It’s Monday and it couldn’t come soon enough. I was thinking about this post most of the weekend. How would I transition from the last post and the emotions of the last week, to the emotions of this week and beyond?
With that in mind, we’ll do it together. Gracefully, respectfully… I turn the page and focus forward.
We spent the weekend packing the house. It’s quite funny because we were done in about 3 hrs. See, we’ve donated and/or sold almost all the furniture and we’re just waiting for it to be picked up. We’ve given or donated several loads of clothing to Goodwill and friends and yesterday we made a run to McKay’s Book Store here in Nashville. They just opened a new three-hundred thousand square foot wear house. They sell used books, cd’s, dvd’s… well, you know the type store. As we packed Saturday we loaded up our itunes with all the cd’s we could handle before tossing them in as well. All told, we got a paltry $86.00 for our efforts and a $10.00 store credit. BUT… that wasn’t the point was it? We got rid of a ton of stuff and still made enough money to grab a couple bottles of wine and some dinner. I couldn’t think of a more perfect exodus for that copy of “Men Are From Mars and Women From Venus” that I’ll never crack the spine on!
This coming weekend, March 17th… St. Patty’s Day… we’ll be heading to Naples, Florida to look at a Cal 35. That’s a sailboat. We have pretty much decided this is the perfect boat for us at the moment. As every sailor knows, every boat is a combination of compromises. One has great sailing abilities but an exposed cock-pit. One has shallow draft but feels dark and cramped inside. Another will have all the creature comforts of home but sails like a dinner plate. That’s a bad thing. And the most important one for us right now… which one fits in the budget? Money… You never want to sacrifice and buy a shitty boat just because it’s cheap. You’ll find one night, while you try to sleep in a blustery storm, drops of water caressing your forehead through that leaky hatch you saved ten grand on. That will almost guarantee you and your lovely will be land-lubbers in no time at all.
The Cal 35 fits our criteria, and let me stress “our criteria” once again. Everyone will have different needs or requirements when they pick their boats. Just read a few forum’s and you’ll get mind numbing assessments of facts and figures, capsize ratios, balance to displacement, righting moment equations, comfort factors and so on. At long last, you’ll just have to know what you want. For me… I need a boat that sails well. She has to go to weather with a measure of confidence. She has to be well built with less than six feet of draft. She has to come from one of a handful of designers that I hold in high esteem. Sparkman & Stevens, Ted Hood, Bill Shaw, Carl Alberg and Bill Lapworth are just a few. The latter being the designer of the Cal 35. Bill Lapworth designed several Cal boats and early on changed the sailing world with the wave churning Cal 40. A legendary boat if ever there was one. So, without getting all technical on you… We searched for the last two years for our “next boat” and if you’re talking about under 50k, there are few as good with the reputation to boot.
She is sea-worthy, fast and has very nice accommodation’s down below. She’s got a nice safe galley, navigation station, 6′-3″ of headroom and… a separate shower stall. That was the selling point for my lovely girl Melody. Few things are more important after a day in the salty air than feeling fresh and clean. A shower, albeit not a glamorous one, makes you feel 100% human. She’s got a lovely v-berth and quarter berth with tons of storage. Another plus for Mel, secret squirrel as I like to call her. That girl can stow some stuff away… I’ll have to make diagram’s with “circle’s and arrows on the back of each one” (Arlo Guthrie reference there) just to be able to find the soap! Her mast height is a little taller than I’d like at 54′ but like I said, trade-offs…
We’ve seen one in Panama City which had some nice canvas and a cool layout but had a lot more use on it. We’re going to see this one before we pull the trigger just to have that piece of mind. Ideally, I would like to not have a “Florida Boat” since they spend so much time getting pounded by the sun… but hey, if it’s been taken care of… with a good clean survey… it is what it is.
So there, I think we’ve made a nice, clean and graceful transition here. A technical, dissertation on a boat and the why-to’s and where-fore’s of our mindset. Non-offensive. Nothing too heavy or thought provoking. No deep quotes from Emerson or Twain. Nothing to ponder. Just a nice, warm piece of dough that you can chew on until I wax poetic or have a momentary lapse of reason once again. Rest assured dear friends and followers… it will happen. It will happen.