Klaus and Mary Priebe from Vancouver, British Columbia, are hardly new to boating and cruising. Over the years they’ve owned a Nordhavn 62, an Ocean Alexander 55, a Sabre 48 and a Grady-White 36. Now that they’re retired (he was a lawyer, she was an accountant), they’re cruising the gorgeous Gulf Islands on a new Axopar 37 Cabin. And they’re loving it.
When they started looking for a new boat, the Priebes decided to go with outboard power. Klaus said he wanted a boat that “required no more crawling around in engine rooms any longer.” The Axopar 37 is powered by twin 350-hp Mercury Verados. And they liked the Axopar’s hull shape and ride. “It felt like it had a suspension system we had never experienced before,” he said. They also appreciated the boat’s low maintenance.
The Priebes named their boat SOCHAR, after their two granddaughters, Sophia and Charlotte. Last summer they cruised throughout the Gulf Islands, covering 1,500 nm in just two months. They used Saltspring Island, the largest and most populated of the Southern Gulf islands, as a base, and cruised throughout the area to discover a new island or inlet almost every day. They particularly enjoyed the area’s many wineries.
Since they both can run the boat, the Priebes liked the side-by-side helm seats, so that the two of them could be engaged with driving, navigating and looking out for logs and debris in the water; a second set of eyes is a great safety feature in BC cruising. Their guests liked sitting in the interior rear seat, which is raised a bit to afford a view. They all loved seeing whales, eagles, salmon and, he said, “the majesty of the wildest waterfalls imaginable.” Read more: