I am now comfortable with all types of boat repair, both major and minor. Electrical, mechanical, structural and cosmetic. I am now knowledgeable enough to look at a boat and determine its practicality, functionality and maintenance level. We are all more comfortable with sailing in a keel boat but would like to bring people sailing with us.
We needed more room and more boat to do that. I began our search about 18 months ago and my search was finally blessed by the Admiral about 6 months ago but not endorsed by the crew. That gave me a lot of opportunity in the first 12 months to narrow down the field privately. We had settled on the 34 to 36 foot range as a good target. #1 on the requirement list was that the boat could not smell like a boat. Much harder to achieve than you would think. Since I had rebuilt our boat it had no smell. No moldy, damp, rotting smell. Most boats we could afford were not so fortunate.
The #2 item on the list was a large state room preferable with an athwartship berth. Also very hard to find. The Catalina 34 MK I and MK II was the most successful in that design requirement. The #3 requirement is that the boat had to have character. That wiped out the Catalina 34 completely. #4 on the list was less than 5'-0" draft. #5 on the list was preferably a Yanmar engine. #6 on the list was some creature comforts like heat/AC/running water, etc. We finally accomplished most of the list. We satisfied 1,3,4 and 6. #2 could be achieved with a minor modification if we decide it is needed. I did not get a Yanmar but did get a rebuilt Westerbeke.
This past weekend əkwâr`ēəs sailed out of lives and I had our first sail on Integrity. A bitter sweet day to say the least. We have already had more guest on Integrity than we ever had on the other boat. I am sure I will get used to all the systems and as I fix/repair them I will gain confidence and appreciation for this new boat and new chapter.
s/v Integrity 1987 Pearson 39-2