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Gaston Buys Another Boat

Maybe not OUR gaston

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#1 Gouvernail

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:05 AM

http://www.norwalkci...hip-4050021.php


Buyer finds bargain sailboat anything but ship shape



Published 11:02 a.m., Monday, November 19, 2012

By





Gail Brown
A wannabe sailor who took a Greyhound bus from Texas to Connecticut to buy a sailboat he saw advertised online got more than he bargained for Sunday when the craft took on water three miles off Norwalk Harbor and he had to be rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard
Michael Williams first glimpsed the glossy color photo of “My Children’s Toy” on eBay days ago, and decided he had to have the 27-foot sailboat, enticed by the catchy description and rock-bottom $157.50 price tag.
“There were so many people who wanted her,” Williams said in a telephone interview Sunday night. “But I got her.”
The retired trucker then had to get to “My Children’s Toy” where it was for sale in Norwalk. So, he plunked down $262 for a bus ticket and arrived in Connecticut to claim her Saturday afternoon.
When the trailer unloaded “My Children’s Toy” at a Norwalk marina, it was clear the craft wasn’t anywhere near as shipshape as depicted in its photograph. The mast and rigging were worn. There were mechanical problems seen and unseen. The dream boat, alas, was a mess.
But Williams, 55, wasn’t discouraged.
“I decided to overlook all that,” Williams said. “I knew the seller wasn’t guaranteeing anything about it. They even say so in their ads. I had to wait until the hurricane was over to come to Connecticut to get her, and I was anxious to get her out.”
The eager Williams jumped aboard early Saturday afternoon with his gear, a marine radio, his belongings and enough bologna and cheese to make sandwiches for days.
“I just sailed out of the marina on a shakedown, and if it had gone all right I planned to go (straight) to Florida with her,” Williams said. “Right away, though, there was trouble. The pin that holds the boom to the mast for the mainsail came out. And it was too dark to repair it, so I had to let the sail down.”
He dropped anchor three miles out of the harbor, where the Coast Guard says the water is 120 feet deep. The winds started kicking up. And by sunrise Sunday the waves were 4-feet high. It was hard to remain upright.
“She started taking on water,” Williams said. “There might have been a slow leak someplace, I don’t know. And the sea was real high. It was making me real sick.”
Williams donned his life jacket, and called the U.S. Coast Guard for help from his marine radio about 8:40 a.m. Sunday.
The sails were down. The rigging was tangled. More water was pouring in. And he said it was hard to stand upright, let alone maintain his balance. At this point, Williams said, he wondered two things: what his wife in the Philippines might think and that perhaps this 27-foot sailboat that he spent $157.50 on was “maybe not such a bargain” after all.
“My Children’s Toy” wasn’t Williams’ first sailboat purchase on eBay. He has bought four others since 2010, traveling from Texas to Maryland to New Orleans. But none had come so cheap and had ever threatened to cost him his life. “I’d buy them for a couple hundred dollars, put a few dollars into them and turn around and sell them, usually for a thousand or two,” Williams said, “and it occurred to me this deal with this here sailboat, it might not end so well — that I might not make it to Florida.”
The Coast Guard launched a rescue boat from Eaton’s Neck on Long Island, while the Norwalk Fire Department sent out another vessel to pick up Williams, who was treated for some minor injuries in the Norwalk Hospital emergency department and later released.
In Connecticut, a boater has to take and pass a safe-boating class, though Williams acknowledged he didn’t have a boating license.
“No, I don’t have any of that certification,” Williams said. “But I’ve been on plenty of boats. When I was a kid, my family even sailed to Europe on our own boat. So, I am more than sure that I have all of the experience it would take to pass one of those.”

#2 R Booth

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

Gator ain't got $157.50.....

#3 silent bob

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:20 AM

'member, he leveraged his savings for the down payment on the BiteMyWeinie M-3 on five shares of Facebook and lost the lot.


#4 One eye Jack

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:26 AM

Can you even buy a sea worthy El Toro for that price? You pay for what you got.. But you got a hell of a deal, and where is the boat now?

#5 Trendsetter

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:29 AM

I swear to god I am pretty damn sure I know this guy! I think he had a boat he purchased at a yard I worked at down in Maryland... Man was insane always wondered if he made the trip back to Texas... Guess he did only to survive anther day. Now I wanna know what hunter/Catalina/ centerboard boat do we think it was?

#6 Owen

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:40 AM

I am shocked--
shocked--
that he has a wife in the Phillipines.

#7 Left Hook

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:51 AM

Norwalk CT to Florida in a 27 foot boat in November/December?

Dude needs to be institutionalized for his own safety and for the safety of those who would have to save him if he got himself into trouble.

#8 Life Buoy 15

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:14 AM

Could'nt he get a crew spot on the bounty?

#9 dacapo

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

Norwalk CT to Florida in a 27 foot boat in November/December?

Dude needs to be institutionalized for his own safety and for the safety of those who would have to save him if he got himself into trouble.


....it's dooable with the right crew and some ability. I did the trip 13 years ago in mid-November. Cold as fuck until Norfolk. then it was just cold until Savannah.

#10 MacGregor_Lover

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:57 AM

I am shocked that he bought a boat for $157 loaded it up with bologna and headed for Florida and did not make. I would have thought for sure that the voyage would have gone swimmingly I mean he did have a vhf. Wonder what went wrong. Everything seems so well thought out.

#11 No.6

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:48 PM


Norwalk CT to Florida in a 27 foot boat in November/December?

Dude needs to be institutionalized for his own safety and for the safety of those who would have to save him if he got himself into trouble.


....it's dooable with the right crew and some ability. I did the trip 13 years ago in mid-November. Cold as fuck until Norfolk. then it was just cold until Savannah.

Exactly. Besides, after hurricane season is when most boats head south and those that can go inside, go inside.
Our second trans-Atlantic we did in late January, early February. Maybe someone should get wesley a copy of Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes for Christmas?

#12 jesposito

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:22 AM



Norwalk CT to Florida in a 27 foot boat in November/December?

Dude needs to be institutionalized for his own safety and for the safety of those who would have to save him if he got himself into trouble.


....it's dooable with the right crew and some ability. I did the trip 13 years ago in mid-November. Cold as fuck until Norfolk. then it was just cold until Savannah.

Exactly. Besides, after hurricane season is when most boats head south and those that can go inside, go inside.
Our second trans-Atlantic we did in late January, early February. Maybe someone should get wesley a copy of Jimmy Cornell's World Cruising Routes for Christmas?

The guy Williams sounds a bit like you

#13 mcsailor0303

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

$150...Yeah, I'd probably go out and sail the thing like I stole it!




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