TrueKit Boats Japan
Japan Boats 2020 ( A Covid Silver lining)
What a journey. When I was 16 I left home to work at a sailing center in the south of England & learned how to sail on Wayfarers, Toppers, Lasers & then race on 420s. My love for the ocean from that point onwards was like a seed that had been planted deep within me.
Ever since then I have always wanted to be back out there with the freedom that a boat (sail or power) gives you. In Japan, though that very much is easier said than done.
First off as you would expect there are rules & a lot of them.
But like many other things I was not going to let that defeat me.
So earlier this year I took various courses & study groups often driving for hours on end to Tokyo & back prepping myself ready to take the 2nd-grade License test (2Kyu). Which I passed (Stoked)!
But with this license comes serious restriction so I had to go for my 1st-grade license (1Kyu) which compared to 2nd grade is insanely hard as covers chart reading, engineering, etc. This one called for an intensive 3 days study workshop which I organized with a few other fellow foreigners willing to try a few days before the test. Again by pure determination and effort, I passed, proudly walking away with Japan's highest Grade of a boat license. Effectively now being able to sail / motor anywhere even leaving for other country’s. (A few cold beers were drunk that night, Stoked just does not do it justice)
But! That was only half the problem. The boat, a whole new set of rules, regulations & endless paperwork & frustration.
Hey ho. Option one pay a lot of money for a Japanese boat that did not do what I wanted it to or do or do the unthinkable and import one here. ( Wife Screaming in the background)
(Yup Import.!) I decided on True Kit boats from New Zealand after much checking and speaking with other owners they were checking all the boxes for our needs. So we went for it, and actually getting it here was easy, no problems & we were able to use it straight away with our 2hp Honda.
(Japan No License or boat registration required)
But want to step up from that set up then Full Inspection and registration is required & everything must conform to Japanese rule and regulation depending on what purpose and running situation your vessel will be used ( there are a lot of them too) I won’t go into detail but for sure has to be top 5 hardest things I've had to do here in Japan. But again with weeks of work, study & persistence, we got all the boxes ticked & were issued our official boat papers and plates. (Can’t even say Stoked need a stronger word - help?)
What's funny is that for many you will be sitting there thinking I have achieved what I set out to do, the seed deep within has grown into the tree & now the fruit is the reward, for me though this really is only the start, yes the tree has grown but it is yet to bear fruit, but that with the right care & attention should happen in the years to come & that’s the part of the journey I can hopefully enjoy with those around me.
None of this would have been possible without my amazing wife, my rock, my one Madoka Gillett
This little video I put together with the help of my friend ワタナベ ロク will always remind me of this amazing journey.
All Hands On Deck - Land Ho! - Japan
For more information about TrueKit boats Imported from New Zealand contact me directly We will be more than happy to help you.