Monday, October 10, 2011

Serial Boat Owners

Described as "Serial Boat Owners", our addiction was recently exposed in 'Lectronic Latitude 38. Our-not-so-secret-secret was picked up on Richard Spindler's radar in Santa Barbara last year just before we joined 170+ other Ha-Ha'ers headed to Baja. A year later in Cherry Cove at a dinner aboard Gilly and John's Catalina '42, Destiny, our boating conversation with the Wanderer passionately continued. A few days later we ran into him again near Discroll's in San Diego, we confirmed, "yes we really have owned 12 boats". 
Actually, its more like 15!
1985: Sarah aboard her Swan in Cap d'Antibes France
We confess, Richard hit the hammer on the nail; we are indeed "Serial Boat Owners" and it's time to name names. My list of boats starts with two lake sailers; a Lido 14 and Viva Yo, a Catalina 21 pop-top. A move to Morro Bay prompted a need for a coastal cruiser, an Islander 30 that delivered me safely from California through the Panama Canal up to Annapolis. As with most addictions, larger quantities are required with the passage of time. A 2 year stint in Saudi Arabia afforded me the luxury to "go bigger" with a Swan 371 in Cap d'Antibes. Named Kahuna, she carried me across the Atlantic, through the Caribbean, and back to the USA.  Hooked on Swans, the next boat was a Sparkman and Stephen's Swan 44 - a beautiful, sleek, fast tumblehome hull named, Blaze Away. We shared some good times in the Sea of Cortez, and one wild wet ride back to San Diego.
Kahuna and me in the Canary Islands 1985
When Darrell and I joined forces in 1996 he was living the bachelor life aboard his Cal 34, Sweet Dreams. His previous boats included a 12' home built sunfish, 16' home cat, a bright yellow Frans Mass he kept in Morro Bay, a trimaran he owned in Saipan, and Tita a 23 footer he sailed around the Santa Barbara Channel Islands. Our love for one another was enhanced by our shared passion for all things nautical. A few months later when we decided to hook-up permanently we moved to San Francisco Bay and sealed our fate with a vow to "walk the docks in search of the perfect boat until our topsiders were bare". We were on a roll. We headed straight to Willow Berm in the Delta to buy a drop-dead perfectly pristine 1956 Chris Craft Connie 46. Golden Girl was a classic with her sparkling white hull accented with high gloss mahogany. 
Golden Girl - 1997
She was a real head turner, but she wasn't a sailboat. So, we got a Capri 14 to sail around Pete's Harbor in Redwood City to satisfy our sailing juices, but it wasn't enough. San Francisco Bay in all its glory was calling us to reach across the slot then luff up in the warm shelter off the lee shore of Angel Island for lunch before tacking down Raccoon Straight with the Golden Gate in site as we screamed towards the city front. You know where I am going now, another boat. She was another S and S designed tumblehome, a Catalina 38, we named Sassy. She scooted across the Bay. Within a year we realized while she was a blast to sail, she was not our choice for long distance sailing. For one thing, there was not enough headroom in the galley for Darrell to comfortably do the dishes.

Tango at Potato Slough 2001
Our list of 10 necessities for a cruising boat led us to a Peterson 44 in need of a major refit. After 5 years and a boat load of greenbacks she morphed into very nice ride. With that project behind us, we sold our home and became permanent live-aboards.  Unfortunately, my need for “stuff” required more storage. Along came, El Tiburon, our current home, a Tayana 47. She is roomy and comfortable without sacrificing pleasing lines. She is a good looking girl who receives compliments wherever we park

El Tib gets a KKMI Spa Treatment

So now what? One thing is certain, we aren't done throwing money down the proverbial hole in the water. For sure the next dreamboat has to be a looker, but its a change we aren't ready to commit to, yet. So, while we continue to cruise El Tib in Mexico, we are busy formulating our next Necessities List. She's gotta have a centerline bed, loads of outside living space for warm waters, and room to carry a sailing pram for distant anchorages. It's a matter of timing, but we know the dark side awaits....just don't hold your breath.

El Tib's interior is just about as good as it gets       
For me, the beauty of boats lies not only in their lines, 
or their history,
but in their promise.
A Couple of Happy Serial Boat Owners
Our self-proclaimed mission is to make the world a better place, one boat at a time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you have had enough fun for now. Time to bring your people home Sparky. We miss you all!
    Frank & Mary