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It’s official, the Ratcliffe windvane is mine, as soon as I can find a way to pay for it and I will, I always do.  One more piece to the puzzle and again I can’t help but to stop to ask myself if I’m crazy for loving such a small boat.  I’m sure they are still out there, young couples crossing oceans in small well found boats but I can’t seem to find any trace of them in the thousands of searches I have done.

I found a copy of Wandering under sail in England and now it’s in the mail.  I also found a copy of White cliffs to coral reef in Australia and that one is crossing the pacific as we speak. Both books written about Wanderer ll a Virtue 24 and both a goldmine I’m hoping for information and insight into crossing oceans in a small boat with a modest budget.

It was Lin and Larry Pardeys books that got me to rethink my Cal 40 and turn my eye to smaller more traditional sailing boats.  Deep in the recesses of my mind I’m always at some stage of trying to convince myself that I need a bigger boat but I don’t know why.  I have 100% confidence in Sookie and know her two and only weak points quite well.  She won’t drive into more than 40 knots and she has no cockpit combing which can be a huge pain in the ass when you hit the death rolls.

I know hundreds of people have happily made do with their small boats.  While I have made some pretty impressive passages in small boats I’ve yet to cross any oceans on one although it is very high on my list.  Small as she is, I’ve never been uncomfortable on Sookie other than in foul weather or from the cold, her tiny cabin is a pretty good fit.

It’s calm today but more storms are forecast, more cold is on the way, this has been a brutal winter.  Up early I cleaned Sookie from stem to stern and now am drawing sketches and trying to decide were to store 60 meters of 5/16 chain. 5 minutes with a 2″ hole saw and I can have it all in the bilge right at the base of Sookies mast.

I think most people believe  that small boats are simple, their  not.  They may have simple systems but it’s much more complex when it comes to fitting each and every piece in just the right spot.  Done right my new chain and water tank will add 400 pounds of ballast right where it should be, low and centered. It was genius of Lyle Hess to under ballast this boat by 700 lbs leaving that extra bit to stores, and water. Every inch of her build mirrors the prime directive of her design, a blue water yacht…

From the log of Sookie,  Frozen bay – I should have bought a bigger boat but I’m glad I didn’t…

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