Sitting in the cabin of the boat ten feet off the ground I felt like I was in the belly of a whale, swallowed whole by her size. Her current owner left me instructions to tie up the tarp properly for the impending snow storm and left me to fiddle around unbothered.
The first time I ever sailed was on a 43-foot catamaran during a 1200 nautical mile trans-Tasman journey. From there I sailed on everything from tall ships to day sailors, with the majority of my time sailing spent aboard a 22-foot pocket cruiser. Ever since that fateful day that I learned about small boats, size has mattered.
I’m not a purist, or a good enough sailor to be considered an authority on anything, but I scoff at fancy boats. Give me something with a simple rig, good bones, an adequate anchoring system and a simple way to charge a handheld VHF.All signs from my self-survey pointed to this boat being a winner. Yes, there were some signs of delamination on deck but nothing indicated an entirely rotten core. Yes, she had beads of silicone around some fittings that indicated leakage. Yes, some of the bolts on the lifeline stanchions were rusted. Yes, her main sail would need to be retired almost immediately. But none of this seemed beyond my skills or budget for replacement or repair. She even had a working outboard motor and the head had been ripped out years prior (I come from the school of using a bucket as a head, just ask Teresa Carey, so that was a plus for me). The biggest issues I found were rusty chainplates and lack of a working 12 volt electricity system. Both were a turn off, but not enough to pull the plug.
The price was right. The owner was honest. It wasn’t the work that needed to be put in that would swallow me, it was her magnitude. She was closer to it but wasn’t “the one.” Now, I look forward to meeting her little sister. . .
“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much.” – Robin Lee Graham