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Old 13-08-2010, 17:01   #1
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Boat: S.V. Wildheart - 1976 Douglas 32'
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Hello from a Hopeful Liveaboard in Vancouver, BC


I'm Sarah, and living in Port Moody, BC a suburb of Vancouver BC. My boyfriend and I just bought our first "big" boat, and the boat which will hopefully take us across blue oceans. We're in our late twenties, and the plan is to head off to the wild blue yonder in 2014 or 2015 to the South Pacific, and beyond. We've both spend our lives around boats, but are fairly new to owning one ourselves. We had (well technically still have, as she's not sold yet) a older 24' race boat. We finally accepted that there were only so many projects we could add to that boat, and alas she remained only 24'. Explorations further afield would require significant additions (fuel, water, battery power. etc.) and it made more sense to simply move up to the size we wanted now.

The new girl is Wildheart, a 1976 Douglas 32. She's a heavy cruiser, with a full keel with a forefoot cutout. Somewhat remarkably, she still sails beautifully. She's well mannered, balances well, and is a joy in heavier weather (not that we've seen much yet!) Structurally, she's in great shape, though needing some love and attention, and extensive additions. I'm a very lucky gal in that the other half of this venture is an incredibly handy mechanic, with a background in the marine industry; we hope that all of the projects (excluding standing rigging and sails) will be able to handled by the two of us. Hopefully this will keep costs to the merely cringe-worthy, as compared to panic-causing.

As the months pass, we'll have a variety of questions about equipment choices and installation options, skills to learn, places to visit, living aboard before we head off cruising, tips on not trying to intentionally throw each other overboard and general advice on "livin' the life".

Here's coming home from the August Long weekend crossing the Georgia Straight just W of Porlier Pass. Please disregard the poor sail shape; we were pinching to try and round the boat that took this picture. (which is a Cal 27 I think, and which we spanked btw )We also had too much sail up, as we have no headsail furling yet, and we were experimenting with keeping our massive dinghy on the foredeck. We discovered that having that dinghy there meant that access to the forestay to change headsails just wasn't going to happen. Yes, we were being lazy. tsk tsk. Lesson: perhaps have the smaller headsail up ahead of time!

Looking forward to the advice this board has to offer!
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Old 13-08-2010, 17:12   #2
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Welcome Aboard

Welcome aboard to another BCer - unfortunately not one currently located on the coast (really the only thing I miss about it is the sailing...and the fishing...sunsets are nice too...and ocean swimming ). Your boat looks great - but it looks like you're driving her like you're still behind the wheel of your racer. Good fun!

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Old 13-08-2010, 17:28   #3
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You nailed me there. I've raced for years, though I've been a cruiser since my family moved here from the flatlands when I was...oh 3? I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to truly let that part of me go; I want every 1/4 knot I can get (I'll let the 1/8 of a knot slide though)

Also, such is somewhat the nature of crossing the straight on a weekend trip; tides dictate when we can leave the passes from the Gulf Islands. Whatever the weather is doing, (within reason of course; I have respect for the sea) and perhaps more acutely, whichever direction the wind is heading, I have 20nm of water to cross. Luck was with us on this trip in that we could make Pt. Grey on one tack, though the wind on the nose. Perhaps if I had extra days, I would wait. Or head low, or change my course. However, I had to be at work the next day. Rough ride home it is
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Old 13-08-2010, 17:57   #4
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Welcome aboard and happy sailing. You certainly have a ways to go to reach Burrard Inlet and English Bay, and pass under the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge on top of that.
'Tis evening on the moorland free,The starlit wave is still: Home is the sailor from the sea, The hunter from the hill.
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Old 14-08-2010, 06:58   #5
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Serah.

I'm looking forward to following your adventures as you prepare to "get off". You've a flair for writing.
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 14-08-2010, 07:18   #6
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Welcome! You will undoubtedly enjoy this forum.

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but carries my heart as a stowaway."
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Old 14-08-2010, 09:12   #7
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G'Day Serah and mate,
Great to read of the plans and steps you've already taken. Enjoy the forum and hopfully the new lifestyle as you sail away!
Don't take life too seriously. No ones going to make it out alive......Go see our blog at
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Old 14-08-2010, 09:36   #8
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Cool boat! My girlfriend and I are in a similar situation, living aboard our 31 footer here in Vancouver. Do you have moorage all sorted out? Does your marina allow liveaboards? That's always difficult around here. Good luck with everything.
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Old 16-08-2010, 17:45   #9
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here on the forum and your boat is very nice indeed.
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Old 16-08-2010, 18:04   #10
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Originally Posted by Rou-Coo View Post
Your boat looks great - but it looks like you're driving her like you're still behind the wheel of your racer.
Don't listen to the critics, even the nice ones. A low-side helm is a great idea when on port tack, even for cruisers. If I'm crossing on starboard with a port-tack boat, whether it's a cruiser or not, I'm happiest whenever I can see that the helmsperson can actually see me.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 19-08-2010, 20:24   #11
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Hi from another Douglas owner

Hi Serah. Glad to 'meet' you. You motivated my first post here...

My wife and I looked very seriously at Wildheart when we were searching for a liveaboard in 1997... lovely boat, we almost bought her, but ended up with a slightly roomier Alberg 37.

Fast forward to last year, boatless again and looking for a little cruiser max 27'... then we stumbled across another Douglas and bought her. The boat's name's Vectis (latin name for the Ilse of Wight, apparently). Moored in Sidney, where we live ashore.

I'd be happy to correspond about these great boats. Many projects on ours... new dodger's going on as we speak, and the propane system will finally be finished this weekend.

Email if you'd likep... ulmer at shaw dot ca. Oh, and I have a copy of a Douglas 32 website that I took just before it disapeared; some interesting info there.

Cheers... Perry.
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Old 19-08-2010, 23:32   #12
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Welcome! We have friends who are trying to convince us to sail to the Gulf Islands and Desolation next summer, so perhaps our paths will cross.

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