For those who don't remember me, I'm a trucker who is dreaming of the sail life. I lurk around here frequently, gathering information and opinions from you guys and gals.
I've never sailed before, nor ever been on a sailing craft. I've been enamored with the idea of sailing since I first read Treasure Island, Robinson Crusoe, Two Years Before the Mast
and others. I studied square-riggers, and often made drawings of them at sea. i'm pretty good with nautical terms and such.
But, life lead me on a different course. I've realized some of the things I envisioned as a youngster, but not sailing.
This year, I got to take a short, 3 day cruise
on the Carnival Imagination. This was the first time I had ever been to sea, except for the weekend scuba
junket I took in the late '70s. It was quite a nice trip.
I've been in contact with several yacht brokers, and have yarded out the ones that seem only interested in selling a boat
, not anything else.
I have a lot of changes coming soon, and one was cancelling the lease
of my truck from one company and leasing to another company, which I have just done 3 weeks ago. Finances aren't good, but hey, they can kill you but they they can't eat you!
I needed some perspective about living aboard
, I mean, just how much room IS there on a sailboat?
I mean, I live in a 42 sf space with no bathroom, galley
, and I do OK. So, last weekend, I found myself in Houston
, TX waiting for a load. I called Rick Weiler at Little Yacht Sales down in Kemah
, and let him know I was planning on paying him a visit.
Rich was most accommodating. e showed me a 'project boat' first. A 36ft Dufour
. It had a high moisture reading in the deck
, and really was a project
. The removal
of the companionway hatch
allowed a most noxious chemical odor
to emerge, a combination of diesel
, and who knows what nondescript stuff. Down the hatch
, the galley
was off to the port side. The stove
was stained from years of use, the sinks were dull in finish. All the woodwork was very dark, and the little light the ports
let in made it look quite drear. The head
was bright red fiberglass
, the settee so small you would need to be a child to successfully sit at it. Two people couldn't pass belly to belly in the main salon
He told me that this was typical of a project boat
. You could put $50K into her, make her liveable, but she would still be what she was.
He next showed me a 33ft Benateau.
What a difference! She had more beam, and I noted immediately that made an enormous difference. She was bright, and roomy, the galley was more than a stove
and sink. There was no chemical smell. The head
was well thought out. Being 3 foot shorter tan the Dufour
, she was wider, and thus had more usable space. Even the deck
space was better.
She was beautiful. She was also $60K more than the Dufour.
But, she was 'sail-away' ready. The Dufour was months, if not years away from being sailable. Oh, she would sail, but how well, and how comfortably.
So, the perspective part is, even the Dufour has much more space than I currently enjoy. But the Benateau was acres more, and felt more homey and pleasant.
Keep in mind, these are the first actual sailboats I have ever set foot on. I have done lots of research
about boats, but actually SEEING them is the key.
I'm still looking and longing. I'm planning on taking the basic ASA
course to actually learn something hands-on. I can do that fairly cheaply, about $350. Maybe along the way I can find someone to take me out over a weekend and give me a taste of the life. I'm planning on staying in the Pacific NW, so Portland
coastal areas are where I'm looking. For some odd reason the Caribbean
doesn't thump my magic twanger. Must be the heat and humidity. As I age, that may change.
The $79K Benateau was really nice, but there are lots of boats out there. There's a nice Formosa
p in WA for sale
, but she needs a new cabin
roof and all the new stuff installed. I thought that $35K was a bit much for her, being the age she is and the work
to be done. Plus, the first thing the broker said was he needed to check my credit rating. If I'm planning on paying cash, he doesn't need a credit report. He's just wanting to not waste his time not making a sale
Just wanted to post something, and thank all you for letting me lurk and learn.
And thanks to Capt. Rick Weiler for my first quite enlightening tour of some boats. He didn't have to spend the time with me, but he lives aboard, and wanted to give me some advice based on his experience. Thanks Rick.