I get a call from John, the shipyard guy. I left a note on his black station wagon asking him which boats were for sale in the yard. He said none, but there’s a few that have been left “in really bad shape.”
He’s not sure if they have sails, or a title. And I think I know which one’s he’s talking about. This stout little full keeler that I’ve been admiring, 70’s era, she doesn’t have a mast, at least not one up while she sits in the yard. She’s the one I wanted to know about. Maybe I can get her for pennies, maybe all she needs is some spit shining, sails, new thru-hulls, an interior revamp. Who knows! It could be worth it and doable if he’ll let me work in the yard, and my uncle can give me a hand. As long as her hull and deck are in tact…
But the price of cushions alone is enough to steer a broke sailor away. “Sometimes free boats wind up costing more,” I remember being told.
The inception of this mad idea began over a year ago and only now am I truly beginning to thwart off the self-induced skepticism that this dream might actually become a reality in the near future. I hate to say the things I’m going to do, preferring to report once I’ve done them, but I’m choosing to share these humble beginnings with you, small audience.
Perusing a bookstore in the University District of Seattle one week ago I drifted toward the sailing section. Don Casey’s book of Fiberglass Hull & Deck repair caught my eye, and I bought it. Cap’n Fatty Goodlander says to have a memento to remind yourself of your intent…
I’m 26 years old and I’ve just returned to my hometown by the sea to live with my parents so I can save a modest amount of money, with the intention to acquire a modest amount of sailboat. What will happen in between I’m not sure. If you can handle my modest amount of melodrama then join me as I chase my dinghy dream.
“Don’t look back, because someone might be chasing you.” -Tom Waits