In the late 90’s I came as close as you can possibly come to owning the best Dana 24 ever built. The difference between buyer and seller was painfully close but I couldn’t muster the difference and I refuse to finance anything in life no matter how small.
Not much has changed and we are in the position to acquire a sail away version of what can only be described as simple perfection. The Dana 24 came in many flavors and this modern classic will always always be on my A list. The late model yacht fitted out with stainless steel hand rails, an aluminum toe rail and just enough wood to ingnore was nothing short of everything I have dreamed about over the years. Her wooden bowsprit and teak rub rail adding a very traditional look and feel to her modern lines that can and will take you in safety and comfort anywhere you can dream of.
So why when I own one of only a handful the beautifully built classic Falmouth Cutters would I ever dream of letting her go? Lin Pardey said it best when she told us you will always be missing out on something when you choose your path. I don’t have a single complaint about my little Sookie but she is far from being ready for her intended purpose. I purchased this little yacht to a do a solo west to east rounding of the Cape Horn and thats how she is built and outfitted. For three and a half years I have put every ounce of my energy into her and she shows. I try and make this whole process as much about Emily as I do about the boat but the truth is this boat will likely never be hers. With a new boat it would be ours and the creation would grow together. Each journey would be our first with the boat, each new addition would be done together and every time we bump dock or ding the boat it would be ours not mine. I left the ultimate desision up to Emily because the truth is I can happily love any and all of these boats and each one represents a new opportunity to grow as a sailor and many new challanges of eking everythng out of a new boat.
We both equally love the Dana 24 and Her layout will grow with us in our golden years. Her interior design is genius and having had the same interior on my Allegra 24 I know it and love it. We talked and made lists deep into the evening till the sand man came and took Emily away but I am a night owl. Sitting in my bunk listening to the wind scream through the rigging I quietly climbed into the cockpit to enjoy the balmy night air. 25 knot winds made the evening magical as we sat comfortably in our new winter slip. Our little electric hearter plugged in keeping the cozy interior warm and dry. The contours of Sookie lit by candle told me what I knew almost 4 years ago when I risked everything and spent my life savings on her the day my divorce was final. I never expected to find a companion so truly perfect for me as Emily but in her I have found a new home, a new purpose and also a new level of patience. Her youthful carelessness often has me pulling my hair out but each and every day we are growing as a couple, a team and mostly as a single unit. Yesterday was the first time she took over as captain of Sookie and some day soon it will be her full time job. The only remaining question is which boat will she choose, or more importantly which boat will choose her.
Which ever boat she chooses its a win win situation I will just have to patiently wait. Who knows, maybe that Schooner will be the wild card.
Why Is a Ship Called a ‘She’?
A ship is called a ‘she’ because there is always a great deal of bustle around her; there is usually a gang of men about; she has a waist and stays; it takes a lot of paint to keep her good looking; it is not the initial expense that breaks you, it is the upkeep; she can be all decked out; it takes an experienced man to handle her correctly; and without a man at the helm, she is absolutely un-controllable; she shows her topsides, hides her bottom and, when coming into port, always heads for the buoys. – Robert Young