Boat Journal

Chronicling a love affair with sailing

Month: October 2017

Saying Goodbye

I loaded the car with all the supplies that we had removed for sailing season: the extra screws and other hardware; the wires, connectors, and fuses; the extra bilge pump and paint. I drove over to the marina, pulled down a cart, and loaded everything in. I wheeled over to her slip.

The breeze was bright that day. The temperature was good. She was straining at the lines, ready to take me sailing. I explained that I was only there to drop off supplies; there would be no sailing that day. She eventually settled down as I tightened the lines to make it easier to load everything.

I talked to her as I moved everything aft, so as to be out of the way. She had a new owner. The new owner loved her now, and would to love her even more as she sailed her. I was just dropping off supplies that day. But I’d be back for a couple of last minute repairs. And I’d be helping sail her down to her new home.

She rocked as I left, saying goodbye to me.

The next day, I came back. I was meeting Paul there to put in a new gauge that would better show the state of the engine batteries. It was raining miserably. I thought I’d plugged all the leaks; the bilge pump hadn’t need to run much lately. But that day, a couple of new leaks appeared. Was she crying?

This evening, I finished the gauge installation. I straightened up all the materials again. I had the title with me to mail off to the new owner, along with some receipts I’d found for work done on her and a couple of books to help the new owner with learning to handle her new boat. She had sent me a cashier’s check for the balance. I was still going to wait until it cleared to mail off the title. But then I thought, “that’s silly! I just don’t want to admit that she’s sold and that she’s now owned by someone else.”

I stopped by the post office and mailed the title.

This is just au revoire and not goodbye, since I will be helping to take her down to North Carolina, part of the way, if not all. But still it’s sad. It’s like leaving a good friend that you may not see again. There is a loss to make it through. Hopefully, by the time we say our final farewells, it will be better.

What Do You Do With an Old Boat?

I bought a new boat a year ago. We’re still trying to figure each other out. In the meantime, I still have my old boat. I’ve tried selling her, but had no luck so far. Problem is, so I’m told, there are a lot of old boats out there, so it’s a buyer’s market. But I don’t want to donate her and risk having her scrapped for parts. She’s in too good a shape for that!

So this past year, I’ve been renting her out. It’s worked out fairly well. Most of the folks who have taken her out have absolutely loved her. They come back with stories of what a wonderful time they had aboard.

There’s the two doctors who decided they’d take their Wednesday off to go sailing. They came back and told me what a great boat she was. There’s the man, now taking part in the Clipper Round the World Race Who wanted to take his nephew out and introduce him to the sport. It was pretty breezy that day, but they went anyway. The nephew came back hooked on the sport. There’s the two young men who are trying to get their captain’s licenses and have been out a couple of times, trying to build their hours.

But keeping two boats means keeping up maintenance on two boats. And that can get expensive. Renting has covered 1/2 the slip fees, but not any of the other expenses. And, like an old house, an old boat has to be kept up to avoid bigger problems.

So, again, I’ll try to sell her. And again, I’ll hope to find her a good home. But if I can’t, I’ll keep her around another year and see how it goes.