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Old 03-09-2019, 13:36   #1
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I could have done this smarter...

I meant to do this a bit earlier, just to introduce myself, mention I was about to get into the lifestyle, and start picking brains. Due to some unforeseen events though, I wound up moving forward much more quickly and quite irresponsibly.

I head towards Florida with a little bit of money a few weeks ago, with a couple of general ideas as to how this would go. Essentially, I'd move out here, get a job and perhaps a studio, summon the significantly better half from the Rockies, and start taking lessons, learn how to sail, make connections, and shop for a boat together. We know that we really have no idea what this is going to look like. We both like customizing things, so were thinking we'd find a basic boat that we could modify to be a comfortable cruiser (once we figured out exactly what makes us comfortable in a situation we'd never been in).

It sounded like a solid plan, complete with the understanding that we can't assume too much of anything based only on theoretical knowledge. Jumping in with both feet, but still going about it in a conservative way (I'm a hell of a lot less risk-averse than she is, hence the reason I'm the vanguard during this particular shift in our lives).

Pretty sure there is a saying regarding the best laid plans of mice and men, and something else about no plan surviving first contact. They certainly proved true this time.

I still need to scope out CF a bit more, and locate a decent place to post more details, but to make a long story short, I wound up acquiring a Bayliner Buccaneer 240 that is completely gutted. No head, no engine, no electrical systems, no transom, and a broken...rudder head(?). And then Dorian made himself known.

So things have been a bit crazy. The boat seems to have done okay, and definitely didn't hurt anybody or anything else, which was my priority. I now get to figure out how to make the most of my extremely dumb and reckless decisions that led me to this point. But, I have a boat now. I didn't have one last week, so that's pretty cool. My general goal for now is to get her fixed up so that she's fit for the better half to live on while we shop for a boat to cruise in. And sh*t, by then, we'll at least have stepped foot on a boat, so a significantly more amount of real life experience.

Thanks for reading, and I hope that overall, I'll learn a lot here.
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Old 03-09-2019, 14:49   #2
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

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Originally Posted by Jordan-Flomad View Post
...to make a long story short, I wound up acquiring a Bayliner Buccaneer 240 that is completely gutted. No head, no engine, no electrical systems, no transom, and a broken...rudder head(?). And then Dorian made himself known.
Welcome to boating. If I were in your shoes I'd take the money the guy gave you for taking that hull off his hands and take your better half to Hawaii for two weeks. If there is any money left over buy her something she can wear. She'll love you forever.
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Old 03-09-2019, 15:53   #3
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Hm... You did get off to a fine start, didn't you :-)?

I think Sheanadoah musta been jesting, but if it's really true that somebody paid you to take the carcass of a Buccaneer 240, then for heaven's sake spend that money wisely!! Have a naughty weekend somewhere. Blow the money on a good dinner and a a few bottles of wine. But whatever you do, do NOT spend it on trying to refurbish the carcass!

Dunno what Alan Payne was smoking when he designed that boat. Or maybe he'd been kicked in the head by a kangaroo. He COULD do real boats. And did. But a yacht designer with a growing family to feed has to take the commissions he can get, and if he's got entangled with Bayliner (who don't know from sailing - they are stink pot people) then, when Bayliner sez "jump" the NA sez "Tell me when I can come back down, please Sir."

Anyway, if you want to learn to sail and if you hope to become a live-aboard and a cruising man, then go and lick your wounds for a bit, earn a bit o' money and then get yourself a real boat! One that's ready to go :-)

All the best

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Old 04-09-2019, 09:05   #4
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

@S52, I laughed my ass off. I never thought to google the boat until after I...
bought her
bought her

bought her

bought her.

Had I been just a wee bit more liquid, and had about 3 more days, there was a nice 32' in Key Largo that would have been significantly better and only about $200 more expensive (and I could have sailed it to the exact same crap anchorage I'm at*). Alas, while I appear from the outside to be a productive member of society, something fundamentally broke in me a few months ago, and I left all of my possessions behind, grabbed a greyhound ticket (the last flight I took from Colorado to Toronto grossed me out midway, and I swore to never fly an American airline again), and decided to jump in with both feet and no hesitation. It hasn't been easy, and I've broken down completely a few times. But this is the next chapter of our life. Our whole life. A life I will make happen. I did flirt with the idea of totally refitting this boat, dyneema rigging, rebuilding the rudder, and making the interior all fancy. But this isn't our boat. This is mine. She's what I intend to learn on. She's what I will be in when I actually experience turning into the wind. She's what I will sail to our boat to check it out. I will love her, and clean up after her, and do all those things a kid says they will do when they ask for a puppy. I can't do the same thing I've been doing for the last 5 years. Nick from S/Y Ruby Rose made a joke once. He said if it wasn't sailing, it'd be drugs and an early death. I went further down the path of drugs and an early death than I care to discuss right now. Sailing may not be my salvation, but is a good alternative, I think.

I'm pretty sure I got screwed over with her. But that's where I am right now. A new start, a new viewpoint. The people I've talked to all come from a place where they would be homeless without a boat. Not necessarily the cream of the crop of society. People who have tried to convince me that the weight of a chain doesn't have anything to do with holding, and it's just about weighing down the angle of a spade anchor. I know that's not right, unless one intends to treat her like she's always been treated. Like a room that floats. And you know what? When one treats her like that, she's done well confirming that she's good for nothing but that. But she floats, the rigging is okay, the sails aren't damaged too badly, and she's mine. This lady will sail. Not far off shore, and she's not going to even cross the Gulf Stream, but she will harness the power of the wind, and she will get me to where I need to go. I have no doubt. Shitty investment? Sure, if one was thinking from a perspective of an investment and money. But I feel confident she's going to teach me some sh*t, and she's going to make me earn every nautical mile. And I've already fouled myself with nothing but paddles and a borrowed dinghy to reset. I hurt nobody, damaged nothing, and after a few f*ck ups, I got her set. I can't think of a better lesson to be taught at this stage, except maybe how to prepare for a hurricane. Oh!!

I know a hell of a lot more today than I did yesterday, and I'm pretty sure tomorrow will have more lessons to teach, and more knowledge to be gained. She's my problem now, but more importantly, she's my boat now. I have a f*cking boat**. And you know what? I am pleased with that. The next one I will do smarter, because the better half and I will do it together, and I'll have a hell of a lot more experience than I did when I set out. I like that.

Everything I've read about Buccaneers has been negative. As far as I can tell, there are no redeeming factors. If I can sail her sluggish ass, if I can clean the bottom in an anchorage known for aggressive bull sharks, and if I can raise a sail to temporarily escape the ICW, I feel she's worth it. I'm not a sailor. I'm not super stoked about being in Florida. Damn near everyone I've met here makes me question Darwin. But I mentioned my setup to Emily and Clark, and they, without hesitation, mentioned lending me an anchor. This is the community I didn't dare hope existed. But it does. Holy sh*t it does. It's a real thing.

My boat is the Sacred Wind. A bad investment, an awful start, and a potential victim of decades of neglect following a sh*t design. I could have done this smarter. I could have also waited for the right moment, justified the wait, and started sailing last week (probably not a great idea anyway, what with the hurricane and everything). But that's all looking backwards, and there is nothing to be done about that. I'm standing on the bow of my boat, and I'm looking forward. No crab pots in this anchorage, so the only thing I have to look out for is opportunity.

I swear I'm not a positive person, but I'm trying something new. And it seems to be working so far.

*Yeah, this anchorage is crap. And it's because of holding!! I care about the same things real sailors do (I think)!!

**Christ I hope this bullsht censorship crap is a setting I can turn off. I cuss like a software engineer, and sailors would blush if they heard us. :P
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:39   #5
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I could have done this smarter...

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Originally Posted by Jordan-Flomad View Post



**Christ I hope this bullsht censorship crap is a setting I can turn off. I cuss like a software engineer, and sailors would blush if they heard us. :P


Itís not. We strive to be a polite family friendly forum, and an international one at that, and therefore different things are offensive to different Nationalities.
Sure some things slip by now and again, we are all human and the filter reminds us that opps we made a mistake and need to correct our post. It doesnít catch everything, just whatís been put into it, so if it doesnít catch something that doesnít mean itís OK, really offensive things may not be in there as an example.
If you canít control your language, you will first find your posts deleted and all that work was for nothing.
By the way we consider tricking the filter to be an intentional act and not a mistake.
Itís really not difficult to post using clean language, Iím Retired Military and if I can, anyone can.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:04   #6
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Well good for you Jordan. I like your attitude, (sans the cussing). Listening to your story reminds me of an old friend of mine from back in the day I met while being a live aboard in a marina. He bought an old rundown sailboat that was the last boat at the end of the dock my boat was berthed in. He was a bit down on his luck but was one hell of a good old soul. The boat was all he could afford with the exception of an old beater car. He got pulled over in his car one day and the cop looked inside the car asked him, "Are you living in your car?" The cop let him off with a warning.

Anyway, one day he asks me, "Where do you think I should take my boat first, Catalina or Anacapa?" Those are islands off the SoCal coast. So I look at him and say, "I think you should take your boat to the breakwater first." That would be the breakwater protecting LA Harbor. His boat had never been out of the slip and if you can't make it to the breakwater you certainly won't be going to any of the islands.

So not long after that I'm returning from an over-nighter at Catalina and as I approach the breakwater what do my eyes see? I see my friend rounding the lighthouse heading up Point Vicente way and I thought to myself, "Damn, he's actually doing it, he made it to the breakwater!"

I was so proud of him.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:25   #7
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

You know, I keep forgetting that language sometimes offends. It doesn't bother me at all, and I use cussing as exclamations while writing. Most of what I write is stream of consciousness type things, and I am not sure exactly what I wrote until I read it afterwards.

I appreciate you both reminding me of other perspectives I don't naturally gravitate towards. It's never something I take offense to, so it completely blew by my awareness. I'm going to edit that post and clean it up.

I don't have any problems writing without the language, it's just not my default. I'll make sure I keep that in mind moving forward.

EDIT: Huh. I can't edit that post, just this one. This is an odd forum (from a platform standpoint) that I'm definitely going to need to get used to.

If someone else is reading this a bit later, and is offended by the language in that earlier post, I apologize, and posts hereafter will not contain profanity.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:52   #8
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No worries on my part.. glad your making your way and hanging in.. More Powa to Ya..
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Old 04-09-2019, 14:44   #9
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Ooo! The thumbs-up from Boatie!

Once you're around for a while, you'll learn how auspicious that is, Jordan. (Also, that Boatie is one of the Saltiest of Salty Dawgs out there and his advice can be trusted.)

Glad you've jumped into sailing with boat (whoops! both) feet and already have discovered members of your/our tribe = Emily and Clark.

Warm welcome!
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Old 04-09-2019, 16:12   #10
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

It's not too late to get rid of the Buccaneer. That's where I'd put 100% of my effort. If you got it for free, you overpaid. Seriously.

If you want to set yourself for the maximum amount of pain, discomfort, and aggravation, just keep acting impulsively.

I'll get criticism for peeing on your dream, but getting yourself organized and educated will generally yield more favorable results in anything you do, and sailing is definitely not an exception.

In the history of humankind, it's never been easier to learn what you need to know to do a thing right. Of course, if doing things half-mast is what floats your boat, who am I to suggest otherwise?
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Old 04-09-2019, 16:19   #11
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

I too would I believe try to get rid of the Bayliner as Iím afraid it will suck your funds and a lot of you sweat and tears, and still have a negative value.

There really are plenty of nearly free, good boats available, old yes, but good bones, many clean up real well with a lot of elbow grease, and after a lot of work and yes money, youíll have something.
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Old 04-09-2019, 16:30   #12
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

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I too would I believe try to get rid of the Bayliner as Iím afraid it will suck your funds and a lot of you sweat and tears, and still have a negative value.

There really are plenty of nearly free, good boats available, old yes, but good bones, many clean up real well with a lot of elbow grease, and after a lot of work and yes money, youíll have something.
Jordan, the above is really good advice...

As you said, you coulda done it smarter, and following A64's plan means doing it smarter now. I know that it will seem counter productive and a step backwards, but in the long run you'll thank him and us.

Meanwhile, I'll add my welcome to CF and the cruising community. That community has been home for Ann and I for over thirty years now, and a better group of folks can't be found IMO... as you are learning now.

good luck, mate, whatever you decide to do.


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Old 04-09-2019, 20:40   #13
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Welcome to CF, Jordan. I'm all for jumping in with two feet, but your story did make me wince a bit. If all you're really wanting is a place to live on for a bit, then keep it simple and use this boat as a demo to learn about epoxy and fiberglass repair, making cushions, doing woodwork, and running some wires to a battery and a fuse panel. Much of the stuff you make or buy you could then find a use for in the "new" boat. If nothing else, it'll teach you about 80% of what you need to do with the next boat.
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Old 04-09-2019, 21:30   #14
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

two thumbs up mate. i have a lot of respect for people who have the brass balls to make giant leaps of faith. it doesnt always work out as planned, hardly ever does in fact, but it most definately sets us on courses in our lives that can have dramatic and meaningful impacts for better or worse. i cant imagine anything worse in life than being 85 or 90, close to death and regretting not having taken a chance on my dream. i would certainly feel better being 90 and having had taken the chance and failed than not having taken the chance. i hope all your dreams and sailing wishes come true.......

The good news for you is that with the Buccaneer Bayliner 240 as your starting boat....it can only get better from here...
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Old 04-09-2019, 22:53   #15
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Re: I could have done this smarter...

Good job getting fed up and taking action... sometimes even if like the others have suggested the boat choice is not their first choice, you gotta just move and break the inertia of everyday 'normal' life, or you might find yourself stuck until it's too late.

My advice, as a younger person living full time on a boat only recently: Now that you've jumped with both feet, it's time to slow waaay down. Haste on a boat wrecks things, not just physically but also your plans, your will, your desire. We had tremendous, longranging plans initially. It took 2 years to drill into our heads that you're living in many ways outside the time constraints and demands of the normal world, so your time runs differently, and planning becomes very difficult in many ways.

Slowly slowly.... Move according to the weather, not a schedule. Don't jump into any more hasty decisions, because down the road they will end up costing you more time and money. Study what you're trying to fix twice as long as you think you need before you go digging around, because haste in the engine room will take you three times as long when you drop something in the bilge or realize you don't remember how something goes back together because you were too rushed to take some photos. Sail slower until you know everything backward so you don't get freaked out by your first 50 knots and never go back out again. Move slower so you don't break your toes. Cook slower so you don't spill boiling soup down your legs. Spend slower so you don't go broke. Cause boats are hungry for the green stuff.

Go slow in everything, and enjoy it all the better for it.
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