Thursday, March 22, 2018

We Should Buy a Boat

If all goes well, next week we should be the proud owners of a 25-foot Yamaha sailboat!

It's amazing to me how much Twitter and Facebook have siphoned off what I otherwise would have probably consolidated into longer blog posts. But really, I miss the more "coherent" nature of a post here — especially when I can use my Neo N2 smartpen that my mom bought as a gift to replace my clunker, less reliable Livescribe. :)

Anyway! Rather than "catch up" on all that's been going on in my life since I last blogged (returned from my year in Mexico, new job at Pivotal Labs, remodel continues apace)... I'm going to jump right into the exciting thing going on right now:


We are in the final stages of buying a sailboat! The survey happens next Wednesday, and if the surveyor finds nothing egregious, we'll be exchanging money for boat! I might be excited. :)

She's a Yamaha 25II, built in 1977. So a rather small boat, really, but plenty of space for a couple to do daysailing and short trips, plus space to bring a friend or two along if they don't mind being cozy. Her lines are well-laid out, all coming back to the cockpit where you can reach everything you need to control without having to scramble all around (as you have to on some bigger boats). Other advantages of a smaller boat: the physical forces generated by the sails are less, so some things you can have a chance of manhandling when necessary, and it's less likely to hurt you quite as badly if things go wrong. (But things can still hurt you even on a small boat; you still gotta pay attention!)

Finally, a 25' boat turns out to be significantly cheaper than even ones a few feet longer. Drew* says the price can really jump even for a 31' boat. But we spent more on a then-13-year-old Toyota Tacoma pickup truck than the purchase price of the Yamaha. (Double, actually, if I do the math!) Her sails will need replacing soon-ish — the genoa is the original 1977 sail! — but they're in usable shape for daysailing right now. And the seller's asking price is substantially less than what other Yamahas have sold for... just about the cost of a new set of sails, in fact. ;) so that seems fair to us, plus we get to pick out the characteristics we want in the new sails.

I've only taken a 2-weekend sailing "class" (I found the instruction disappointing) in tiny FJ's back in 2016, and have been out as mostly a passenger (rather than crew) on the Yamaha's test sail and on a club's Catalina 24'. I'm scheduled to take a weekend ASA Keelboats 101 class at the end of April, but really I've done practically no sailing yet. So yeah, it might seem a little crazy that we're buying a boat "so soon."

But really, Drew is the one buying the boat, and sailboats are anything but new to him. He grew up on a different Yamaha 25' before his family moved into a larger Jeanneau 45'. While I was taking my little FJ classes, he was more seriously getting back into sailing. While I was in Mexico, he was joining friends for day sails and Duck Dodges. He'd made a Craigslist alert for Yamaha sailboats and been keeping an eye on how often they came up for sale, in what condition, and for how much. So when he saw this Yamaha in nearby Tacoma, we went to see it.

I've been enjoying learning how to sail. It's like a whole new language of nautical terms, so that appeals to the language nerd in me. There's a whole new welcoming community of sailors that I didn't know existed. There's lots of hands-on skills to practice, master, and geek out about. And I'm just plain excited to have new adventures to share with Drew.

Hopefully by this time next week, we'll be working out the logistics of transferring the boat to our ownership! :D

*Forrest is going by Drew now (it's one of his middle names).