Her bespoke hardtop cockpit enclosure, Leisurefurl in-boom furling mainsail and below decks spaciousness impressed us very much the first time we saw her in the marina at Brisbane's Manly boat harbour but were determined not to rush into buying the boat we also plan to keep for decades. However, we found ourselves comparing every other boat we looked at to 'Indigo'. Was it as roomy, was the cockpit as secure, would it be as good a blue water boat, was the equipment list as extensive, etc, etc? It took a while, but we finally realised we were simply procrastinating. We admitted to ourselves that 'Indigo' was the boat we wanted and after fairly speedy negotiations she became ours in the first week of March 2014.

Her registration was changed from the USA to Australian vessel O/N 861047. As part of this process her name also had to change as no two vessels on the Australian Register can have the same name. 'Indigo' was already taken. 'Dreamtime', the name we chose years ago when we first decided on pursuing a life of cruising was likewise already claimed. We considered naming her 'Alcheringa', the same as the previous boat which is an Australian aboriginal word meaning 'The Dreamtime'. However, after much deliberation, her name became 'Our Dreamtime' with all due homage paid to King Neptune in the change process.

Our talented son, Rod, did a great job of the lettering renaming 'Our Dreamtime'
and even produced a very cool brass plaque to go on our mast box below.

Our Dreamtime under spinnaker

We looked at what seemed like hundreds of boats but kept coming back to this
ketch in East Coast Marina at Manly Harbour.

Her centre cockpit, hard cover with full enclosure, furling mainsail,
davits, great layout and living space ticked most boxes on our wish list.

The cutter rig ketch sail plan is incredibly versatile and her 'Leisurefurl'
in boom furling mainsail makes here very easy to sail two handed.
All lines lead to the cockpit making her a very safe boat.

Plenty of Storage Lockers

The previous owners even threw in the two person kayak which was a great bonus.

The enclosed centre cockpit is very roomy and comfortable.

We have since added a cocktail table for sundowners 
V-Berth ready for guests

The new cushion covers Karen made for the lounge
Matching covers in the dinette area

Salon is well appointed with drop down table big enough for entertaining

The new cushions bring the area to life

We are very impressed with the great galley layout and particularly the well
insulated big fridge and separate freezer.

Karen makes great use of the Galley. If you love food cooking or eating it you should checkout her
Our Galley Blog

out with the old cream covers and in with the new blue
Always a great place to curl up and read
A selection of Karen's artwork now on the cabin walls

The forward facing Nav station is very serviceable.

Aft state room with king size bunk is a lot bigger than the photo shows
Adding some nautical stripes to the aft cabin

The 80hp Ford Lehman lives in an engine room you can actually move around in.

Classic lines of the full keel traditional design

Celebratory bubbles on the day she became ours.

Swim platform retracts against the stern

Maxprop folding propeller another excellent feature for a cruising boat

Moored at Rivergate Marina in the Brisbane River after having her hull painted.
We flew our asymmetric for the first time on the dock to see what it looked like.
We took this shot of 'Our Dreamtime'  anchored off Moreton Island on our first
trip out on her after the purchase. 

A friend of Karen's sailing on 'Quintessa' snapped these shots of us sailing 'Our Dreamtime' in Moreton Bay off Brisbane recently. We were very appreciative because it's always hard to get photos of your own boat under sail.

Whitby 42 Our Dreamtime under sail off Moreton Island

Our Dreamtime's Hardtop

We've been asked by some other Whitby/Brewer owners to post some detailed photographs of the boat's cockpit hardtop and enclosure so here they are. It was added to the boat by the previous owners while in New Zealand. We believe it was done in the early 2000s.

From the masthead prior to fitting solar panels on the cockpit roof

Side on showing how far back the fibreglass roof comes back and is met by the sunbrella fabric back to the stainless arch which holds the mainsheet block. In hindsight, we would run the fibreglass roof all the way back to the arch to hold more or large solar panels.
Interior head room is 1.8m (6ft)
Access to aft deck is on the port side through zip down clear.
We have fitted two 150 and a 55 watt panel on the cockpit roof which fit neatly around the hatch.
 Note the full length grab rail each side.
Mainsheet, preventers, main halyard, topping lift and Liesurefurl furling line all come through from the deck to clutches.
Zip down clears make the cockpit weather proof. Fantastic boon for living aboard.
Cockpit speakers are mounted to the ceiling each side. The 12v fan can be directed to blow down through the hatch into the galley or to extract hot air out.
Our 150 watt panels slightly overlap the sunbrella .
Centre window opens. All others are fixed.
Solar panels fit neatly around the hatch. We set them in line with it's front edge so there was still room to stand on the cockpit roof if needed.
Rear companionway

Click on this link for a great article about the history of the Whitby 42 design and the closely related Brewer 12.8 and 44.

LOA: 42′ 0″ (12.80m) Not including anchor rollers and davits
LWL: 32′ 8″ (9.95)
Beam: 13′ 0″ (3.96m)
Draft: 5’ 0″ (1.5m)
Keel: Full
Bridge Clearance: 49′ 0″ (14.95m)
Displacement: 25,500 lbs. (11.6tonnes)
Rig: Cutter Rigged Ketch
Sail Area: 875 sq. ft. (81.3 sq. m)
Designer: Edward Brewer
Year Launched: 1982
Builder: Whitby Boatworks, Ontario, Canada
Ford Lehman Diesel – 80 HP
Fresh Water Tanks: 150 Gallons (570 litres)
Fuel Tanks: 170 Gallons (645 litres)
Number of cabins: 2 (sleeps 7 total)
Number of heads: 2
Headroom: 6′ 6 ” (1.98m)


  1. Hello,

    I was actually interested in getting an 43DS for cruising. Why did you end up swapping over to your Whitby?



  2. Hi Nathan, We LOVED Alcheringa. She was a fantastic boat for coastal cruising in the Mediterranean. However we're now planning for blue water ocean crossings in the Pacific and we wanted a heavier, centre cockpit, full keel style boat with very flexible sail plan. The Whitby 42 with its twin headsail, ketch rig provides options for all conditions while Our Dreamtime's fully enclosed centre cockpit is very safe, secure and ideal for living aboard. Every line on the boat leads back to the cockpit so there is no need to go out on deck for anything while sailing. The in boom furling mainsail is awesome. We know many people have sailed production boats across oceans and around the world but we just felt the Jeanneau 43DS was too light for true blue water. It depends on where you're planning to cruise. The DS is great for coastal and was fantastic in the Med as she would have been in the Caribbean or similar cruising grounds. Hope this helps. Cheers

  3. Hello Karen and Rob,
    We have been admiring your boat and have decided to price a hard dodger/bimini. Our site is SailingIslands.com
    I was wondering if it would be possible to get some measurements from your fantastic dodger. Thank you so much, Patricia and Fred

    1. Hi Fred. Great to hear from another Whitby owner. We've added your blog on our links. Rovinkind II looks lovely. I have bowspit envy. We can't imagine Our Dreamtime without her hard dodger and full enclosure. It makes so much difference living aboard. Let me know what measurements you want and I'll get on it. I've messaged you via Facebook with our email. Cheers

    2. Hi Rob& Karen,my name is Ken and I have an 1982 Whitby42 as well and I just love your hard top dodger design. I also have a hard top but it is a full canvas encloseure and the way yours give you access to your aft hatch is great. I have been thinking of changing mind and i think yours is the best design i have seen. Beautiful boat. Ken B.

    3. Hi Ken, sorry for the slow reply. We've been a bit busy leading a Charter Flotilla in Greece for the last few months. We LOVE our cockpit enclosure on Our Dreamtime, even more after spending the northern summer on a Jeanneau with normal open cockpit. Do you have a blog or facebook page for your boat? We love looking at photos of other Whitbys. Over here in Australia, we have only ever seen one other in the flesh.

  4. Greetings, I just purchased a whitby 42 and I would like to equip her with a hard dodger and bimini as well... Did you contract out the fabrication of your dodger and bimini? or did you do it yourself? I have been searching for plans or ideas on how to accomplish this.. to no avail... I do like your design. If you have some inclination on where I could find more information please let me know.

  5. Hi, the previous owners had the hard dodger built and fitted in New Zealand so unfortunately we don't have any plans. Check the Whitby 42 Facebook page. SV Celebration are going through the process at the moment. Sorry we couldn't be of more help. Good luck with your Whitby. We love ours. Cheers!

  6. Hi Rob & Karen, I am admiring your swim platform and wondered if this was something you added and if you had any details on it? It looks like a really good solution for transom mount on the Whitby. How do you like it? Do you have any information on who built it or even measurements? - Thanks

    1. Sorry for the slow reply Karl. The swim platform was already fitted when we bought the boat so we aren't aware who built it. It is very practical that's for sure and makes a great dinghy dock. Go to our Facebook and send us a message I can reply to and I'll take some measurements for you. Cheers!


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