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Sea Pearl Buying

I will remember 2007 as the year of frustration. Work, family illnesses and other priorities took it's toll on my sailing lifestyle. I couldn't seem to find time to sail my beloved Capri 18. Launching it takes a full 45 minutes after arrival at the ramp, and I just wasn't able to get out for just a couple of hours which is all I had time for.

I think my wife recognized my frustration, and knows how much I love sailing. She asked my what boat would work for our situation, and I almost thought it didn't exist. Every sailboat I have ever owned had required a commitment to set up of at least a half a hour. I'd always been drawn to those Sea Pearl Ads in Small Craft Advisor (a must read for small boat sailors). Once back in the days of my beloved Snipe, one of hem passed me, and I remember thinking "what a salty looking boat, that thing is fast.".

*And fast is good. I was listening to NPR one time and they had an interview with Richard Petty, the former NASCAR driver. I'm not much of a NASCAR fan, but he said something that made me laugh. The interviewer asked when the first car race was and he said deadpan "When the second car was made". I think sailboats are like that. Every time I've ever been out in a sailboat, and another boat is anywhere near, it's inevitable that the boats will  check each others speed. Having a faster boat was something I desired. Hey...I am a little competitive.

And fast setup in a boat I could fit in my garage seemed like a good idea as well.

So I thought I'd look for a Sea Pearl. You can read all about these wonderful boats on the manufacturers web page. A new one was out of the question financially*. I joined the Sea Pearl Users Group (all the nutty Sea Pearl owners hang out here) on Yahoo to learn a little more about them, and one of the first messages was that there was a Sea Pearl for sale near Hamilton, Ontario for what appeared to be a reasonable price. I went back and read all the archives and learned as much as I could (those guys know a lot), and I made arrangements to go look at the boat.

*If I knew then what I knew now, I might have just ordered a new one from Marine Concepts. These boats command high used prices and a new one is a serious bargain considering how versatile they are.

My daughter Helen and I went and met the sellers, and not only did I really like the boat, the sellers were really nice, and honest, and for the first time ever in my life, I didn't try to haggle over price, I just bought the boat. I was smitten, or as they say, I was in deep smit.

The picture here is of the Jenkins, great people who claimed were too old for the boat, but I can only hope I'm that spry when I'm there age. Getting the boat across the border was no easy task, and buying a boat in a foreign country is a bad idea*, but in the end, it worked out.

*(lots of paperwork, dealing with both Canadian and US customs, etc)

Wild Cat - How she got here name.

My daughter Helen is nine years old, and both smart and beautiful. She reads non-stop. I had read the book Swallows and Amazons when I was a kid, but I couldn't remember the name of it. With a little help from the trailersailors.com folks, I was able to locate the book, and I found out there was a whole series from Arthur Ransome, the Author. These are great books, about the adventures of children back in England in the 30's and 40's. In one of the books, Peter Duck, the kids, Uncle Jim and the old man Peter Duck sail a yacht from England to the Caribbean. The name of the boat is the Wild Cat. Helen suggested it, and it just fit. Hopefully we'll have our own excellent family adventures in our Wild Cat.

I Really Like this Sailboat!

After owning this boat for a year and a half, the novelty hasn't worn off. I really like this boat. Great attribute include:

  • Performance. It's a fun fast boat.

  • Seaworthy. My confidence is growing with every sail. The roller furling and ballast tanks are just flat out nice.

  • Easy Set-up. Going sailing for a few hours is now a reality.

  • Shallow draft. I had a Hershoff Bullseye following me in Sodus Bay. When I cut between the islands in about what looked to be about a foot of water, I shook him.

  • Simplicity. There is something about minimal controls, lightweight blocks, and the liveliness of small boats that is missing in big boats. You know what I'm talking about.....right?

 

 

This site was last updated 12/16/08