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Old 23-06-2013, 17:10   #1
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New Skipper, Old Boat

Hi All-

I guess I jumped protocol and sent out a message before introducing myself, but I have been very impressed with the friendly and high-quality responses that I have received so far. Thanks CF!

I am currently in DC, and after a seemingly endless fairly short career in the Beltway's cottage industry and most of my life pursuing a PhD, I am going to do the most crazy thing I could possibly do: leave behind a fresh doctorate and promising career to spend the better part of the year at sea. (If you're a life coach or hostage negotiator, now would be a good time to talk me off the ledge...)

I've never even sailed outside the calm shallows of the Potomac, and now I'm going to take this 80-year old boat (1935 Falmouth-built wooden cutter, 38' LOA) from Vancouver to Chesapeake Bay. I need all the advice I can get! Crew wouldn't hurt, either...

Well, that's really all there is to know about me: crazy lady with a crazy plan. I've pulled off a couple of capers in my time, but always on Terra Firma. I call this adventure: Never Before. I hope that my epitaph won't read: Never Again.
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Old 23-06-2013, 18:07   #2
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Congratulation,nice looking boat.marc
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:10   #3
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Gorgeous boat. Now, a bit of reality talk, and not regarding your choice of "pitching" your career.

You have three significant challenges in front of you. First, you bought an old boat. Stuff is going to break. A lot. Just how it is. You need to have the skills and aptitude to fix it, often while underway and with less than the best resources and materials.

Second, you're taking a very old boat offshore, even if you skip your way along the coasts. It's going to need to be up to the task in terms of seaworthiness, and equipment.

Third, the Potomac is a far cry from even the mildest conditions you're going to face in many parts of your voyage. The Potomac is a pussy cat (I lived and sailed in the Potomac for 10 years) compared to most of the places along your route.

I'm not putting you off. But I would suggest you get some solid offshore experience under your belt before you take this boat out. And that you sail her locally until you've uncovered and understand all her warts and systems.
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:16   #4
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Suijin! I couldn't say it better myself! ++

Mauritz
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:17   #5
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pirate Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Hi Salty... Welcome to CF...
Love the boat
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Old 23-06-2013, 19:29   #6
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

This beautiful boat is the type I used to see in (silver screen) old movies; a rare gem. It reminded me of a similar boat in the movie "Never Let Me Go - Clark Gable". Maintenance and upkeep will keep you extremely busy, not to mention the cost. Maybe a Hollywood studio would want to use it in a movie set; it could bring you a good fortune. You need to advertise your find! Sail away!

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Old 23-06-2013, 19:45   #7
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Great advice! Thanks. I probably should have mentioned that this boat was restored in 2010 by a master boat builder for his personal use, and it's coming out for a new coat of paint and survey in about a month. Hopefully those factors will give me a strong advantage over other old boats, at least at the beginning of the journey (before I do my own damage to it!).

I'd LOVE some advice about the survey. Anything that I should focus on, or specially request from the surveyor?

Thanks
Merc
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Old 23-06-2013, 20:11   #8
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Hi Merc...I totally support your dream, desires and tenacity. I'm heading off this fall. My friends, family and acquaintances have a 100 reason why I shouldn't and I only have one reason why I should. Because it is my life and I have to look myself in the mirror everyday. At least you have a boat and moving forward. It's a lot more difficult to sail an Internet armchair. Yet some here seem to have mastered it.
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Old 23-06-2013, 20:37   #9
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Fox View Post
Great advice! Thanks. I probably should have mentioned that this boat was restored in 2010 by a master boat builder for his personal use, and it's coming out for a new coat of paint and survey in about a month. Hopefully those factors will give me a strong advantage over other old boats, at least at the beginning of the journey (before I do my own damage to it!).

I'd LOVE some advice about the survey. Anything that I should focus on, or specially request from the surveyor?

Thanks
Merc
You are definitely ahead of the game if the previous owner was a boat builder...provided he did what she needed and is not selling because he did not have the time to keep her properly...which you'll never really know until she has been yours for awhile.

As far as surveyors go, DEFINITELY get someone with wooden boat experience. The biggest issue is making sure the knees and planking and the rest of the structural wood is OK, or at least if there are wet or problem spots that you know about them.

Surveyors are like house inspectors. They spend 8 hours on your boat and give you a report that details what they found. But the observation "there is oil in the bilge indicating an oil leak" really does not tell you very much. They generally uncover the obvious stuff and nothing more, and even then it's not their job to diagnose what exactly is wrong, just make you aware of the problem.

Get a rigging inspection. If the surveyor won't go up the mast, and many won't for very good reasons (they don't like to be the first ones to discover that the halyard they are being hoisted on is frayed at the sheave at the top...as they drop 20 feet or more) then pay for an independent one at a marina where they will crane him up. Many good insurers will require it and it's just good sense.

Follow the surveyor around with a pad and pen. Watch him, ask questions, and write everything down. You'll learn more from that than you will from his formulaic report.
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Old 23-06-2013, 20:59   #10
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Great looking boat Merc.....
A surveyor with wooden boat experience won't be to hard to find in Vancouver. You sound smart enough to pull off an adventure like this. Preparation is key to adventure.
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:04   #11
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Who or what is "Merc"?
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:07   #12
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

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Who or what is "Merc"?
It's how she signed her name.......

Merc

But way to keep up.........
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:16   #13
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Agreed! Fortunately, time is on my side (the upside of having no life outside of work and school for 8 years is that at the end of it, you're really unencumbered by obligations to the friends and family who gave you up for dead long ago).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Strait Shooter View Post
Great looking boat Merc.....
A surveyor with wooden boat experience won't be to hard to find in Vancouver. You sound smart enough to pull off an adventure like this. Preparation is key to adventure.
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:19   #14
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

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Originally Posted by Strait Shooter View Post
It's how she signed her name.......

Merc

But way to keep up.........


You guys really crack me up!
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Old 23-06-2013, 21:35   #15
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Re: New Skipper, Old Boat

Oh, you ain't seen nothing yet. Stick around a bit, this place can be very entertaining.
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