Monday, March 4, 2013

More surprises from the lovely wife

My lovely wife and I were talking over a couple cups of coffee when she surprised me. Even after 34 years of marriage, she can still do that. We'd been thinking of upgrading to a slightly larger sailboat. Instead of squeezing in our 19 foot boat, we thought something a few feet larger would be more comfortable, maybe a 22 foot boat. She suggested we get something even larger, large enough to live on for half the year.

That doesn't mean we need or even want a 40 footer, but something around 26 – 32 feet might fit the bill. If you aren't familiar with boats, jumping from a 22 footer to a 26 footer doesn't seem like too big a jump, but it is. There's a lot more displacement in the longer boat. Basically, the volume inside goes up a lot.

The longer and bigger boats are much less like likely to be trailered. Even the ones that can be hauled around are so heavy that you wouldn't want to haul them very far. My 19 foot can easily be launched or loaded in under an hour. In a pinch, I've done it alone. A big boat may require a crew -and a crane.

What if we get a boat that can't be trailered at all? We only plan on living on it half the year. The other half the boat would have to be kept somewhere. I've only begun to think through the logistics of the whole thing.

I've a list of things I'm looking for in a boat. Of course it needs a sound hull, rigging, and sails. Ideally it should be of fairly shallow draft. We plan on sailing shallow waters. We don't necessarily need a blue water boat capable of crossing oceans. A boat built for coastal sailing and Caribbean island hopping would be fine. All systems should be simple and repairable. The boat must be easy enough to sail that one person can do it.

There are many older boats out there that fit the bill. Most live aboard cruisers tend to go for bigger, newer, and much more expensive boats. That's one reason some of these older boats can be had for very reasonable prices. While beautiful teak woodwork is pretty, I don't want to spend all my time sanding and varnishing. Plainer boats are better for the way I want to live. That saves money too. A well maintained older boat can be just as seaworthy than a new boat. Often, they are more seaworthy. They've been around long enough for problems to be discovered and fixed. Also, older boats were built as boats. Many of the new ones are more floating condo than boat.

Over the next few months I'll be figuring out the details on exactly what we want and what we can make happen. Should be fun.



  1. There's a lot to consider, it seems.

  2. Most men would give their eye teeth to have a lovely wife such as yours.
    You're a lucky man Sixbears...

  3. I'm looking forward to reading about your cogitations on the subject, SixBears. There are indeed very big differences between 19 and 22 or even 26 feet boats. When I have finally built our boat, I have been thinking about having a smaller one, somewhere in the south of France, to spend the winters there! We'll see.

    1. I'm following your project. Like most boat builders, you are already thinking of the next one.

      The south of France sounds interesting.

  4. Think Catalina 25
    Still trailerable yet much larger than what ya have.

    1. I see them for saie around here now and then. I'll have to check one out. Thanks.

  5. I went to a build it yer own, because no used craft had the right stuff. Logistics and the game of inches, almost stalled me right off the bat. I'm going for the biggest boat I can launch locally. But, The scow can be handled cheaply with a tilt bed truck. So close is the draft that I'll keep the water tanks empty for the first ten miles going down stream. Ballast and trim keep me awake some nights.
    You are fortunate to have a Lady who shares your love of boats and travel. My last Lady left when she figured out these boat plans I been drawing were for me to live on. She thought I was just going through a phase. Right up until the parts started to arrive. I'll toast her health at Key Largo later this season and send her a postcard.
    I wish ya luck finding that Boat. The pickings are slime around these parts.

    1. If I was alone I'd probably build something similiar to your plans.

      Very lucky to have a great and willing wife. She wasn't scared off when I said I wanted to live in a dome in the woods.

      I'm close enough to the coast of Maine so there's a lot of boats for sale. On there other side is Lake Champlain and more boats for sale. NH has some big lakes, so I've been able to look at sailboats around here too.

      Maybe we'll meet in the Keys someday and share a few together.

    2. I'll bring the dominican cigars and a bottle of Devils cut I been saving. As of late this afternoon the boat is a Go. Yee Haw! Meaning after tallying the figures I got enuff to cover the base costs and make er legal.

    3. My lovely wife make sure to keep rum on board. Claims it's required by the law of the sea.

      I'm rather fond of single malt scotch and have a couple bottles waiting for the right moment.

      By then I should have a mason jar of blocade. That will set your nose hairs on fire.

      Unfortunately the cigars are wasted on my damaged lungs. Bummer.

  6. Sixbears,

    Sounds like you and the Misses will be boat shopping :-)

  7. You should tell your life you're a very lucky man. She sounds amazing.