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Mattieux Abiven's Natine, a New Zealand Built Falcon 24 Sails From New Zealand to Brittany, France  

September 24, 2008. David Le Mestre from Brittany, France discovered our website and wrote to tell us of a Falcon 24 that he was in the process of buying. This boat had been sailed from New Zealand to Brittany! He took this picture in the summer of 2008. He subsequently bought the boat in October of 2008 and renamed her DAVARSA. Click here to go to her page.

August 29, 2009. We had no more information on her incredible voyage until recently, we were able to get in touch with Mattieux Abiven. Here is Mattieux's email with minor edits. Following are pictures of Natine that David sent in.

Hi Ron,

I bought "Natine" in Opua (Bay of Islands, Northland, New Zealand), in March 2000. The previous owner hardly used the sails and used the motor to go out fishing.

After I got her, I lived on board for a while fixing things bit by bit, then I decided to move out of the boat, strip it out and do all the modifications I wanted:

> sold the the inboard engine, a two cylinder Droffin, and put in a 120 liter water tank instead. Natine was enginless untill summer 2006 when I fitted a 4 HP out board.

> fiberglassed the deck/hull joint, did lots of reinforcement, strenghtened and added bulkheads

> refurbished the galley and installed a one burner alcohol stove, made a folding chart table, laid teak on inside steps and in the cockpit,, changed the port lights, put a new forepeak hatch, installed a dodger

> redid the wiring using tin wire, installed one 150 Amp battery charged only by a 60 watt solar panel.

> for instruments I had a VHF, hand GPS, depth sounder/log/speedo, a ham radio receiver, and a stereo.

While I was living in NZ , I kept Natine in Warkworth up the Mahurangi River .I was working as a boatbuilder in that same village.

I left NZ from the Bay of Islands in July 2003, been pushed up by gale force SW wind to reach the trade winds belt. First stop was in Port Villa, Vanuhatu Islands. From there I sailed straight to Darwin, Australia around Cap York without stopping - it was a pretty fast run - best 24 hour run was 157 nm.

After Darwin I sailed to Coco Keelings Island and spent two weeks there before setting sail to Réunion Island. I spent a year in la Réunion to build up my bank account and then sailed to Fort Dauphin in Madagascar. From there I sailed around Cape Good Hope to make landfall in Cape Town on Chrismas Day, 2004. I left Cape Town on January 22d and reached Barbados 47 days later, I had many days of light winds sailing up the South Atlantic. Thanks to the spinnaker and these little boats' ability of moving with just a puff.

I've sailed single handed from NZ to Barbados.

My brother was working in Martinique and I sailed up and down the Caribbean islands waiting for late spring to head towards Europe. He joined me for the journey from Martinique to Aber Wrac'h in Brittany via Flores in the Azores. We arrived in Aber Wrac'h on June the 5th, 2005.

Weather wise, I got strong winds off NZ, between Madagascar and South Africa and for a week before getting to the Azores. I have the log book of that journey. There were many interesting moments - it would take a fair while to tell them all. In all the land falls I made Natine was the smallest sailing boat among the offshore cruisers.

I am a French citizen from Brittany. I got to NZ after sailing  with Nick Philp (an English friend) on his S&S 34 from Antigua to NZ via Panama.

I hope this answer your questions and will be happy to give you any more details.



refurbished galley and stove

navigation table, electronics, sea berth

v-berth, hull stiffeners?

solar panel and dodger

The self steering rig


With some help from Google Earth/Maps, and InfoPlease for approximate distances, the following is an inexpert effort to graphically show Mattieux's and Natine's nearly 18800 nautical mile voyage.

Bay of Islands to Vanautu


Vanautu to Darwin

Darwin to Cocos (Keeling)

Cocos (Keeling) to Reunion

Reunion to Madagascar

Madagascar to Capetown

Cape Town to Barbados

Martinique to Azores

Azores to Brittany


For more on the Falcon 24, and its cousin the S&S 24, click here.




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