Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Ted Brewer (source: tedbrewer.com)
Surprise of surprises, we found out that the designer of the hopefully-soon-to-be-ours boat is available for consultations on boats he has designed! For a fee, you can contact him directly and ask questions, get advice and talk about pretty much anything relating to his designs. Since there were a few issues with the boat we are looking to purchase and were feeling a little nervous about proceeding without some expert advice, Josh took a shot and emailed him to see about setting up a consultation. He laid out what our issues are (rotted board in the transom storage locker divider—why they used wood in a locker is a mystery; damage on the hull due to improper winter storage—not enough braces for a boat of that size) and inquired exactly how to go about beginning the process. Lo and behold, Ted addressed our issues with a single email with enough information to make us feel confident in moving forward with making an offer. Major bonus? He helped us out for free. Yay for awesome boat people!
As Josh is traveling today/tomorrow, we'll discuss our magic number and submit an offer by the end of the week (which, will be contingent on estimates for repairs needed).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

winner, winner chicken dinner

After a long day at the boatyards yesterday, I think we have a winner. 
We have been looking pretty carefully over 2 different boats. One was Serena, the 38 Morgan from the previous post and the other was Hopscotch, a 36' Canadian Sailcraft. Hopscotch was the very first boat we looked over during our first soujourn to the south side a few weeks ago. It was a fluke that we even got to see her. She's not even been put on the market but the lovely people at Skyway Yacht Works happened to be friends with the owner and knew he was looking to sell. Long story short, we boarded her and found she had lots of what we were looking for in a cruising boat. 
Do you know how exhausting it is to look at boats?! There are so many things to be on the look-out for. They'd all begun to blend together, so we went back a second time and saw all the boats we were definitely interested in, and took some photos. Yesterday was the third and final visit. We took our trusty checklist of things to look for while combing over both Serena and HopscotchNigel Calder's Cruising Handbook: A Compendium for Coastal and Offshore Sailors has been a huge help in moving forward in our plans to cruise. At the back of this book, Nigel has this monstrous checklist of things to look for when purchasing a boat. We are talking 15 pages long. Single spaced. We embarked on the checklist for both boats. I sat at the navigational station of each boat and read all the items aloud and we investigated every single one of them. Josh had come prepared with magnets, a head lamp, a pen light, and an inspection mirror. What we thought might take a few hours ended up taking six when all was said and done. Whew! Both vessels had some issues that need to be addressed but in the end, both Josh and I were leaning towards Serena. We are currently doing the math upgrades and repairs that will be needed on this hot little momma and will hopefully be making an offer on her very soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


That might be her name.
Over the past few weekends, we have been looking at boats. We've looked before but never with such purpose. What's different? We're closer than we ever have been to casting off. Really. I know I said that along time ago, but this time it's true.
We've probably seen a few dozen boats. So many, in fact, that they all seem to blur together into some sort of mega-boat, à la Megatron—a boat with super powers that transforms into a jack-knife AND segway. Or not. What has actually happened is that we've narrowed down the field to two. Probably just one, but as Josh is doing his left-brained thing, I can't definitively say it's "the one".
Her name is Serena—a name I can happily live with, since changing a boat name is considered bad luck—and she's a 38' Morgan 382. Built in 1978, she was part of the second iteration of Morgan 38's that were built (the first being Morgan 38—designed and build in the late 60s by Charley Morgan, the second, third and fourth—382, 383 and 384 designed by Ted Brewer in the late 70s then redesigned in 1980 and 1983 under those numbers, respectively). Yes, she's at the top end of our size range (initially we said 32 to 36') but no matter. As she's only 2 feet over, the cost differential is minor. Serena has plenty of bells and whistles that make her attractive to us including: an almost new motor (something like 350 hours which is all but unheard of in a boat in her price range and size), auto pilot, lots of new deck hardware including self-tailing winches, newer sails, new boom, and new Harken battcar main sail system.
She also has some deficits which would require upgrades. Josh wants a chart plotter, she has no bow roller which would mean manually pulling up the anchor (not fun, from what I hear), and most importantly to me, she has no stove or oven. While it's not a deal breaker, it will require some work to install. We'll have to devise a locker storage set-up for the propane which could be a challenge. We will also definitely have to paint the bottom. She's solely been a fresh water boat and does not have sufficient bottom paint to deal with the saltiness in the caribbean.
I'm hoping we can get down to see her on more time this weekend and walk over her and do a literal floor plan of what we would do and how much said upgrades would cost if she were our boat. That way, we know where to start for an offer. Fingers crossed and I'll keep you posted.

long time gone

overlooking the city.
Coming up on two years later and I haven't posted. So much has been going on with us, it's hard to know where to begin.
2010 passed in a blur. Josh took the job that would keep us here and hasn't stopped since. He did a bit of traveling and spent a lot of time getting to know the ropes at UCC, his employer. No surprise, he's a natural born leader who has proven time and again to his company that he's good at what he does. So much so, that in early 2011 he accepted a promotion. It required WAY more travel than either of us anticipated, but we've taken it mostly in stride. He's been to Canada a few times, Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, and my personal favorite, Oregon. More on that later.
As for me, 2010 was a rough one. It just seemed like my job was a weight around my neck, dragging me further into the depths of having no life and just being miserable. There were plenty of contributing factors, but in April of 2011 I finally got up the nerve to quit. I decided my sanity was more important and I haven't looked back once. I've allowed myself to be open to any opportunity that happened my way and thus far, it's been pretty amazing. I've done several projects on my own and have also worked as a contractor for an extended in-office project, which I will once again be doing this upcoming spring/summer. I'm also working on this blog to get it in tip-top shape before we get underway and I'm honing my photography and writing skills as much as possible. I want this to be a journal for our families to read, and maybe, just maybe serve as inspiration for other people in search of high adventure.