Hello, first post. I'll describe the situation as briefly as possible.
I bought a 1980 Hunter
rigged, fourteen years ago to sail around the world. I was naive enough not to know this wasn't the blue water
boat I thought it would be. But in the next ten years I discovered her limits and learned a great deal as I sailed around Florida
, the Bahamas
, and eventually down the thorny path to St Thomas. I lived in St Thomas for five of those ten years and sailed nearly daily all through the amazing US and British Virgin Islands
and around Puerto Rico
Then I met a tourist, got married, moved to Chicago, and had three kids
My poor boat has been sitting on the hard
for four years in St Thomas. My wife is practically frantic for me to sell her, as she looks at the $500/month I have been spending for four years as a complete waste of money
. Of course she has no idea of the sentimental value, the bond, the not entirely eliminated (though dusty) idea of long term trips, though it isn't really big enough for our whole family
In addition to having no TLC for four years, the engine
is out of the boat and probably done for. The windows leak, the cushions
are all wrecked and all the electronics
are most likely useless. I basically have a hull
that would be hard to sell, even if it wasn't in St Thomas, which only makes it harder. No broker will speak to me about her. I could list her on craigslist or something similar I suppose, but meeting anyone there to look her over would be difficult if not impossible, and certainly not worth the money
to fly considering what I might get for her.
So on to the advice, and my hairbrained idea. I think I might be hoping someone here will talk me out of it
Though minus all the comforts that made her such a joy to liveaboard
, she is a strong boat, and the sails
are in good shape. I am thinking that if I could just get her to Florida
, anywhere, I might be able to sell her there, or even fix her up to sell her in a yard. I am considering glassing over the shaft thru-hull, getting towed out of the harbour, and sailing non-stop to Miami
(or some other East coast
harbour if I can find the right yard), where I could be towed in, hauled out, and could re-assess the situation.
Of course I would have to spend the least amount possible to do this. Handheld GPS
(maybe two), handheld VHF radio
, satellite phone
, kerosene lanterns, some foam for the forward berth, a sleeping bag, a pillow, some clothes, and canned food
. I don't expect to have any electric
power at all. If I do the trip in the next few months I should have a beautiful downwind run or broad reach pretty much the whole way, with current
to assist. I figure a week to ten days. The only hesitation I have is self-steering gear
. My current
system (wheel drive) requires too much power. Would love to find an inexpensive vane system. My hero Bernard (Moitessier) made his own out of parts
in a dumpster in Africa
... would that still work today? Of course that was a tiller rather than a wheel
So how crazy am I? Would I find a yard in Florida or Georgia
for < $500/month where I might be able to put her back in decent enough shape to sell? My wife is suggesting I simply abandon her, which I'm fairly certain I cannot bring myself to do. I would love even more to find a way to get her all the way to Chicago, and even spent the last few days looking over the New York Hudson
to the Great Lakes
. That seems even more far fetched.
One last thought before I close - one reason to try and fix her up for sale
is to get cash enough to put a down payment on a larger boat here in Chicago. The dream to sail around the world is still quite strong, and would now include the wife and three daughters... in six or seven years
I would like to teach them all to cruise
in Lake Michigan on our new boat, eventually leaving by way of the St Lawrence waterway.
Thanks for reading to the end - and for any thoughts on my predicament.