I’m at a stand still, I’ve hit a brick wall. I’m challanged by my own knowledge and now finding I need to learn more about the things I thought I already knew. I’m working with a girl to find her a perfect boat for blue water sailing, her budget is too small and she has read to many books and blogs about the perfect offshore boat written by people who have never sailed those boats they write about.
I’m taking notes, walking through another boatyard and scratching my head. Do I hate boats, have I become some sort of eletist sailing snob? I don’t think so, I hope not but once you’re been in the belly of the tempest you form some pretty valid opinions. I’ve been fortunate to sail on hundreds of them, sailboats that is. A lifetime on the water front will do that to a person. I go back to ground zero and start with the foundation. The keel, layup, rig, design. The myth that older boats are stronger than newer ones is just that, a myth. Newer boats are by far stronger, layed out better, at least the good ones are and will give you far fewer headaches than buying into a 50 year old sailboat based off of lore that some guy needing money wrote a book about.
Not that there aren’t good old boats, there certainly are. I think the biggest problem is that you get what you pay for, if you buy a $3000.00 boat thats pretty much what you have in the same way as if you buy a $300,000.00 boat. I use myself as the most classic example, I could have bought an Ericsson 27 outitted it, circumnavigated and still had money left over in my pocket for the next adventure for what I have invested in Sookie.
My problem is that I’ve done many offshore passages in shitty old boats because that’s what I had at the time, it was great when I was 18 but I’m not 18 anymore and simply want more, once is enough. Back to Laura and finding her boat, she challanges me in a good way, I’m learning as much as I’m teaching her. She isn’t looking for a lake boat, or a coastal cruiser, she wants a blue water sailboat and it’s my job to find her one on her small budget, what she does with it is up to her. I sailed the Caribbean in a 36′ costal cruiser and didn’t have a complain in the world other than the miserably challanging sailing conditions.
Walking the docks this morning a ran into an old acquaintances sailboat, from what I’ve heard through the coconut telegraph he has kicked he cedar bucket and the world has lost a great sailor. His boat a Coronado 25 is almost identical to my 26′ Seaquest that gave me my first solo offshore adventures. He did lengthen the water line and add a larger rudder. He has sailed that boat from San Diego to Alaska and seen every single gunk hole and harbor I between In his stock late sixties era day sailor so I’m brought back to my drawing board, maybe any boat will do, within reason that is.
I am reminded of a quote by David Brinkley: “A successful (wo)man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him (her).”