"de mi Manera" story
Sea trail, Mombasa harbour, 1977

Ian Cummings was original buyer of  "de mi Manera" in 1977 .
This is his story about "de mi Manera".

My wife and I bought “de mi Manera” at the boatyard in Kenya in 1977.

It was the prototype and the first Samantha-39 launched.

I was working for UN (United Nations, ILO) in Tanzania, but before delivery of the boat I was posed to Sri Lanka.

Therefore I decided to sail from Africa to Sri Lanka.


Shortly after taking delivery of the boat we set sail from Dar es Salaam to Colombo, Sri Lanka.

On board were my wife and I and one crewman.

Unfortunately we got serious problems with several of the boat’s systems, including complete failure of the electrical system.

Our attempt to sail to Sri Lanka failed. It was too shortly after delivery of the boat.

We had to turn back to Dar es Salaam and the boat was returned for repair.


Regarding our 'drama' I wish to add the following points of interest:

-- The delivery of the boat from Mombassa Kenya to me was several months late, forcing me to limit my 'shake down' test to one sailing to Dar es Salaam.

-- We had only a short window of time before the cyclone season was upon us.

-- A day out of Dar we were hit by a huge storm with mountainous waves, each one towering over the boat but with a fabulous view from the top of them.

-- We were without power, without a head, without steering because the steering-cable broke.

-- We were ankle deep in instant mashed potatoes mixed with seawater, etc.


As I had to report to my next UN posting in Sri Lanka, I flew to Colombo and left the boat behind. Grant Prior was very helpful by returning the boat for repair.


I subsequently sold “de mi Manera” during the same year to a British businessman. He was retiring to Southern France. He came down, saw the boat, agreed to price, and returned with his nephew to sail it up the Red Sea, through the Suez-canal to somewhere in Southern France where it may still be located.


We have not heard from the owner since the trade.

Now, after 30 years, my wife and I hope to spend some time in southern France and it would be interesting if we could locate the vessel.


Ian Cummings, December 2009