Monthly Archives: May 2016

Buying a Boat: daunting, but fabulous

Let’s see, where do I start to tell this tale of how I came to own a boat. Not just any boat, but a big one. My first would be a 47 foot, 25 foot beam, 71 foot mast catamaran. It began with romance as many good tales do. I met Michael in 2010, several years after I lost my husband, Mike, to cancer. As my grief faded, I began to say yes to life again.

Michael lived in a townhouse with a boat dock, a Cape Dory 30 and a charming cat, Max. Now, I am a 4th generation California girl, love the water, swimming, the mystery and allure of the ocean, but had been sailing less than one hand worth. Not long in (perhaps 2nd date) Michael shared with me his lifelong dream of going cruising. Wow, I never heard of this, didn’t know people did this sort of thing. I cheered him on.  I’m all for dreams and going for it— or at least cheering on others to do so. Not knowing where our relationship would go yet, I still encouraged this dream of his. As our courtship blossomed, the dream of a cruising adventure became mine too, still barely knowing what a halyard did. Next thing I know, I’m taking sailing lessons, with bruises to prove it, in the “slot”; my vacation days revolved around visits to marinas, walking on potential cruising vessels found on Yacht World (yachts are for the rich & famous, no?). I’m intrigued and excited. Sharing this adventure captured me. I am a romantic, but still I had fearful moments of Whoa- I don’t know how to sail, what am I doing? my god, I took my first sailing lesson on a dingy with a sail on Lake Merritt in Oakland. Michael was impressed with my initiative, but I cautioned, “Lake Merritt is not the South Pacific”. But, we all start somewhere, even at 50.

Fast forward – we were in love, engaged to marry, we settled on Catamarans versus Monohulls, we found New Moon after another deal fell through. We flew to Tacoma to meet her and the owners, Dean & Deanna, and were charmed by both. I slept restlessly, before the sea trial. New Moon was big and I’m not. There were so many ropes labeled in French; the brokers, the owners, Michael, all were talking and I was swirling amidst the boat linguistics. Deanna, well meaning, was talking about how to water the batteries and how to flush the toilet and how to manage the big ball fender when docking – and I’m thinking -WHAAAT,  while smiling confidently -“yes, of course.” I’m sure I looked as shell shocked as I felt, as much as I tried to fake it. Still,I knew that I wanted this boat and the adventure and believed that it would work out. I believed in saying yes to this, when perhaps logic would have said, I don’t think so. Soon, my shell shocked gaze was replaced with a knowing grin.  She’s now called Footloose and me too. We are cutting the dock lines on August 1 2016.  Let’s go.