Dave and Diane Johnson have been sailing through life together for over 35 years. While both hold a master’s ticket, Dave is usually at the helm while Diane serves as chief stewardess. After three years on the Moonen 124 Northlander, this highly experienced couple also spent time running the Moonen 84 Etoile d’Azur prior to her sale in the summer of 2017. Here are some excerpts from an interview in the Moonen Magazine.
Dave and Diane grew up in sailing families and went into the boat business together after meeting in the early 1980s. They joined Northlander in 2013 and describe their time onboard as the highlight of their career. “Northlander has real pedigree,” says Diane. “There have been times in our career at sea when we did not feel totally safe. But a Moonen motoryacht inspires complete confidence. Northlander gave us the perfect combination of a truly renowned, very well-built boat and lovely owners to work for.”
Dave agrees: “In tricky conditions we often commented that a lesser boat would be in trouble. It took a while to get used to the idea that we could head into three-metre seas on Northlander and not be concerned. Gradually you realise that you have a truly sturdy platform under you, giving the peace of mind to focus on things such as the service and the navigation.”
The couple also praise the comfort levels enjoyed by owners and guests on a Moonen. “Both Northlander and Etoile d’Azur are very quiet: when you start the engines you can barely hear them,” says Dave. “The exceptional insulation gives everyone on board a great deal of privacy.” “Everything from the joinery to the paintwork is beautifully finished on a Moonen,” adds Diane. “You get great pleasure and pride from working on such a well-built boat. When you look around and see the facilities for doing your job, it makes everything that little bit easier.”