My sailboat (Oday 19) is only a short walk down the hill, so I’ve been using it all the time. It’s been a great way to test out new hardware and techniques. If something doesn’t work out just right, it’s no big deal to come back to shore and reconfigure.
A friend of mine will be building a custom tiller to replace the too short one the previous owner built. The access port I built to release a stuck swing keel works fine. Certainly beats diving out of the boat with a snorkel and diving mask to free it by hand. Tweaked the anchors and made some improvements to the sails.
Now I’m working on cabin mosquito screens and drink holders. Next will be a custom tarp for the cockpit and better cooking arrangements.
My lovely wife and I are planning some serious trips. The boat can handle the lake and coastal cruising we are planning on doing. Under the right conditions, even the Dry Tortugas or Bermuda wouldn’t be out of the question.
We are very happy with this little boat. Most people wouldn’t even think of cruising on a small boat, even for a weekend. They are used to living in houses. Even a 40 foot sailboat seems darn cramped in comparison. My lovely wife and I spent a lot of time living in tents. The little cabin on our boat compares quite favorably with a tent. It’s dry, has lights and some electricity. There’ s a porta potty. The V berth is comfortable for the two of us and even the little dog.
When we bought this boat, we thought we’d learn to sail and then think about what kind of boat we want to upgrade to. After some time on the water what we really want is the boat we already have. All our time on the lake has shown us what little improvements would make sailing more comfortable. Nothing we are doing costs much money. I’m slowly adding provisions and gear -including fishing poles and tackle.
It’s a great bug out vehicle. The plan is that I could just hook the boat trailer up to the truck and head out. Everything we need will already be on the boat. One of the cool things we did was use the boat as a dry land camper. We’ve slept in it on the hard, and it worked just fine. Not as much fun as sleeping on the water, but it was quick and easy. It allowed me to get a few hours sleep in a comfortable bed.
Henry David Thoreau said, “Simplify, simplify, simplify.” He would have certainly understood life in a small sailboat. It doesn’t take all that much to take care of a person’s needs.
At the end of the summer it gets a new coat of bottom paint. Any nicks and dings will get a touch up. We’ll be ready to head out to
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