My first real sailboat was a Cape Dory
25D. I bought it the second I graduated from law school
, back in 1984, even before I was sure I had a job, because I had motivated myself all the way through by promising myself I would buy a sailboat as a reward. It was used, and I bought it for $28,000, with the owner financing
it for me, with no money
down (he had already bought a bigger sailboat and needed to unload it quick).
I had never sailed anything but Hobies, Sunfish, and other small daysailors before. For three years, I took that Cape Dory
out every weekend and I explored every nook and cranny with three feet of water
in it (and some with less
) in the Mississippi
Sound, and the western Florida
It was such an easy boat to sail that I would usually sail it in and out of its slip (although it had a one cylinder Yanmar
that was absolutely reliable with a diesel
tank that had to filled up once a year) . It was forgiving and with a double reefed main and the roller furler jib
reefed a little bit, would sail in 30 knots of wind
without even being exciting. I put an Autohelm
on the tiller, and it made it a joy to take out single
handed. I spent a lot of days listening to Jimmy Buffett and just watching it sail from the cabin
I had dreams of pitching it all and taking it around the world. I wish I had.
I sold it when I was transferred to Dallas, Texas
and to this day, it is the one boat I wish I still had. I have a 42' sloop
now, but it is never as much fun as that Cape Dory was to take out.