It has been a while since we posted here because we have been busy. With what? well…
It was an interesting time perusing things at the Fort Lauderdale boat show. Huge, huge show, lots of interesting new products, and the usual collection of boats. WAIT A MINUTE! What’s Bill doing in Fort Lauderdale??? That’s a REALLY, REALLY long way from Honolulu! Surely he didn’t go just for a boat show??? What’s going on?…
Well, sit back and enjoy a story…
Big change always starts with something simple. As with so many big changes, the start was something very small. When we approached the dock in Honolulu for the first time, our new dock neighbor jumped up to help us get tied up. It’s not an easy place to tie up to, especially if you haven’t practiced it much, so Jacob’s help was very welcome.
Jacob had come to Hawaii a couple of months before to buy a boat. He had been looking for a Kelly Peterson 46 for years. A beautiful classic sailboat from the mid 1970’s. If one of these boats has been well cared for, they can be expensive. He had looked a quite a few of them, and either they were in rough shape, or they were outside his budget range. Finally, everything came together with this boat in Hawaii. He bought it, and started on his way back to his home port of Seattle.
Like many plans, the Fates were to interfere with Jacob’s. About a week out during a spell of rough weather, his mainsail tore badly enough that a repair wasn’t practical. He turned around and came back to Hawaii. Arriving back here in early November, basically means he is stuck for the winter. Weather in the North Pacific has shifted to the winter pattern, and storms and rough seas preclude a return to the Northwest coast of the Mainland. So his new plan is to stay with the boat, catch some construction work, and move the boat back to Seattle in the spring. That might seem a bit of a diversion, but it was actually Jacob’s boat that was the trigger for the snowball of events that followed that end up with Bill in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
A tour of Jacob’s boat opened Karen’s eye’s to what was possible on a boat, and how much things change with just a little bit extra length. The galley was bigger, the aft cabin had a full sized bed you could get into from either side. There was a small workshop. Six more feet of length and the boat’s feel changed completely.
“Just for laughs” we contacted a local boat broker and looked at what he had for sale. While we saw possibilities, nothing really lit our fire about being right for us. I have been treating this as kind of an exercise, not really expecting anything to come from it. When Karen asks me what boat I could have if I had the choice of any. I named a few, and we went off looking on YachtWorld.com.
Among sailors, YachtWorld.com is known as “boat porn”. You can see virtually all the boats for sale in the world, complete with all the pretty pictures. Running through all the choices that any traditionally minded voyaging sailor would drool over—we had great fun. Hylas, Valiant, Swan, Hinkley, Gozzard, Tartan, Morris, Amel, Pacific Seacraft, Tayana, Island Packet.
One soon stood out as being a relative bargain, a spectacular boat, and one with almost a cult following. The Amel Super Maramu. A few weeks of looking and… we found our dream boat. In (can you guess?) Fort Lauderdale! It’s a long story, but here we are. Yesterday was the survey (not a single discrepancy found!) and we’ll be closing the deal at the end of next week.
We’ll be posting lots more about our new dream home next week after we take formal possession.
The same day we had our offer accepted on the Amel, I got an acceptable offer on the Fetchin’ Ketch! That deal is moving a bit slower, but I think she is going to go to a great new home.
Anybody who has sold a home where they have lived for a LONG time will understand that it is a time of greatly mixed emotions. I have lived on Fetchin’ Ketch for 17 years–longer than I have lived anywhere. In many ways the great boat she is today is because of the upgrades repairs and modifications I have made over the last decade and a half. I’ll miss her.