Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventures in Boat Shopping

As some of you know I have been on the hunt for my own boat. I am looking for a 25 footer that sits on a trailer. Mainly so I don't need to pay winter storage fees but also as this is the land of 10,000 or so lakes, and there are a few I would like to visit and sail on. So I began looking intently a while back and I have had some interesting results. 

Where the hell is this "Buyer's Market"?. No idea where this glut of boats are but I sure as hell can't find them. Granted with my parameters it does limit my options a bit. Mainly to Catalina and O' Day 25's but, there is not many out there for sale. Or at least that I can find. I thought I found a couple of great prospects but, one got sold on me and another over in Wisconsin I thought we had a deal worked out but now I can't get the phone answered or a call back. 

Very frustrating as a lot of prospects are far away and I am not sure if I want to drive for 12 hours or a couple of days to find something that isn't up to snuff. Like one I found down south that come to find out has a mysterious leak and the trailer tires may not be OK. Wow, really? 

I understand that some boats may need some work but, let's not waste each others time here.  I am open to doing work, not that big of a deal but, I am not paying $4K - $5K for a project boat. Just not going to happen. I want to know for sure that the boat I end up getting is the right one for me and the sailing I want to do. I know how much I want to spend and I realize I have gear to buy too so that is part of my overall budget. Hoping to keep it all under, well under would be nice but this is a boat after all, $10K.

Guess I was a bit naive to think this would be easier than this. Just going to keep on plugging along and hoping that I can find something before there is too much snow on the ground around here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Life Changes

Due to some life changes I have decided to make some edits to a few posts and remove one. Life has a way of doing that some times. I found this quote on a blog of a sailor, not sure even where now.... but, it is fitting

There comes a time in your life, when you'll walk away from all the drama and people who created it. You'll surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don't. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.

The boat shopping "adventure" has gotten a bit fluid. Crossing all that I can and hoping things work out......

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stepping up the single-handing

After my last two successful sails single-handed, never sure if that is one word, two words or hyphenated. Let's go hyphenated for this post... Anyway, after the last two sails on Nightcap I decide I would try single handing a larger boat. Yep, easier to sail as they can be more forgiving than a smaller boat but, a challenge to myself none-the-less. Adagio is a 28' O' Day sloop. She is the largest boat that the boat club has on Lake Minnetonka. Next from her is Strad, the 27' Pearson. Yep, that's the one that the infamous "gale" happened on and the jib got torn. As I have said before, possibly more on that event another time.

So I figured seeing as no one else had the boat reserved for a few days I would take advantage. I reserved Adagio for the Noon to 4pm slot on Friday September 30th, the Noon to 4pm & 4pm to sunset slots on Saturday October 1st, the 8am to Noon and Noon to 4pm slots on Sunday October 2nd, and finally the Noon to 4pm slot on Tuesday October 4th. Yeah, I used a little vacation time there. Oh and for those of you that are reading this blog in 2028, the year was 2011.... 

The winds were supposed to be between 12 &15kts on Friday and seeing as this was my first time to solo on Adagio, I decided to do it with just the main up only. There are no pics of Friday as the batteries in the camera were dead. It was pretty uneventful actually. I took my time figuring out how to get the thing out of the slip with a crosswind and not damaging anything. Rub rails are goooooood..... ;-) I sailed up the lake to the north end of Big Island and then back down again to Gideon Bay where I started. Took me a while as I only had the main out but, I got comfortable with the boat and that was the main idea. Got her back in the slip easier than I left too so all in all a good day on the lake.

Winds on Saturday were a bit lighter, nearing 10 but never going over 12. I got Adagio out of the slip pretty easily as the crosswinds were not as bad this time and headed out in the channel. I raised the main and sailed on just that for a few minutes and got my bearings with the boat. It was a damn fine day to be sailing. I sailed up the lake turned west and sailed the larger part of the lake for dang near 5 hours. Sailed with a boat that is next to Nightcap's slip. Kinda raced but I had 3 feet on him and more sail area..... It is true, you get a couple of boats near each other and one of you is gonna try to beat the other to some spot on the lake. I have pictures and a video from that day below. It was incredibly awesome, just me and the boat out on the water. I do wish I could have shared that day, and yes Sunday too but, that was not to be.I felt so "complete" when I got back in to the slip and had Adagio secured and the engine off. I had a snack or two, and a beer or two as well. Figured I earned them... what a day.... what.... a.... day...

Under Sail

View across the lake
Some Fall Color

The obligatory self-portrait....
End of the day

Sunset over the marina.

I arrived at the marina around 10ish I guess on Sunday, just hung out for a bit at home and seeing as I had the boat until 4pm I didn't rush. Much lighter air on Sunday, couldn't have gotten over 10 all day. But, me and some of the club racers from the marina and a beautiful Melges E Scow, I believe that's what it is, shared another wonderful day on the water. Check the pics and vid below for verification. Another great morning and afternoon sailing up and around the lake. Was turning in to quite the weekend. There were some gusts at times and I dealt with them nicely I think. Kept telling myself over the weekend not to be cocky, just confident and that worked very well. Got some help getting back in to the slip form the folks on "Oh Baby" next to me as those pesky crosswinds were piping up again as I came in.

Now that was a great weekend......

Melges E Scow

Morning Club Racing

Tuesday was pretty windy, didn't take many pics as I had to pay attention to sailing more than the scenery. I even pulled the jib in for a bit until the wind settled back down a bit then I took it out again, roller furlers rawk by the way, and sailed nicely "home" that afternoon..... Was pretty much just me out there... had the lake basically to myself. 

Yep, it's reefed.


That was a great string of sailing I put together somehow. Those of you that "get it" know what I mean when I talk about how incredibly satisfying it was to sail like that for those days. Even if I wasn't single-handing it, it would have been incredibly awesome. About as "Zen" as I could get.

From today on....
There are some more stories form this season yet to be told, some I may, some I may not. Who knows. One thing for certain is that this has been an interesting season of sailing for me. The last day is October 15th, forecast is for light winds and I have Nightcap reserved from Noon to 4pm. I sailed Adagio for the last time this season today, October 11th. Vid from that below, turned in to a Main only day after I shot that. Anyway, probably the last time I will sail Adagio as there is boat shopping going on for me too. Love the boat club but, it's time I had my own. More on that and season end and other tales and.... well, you know......