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Sunday, October 31, 2010

End of sailboat shopping

My sailboat shopping has come to an end. My lovely wife and I bought one.

We'd been discussing the pros and cons of a lot of different boats. We decided on a 1983 Oday 19. After some serious thought about what kind of sailing we expected to be doing, the Oday came closest to fitting the bill.

It tows well. Should be easy to launch. The swing keel allows it to go into shallow water. Sails and rigging are good. One person can handle everything. Another couple could join us for a day sail, or the wife and I could live on it for a couple days. The cabin is big enough for the two of us to lie down comfortably. There's room for a porta-potty. One thing it doesn't have is a galley. On a boat this size, that's just as well. We can manage.

The previous owner offered a choice of motors. We picked a nice little 6 hp. Should do the job. Instead of a second hand porta-potty, we chose a VHF radio. Of all the things to buy second hand, a porta-potty is low on my list.

There are a few things I definitely want to change or upgrade. Wiring will be completely stripped out and replaced. That way I won't be trying to figure out someone else's handiwork when the lights go out. Not happy with how the swim ladder was mounted. That should be rehung. It needs a new new deep cycle battery. I don't mess around with cheap batteries. The tires on the trailer got us home, but I don't trust them as they've some sun cracking. The lone anchor that came with the boat is fine for a backup, but not really my idea of a primary anchor.

The old truck had no difficulty hauling it. We came back home through blowing snow in the White Mountains. Leave it to me to buy a sailboat when it's snowing.

Here's the funny thing, most of my sailing knowledge is theoretical. My wife's background is in powerboats. Fortunately, a good friend of mine in Florida is an experience sailor and is willing to show me the ropes. After that, it'll just be a matter of doing it. My lovely wife is already planning some trips.

Life is about having new experiences. We never were the type of people to settle in a rut. We had a few extra bucks and we blew it on boat. Some people would save for their declining years. What kind of fun is that? I never really got the hang of money. Rather exchange some lifeless green paper things for something real. For me, there's nothing more real than new experiences.



  1. Congrat's on your boat purchase. The O-Day brand is a very well made sailboat and I'm sure you'll have many years of good fun on it. Where do you think your primary sailing waters will be?

  2. Congrats,Hell yeah man live.


  3. Thanks guys. This winter, we'll be sailing the waters of Florida. In the summer, the coast of Maine, the big lakes of NH and maybe Lake Champlain in VT.

  4. Glad to hear that you got your sail boat. The VHF radio that you got, does it operate on the VHF marinie bands? Being a ham radio operator, I have radios from UHF through VHV to HF.

    A good radio is a must if you are going off shore.

  5. Dizzy, that's what I'm told. The guy didn't need it as he sails on an 8 mile long lake. His cell phone reaches everywhere on the lake. I'm going to hook this one up, plus pick up a cheap handheld.

  6. Woohoo! That's a nice little boat. I remember seeing one of those cruising around Corpus Bay, which can get pretty snotty when the wind is up. If you do plan any open water sailing, get that VHF antenna up as high as you can to maximize the range.

  7. Thanks Mayberry. There is an antenna at the top of the mast. I suspect that I'll eventually push that little boat to its limits. My lovely wife is not afraid of being in big water with a small boat.

  8. Forgot to mention (it's good your friend will show you the ropes), sailing isn't as hard as some folks make it sound. The theoretical stuff pretty much works out in practice. Generally, you can sail within 45 degrees into the wind. Some boats will sail closer to the wind. Tacking is no big deal, just turning back and forth, little or no sail handling required (probably just the jib, unless it is self tacking). And there's one real big "no-no", which is jibing (turning with the wind behind you). ALWAYS turn into the wind. I jibed once by mistake and it scared the crap out of me! Thought the mast was coming down... Also, "never make fast your sheet". Jam cleats are okay because you can cast the sheet loose quickly, but if you belay that sucker you're asking for trouble. Many times I've had to let the sheet loose fast when a gust came along to keep from being knocked over! Granted, I was in a little 12 foot daggerboard boat, but your 19 doesn't have much in the way of ballast...

  9. Sixbears,
    If you're coming to Florida down I-95 give me a shout when you're coming through and we can get together for lunch!

  10. Congratulatiions! Plenty of new experiences to come for you. I can imagine the purchase gave you a smile bigger than the butcher's dog.

  11. Yukon -saved the address and thanks for the invite. Hope our schedules allow a meet up.

    Muddome -you got that right!

  12. Wife and I are looking forward to it!

  13. Congrats on your new boat. Rudy at D&R Marine can help you with rigging or any other O'day problems. He used to work for them, and now runs D&R to support O'day owners.

    Also, there is a lot of good info to be had at

  14. Anonymous -already ordered a rigging guide.