Clipper race SF to Panama is off with a sporty headwind and incoming tide.
For the past 3 months, we have been looking at boats, reading about them, and listing our priorities wishes:
- aft cockpit
- solid construction
- L or U shaped galley
- spacious cockpit
- no de-lamination issues in the hull
- space for visitors
- One head for simplicity
- Keel stepped mast
- not a project boat
I am rather new to sailing so I have been reading non-stop: blogs from those who are cruising non-stop, boat reviews, and just absorbing everything as fast I can.
We fell for Baltic 42 here in the Bay Area that was in need of a lot of care and repair. We did the math and finally decided to walk away; we just could not make the price work out for us given the amount of repairs and upgrades we wanted to make on it. I was slightly relieved as that “project boat” would have forced us to stay on dock for years. And I am slightly concerned about over planning and never leaving dock. So I am convinced it was for the best.
Recently we became aware of a very interesting vessel in Texas that has always been in fresh water, is on the newer side, and is solidly built. We would of course have it shipped over here. I just could see how I could fit a long hiatus in the short term, specially the financial implications that come with it.
One Friday evening, returning home after a very LONG week at work, I realized we were actually walking away from the perfect opportunity to really go cruising. I mean, if we buy it of course, why not sail it progressively to our home base? We could first take it to Florida and then later in the year take some serious time off and sail it to San Francisco. Not easy, somewhat hasty, but doable, and fun in the not so distant future.
This weekend we sent to see a sister ship to get a sense of its interior and general feeling. My only job when we go see boats is figure out whether I can see myself in it. Does it feel right? Is it comfortable? And this type of boat checked out on all those fronts. Plus we think the boat out of state is in even better shape than the one we visited.
To keep things interesting, we also have our eye on a slightly older boat that has a ton of character and is right here in the Bay Area. My husband Christian is familiar with this type of boat—his family had one— and it definitely inspires trust and seaworthiness. We did see some rust and little things here and there that could turn into headaches. But it did pass my “comfort” test.
So, we continue strong on both fronts, asking questions, researching, and then figuring out which one will take us where we want to be faster and cheaper. I sincerely hope that all these boat brokers we have dealt with don’t hate us for all the questions, turning every boat upside down, poking our fingers everywhere. More about boat brokers in a separate post. They do come in all shapes, sizes, and attitudes. Sometimes, I wonder if they really want to sell boats…
Anyway, that’s where we are with the boat search. I hope that we can combine reason with feeling and come up with our boat.