Yes, Gamayan, she is quite beautiful. One of the most remarkable things about her is that the majority of the interior
has been unchanged, since built and delivered, in 1941. The interior
has a feel and a smell of over seventy years of life. I want to maintain that "patina", and not destroy it.
I have done a rough run over of all the sections on this forum, and read a few of the threads. I am trying to get an idea of the culture here.
My intention, doing an ongoing thread, is to both get help from more experienced boaters, but to also show someone who is new to this - or not even a boat owner yet - where the landmines are.
Briefly, I bought this boat, with no prior boating
experience - and have just gone thru one Hell of a year doing the restore of the Hull
. I have also begun to enter the "Social world" of boating
, and am starting Yacht Club life.
I do imagine that this new world will offer some amazing opportunities, and some great stories, and some pictures.
One of my main objectives right now is reading: Chapman Piloting & Seamanship 67th Edition (Chapman Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling), and Nigel Calder's Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical
These two books
appear to give a solid foundation in how to run and maintain the boat, and how to maneuver it also. I will also take the advised safety
If it works out as I intend, I will try to use the knowledge from these books
, as I get on the boat, and crawl around her - to take pictures of what is going on, and what I am learning
. Ideally, a few years from now, this would be a roadmap for someone who is new to big Cruisers, and wants to get an idea of what is involved. It is somewhat amusing that I got A's in Physics and Calculus, back in Columbia
, some thirty years ago- and have had almost no need in my real life to apply the principles. It is going to take some hitting the books hard, but the basic pathways are still there, so batteries, and circuits, and engines, and propellers - semi-displacemnt hulls; these ideas should all become familiar and make sense. The real priority is to know every piece of equipment
that is on the boat, and each major part, and how to respond to basic emergencies, like major leaks
, or lines busting, or power failure. Long, slow process.
The first few weeks i was on the boat, with a few seasoned Chris Craft Vintage Owners, and I had heard about all the Mahogany, and the gas tanks
lines, propane tanks
lines - and how there was a continual buildup of gases in the engine
space - which is quite large on a 44 foot boat.
It suddenly occurred to me that my boat was essentially an IED. Wood, trapped O2, gases, electricity. All I needed was an electric
garage door opener, and I could, with carelessness, take out half my marina. Needless to say, everything will be checked for leaks
, and vented, before any switches are flipped. Will also get a fire-supression system installed.
One benefit of having almost the entire bottom of my boat replaced - is I know what every board looks like. Now I need to get familiar with all the electrical
and mechanical parts
I think it is common wisdom that, for many people, taking on an new challenge, requiring new skills - at a point of mid-life, reenergizes you, and gives a new purpose to your life. I do feel that is true in my case. This boat is going to change me. They say that "that which doesn't kill you, makes you stronger". That, in fact, really isn't true - I have seen a lot of horribly maimed people, and, well, it is not a good thing. Sticking to an idea, despite adversity, even if it fails, does seem to add value to a life. I would hate to be twenty years down the road from here, and think that I didn't do this because it isn't a good finacial investment, or you can't start out boating with a 44 foot Vintage Boat.
It is a huge financial loss, and it is nearly insane to start with a huge Cruiser. But, it can be done.
At minimum, I have met, by taking on this project
, some of Seattle's finest boat craftsmen. I am nowhere near where I need to be, but I am definitely something different than when I bought the boat, 15 months ago.
Next step is getting inducted into the Yacht Club Wednesday night. I went thru a stack of 1980s GQ magazines I had in the closet, so I think I am prepared. Shaken, not stirred.