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To begin” implies “to search for some kind of ending” – Lin Pardey.  I’m  knee deep into spring cleaning for my upcoming marine survey.  I’m continually shocked at how much I can cram into this little ship, everything is out of eye sight and has its place. I’ve never actually loaded her to her LWL but I’m sure someday I will.  My dream is for an empty BCC to pull up next to me and see if it can pile away all my stuff, I doubt it can.  I fear my grog alone would be a challenge.

Storage on Sookie is everywhere, under her berths all lockers are beneath the water line and it’s easy to distribute her weight, I usually have a minimum of 1,000 lbs of moveable ballast in the form of water, booze, books, beans and…I tribute this to serveral key factors, the biggest one is that Lyle Hess intentionally designed the boat to be 700lbs light in the lead department. She also has lockers under her deck completely surrounding the boat with the exception of her anchor locker.  This is where I store clothes and Chips and toilet paper, anything light. Lastly here is the garage, it’s far too large, I have my ships batteries wedged in under the aft end of the cockpit and a few other heavy items like fastener boxes and huge barrels of all things stainless steel. She is like Felix’s magic bag of tricks, I can reach in and pull anything out.

It’s not so much that she is some kind of giant monster, she just doesn’t have all the things most people need that take so much space.  I’m pretty sure she will swallow everything from a Flcka 20, Dana 24 and Nor’sea 27 combined. When the apocalypse hits come find me, we’ll be fine ;).  It is a bit of a puzzle, my bike goes where the engine should be.  My backpacking and cycle touring gear tuck into that spot designated for the head right next to a hundred paper charts and my foulies. And my two moonshine smuggling lockers are, well… that’s none of your damn business.

Unlike a fin keel where the weight starts at the keel joint and extends to the bottom of the keel, all of Sookies ballast is in the very bottom.  I don’t know if this has anything to do with her motion but I am continually shocked by her pleasant ride.  When the shit hits the fan I’m always waiting for it but it never comes.  Sookie handles like a lady… UM except for the death rolls which absolutely suck ass but a bigger sail budget could help in that department.

Still, she is a light boat that only displaces 7400 lbs full. There are three schools of thought. People that have never sailed them believe they are some golden chariot based off of all the hype and sensationalism they have read.  Then there are the true blue water sailors who think they are cute coastal cruisers.  There is a third opionion, those of people who have owned and sailed them thousands of miles, we tend to be the maniacs.  By design she was intended for blue water cruising and while I’ve never crossed an ocean in her I wouldn’t hesitate if that was my choice.  For me she is the perfect gunkholer but even more importantly has proven the be a delightful writers lair which is what most of her time is spent as.  Small enough to tuck in anywhere but large enough to point her nose out when all the big boats stay in. The question is can she ever be a real home without the homey festures that her big sister offers, I’ve been living aboard for the better part of six straight years.

I never have understood the definition of what makes a boat a yacht but I would guess Sookie has her bowsprite through the door.  She always has enough booze and beans to feed a crowd, does everything I ask of her and this year is seeming to have the proud distinction of changing that old acronym  B.O.A.T “break out another thousand” to “break out another ten thousand”, sheesh. I’ve never really looked at Sookie in terms of cost, she is what she is.  When I turn my eye towards her sister who is much younger than her I can’t help but to wonder in terms of cost, not only monitary but in time.  If I had the money I could easily drop a 100K on her by sunset, yes she is a yacht but I’m no yachter…

From the log of Sookie, I watch a 50’er with two screws and bow and stern thrusters struggle to dock on the end tie in 15 knots of wind with 5 crew members. I was always astonished at how much fun Chloe could have with a fucking stick. Like my ex girlfriend always used to tell me, size doesn’t matter… 😉 or does it???

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