Messing Around with Boats

I keep forgetting that we still need to sell Moonrise. And by that I mean that I keep looking at other boats as though it were possible to actually buy them. I am like the wife who starts a new affair before the divorce has gone through. Well, that’s a rather bad image, but you know what I mean. I do enjoy looking at boats, and I’ve seen a lot of them lately. In the near future, I’ll publish reviews of a little Pacific Seacraft Flicka, a Pacific Seacraft Crealock 34, and a Finnsailer 35 pilothouse. Now there’s an interesting boat.

Sneak preview of a cute boat.

Sneak preview of a cute boat.

The more I look at boats, the more I get to know that special feeling I get when I really feel drawn to one. I can now differentiate between  ‘it’s a nice enough boat’, ‘not in my lifetime, ever’, ‘this has everything on my list and I could like it okay’, and ‘I love this boat’. The problem with this is when the ‘I love this boat’ feeling comes at the wrong time, or, in my case, when it comes with a big wooden sailboat that is completely, utterly impractical. Oy vey. I don’t make it easy on myself.

Our daughter, Claire, on Flying Gull

Our daughter, Claire, on Flying Gull

If there is one thing that is true about me, it’s that I rarely make decisions using logic. That’s right male readers. I am illogical when it comes to some things and I’m not afraid to admit it.  It’s always about the heart with me. That’s how we’ve found ourselves remodeling two houses. That’s how my current home ended up with a 4000 gallon koi pond. That’s how my yard got filled with gardens and garden art I spent years making myself. It’s always about that creative process that feeds my soul. My husband has the patience of a saint, I can tell you.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that choosing a boat by using a checklist is a little like choosing a man the same way. It looks good on paper, but it never translates well into real life. You might meet someone who has all of your ‘requirements’; a good job, nicely groomed, speaks well of his mother, you know the drill. And then you meet him and he’s nice enough, but there is no chemistry. Do you settle? Or do you go for the gold? I’ve generally been a ‘go for the gold’ kind of girl. And with men, that worked out great! I mean, he’s put up with me for this long. Looks like it’s going to work out between us.

One of the dorade vents on Flying Gull.

One of the dorade vents on Flying Gull.

It’s the same with boats. Take, for instance, one of the boats we saw last year that looked good on paper: a Cal 39 on the hard up in Anacortes. It had everything on our checklist. Great sailing boat, the right kind of hull shape, an extra cabin for a kid, plenty of storage, blah blah blah. I liked it fine. I even felt sorry for it, being up on the hard like a beached whale. But it didn’t make my heart sing. And frankly, I’m holding out for opera here. I want a high note, and I want it clear and sustained. Or at least a rich contralto.  I want a boat from the music of the spheres, a boat the Angels will sing about, a boat that brings tears to people’s eyes. (Yeah, I can get kind of worked up, but it doesn’t last.)


Wrapped up like a birthday present.

So we went Saturday to visit Flying Gull once more to see if she still sang the same song for us. And I admit that she did, for me. But I also admit that I could see all the work that needs to be done on her topside. And she is very, very large. Indeed, she feels a bit like a behemoth compared to our Cal 34. I can’t tell yet whether my vision of myself working willingly on her considerable amount of wood is a vision from the future, or a memory of the past in my life; a past where I’ve put my hand to refinishing wood over and over because, yet again, I had a vision of what something could be. I know she sings, but I can’t tell yet if it’s our song.

Maybe I can envision working on her because it’s such a familiar feeling. Maybe it’s just that I know how to work on projects because it’s all I’ve ever done in my life. Even when we were raising the children I always had a project or two, or three, in the works. I wonder if I know how to be in this world without working on something? Or whether that would even be a good thing? I mean, even as a child I was always involved in creativity, in making and doing things.  What is life if one isn’t involved in the creative process? That sounds pretty interesting on one hand, and pretty boring on the other.

So the heart and the boat sing together, but we will not know if they sing the same song until Moonrise sells and buying another boat becomes a real possibility. Until then, I will be like the woman who flirts but never gets serious because she is already taken. And if someone comes along and buys Flying Gull and will love her and take care of her, I’ll be happy for them and hope they will take us sailing on her some day. Because if there is one thing I know, it’s that the Universe is filled with possibilities. Where there is one singing boat, there will be another if that is what I require. And now that I have felt it, it is required. Definitely.

Detail on cabinet door.

Detail on cabinet door.

13 thoughts on “Messing Around with Boats

  1. Looks like a beauty but I think you made the right choice passing her by. Wooden boats need a lot more love. They’re beautiful but high maintenance… kind of like… well you know. And also it is probably the right choice not to own two boats at once. Good luck selling Moonrise. With Spring coming maybe someone will be ready to buy!

    • I wouldn’t exactly say we’ve made the firm decision to pass her by. The jury is still out. We don’t have enough information about her condition under the surface to make an informed decision yet. I’m in contact with the owner of a sister ship and we’ll be talking on Wednesday. After that, if Moonrise sells, then we have to decide whether it’s worth it to us to get more information by paying for a survey. That’s the only way to make an informed decision about this kind of thing. You just don’t get any information otherwise because there is no access to the owner when a boat is listed with a broker. What I have learned by looking at this boat is that I can’t rule out a boat just because it’s wooden. I already kind of knew that, but this drilled it home.

    • Everything we’ve done has been worth it, in spite of the hard work involved. Yep, I’m just waiting for this to unfold myself. I’m supposed to talk tomorrow morning to the owner of a sister ship, so I hope that works out. I want to hear his thoughts on that boat.

  2. This is a great post :D. It’s been really fun watching you find your way to the perfect boat. +10 points for selling Moonrise first. That is logical for sure! No need to rush the decision on Flying Gull, this will give the universe as you put it some time to go what it will do.

    You know I like projects, so I’d have to weigh the how many projects are there vs how much I love this boat. I mean we all need things to do, to feel accomplished for. Why not it be this boat?

    Goodluck with selling Moonrise!

    • Thanks, Dani. That seems to be the biggest hurdle, although I cannot see why. She is really a great boat. Truly there are some days when I just want to throw in the towel and say forget it. We’ll just take that boat and take our lumps. It would sure be cheaper.

  3. All boats take work, time and money… but finding one that makes you sing? That’s gotta be #1 in my book. Like you “shape” was an early pattern I noticed in my attraction. Double enders took my breath away, the curvier the better:) Hull material wasn’t something I thought about until my first ocean passage on a ferrous cement boat, then a circumnavigation on fiberglass boat and now I own a wooden boat. Perfect for the northwest:) I’ve fixed them all and you’re gonna be fixing something, so if the shape and size and basics of the budget work, then sing at the top of your lungs and don’t worry about the hull material. It’s your life and love – touch wood.

    • You are so right, they do all take time, work, and money. I’m with you on the double enders! I love the way they look. A nice canoe stern is almost worth swooning over. Thanks for the encouragement! It’s nice to know there are people who still love the wooden boats. Got to check out your website!

  4. The Flying Gull is flying too high for my little sky… but I can tell you that in the past I’ve bitten at many a dream and survived just fine: due to love and gambleing everything. But Luck is what you need most of, and the resolve to make changes big time as a couple. The Gull you can figure will ‘up’ your current boat budget by about a factor of six right away, so you will need to be six more times much more in love with her than Moonrise. Life will be much better when you scale down…not up!
    I wanted more space so I claimed to own a mountain. Doesn’t cost much to dream and I let everybody use the mountain. Zero tax!

    • Well you have succinctly worded the conflict nicely! Our next move won’t be to buy the boat. It will be to make a choice about whether to gamble on a survey. And we cannot do that until Moonrise sells, so the boat is still available for someone else to buy until then. Right now, it’s a fun day dream and that doesn’t cost anything. But it’s definitely a long shot. Looks like I want to check out your website, too. Thanks for commenting!

  5. Update for anyone who sees it: I spoke at length with Peter Kaiser, owner of Awab, a sister boat to Flying Gull. He loves his boat and says she is easy to sail, and that the wheel house is a wonderful thing. He sails the boat single handed and had a lot of good advice about owning a boat like this. He also had some hard questions about Flying Gull. We feel encouraged, and also more firmly aware that we simply need to know more about this boat before putting in an offer. So I hope we can get information from the owner.

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