Classic Plastics for Sale: Cape Dory 27

Hot dang, someone’s ’bout to go on an adventure.

1977 Cape Dory 27, Hull # 40 for sale! Completely outfitted for blue water cruising and capable of all your offshore dreams! Self-steering wind vane, new sails and rigging; this structurally sound pocket cruiser is in excellent condition. Best of all winter storage and spring launch is paid! It may be cold in the northeast now, but someone’s about to take this boat on a damn adventure come spring time…will it be you?

Can I be here on this vessel now, please? 

Reliable engine.Solid decks, no soft spots. No blisters. Bronze through hull fittings and seacocks in excellent condition. Solid bulkheads, no rot. Designed by prolific and proven yacht designer Carl Alberg and over built in the era of early fiberglass production by Cape Dory Yachts. This true classic plastic was constructed to withstand the test of time, and it has. With only two owners throughout its 41 years of life, the boat has been meticulously maintained and recently upgraded to meet long term, blue water cruising needs.

That cruising spinnaker though…

This boat embodies the words of world cruising legends Lin and Larry Pardey, “Go Small, Go Simple,Go now.”

Completely outfitted in 2017 for offshore cruising with the following gear:

-New 135%voyager Genoa from Hyde Sails. ( used 1 season) 
-New Alado Roller Furling. ( Bomb proof) ( used 1 season)
-New cruising spinnaker snuffer. ( used 1 season)
​-New interior V-berth cushions, and side berth cushions. Cushions were made from templates of old cushions and are made from  100% new foam and Sunbrella  ( never used) 
– Pacific light wind vane built by Wind Pilot of Germany. ( installed spring of 2018) 
-New halyards, and Sheets.
-New LED anchor light.
-New Standard Horizon GX-130000 marine VHF
-New Cockpit compass 
​-New Whale manual bilge pump

** Note The furler and Genoa were purchased in 2017 but were not installed until the spring of 2018, so there is only 1 season of use on these.The cushions were never used and only put in place for the photos taken to list the boat. 

Other gear includes:

Mainsail was built by Quantum sails in 2014 and is in excellent condition. it has only been used for 2 seasons. (fully battened with 2 reef points).

Engine-Yanmar Ysm8 single cylinder diesel. 
8 gallon fuel tank ( range 0.3 gallons per hour or aprox 100 miles). Extremely reliable. 

​Water holding tank- holds12 gallons. line from tank to sink was replaced in 2017 and a new whale sink pump was installed. 

2 burner alcohol stove- original equipment and works great

Ice box  able to hold 2 blocks of ice, and enough food for a week cruising. 

2 Danforth Anchors- 16 lb for overnight anchoring and a 8 lb “picnic” anchor). 

Double house and starting battery setup with a selector switch. 

Asking $10,000 for this spritely vessel. New England, the coast of Maine, Long Island Sound, Chesapeake Bay, Florida, the Bahamas; this boat will take you anywhere you want to go in safety and in style.

More photos here :

Located on the hard in Wakefield, RI. To inquire about this vessel:

Contact Eben Horton
call or text 401-447-0672

Will you launch my boat if the apocalypse comes?

My rigging sounds different than usual in the gusts. I thought trying to tune the rig would help. It’s really fucking with my brain because when I’m sailing the rigging doesn’t shudder like that. Not even in gusts. That ‘fluttering’ sound is usually indicative of something being wrong. Like, when I hear that sound Vanu is saying adjust me. Trim the sails, bitch. So my mind computed this new sound in my rigging to tune the rig, bitch. So I did.

But it’s still happening.

Maybe it’s because I’m on the hard. The rig is even farther aloft, or…something. Or maybe I’m losing it, and don’t actually know anything about sailing.

I’m still in the boatyard with quite the list. But it’s different now, actually living on the boat on the hard. I’ve kept boats in boatyards before for entire winters, but this is the longest I’ve ever lived on a boat on land, and it ain’t over yet. I think I’m making progress, though. I can’t exactly measure up what I’ve done, versus what still needs to be done, versus what I’m doing. Despite my copious lists, it’s all kind of a blur. I just try to accomplish as much as I can everyday and remember that these things take time.

rebuilding pearson ariel 26

The owner of the boatyard does this thing where he goes around the yard and puts anything on the ground around people’s boats up on the deck. Sometimes he uses a forklift. I’ve somehow escape his wrath unscathed. How? I don’t know. I keep boxes of tools on the ground, but as neatly as humanly possible. Maybe he sees that I’m fucking trying to be neat and work on my boat. Or maybe he doesn’t see me at all. All I know is most of my life I’ve had a real problem with authority except when it comes to the Coast Guard, and the owner of this boatyard. I don’t even look him in the eye. I’ve never spoken to him and any time I’ve even considered addressing him it was with, “Sir.” 

Why? You might ask.

Why have I adopted this don’t speak unless spoken to attitude?

Because the dude’s cut throat. There are all sorts of embellished tales floating around the marine community about him just launching your boat and setting it adrift if you piss him off. But regardless of these tall rumors, I respect the shit out of him! Millions of dollars in perfect yacht finishes are always coming and going through his yard and I’m just here existing in constant trial and error.

Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I don’t want to get kicked out of the yard before I’m ready, so I keep my head down, do my best, and try not to break any rules. But there’s still a part of me that wants to win him over and get him to like me.

I’ve thought about ways I could find common ground between the owner and myself. Like by playing a practical joke. I’d put a bunch of those plastic pink flamingos that people put on their front lawns, on the ground in front of a bunch of people’s boats. And him and the yard workers would come back after their holiday vacation and see it. But I thought better of it. I think it might back fire when he runs over a pink flamingo with the travel lift, or sees a bunch of happy pink little birds on the ground that he is so adamant about keeping clear.

I’d like to establish a rapport sooner as opposed to later, though. Because at this point what am I supposed to say if the apocalypse comes? What am I going to say then?

“Sir, will you please launch my boat?”

Please, Sir, will you launch my boat?

I thought maybe the flamingos could bridge the gap. But it’s too dangerous. The act itself in putting them on the ground and possibly getting a negative reaction rather than a laugh, and also the symbolism.

My friend Dave and I were recently having a conversation where I asked, in earnest, “do you think I’ll ever get off the hard?”

“Not a chance,” he said sarcastically. “Might as well get some pink flamingos to put in the ground outside your boat.”

Sailing With My Big Sister

I first met the crew of SV Belis, a Pearson Triton 28 completely outfitted for long distance voyaging, briefly at a marine consignment shop. Our immediate connection was our boats which are nearly identical, save for two feet. My boat, a Pearson Ariel, was designed in the spirit of the Pearson Triton.

The Pearson Triton was made famous by circumnavigator and writer James Baldwin. He sailed his Pearson Triton, Atom, around the world. Baldwin is basically a legend in the sailing world and has inspired many a long journeys on simple production boats. I suppose some of those journeys are the reason I still kinda, sorta, believe in my boat’s ability to go beyond. I had written to James Baldwin while in Georgia where he lives and works restoring classic plastics. A meeting never materialized, but he had told his friends on a Pearson Triton to keep an eye out for me.

SV Belis, a Pearson Triton 28, ready to set off and sail the world in the spirit of Atom, James Baldwin’s famous Pearson Triton that went around the world.

The main differences between my boat and her sister ship were in the boat’s condition, and the boat’s crews. Belis had brand new rigging, chainplates, the right sail combinations, water catchment system, solar oven, composting head, a wind vane, lazy jacks, etc. My boat had a malfunctioning auto pilot, bulkheads that weren’t rotten everywhere  (just in some places), a fully functioning VHF, a good sail combo, engine, anchor, and not much else. The Triton was ready to leave land forever. I had to stick close to shore.

Representing the Triton class, and it looks like I need to tune my rig…

I had gleaned some of this information from my brief meeting with Chris at the chandlery but got to know him, his family, and their boat much better when I ran into them again in the keys! The Triton was a crew of four: Capt. Chris, Mama Annie, and their literally free range children Bella and Ishi. There’s nothing quite like meeting friends along the way and traveling together by sailboat. What’s even better is when they’re close to your age. The absolute best is when they basically have the same boat as you but it’s fitted out way better, and they give you sweet gear like a bow roller and oil lamp for when you start your own refit.

We cruised in tandem, dinghied in tandem, tied to a mangrove in tandem. I spent hours on their boat hove to one day just for fun. During the height of the winter there were northerly gales weekly. The keys offer little protection and terrible holding ground. The first layer of ground is just airy mud, then there’s coral. I dragged there and I never drag because a., I always put out adequate scope and b., I have a Rocna anchor. But the keys, Islamorada especially, was drag city. So we took to sailing up the bay daily so that during the day we could access the amenities on shore, but by the time the northerlies came back through we’d be protected by another key a few miles away.

I bonded with the Belis crew fast and was sad to see them go but knew they were on to bluer waters. I was proud of them, and so was James Baldwin. One night while sitting in the cockpit I heard Chris talking to James about the daily happenings. “Oh yeah,” he said. “We met up with Emily.”

Where’s Tony?

I wake up in the morning determined to get a hold of my friend Tony. Last night I got a text from him saying he’s spent the last few weeks in Puerto Rico in the jungle, living off the land. “I wiped my ass with banana leaves, I brushed my teeth with a mango stick. I’m only back in Florida to sell these boats and then go build my jungle house. Peace.” I am hoping to catch him before he goes off grid completely. Last we talked he was going to try and come up here to help me a bit in the yard, and I was supposed to help consult him on the purchase of his next boat which he planned to sail to the Caribbean after hurricane season. We hadn’t talked that often as of recent and the last time he called me I didn’t answer. By the time I called him back he was gone. He had mentioned once that he stopped carrying his phone when he was working on his boats; a Seasprite 23 I helped acquire and sell to him and an Ericson 27, which were soon to be on the market and put towards the bigger boat.

I’m talking to my friend Ray in the boatyard about Tony. I’m telling him the story and basically calling out Tony’s name like Tom Hanks calls for Wilson in Castaway when he stops me.

“So what’s your end goal here, you want to go and live in the jungle so you can wipe your ass together with banana leaves?”

“No,” I say. “I’m not saying I’m in love with him, but I do love him. And I’m trying to sail to Puerto Rico, so I’d at least like to kick it with him in the jungle and for him to leave a way to get in touch. Plus, there are some things left unsaid.”

I still haven’t heard from Tony.

Dinghies for sale

I’m sad that I hadn’t been more present in our friendship lately, or ever really. I was in a state of romantic entanglement when we met and was always experiencing some drama every time we’d hang out. Tony was my crew when I finally left Palm Beach, on the blue road again but in dire straits this time. I had no confidence in myself, or my boat. I was leaving the city that had broken my spirit, and my heart. We had left the downtown anchorage and I just planned on dropping the hook further up the waterway—still in the city limits where Tony would hop off, but the tide was favorable so we kept going. He stayed on the boat with me for two more days, having brought nothing except the clothes he was wearing that day.

Tony was a great friend to me when I had none left in that town and no energy to make any new ones. We met almost everyday for lunch at Publix and would ride around on the free trolley. One time he actually wound up nearly driving the trolley when one of the drivers needed help. He would hang at the free city dock and wait to make sure that I made it back to my boat, no matter how long it took. Sometimes my dinghy would be pinned against the dock with the swift current and wind that I’d have to claw my way off it one stroke at a time.

He was my crew when I had no other choice but to head north on my broken boat, with my broken budget (and let’s not forget my broken heart). Still banished to the ICW and in need of a place to land for a while I was anxious, jaded, and feeling oppressed by the hot Florida sun. I didn’t have any sun awning at the time but the sails offered me shade, and his company helped ease my pain and bring back the old me. The real me! I was even starting to talk to fellow sailors again when we reached Vero Beach where Tony had to get off the boat.

I had to continue on. Not long after he left and I was alone on my boat again I got super depressed. The rest of that trip basically consisted of tweaking my sails and constantly pulling them up and down, running my engine at too high a throttle just to get there (wherever it was I was going because I didn’t actually know), and crying in between mile markers. Tony would text me everyday.

“Where are you today, Captain?” Or some other musing.

I’d tell him where and how I was fantasizing about just abandoning my boat and some how or another I’d be pulled back into reality that things can get better on my boat, or on another boat, and I’d sail on.

I eventually landed in the best place I could for what I was seeking to do and I started to gain back my confidences and happiness. I wound up in Palm Beach again as crew on a sailboat delivery, but time and weather didn’t allow me to see Tony. We kept in touch often but in the last month I grew busy, and neglectful of our friendship. Now, in light of this news, I miss my friend.

Chase Boat

sailing the ICWMany people say you can’t sail the ICW. “It’s all motoring. It’s all motor sailing. It’s not really sailing. It’s motoring.”  

It’s true that some of the time you will not be able to sail or you will have to use the motor to get to an anchorage before dark, but there is still some incredible sailing on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway! Its tight quarters, heavy traffic, and fast currents make for challenging but fun conditions. The ditch stretches from Norfolk, VA to Key West, FL, but it doesn’t always resemble its earned nickname. There’s plenty of long stretches where several points of sail are possible. You can still have a great sailing adventure on a modest boat and budget by sailing the ICW!

I picked up crew in West Palm Beach who hated using the engine as much as I did. We left early one morning with 30 knots out of the east but it didn’t matter, we were on the inside! We went screaming past Peanut Island and when we reached the first of what would be many bridges we saw some sailors I had met further north. We did a drive by under sail and traded them some coconuts for some beers. On the second day our good fortune continued. We met Captain Mike who was driving a Sea Tow boat. He knew the Alberg designs and came by to chat. He used to own a Seasprite 23 and we were immediately connected by the threads of our classic plastics.

The Seasprite, it turned out, was in need of a home. It was later gifted to my crew member and I upon our return to Palm Beach, and we sold it for $1000 which we split 50/50. The day we met Captain Mike he had his professional telephoto zoom lens camera onboard and he tailed us for miles snapping photos and radioing to power boats to get out of our way and watch their wakes because we were under sail and didn’t they know the rules, damn it!

We had our very own chase boat until we neared the border of Mikes towing jurisdiction. We said goodbye and handed him a coconut. “See you out there!” I called as we tightened the sheets to make the the next bridge opening.