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The audacity of youth


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The audacity of youth
 
So, my wife’s niece...or second niece...or something like that...came to visit our place.  Seems she’s been living on her boat, anchored out near downtown.  She’s 19, grew up nearby inland, and has never sailed before, but liked the idea of it, liked the adventure of it, and needed a place to live in our expensive area, so acquired a widely known production 27 footer and moved aboard.  The thing needs lots of work.  Having met her, she’s definitely not the outgoing type, not (apparently) mechanically inclined, never taken sailing lessons.  She’s just figuring out (lots and lots) of things as she goes. My dinghy sailing coach daughter went out with them yesterday for a very cold day sail, returning as it started gusting over 20.  As the parent, I was onboard our boat in the marina in our winter berth, having moved the boat off the spring/summer mooring.  I was planning what seems like endless winter boat projects, puttering around a bit, feeling a bit like an “old man”, or like a worried parent —as the wind was gusting up, rain threatened and it was quite cold —I had the diesel heater cranking on board — as the young’uns were just out there, practicing tacking and getting on with things, not thinking of me at all, I later realized :-)
 
She (the second niece of my wife) had sailed, in company with her friend/boyfriend, to our place.  At 22, he’s only a few years older - I gather that they met fairly recently.   Originally from the UK, after graduating from a preparatory boarding school designed to groom future leaders, he decided that university wasn’t for him.  Worked for his Dad’s company (or something) for a little while in China.  Took the trans-Siberian railroad through to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.  Studied Spanish in high school, so then returned to the UK and went to Spain for some sort of work there, then back to the family farm in the UK.  Traveled to the US, found it to hard to get a work visa, so decided Canada was a better plan - members of any Commonwealth country can get working 2 year working holiday visas in other Commonwealth countries (amd frankly he didn’t want to be in the US).  So, four years after leaving high school and a year and a half into living in Canada, and still wanting to travel, he realizes that sailing would be a cool way to do it.  Finds an old late ‘70s or early ‘80s era Ericson 34 (pinched stern IOR version)...for $5000!  No onboard diesel, but it has a outboard motor set up on a bracket on the transom.  Stackpack main. Big solar panel. For a boat of its vintage, it’s not in terrible shape at all.  Yes, it needs lots of work.  But a steal for $5000.  And he’s out sailing around - living on “Covid benefit” funds after being laid off a construction job several months ago.  (Would I have done that at 22 while travelling - probably...).
 
He’s never sailed before, but already recognizes that the boat sails well in light wind, points well.  It was obviously raced in its earlier life, as it came with two spinnakers and rod rigging.  He’s spent most of his extra money on tools to maintain/improve the boat, and already understands that he’d like to have an autopilot, that the old rod rigging is possibly suspect, that his 130% Genoa is possibly too much canvas for the headsail, that he has four 6v golf cart batts, and so on - he can “talk the talk” of cruising boats, and understands a surprising amount about big boat stuff and systems after only owning a boat for a few months, never having sailed before.  Like his girlfriend, he also lives on the hook— when he’s not out sailing— near downtown.  We invited them to our house for dinner last night and he mentioned going to the Marquesas.  “How,” I said  somewhat surprised, “have you heard of the Marquesas?”  Few people have who aren’t sailors, unless they’re well traveled.   Well, he said, stuffing sailing routes, it’d be a great place to stop on the way to New Zealand, where he could also get another working holiday visa!  But for now, he’s got local sailing and boat improvement projects to think through - and the distractions of the city and city life are almost too much for a young man with a dream and goal in mind.
 
Kinda makes you wanna be 22 and just all about get-up-and-go!! They’re doing it right, in some ways at least: they haven’t bought a couch.  It’s a slow road to debt and death after that. :-)
 
“A couch represents a step down the path of certainty, of settling down.”
 
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Thanks for sharing - I spent a year on a motorcycle traveling throughout US, MX , and Central America when I was 25. I learned Spanish and met my wife. And I have a shitload of great stories and memories nobody can ever take away from me.

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lovely story.... well written

over on another thread a whole series of know nothing youthful people are taking the plunge and buying boats and  making films about them.

the films show that sailing is easy and safe and even idiots can do it - you can travel a long way in a badly maintained shit box

I sailed the 25 footer I recently bought 300 miles down the north sea in autumn  - I spent three days prepping it adfter it had stood for seven years. There was a lot wrong with it but it made the trip.

there is plenty of proof on this forum that eejits can sail

A few people like to make it seem dangerous - I have lost count of  the  number  of people who post comments on my films telling me that what I am doing is dangerous - that I should replace the engine, rigging, through hulls, wear a life jacket, get AIS, ten radar raflectors. anchor balls, motoring cones, 300 feet of anchor chain  etc etc

The most frightening people to speak to are old men sitting on their boats in marinas or boat yards fettling and not sailing.  

While in wells next the sea i was told that the bar there is a killer (it is impressive at times) . I was told about two fishermen who drowned on the bar. A frightening story. However, it turned out it was two amatuers at dusk with a dodgy 6 hp engine on a 15 foot cuddy non self draining boat with no charts , they had left the next harbour in a force 6 northerly (stupid)  and attempted to come in through wells bar in a strong northerly . This was 15 years ago.  

The youth have a right to be optimistic while us old pessimists throw money and resources at our ever safer boats that travel ever fewer miles per year.

people my age seem to spend a lot of time mithering about stuff that is highly unlikely to happen - and if it  does then a simple plan B is often available. The echo-sounder, a nav light and the engine all quit on me over the five days coming down the north sea in my new to me boat  - I had a plan B for all three.  I was also never more than an hour away from the RNLI arriving to rescue me for free (oh the humiliation is such a thing were to occur).

My son lives on a boat and has lived on it for five years now - it is a canal boat so the shore is only two feet away.  I worry about bis boat finally rusting through and sinking or being set alight by a local, or him being mugged along the tow path.  These are concerns that barely bubble to the surface in his priorities.

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43 minutes ago, dylan winter said:

lovely story.... well written

over on another thread a whole series of know nothing youthful people are taking the plunge and buying boats and  making films about them.

the films show that sailing is easy and safe and even idiots can do it - you can travel a long way in a badly maintained shit box

I sailed the 25 footer I recently bought 300 miles down the north sea in autumn  - I spent three days prepping it adfter it had stood for seven years. There was a lot wrong with it but it made the trip.

there is plenty of proof on this forum that eejits can sail

A few people like to make it seem dangerous - I have lost count of  the  number  of people who post comments on my films telling me that what I am doing is dangerous - that I should replace the engine, rigging, through hulls, wear a life jacket, get AIS, ten radar raflectors. anchor balls, motoring cones, 300 feet of anchor chain  etc etc

The most frightening people to speak to are old men sitting on their boats in marinas or boat yards fettling and not sailing.  

While in wells next the sea i was told that the bar there is a killer (it is impressive at times) . I was told about two fishermen who drowned on the bar. A frightening story. However, it turned out it was two amatuers at dusk with a dodgy 6 hp engine on a 15 foot cuddy non self draining boat with no charts , they had left the next harbour in a force 6 northerly (stupid)  and attempted to come in through wells bar in a strong northerly . This was 15 years ago.  

The youth have a right to be optimistic while us old pessimists throw money and resources at our ever safer boats that travel ever fewer miles per year.

people my age seem to spend a lot of time mithering about stuff that is highly unlikely to happen - and if it  does then a simple plan B is often available. The echo-sounder, a nav light and the engine all quit on me over the five days coming down the north sea in my new to me boat  - I had a plan B for all three.  I was also never more than an hour away from the RNLI arriving to rescue me for free (oh the humiliation is such a thing were to occur).

My son lives on a boat and has lived on it for five years now - it is a canal boat so the shore is only two feet away.  I worry about bis boat finally rusting through and sinking or being set alight by a local, or him being mugged along the tow path.  These are concerns that barely bubble to the surface in his priorities.

My son Will (now 23) bought a boat (a Capri 22) very shortly after starting his first job. He's been having a great time cruising it and racing out of Anacortes. Last year, he kept the thing in all winter and sailed in cold weather clothes. I think his plan is to do the same this year. He has a little heater for when he's in the slip, though I suspect with a recent change in living conditions he'll do that a little less this time around.

"There's more wind here in the winter."

Yeah, I'm not doing that but he had a blast.

It's a little small for him to live on, but he's expressed an interest in living on a boat again some day.

Unlike the OP's niece and her BF, he's been around boats all his life though, cruised with us for several years, and of course works in boating now.

His getting a boat was as inevitable as the sun rising and setting. There are still kids out there doing it, and I think this generation of kids is going to have to be WAY more creative with living than we were able to be with the way wages and rents are running.

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Nice write up, Jud. It occurs to me that many of the vids I never click on, in this thread, suffer from lack of doing the simple work of editing. An editor I've worked with calls it 'barfing on your keyboard'. You can do that with a phone, too. 

 

Your piece of your niece rings a few things for me.  First, how quickly kids grow. What a chasm can (usually) exists between say 19 and 22, or 22 and 27. And add that everyone is different. Plus your year-round climate (sort of) makes this more common than areas that freeze up near solid on the coast(mine). 

 

 BJ's point is one I've seen;  kids that grew up around boats - most of them at least - know what they don't know. It's not too surprising to see a new exodus of mostly young people take to old fiberglass boats with a focus toward a place to live, first. If you grew up living on a boat, you may have a different eye. 

 

For the uninitiated, once you're living on the boat you can then start to explore this strange world of traveling around the world and making $$. Sailing and what lurks below your bed in your old boat can be sorted out last. 

 

The vids like Sailing Uma I suspect (I haven't watched beyond a minute or so but they seem well done) are driving some kids to the life. They make it look like an easy step and for some, it could be. 

 

Many of these entrants will give the YouTube world a go and a few will rise above the crowded pool. 

 

It sounds like your niece and boyfriend are taking it slowly. Keep us posted. 

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3 hours ago, dylan winter said:

The most frightening people to speak to are old men sitting on their boats in marinas or boat yards fettling and not sailing.  

These people mean well but they are one of the largest obstacles to productivity (whether it be my own repairs or going sailing) that I have ever encountered.

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As adults, we fear embarrassment, monetary loss, discomfort, as we are supposed to know better. 

If we've done it right, we should be able to look back at our youth and say, "How did we possibly do that?". 

The test of Adulting, "successfully", seems more about if we have gained any skills and experience worthwhile and being able to pass them on. 

We're told the unexamined life isn't worth living.....but less frequently that the un-lived life isn't worth examining. 

If we can get them out sailing, they are more likely to have interesting experiences worth examining in a shrunken world that is ever more regulated.

 

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4 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

My son Will (now 23) bought a boat (a Capri 22) very shortly after starting his first job. 

I’m glad he’s enjoying himself, we all hope he has a lot of great experiences with his boats in the future!

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2 hours ago, Elegua said:

As adults, we fear embarrassment, monetary loss, discomfort, as we are supposed to know better. 

If we've done it right, we should be able to look back at our youth and say, "How did we possibly do that?". 

The test of Adulting, "successfully", seems more about if we have gained any skills and experience worthwhile and being able to pass them on. 

We're told the unexamined life isn't worth living.....but less frequently that the un-lived life isn't worth examining. 

If we can get them out sailing, they are more likely to have interesting experiences worth examining in a shrunken world that is ever more regulated.

 

 
“If we've done it right, we should be able to look back at our youth and say, "How did we possibly do that?”...the unlived life isn’t worth examining...if we can get them out sailing, they are more likely to have experiences worth examining...”

The addendum to the story I posted above (and, by the way, there’s a typo in it near the end: “studying [not stuffing] sailing routes” - c.f., Tom’s comment about barfing from the keyboard/tiny phone touchscreen, where I’m typing with fat fingertips :-) ) is that my daughter wants to cross Georgia Strait with her cousin (or whatever their exact relationship is...I’m actually not 100% clear!) later this week. Now, my daughter has been around boats since living aboard with us as a baby, a later cruise to Alaska, and over the years has suffered through an engine rebuild, rudder rebuild, dinner table talk like talk of Sikaflex vs. 5200, voltage drop considerations in wire runs, downloading weatherfax via ham radio, a furler install, losing anchors, an engineless crossing of Juan de Fuca Strait in R2AK where we clawed our way into the harbour against wind and tide, climbing masts to retrieve halyards, jury rigging spinnakers sheets and navigating vs. “naviguessing” (what we would sometimes do on the tiny Cal 20 when summer sailing without a plotter and not wanting to burn through the precious limited battery power we had in our phones since we had no means to charge them on the tiny boat, etc etc etc. She’s now a (quite junior) dinghy sailing coach.  She’s been around boats.  But, at 17 obviously doesn’t have the reserve of seamanship skills and experience —I think— to cross 20+ miles of open water in November (forecast 15-25, but at least in a favourable direction) with an even less experienced person on a boat neither of them know that well (my kid, less so).  
 
But then - when are you ever ready? 
 
I casually threw several questions out to her before dinner last night.  Trying hard to be casual yet probing, but not too overly serious, like a parent.  It’s November.  What if someone went over board?  Ok, great - you’ve thrown the life ring to the person and they’ve got it - now what?  What if the outboard stopped running?  Furler jams?   No fixed GPS and VHF on board - hand held radio and phones for nav.  Apparently have old paper charts. (Are they even necessary if you have no idea how to plot a course using the compass rose/don’t have a compass on board - I assume the boat has one, but don’t know.)  There’s the possibility of large ferry traffic and possibly large tug and tow traffic.  And deadheads —large, heavily waterlogged trees that have broken off log booms (pulled by tugs) with only part of them visible just above the waterline - can do real damage if you hit one.  She’s aware of these things but does she really get it?   But I think for the most part, she knows what she doesn’t know.
 
What a great adventure to look forward to!  At that age, I’d gone Potomac River day sailing with my dad many hot summer days —that’s about it as far as the depth of my experience —and was fairly terrified the first time I docked the boat.  I certainly didn’t have anywhere close to the level of experience my daughter now has.  Nor the quiet gumption her cousin has.

They spent yesterday doing what some might call fettling - but was really actually important tasks.  Securing batteries that were not secured at all in a port cockpit locker (!).  Moving a milk crate full of chain that was strapped to the mast (!) down below.  (This is not a boat that moves frequently.). Securing propane tanks to the stern rail outside.  (The niece who lives aboard has one of those portable propane heaters —which frankly scare me— with tank and heater inside.  Etc.  I suppose there’s a point where you can only just give advice on key things and hope common sense prevails.
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If this helps at all Jud, that scenario makes me very nervous. I'd feel better if you said your daughter was doing that 20-mile crossing, solo.

Your daughter knows what she doesn't know whereas your wife's cousin sounds like she hasn't seen how badly things can go out on the water. 

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2 hours ago, Kris Cringle said:

If this helps at all Jud, that scenario makes me very nervous. I'd feel better if you said your daughter was doing that 20-mile crossing, solo.

Your daughter knows what she doesn't know whereas your wife's cousin sounds like she hasn't seen how badly things can go out on the water. 

Tom - Excellent point.  Definitely good for thought.  It’s a tricky one for me to wrap my head around, I gotta admit.  Stay tuned...

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I'd say it's questionable. Mostly because of the cold and the weather at this time of year. If something goes pear shaped, hypothermia and staying warm becomes a challenge. If you're trying to fix something and it's pouring rain and you're getting cold, and your hands stop cooperating etc etc. you get on that slippery slope of a chain of events causing real problems. 

I singlehanded my parents 31' across Georgia St at 18 - but it was summer and much more benign conditions.

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Then again when I was 16 I paddled for 3 weeks in a sea kayak in the Queen Charlottes. Some of our paddles drifted away on a high tide because where we had tied our boats up, the tide came up, and the paddles drifted away.

We were in a long inlet and our Scout leader headed out into bad weather to look along the shoreline. Others of us walked the shoreline. When our leader didn't come back after 1+ hour I volunteeredd to paddle out to find him.

When I left the confines of the inlet it was blowing a steady 25, gusting 30. Not much fun for a bit of a beginner in a sea kayak. Spent a lot of time with waves washing over the deck. I found him bucking the waves and wind and preparing to beach his boat in a tiny cove and walk a long way back. I showed him the way back, sheltered between the kelp in deeper water and the cliffs.

So yeah I survived in a dicey situation. But looking back --- it could have gone differently. One big wave, I go for a swim, with an offshore breeze, no VHF and nobody around to see my flares. I probably would have had real trouble getting the boat upright and bailed out. (A loaded sea kayak is pretty hard to eskimo roll).

As a parent I guess the most valuable lesson I think I've passed on to my kid is it is OK to bail. It's ok to turn back. It's ok to seek shelter when things are bad. 

Of course this didn't stop her from hitchhiking across most of the Khalari desert at age 17 but that's another story...

 

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31 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Just saw a report from the Sand Heads weather station. It just went from 3 knots to 70. November can be like that.

Whoa!  (We rarely get hurricane force winds [64 kts] up here in Howe Sound unless it’s one of those deep Arctic outflows/very cold interior air in the middle of winter - happened two winters ago, destroying docks at the mouth of Howe Sound.)

785003A2-0043-4420-AFF2-18ACA6E2D6F5.png

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27 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

Whoa!  (We rarely get hurricane force winds [64 kts] up here in Howe Sound unless it’s one of those deep Arctic outflows/very cold interior air in the middle of winter - happened two winters ago, destroying docks at the mouth of Howe Sound.)

785003A2-0043-4420-AFF2-18ACA6E2D6F5.png

It's dropped now, only 39 gusting to 60.

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11 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

It's dropped now, only 39 gusting to 60.

Yeah, I saw that.  It’s very peculiar weather - something about Sand Heads?  Nothing close to those wind speeds elsewhere in the Strait (perhaps system is moving?).  

And forecast vs. actual conditions: a 30-40 kt southerly was forecast for the region - but a much stronger *northerly* occurred, at least down there at Sand Heads.

I’ve sent this to my kid, who’s now hopefully a little bit less keen - i.e., more thoughtful about the idea...

Tonight and Tuesday.

Gale warning in effect.

Wind easterly 15 to 25 knots increasing to southeast 25 to 35 late overnight and to southeast 35 to 45 early Tuesday morning. Wind veering to southwest 25 to 35 late Tuesday morning

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Howe Sound has a cheery forecast.

Tonight and Tuesday. Storm warning in effect. Wind northerly outflow 30 to 40 knots increasing to southerly inflow 40 to 50 early Tuesday morning then diminishing to southerly inflow 25 to 35 near noon Tuesday. Wind diminishing to southerly inflow 15 to 25 Tuesday afternoon.

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8 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Howe Sound has a cheery forecast.

Tonight and Tuesday. Storm warning in effect. Wind northerly outflow 30 to 40 knots increasing to southerly inflow 40 to 50 early Tuesday morning then diminishing to southerly inflow 25 to 35 near noon Tuesday. Wind diminishing to southerly inflow 15 to 25 Tuesday afternoon.

I think that must’ve been updated very recently.  Wasn't as dire before.

And at the bottom of the forecast (https://www.weather.gc.ca/marine/forecast_e.html?mapID=03&siteID=06400)

Rain. Risk of waterspouts Tuesday morning.


 

Waterspouts?!?

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11 minutes ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I think that must’ve been updated very recently.  Wasn't as dire before.

And at the bottom of the forecast (https://www.weather.gc.ca/marine/forecast_e.html?mapID=03&siteID=06400)

Rain. Risk of waterspouts Tuesday morning.


 

Waterspouts?!?

I have only seen waterspout warnings once before. This could be a wild season, La Niña is not kind to us.

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My brother and I started doing multi-day trips away from home, together but without any adult supervision, at around age 12 (me) - 13 (him). My parents no doubt worried, but let us go, but my old man was always a demon for the detail / planning, so that by the time we left he was pretty confident that we had covered all reasonable bases. 

I hate how society encourages mollycoddling kids these days. 

 

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17 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

His getting a boat was as inevitable as the sun rising and setting. There are still kids out there doing it, and I think this generation of kids is going to have to be WAY more creative with living than we were able to be with the way wages and rents are running.

I desperately want to get something 30ish foot and race the hell out of it offshore and shorthanded, but its so expensive that unless im making more than 70k a year its not gonna work out. But hey, I'm only 20, still got a bit to go hopefully

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1 hour ago, Fintho said:
19 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

His getting a boat was as inevitable as the sun rising and setting. There are still kids out there doing it, and I think this generation of kids is going to have to be WAY more creative with living than we were able to be with the way wages and rents are running.

I desperately want to get something 30ish foot and race the hell out of it offshore and shorthanded, but its so expensive that unless im making more than 70k a year its not gonna work out. But hey, I'm only 20, still got a bit to go hopefully

Yeah, that's why he started with a Capri 22, something manageable.

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3 hours ago, Fintho said:

I desperately want to get something 30ish foot and race the hell out of it offshore and shorthanded, but its so expensive that unless im making more than 70k a year its not gonna work out. But hey, I'm only 20, still got a bit to go hopefully

Gumtree and be prepared to work your arse off on fixing up broken or badly done stuff.

I've seen what look like decent deals but probably we're not interested in similar boats.

FKT

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36 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Gumtree and be prepared to work your arse off on fixing up broken or badly done stuff.

I've seen what look like decent deals but probably we're not interested in similar boats.

FKT

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hobart-cbd/sail-boats/mg-30-yacht-for-sale/1260999980

This baby looks interesting, but also looks like it could need a new suit of sails before she's competitive. For the moment ill just keep on crewing on cool boats and I'm sure something will come my way one day

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5 minutes ago, Fintho said:

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hobart-cbd/sail-boats/mg-30-yacht-for-sale/1260999980

This baby looks interesting, but also looks like it could need a new suit of sails before she's competitive. For the moment ill just keep on crewing on cool boats and I'm sure something will come my way one day

Just keep in mind good-cheap-fast. You'll never ever get all 3.

FKT

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45 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Gumtree and be prepared to work your arse off on fixing up broken or badly done stuff.

I've seen what look like decent deals but probably we're not interested in similar boats.

FKT

 

6 minutes ago, Fintho said:

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hobart-cbd/sail-boats/mg-30-yacht-for-sale/1260999980

This baby looks interesting, but also looks like it could need a new suit of sails before she's competitive. For the moment ill just keep on crewing on cool boats and I'm sure something will come my way one day

You guys don't know each other? Tassie isn't that big is it?

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12 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Just keep in mind good-cheap-fast. You'll never ever get all 3.

Good Advice, now if only I actually had a job hahaha

 

12 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

You guys don't know each other? Tassie isn't that big is it?

There's certainly a non-zero chance we do, although the Tassie sailing scene is actually fairly big 

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1 hour ago, Fintho said:

Good Advice, now if only I actually had a job hahaha

 

There's certainly a non-zero chance we do, although the Tassie sailing scene is actually fairly big 

Probably not though if you're into the racing scene because I'm not in the least interested in racing. I own a cruising boat down the Channel where I live.

FKT

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8 minutes ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Probably not though if you're into the racing scene because I'm not in the least interested in racing. I own a cruising boat down the Channel where I live.

FKT

I race out of Kettering fairly regularly on a few boats so if I see someone talking about Bulldozers ill know its you ;)

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Just now, Fintho said:

I race out of Kettering fairly regularly on a few boats so if I see someone talking about Bulldozers ill know its you ;)

If you see my boat going by you'll know it's me, too. It's the only one of its type in southern Tasmania... on a mooring in Oyster Cove when we're not sailing.

FKT

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20 hours ago, Fintho said:

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hobart-cbd/sail-boats/mg-30-yacht-for-sale/1260999980

This baby looks interesting, but also looks like it could need a new suit of sails before she's competitive. For the moment ill just keep on crewing on cool boats and I'm sure something will come my way one day

She is a great boat, has had a few different names... was previously Wild West before her current name. Our son chartered it and did some quite a chunk of the deferred maintenance (he is a qualified shipwright)... he got very close to buying it (but with 2 young kids, has purchased something a little more suitable for the young family). I get the impression that the list price is pretty negotiable (I suspect that you'd be able to get it for $25k). If you are serious about it, send me a PM and I'll see if the young fellah wants to share any info about anything good or bad about the boat...

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1 hour ago, Weyalan said:

She is a great boat, has had a few different names... was previously Wild West before her current name. Our son chartered it and did some quite a chunk of the deferred maintenance (he is a qualified shipwright)... he got very close to buying it (but with 2 young kids, has purchased something a little more suitable for the young family). I get the impression that the list price is pretty negotiable (I suspect that you'd be able to get it for $25k). If you are serious about it, send me a PM and I'll see if the young fellah wants to share any info about anything good or bad about the boat...

Unfortunately I'm still at the 'dreaming about buying a cool boat' stage, but I appreciate the insight. Looks like it could be a reasonably competent boat, seems to have a bit more keel than Prion who just got 2nd on PHS in the Maria race.  

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6 hours ago, Fintho said:

Unfortunately I'm still at the 'dreaming about buying a cool boat' stage, but I appreciate the insight. Looks like it could be a reasonably competent boat, seems to have a bit more keel than Prion who just got 2nd on PHS in the Maria race.  

Dude, take a gap year. Run, don't walk away from "normal" jobs and society's expectations.

Buy the strongest piece of shit boat that still has a respectable turn of speed that you can tolerably live on, fix it up and go. Don't worry about offshore racing, go solo cruising and explore. Racing will always be there. Do not bring a girl or pets.

After a couple of years you'll be 22 and still at the beginning of your working life cycle. It's still easy to get into the labor market at that point. It's a lot more difficult when you're 45 or 50 with a wife, kids and a mortgage. It's also easier when you're younger and have a greater tolerance for minor discomfort.

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6 hours ago, Ajax said:

Dude, take a gap year. Run, don't walk away from "normal" jobs and society's expectations.

Buy the strongest piece of shit boat that still has a respectable turn of speed that you can tolerably live on, fix it up and go. Don't worry about offshore racing, go solo cruising and explore. Racing will always be there. Do not bring a girl or pets.

After a couple of years you'll be 22 and still at the beginning of your working life cycle. It's still easy to get into the labor market at that point. It's a lot more difficult when you're 45 or 50 with a wife, kids and a mortgage. It's also easier when you're younger and have a greater tolerance for minor discomfort.

+100

Plenty of time for that later.

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I used to race 22 foot keel boats. Fleets of 30

The difference between silverware and rabbits at the back is seconds. I was a jobbing journo

My none helmingco owner worked for big accountancy firm

He thought nothing of forking out 1 k in 1990s money for a kevlarsail that lasted a season but gained us 15 seconds in the hour

Racing is fekkin expensive

The trophies are tat

Gap years are gold.

I spent mine chasing cows

Could not rope worth shit

But could stick on horse as well as the next man

 

Buy a shit box and go

Merca has a long coastline

D

 

 

D

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2 hours ago, dylan winter said:

Buy a shit box and go

Merca has a long coastline

So has Australia - which is a lot more relevant to the poster...

Agree about buy & go early. I didn't but don't regret that either - I was getting paid to go interesting places on ships of various sizes. Different position when you have your dream job.

The middle years are difficult with partner, children, house mortgage all taking priority. Then you get old and if you're still fit, it's time once again to do what you want to do, not what you have to do.

FKT

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10 hours ago, Ajax said:

Dude, take a gap year. Run, don't walk away from "normal" jobs and society's expectations.

Buy the strongest piece of shit boat that still has a respectable turn of speed that you can tolerably live on, fix it up and go. Don't worry about offshore racing, go solo cruising and explore. Racing will always be there. Do not bring a girl or pets.

After a couple of years you'll be 22 and still at the beginning of your working life cycle. It's still easy to get into the labor market at that point. It's a lot more difficult when you're 45 or 50 with a wife, kids and a mortgage. It's also easier when you're younger and have a greater tolerance for minor discomfort.

That's somewhat the plan, I've got one more year of uni left, then its time to hit the water on my own. I sometimes regret not taking a gap year straight out of high school but I really think then I wouldn't have been motivated enough to actually go to Uni, as silly as that might sound. My younger brother is taking a gap year out of hs, the same year I finish uni, so if we go together its cheaper too. We'll see.

 

1 hour ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:

Agree about buy & go early. I didn't but don't regret that either - I was getting paid to go interesting places on ships of various sizes. Different position when you have your dream job.

As I said right now I'm crewing anyway and building up my quals, maybe ill find a job later on delivering fancy yachts to fancy places, shitboxes to shitholes, Ill figure it out (maybe).

 

Regardless though, thanks for all the advice anarchists

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Chalk this one up to the audacity of youth, too.  
 

69 year old Alvah Simon, who has spent decades sailing the world, including wintering over alone in the High Arctic of Canada —that never fails to blow my mind— says, [at 10:00, interview below] “When people talk about ‘the Big C’ as a terrible disease, they’re thinking of cancer —and I think of it as comfort.  Once you get used to those things [having a microwave to reheat your coffee in a house with a life ashore, etc, etc], it gets harder and harder to go back [to sea].”

Interview with a very interesting sailor who, really, seems to be a restless, curious kid at heart :-)

https://www.59-north.com/onthewindpodcast/257-alvah

 

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It is a credit to your niece and boyfriend/whatever that they can do it. Some of these kids (and older people) can’t.

I know a mid 20s kid that bought an Oday 25 in good shape last spring and took it out 3 times. First time the coast guard brought him back, 2nd time he grounded and got towed back and 3rd time the mast went in the water somehow and he hit rocks. He got some insurance money, sold the remains and now is looking for something bigger. Dumb as a box of rocks. Some people have an ability to muddle through problems and a sense of the water. Others need more help and training. And the rest... you can’t fix dumb.

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I resemble that remark! My cousin and I took off for the Bahamas from Florida in a 30' homebuilt Piver trimaran in '72, never having been out of sight of land, been in rough weather, or sailed at night. The boat was reasonably well built, but basic: a pretty aged 18hp Evinrude on a transom bracket, a compass and Ray Jeff RDF, but no radio of any kind. Ate a lot of rice, beans and fresh fish, drank warm beer. I was 22 and had sailed Opti's for a few years as a kid, he was 23 and had never done any sailing. So anyway, yeah, I'm one of those old f*ckers now. I believe part of the optimism of youth stems from natural agility, strength and resilience, typically coupled with blissful ignorance and little experience with seriously bad sh*t happening to you up to that point in your life. Pretty great feeling to flip the bird at naysayers and head out, scary as hell when things go pear shaped and you haven't a clue what to do.

Down here in the islands there are still some crazy kids doing it in clapped out little boats on shoestring budgets, but it's a lot tougher in a lot of ways. Most of the decent anchorages have hotels on shore, and/or regulated (rental) moorings. LOTS more guys in uniforms with guns and badges patrolling the waters. I could go on ad nauseum, but with all that I still continue to try to encourage the young folks that want to do it, mostly just counseling to manage the risks. 

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Slight thread drift but I do not get the mentality that you absolutely have to get a head start on a career at the age of twenty or something. I went to college on a Navy scholarship and that financial support was important enough in its own right but the prospect of going out and doing something crazy, exciting and maybe just a little dangerous was as big a factor in my choosing to go that route. Most of my friends in college pitied me because I was committing to six years post graduation and wouldn't be able to land that junior management trainee position in corporate America and begin accumulating the trappings they were so fixated upon. Of course, then the Vietnam thing came along and all of a sudden the same friends were banging on the door trying to get into an officer candidate program. As it turned out I had plenty of time after my service to position myself in a rewarding and worthwhile career and was probably better equipped for it.

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Okay, somebody's gotta be the gadfly on this subject. First, the world has totally changed since almost all of us were in our twenties. Let's arbitrarily draw a line at, say, the 1990s. Before then, when life was slower and simpler, many of us could take a year or two off and 'catch up' easily later on. Some just never lived a conventional career or life, but for those of us who have, we may have taken advantage of the GI bill or some other method of forgoing a conventional career start. Many of us have capital in the bank because we worked for companies who had retirement programs. But for the world that 20-year-olds face today, the outlook is bleaker. And in my mind, when the outlook is poorer, the smart thing to do is to start moving forward.

In today's world, the kid who shows up for a job interview  - let's say having taken a year off after completing his electrical engineering degree - is going to have one Hell of a time competing with the kids who have just graduated. I'll wager that's true in most of the western world right now. 

Yes, some of today's kids may be able to do pull it off. Especially if they have a family business to fall into, or some benefactor situation. But for the majority, I'd say it's bad advice to tell kids to take time off to 'find yourself.'  In order to afford a decent boat in the future, most of this young generation either will have had to scramble to get ahead , or will have inherited the money. 

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I made my statement based on the fact that many kids *today* are taking gap years, not based on what people my age were doing 30 years ago.

@Fintho, our hypothetical gap-yearer, is actually in an ideal position. He's almost done with Uni. He'll graduate and have his degree forever before taking a gap year.  I really don't think that ALL the job opportunities in his field will be snatched up while he takes a year off.

Employers seem to view gap years in two main ways:

1.  It's a good thing. This kid has real life experiences outside of school. The kid has settled their wanderlust and is ready to dig in and be a dedicated employee.

2. It's a bad thing. This kid spent a year goofing off while his peers went straight to work.

I think it would be more difficult if Fintho were gapping between high school and college but that's not the case here. I also don't think he needs a benefactor or wealthy parents to fund his jaunt. Living by your wits and working a shit job in a marina while you fix up your boat for the Big Stepoff is half the fun and a big motivator to find a good job after the gap year.

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11 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Employers seem to view gap years in two main ways:

1.  It's a good thing. This kid has real life experiences outside of school. The kid has settled their wanderlust and is ready to dig in and be a dedicated employee.

2. It's a bad thing. This kid spent a year goofing off while his peers went straight to work.

Thing is, (and of course this varies with the type of job being sought) there are quite a lot of tech and business degree jobs that are advertised nowadays where applications are done online. (For example look at the listings on Indeed or Glassdoor.)  When the initial sorting of applications is done and a company receives 1,000+ resumes, it's often done by computer rather than a human. And I'm doubtful that the kid with the gap year gets much of a chance in that case.

@Ajax I wasn't disagreeing with your post so much as making the point to all the posters here who are wistfully thinking "yes, wish I'd taken time off before career" that it's a very different time now. The mid-20th-century escalator to a middle class career is gone. Young people compete ever harder for top schools and jobs. Not sure our old worldviews offer a good crystal ball for todays 20-year-olds.

I realize that people's personalities and aspirations vary wildly, so there are no "answers" to this. 

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On 11/16/2020 at 7:15 AM, Elegua said:

We're told the unexamined life isn't worth living.....but less frequently that the un-lived life isn't worth examining. 

 

^^^This! (Hits way too close to home for me...)

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Not all gap year's are created equal. What did you do? All expenses paid trip from mom and dad and pulling bong-hits in an ashram, or did you do something interesting or where you were able to better square your shit away? 

3 minutes ago, Ajax said:

I'm glad to be on the downhill slope of my working life. Hopefully I'll live long enough to enjoy retirement.

Same. I'll be mighty pissed if all this planning was for naught! 

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On November 16, 2020 at 2:27 AM, dylan winter said:

 

there is plenty of proof on this forum that eejits can sail

Thank you. I'll take that as the compliment you surely intended.

The most frightening people to speak to are old men sitting on their boats in marinas or boat yards fettling and not sailing.  

And here you guys mock me for having a yard-maintained boat. When we get aboard, the boat has been fettled, and I have no excuses, so we go sailing. A 150 mile overnight on 15 minutes notice is nothing, the family is used to it, and so has no qualms about saying "I know we're at Roque, but I'd like to have dinner with Grandma in Rhode Island the day after tomorrow."

My wife is not tolerant of staying in our home port for long. She's been there before and already knows the sights and hikes. If we wanted to stay in one place we'd buy a house. Oh, wait, we already have a couple of those.  We tie up to a dock maybe 3-4 nights out of 2 months aboard each summer, usually during a race series. (We got a lovely little trophy in the mail yesterday, made by Reed & Barton, from the Castine Yacht Club, for performance in their wooden boat race last summer.)

No, the boat is for going places, seeing beautiful things that others can't. For meeting new people you wouldn't meet any other way. 

Our boat is aptly named. Restive. She gets quite uneasy if in one place for long. 

 

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25 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

And here you guys mock me for having a yard-maintained boat. When we get aboard, the boat has been fettled.

A luxury few can afford, I might venture to say, especially an audacious youth put off by going off sailing— even locally/regionally— because it seems out of reach to all but a few (which “the glossy sailing magazines” tend to suggest.

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An old saying, "A boat is safest when tied up in the harbor, but that's not what boats are for..."

If you have the spare time to do your own work and the knowledge to do it well, good for you! Just don't lost sight of the sailing itself being the goal.

If you have neither the time nor the knowledge (looking at myself here) then either be On The Hard, charter, or find someone to have your boat ready to go.

I suppose the third alternative is to trade up to a new boat every few years, but surely the option above is far more affordable than that.

When I get my next boat, and I shall, I will do some of the work myself just because I find it satisfying. But the rest will be taken care of professionally and my budget for the boat will have to reflect that reality.

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39 minutes ago, On The Hard said:

When I get my next boat, and I shall, I will do some of the work myself just because I find it satisfying.

Just enough work is satisfying and lends a sense of accomplishment and ownership. On the other hand, too much work is grinding (or is it the other way around?).  Yard are there for things that are hard or need to be done just right. Finding yards that don't eff everything up for $100/hr and understand your program, is harder than I thought possible. 

I've traded-in a wife, but not my boat. 

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5 hours ago, Ajax said:

I made my statement based on the fact that many kids *today* are taking gap years, not based on what people my age were doing 30 years ago.

@Fintho, our hypothetical gap-yearer, is actually in an ideal position. He's almost done with Uni. He'll graduate and have his degree forever before taking a gap year.  I really don't think that ALL the job opportunities in his field will be snatched up while he takes a year off.

Employers seem to view gap years in two main ways:

1.  It's a good thing. This kid has real life experiences outside of school. The kid has settled their wanderlust and is ready to dig in and be a dedicated employee.

2. It's a bad thing. This kid spent a year goofing off while his peers went straight to work.

I think it would be more difficult if Fintho were gapping between high school and college but that's not the case here. I also don't think he needs a benefactor or wealthy parents to fund his jaunt. Living by your wits and working a shit job in a marina while you fix up your boat for the Big Stepoff is half the fun and a big motivator to find a good job after the gap year.

Fingers crossed I can make it work! Maybe I need to find a hot girlfriend with huge knockers and set up a patreon and see you over on that page in cruising anarchy. Or I put in some hard work and get it done myself. 

I think most employers can see the hard work a sailor needs, and how those sorts of skills can be transferrable to the workplace.

Regardless, cheers for your thoughts

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On November 18, 2020 at 7:07 AM, Elegua said:

A gap year between HS and Uni was the smartest thing I ever did.  

 

Maybe not the smartest, but up there. The fall and summer in Newport made me a bitch ass sailor, the winter in Alta made me a bitch ass powder skier.

But college was where I met my girl. When I finished college, I couldn't wait to get to work. I was hungry. I wanted a nice boat.  

 

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2 hours ago, On The Hard said:

An old saying, "A boat is safest when tied up in the harbor, but that's not what boats are for..."

If you have the spare time to do your own work and the knowledge to do it well, good for you! Just don't lost sight of the sailing itself being the goal.

If you have neither the time nor the knowledge (looking at myself here) then either be On The Hard, charter, or find someone to have your boat ready to go.

I suppose the third alternative is to trade up to a new boat every few years, but surely the option above is far more affordable than that.

When I get my next boat, and I shall, I will do some of the work myself just because I find it satisfying. But the rest will be taken care of professionally and my budget for the boat will have to reflect that reality.


I think an audacious youth who would set out sailing must cultivate as many skills as possible.  I started out as hardly a youth when I bought a “real” boat (I grew up day sailing a 22 footer on the Potomac River south of Washington, DC), in my early 30s, but I knew precisely nothing mechanical or electrical.  My parents (mom and stepdad), a librarian and banking and financial legislative policy guru, were definitely not people who did things with their hands and taught me.  (So, thank Neptune my dad at least taught me to sail!)  I’ve been lucky over the years with good friends and friends of friends to be directly involved in a repower (I bought for $1000 a partially rebuilt engine that I later had fully rebuilt for cheap cheap, after doing all the disassembly and prep work.  (Someone on a forum, a diesel instructor for a school, once also walked me through a full head cylinder rebuild, day by day for weeks.)  I’m currently rebuilding my 40 year old Simpson Lawrence Seatiger 555 manual windlass (fingers crossed!) since it’s a damn good piece of gear and I’m lucky to have a friend with a machine shop for help. I’ve rebuilt my steering (and converted from wheel to tiller), replaced 10 portlights, and mostly rebuilt the boat, doing all my electrical, plumbing, woodwork and new propane installation, and installed a furler and completely rebuilt the head compartment.  Installed a wind generator and radar, but had to hire out the welding... will learn one day!  Slightly screwed up the radome install, but now I know!  Ham radio install  through advice here and many other places.   I recently built a small dive compressor and now do all my own underwater work (hull cleaning and zincs). Yeah, it’s a lot of time - but it feels good to know the boat very well.  I’m certainly no expert, but I started off knowing absolutely nothing.  You’ve got to be hungry and focused. :-).  Probably helps also to have a mentor, whether real in the flesh, or virtual (a book/author/idea).  I’ve had both.
 
Some audacious youth who’ve done stuff on their own, and sailed very far:
 
Wind Hippie sailing: 
 
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55 minutes ago, Cruisin Loser said:

Maybe not the smartest, but up there. The fall and summer in Newport made me a bitch ass sailor, the winter in Alta made me a bitch ass powder skier.

But college was where I met my girl. When I finished college, I couldn't wait to get to work. I was hungry. I wanted a nice boat.  

 

That sounds pretty smart. Funny how those experiences change the course of your whole life. 

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I remain convinced that with maybe ten thousand dollars up-front, you can get yourself a basically sound 1960's cruiser and set her up for coastal cruising for a LONG time..  Honestly...

A.) if the mast doesn't fall down...B.) if the keel doesn't fall off... C.) if the rudder doesn't fall off...D.) if you can figure out where you are...E.) if you have a freaking stout anchoring system F.) if you have a secure, warm place to sleep..G.) if you have a way to store and cook food. H.) if you have a place/way to store 5-10 gallons of water and I.) if you have a place/way to take a dump

Then you can go cruising for weeks or months. it would be really nice to be able to stand up inside the boat. it would also be nice to have a stupid-simple motoring system. And finally it would be nice to have a way to get the boat to steer itself.  A way to get to shore without swimming is also desirable.

Anything more than that is gravy, but not necessary.

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11 hours ago, Alan H said:

Then you can go cruising for weeks or months. it would be really nice to be able to stand up inside the boat. it would also be nice to have a stupid-simple motoring system. And finally it would be nice to have a way to get the boat to steer itself.  A way to get to shore without swimming is also desirable.

I think you just added another 10K with these amenities.

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On 12/3/2020 at 4:28 AM, Israel Hands said:

I think you just added another 10K with these amenities.

Ah but "nice" to stand up is not a requirement.  A used outboard motor on a bracket will work.  And as I'm learning, building a  trimb-tab-on-auxiliary-rudder self steering system is a challenge but not crazy hard.  Nesting plywood dinghy on the foredeck?  OK, add $500 for the used outboard. Add $500 for the materials and tools to build the trim-tab windvane. Add another $400 for the materials to build a nesting, 8 foot plywood dinghy.  Or for $400 you can buy a pretty solid Intex Mariner 3 inflatable doughnut boat.

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There's a Contessa 26 for sale on SF Bay Craigslist right now. They want $5k but I bet anything they'll take $4K.  There's no standing up inside that Contessa, but it will take you anywhere.

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1 hour ago, Alan H said:

There's a Contessa 26 for sale on SF Bay Craigslist right now. They want $5k but I bet anything they'll take $4K.  There's no standing up inside that Contessa, but it will take you anywhere.

Do you know where that listing is?  I just looked and couldn’t find it.  (Maybe it’s gone.)  Anyway, just curious to see the listing.

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1 hour ago, Alan H said:

Looks like it's been pulled or expired.  I don't see it either. I'm sure it'll be back next week, keep checking.

Give them a few days to pump it out and try and get the engine running and the uphostery kinda dry.

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7 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I’m just vaguely curious what a $5K asking price Contessa 26 looks like.

How about a 5K folkboat? https://victoria.craigslist.org/boa/d/esquimalt-26-international-folkboat-for/7231398328.html

Was eyeing this one but I've got 9 months left before I'm headed out west. 

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1 hour ago, Vaeredil said:

How about a 5K folkboat? https://victoria.craigslist.org/boa/d/esquimalt-26-international-folkboat-for/7231398328.html

Was eyeing this one but I've got 9 months left before I'm headed out west. 

I would actually love that boat - not that I need it!  

Inspired by the illustrious Michael Richey, inheritor of the Blondie Hasler’s famous folkboat, “Jester”, about which much has been written - a retirement project to keep a small, cheap, capable boat like this in the UK for summer forays out into the North Atlantic, maybe throw in an occasional Jester Challenge or two.  One bids adieu to their wife in June and tells her ‘see you in September, honey,’ flies to England, launches the folkboat, unrolls the sleeping bag on board, and is set for a cheap life of freedom all summer :-).  Wait a second, maybe this thread can include the audacity of age, as well as youth!

Michael Richey, audacious old man: https://www.soundingsonline.com/news/gentleman-sailor-master-navigator

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