Throwback to 12th December 2015 - How It All Began

After coming to terms with deciding to sell our beloved 1979 Fairline Mirage 29, we went on a hunt for a Sealine 290 Ambassador...

It all began when a diesel 290 Sealine came up for sale at the marina we moor a couple of years ago. Being curious about this lovely new boat that appeared on the marina's sales boat pontoon, we decided to go and take a look. It was a stunning, tidy example of the 290 Ambassador and made us question selling our petrol Mirage for a good 12 months.

Our 1979 Fairline Mirage, Bliss, had undertaken a huge restoration in early 2009 and was definitely a one-of-a-kind boat of its type. We loved every minute we spent aboard Bliss but after realising that we wanted something with a bit more social space, and preferably diesel engines, we decided in late 2015 to go ahead and commit ourselves to sell Bliss and find a 290 Ambassador.

After listing Bliss for sale, we turned to Google and found a selection of diesel Sealine 290's that we liked the look of. With Sealine boats being performance sea boats, every 290 for sale at this point in time was somewhere at sea. This wasn't such an issue but it did mean a long drive as we moor in Cambridgeshire, UK. We took a day during a week in November and drove four hours to the South-West coast to view a 290 with twin AD31 diesel engines. It looked brilliant on the internet but we felt like there might have been some better presented 290's for sale. We later decided to eliminate this boat as an option because of it's condition. Time went by and we still hadn't found one we liked and the idea of Bliss potentially being sold before finding a new boat left us with the thought of regret.

Then, after searching the depths of Google one evening, we found a fantastic 1991 290 for sale on a very obscure website at a very decent price. There were ups and downs with this boat, however. The biggest downside being that this one had twin 4.3l, V6 petrol engines. After a long time thinking about this boat, we decided to give the petrol engines a second thought and viewed it for the first time in Chichester Marina on 12th December 2015. We drove away from the viewing four hours later feeling amazed. The boats condition was immaculate and I instantly had a good feeling about her. We took every detail into consideration and 16 days later, we arranged to meet the owner once again in Chichester Marina and purchased the boat. Finally! An immaculately presented Sealine 290 Ambassador we could actually call ours! As a bonus, the boat's name was something that we decided we would keep. She is called Bandit. Short and snappy. Not sure quite how this name came about but it might be an idea to keep that an unknown...

Now came the next stage - planning how on Earth we were going to get her from Chichester Marina to the River Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire...

Bandit on our day of purchase

A little history: 

We know that our Sealine 290 Ambassador was named 'Vitamin Sea' during factory build as in the correct lighting, you can see where the name was on the stern. After further research, I found this picture online when she was called 'Vitamin Sea' and was listed for sale on Ancasta. It's so interesting to view the boat back in roughly 2005 when this was listed for sale. The exterior and cockpit of the boat have changed hugely (meaning new decals/adhesive stripes, canopy and cockpit upholstery), where the interior of the boat remains nearly identical.

Vitamin Sea, now Bandit.
Photo source: Ancasta


  1. Hi, drop me a line to for more information on "Bandit"


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