I've started writing what I've been going through in my search for the right boat. I will eventually publish it as a blog and keep it updated as I perform the refit
and getting back in the swing of sailing.
Here is my rough draft
. Any thoughts or suggestions?
My search for happiness
Earlier in my youth I saw a sailboat gliding across the water
and I was enthralled how it moved so silently and effortless.
In the mid 1980's I moved to Florida
and there was water
everywhere! It seemed a perfect place to me and I bought my first sailboat. It was a small 14 foot daysailor, with a trailer. I think I paid around $400.00 for it, and went to the library and checked out a book. I read that book from cover to cover, probably two or three times and then went on my first outing. This little sailboat only had one sail and was simply easy to learn and master the basics of sailing. I owned this wonderfully easy to operate sailboat for three years, then I sold it as it had become a little on the boring side of life. It had become too simple for me. Now I wanted a REAL sailboat! One that I could sail anywere I wanted too. Sure, everyone wakes up from a dream and says they want to sail the world. I only want to sail in Florida
, for now. I want to work my way up to larger sailboats!
My next sailboat was a Catalina
22. PERFECT! I now had a boat with two sails
and was more fun to be in! I could go out for the weekend, as it had a sleeping area, a toilet albeit one I had to take home and empty (UGH!) and clean, and replace on the boat. I also had a coleman camp stove, so I could cook meals
. I had a lot of wonderfull weekends on that boat! I eventually met a woman and our dates consisted of sailing on the weekends. What could be more enjoyable than sailing on a boat you love with a woman you love? We eventually married and bought a house. An older house that needed repairs
. I sold that Catalina
22 after owning it for around eight years for the same price
I paid for it, and used that money
to enact the necesarry repairs
to our humble home. Eight years later my wife admitted we could afford another boat, so I started my search. This time I was looking for something in the 27-30 foot range, so we could spend a week on it, or go to the keys, or just plain use it as a stepping stone to a larger boat for the Bahamas
and beyond! I had narrowed it down to three boats, then went to find a marina. Here is where the bad news reared its ugly head
. Slip fees
were no longer $4.00 per foot, but rather $12.00 per foot! At the time we could not afford to spend that much money
My dream of sailing is over....I am married. I own a house that I have to consistantly put money into. Mow the lawn, rake the leaves, clean the gutters. Perform maintenance
on two cars. I don't have the money for a boat...My dream has been crushed...
After 19 years that marriage is over....
Guess what? My dream of sailing is becoming a reality again! YOOHOO!
a boat big enough to live on is like buying
a house. A home. That is where I am headed, as I would need to live aboard and make repairs as I cannot afford a house, a boat, refitting that boat, and alimony. Refitting a sailboat takes time and money, and time is getting shorter as I age. In my youth I could do everything I wanted and still have daylight and energy left over. Now? Yeah. I can only accomplish half of what I want to do and have neither daylight nor energy! Age and a career in the construction trade
is taking a toll on me.
After spending a couple of years on various message boards about sailing, I have I better understanding of what I want, or should I say need. I am looking for something in the 37-42 foot range, heavy displacement
, and a ketch
rig. I started looking at advertisements online, and spend approximately two months researching before I go out and physically lay my eyes on a prospective boat.
The first boat was a 1971 Cheoy Lee
Clipper 42. Can you say beautifull? They were asking $75,000.00. A bit out of my price
range. One of my customers is in sailing and he told me to offer $50,000.00, and the worst that could happen is they would say "no". I decided to pass on that boat as there were some things I saw that I didn't like. I also read the owners blog and knew they had a problem with a leak that took them a long time to find. It also had the original teak deck
and would need to be removed and reglassed. It's possible that the deck core
was rotted from the leak. Good thing I didn't buy it. a year after someone else bought it, they have it up for sale
again! Something was wrong.
The second boat I found had beautiful pictures in the ad. I called the owner and made arrangements to look at this boat. It was a 1978 Cheoy Lee Offshore
41. The pictures were wonderfull! Saturday morning at 10AM I arrived on time, and the owner arrived moments later. He has owned this boat for eight years, and did not know how to care for it! There was no varnish
left on the spruce masts, no varnish
left on the brightwork, and there was a creak in the deck
on the port side. We went below, and I saw lots of teak
. lots of dirty, stained, and delaminating teak
. Cabinet doors were pulled off the hinges. Chew marks in the wood from a dog. Rotten teak from water leaks
....No way this boat was even close to the low asking price of $30,000.00 he was asking for it! Some boats you walk away from....some you run away from without looking back, and this was one of those that you run away from!
The third boat was an Endeavor, I beleive it was 37 foot. It was currently used as a liveaboard
by two grown men
who didn't keep it clean, and it appeared they never performed any maintenance
. I'll pass on this one also.
I almost went to look at another Cheoy lee Offshore
. This one was a 38 foot boat. The owner has had it for ten years in his back yard as he restored it. He says he is selling it because he has too many projects going on and cannot continue with all of them. Research
will pay off. It took about a month for me to find out that he bought this boat in very bad shape. It was almost sunken when he aquired it. It is my firm belief that he has found himself so deep over his head
that he does not know how to finish it! Either that, or he has found a huge problem and wants to unload this boat on some unsuspecting buyer. Always remember, Do your deligent research
, and buyer beware!
It has now been around two years since I started searching for a sailboat big enough for what I want. But, do I really know what I want? Maybe 37-42 feet is too big? Do I really need a wheel
instead of a tiller? Do I really need a 12 volt refrigerator
instead of an icebox
? Do I really need hot and cold running water or can I get by with a hand pump and a solar
water heater? Do I really need a water maker or can I get by with a catchment system with filtration and collect rainwater?
Maybe I need to think about 32-36 foot with a long waterline.Shorter is less expensive. Maybe I need a tiller as there are less things to break, compared to wheel steering
for tillers is cheaper than for a wheel. An icebox
will be just fine as any food
that needs to be refrigerated wouldn't last for a month anyway. That's another thing that wouldn't break. Pressure water would be nice, I definately want it.
Found an ad today for a Westsail 32. Time for more research!