Monday, August 16, 2010

Dream the Dream

This is a Island Packet 38, has the room of a 40' and their owners love them.
This is a Vagabond 42, a great one came up for sale and if it had been a little later this might have been the boat.

This is our friends Bill and Pam's 42 Passport, the closet one I could find for sale was up in New York. this is a go anywhere safe boat..Incredible experience with them crossing the Gulf from Corpus to Pensacola.

This is a Pacific Seacraft 40, if we could have afforded it this would be ours for sure. No other boat impressed me as much as a PS40.

When I was not sailing I was reading everything I could find about sailing, cruising, navigation, electronics, and maintenance / repair of boats. I subscribed to 4-5 sail magazines for years and read them all cover to cover. As all boat owners know you can't find the everything boat so you have to figure out how your going to use it and write a prescription to fill the need. is a great place to just cruise all the possibilities and vicariously explore all kinds of fantasies. We had owned our C30 for two years and retirement was coming for us soon. I began the search for our Ultimate cruising boat. The C30 was a great school in boat repair and restoration so I knew I could find a boat that was structurally sound and complete any necessary restoration myself allowing us to buy more boat for the money. But it had to be the RIGHT boat, we could not afford to make an error in choice as it could be costly in both money and time. I started by creating a spreadsheet and by using the data on yachtworld I added over 60 different yachts to the spreadsheet and quickly began to gain an insight to the characteristics that would be desirable and those that would not be desirable in a Blue water cruising sailboat. I began to sort the boats and created a top ten list and as I learned more about sailboat design I would move the undesirables to the bottom of the list and note the reason why. We were fortunate to live near the Houston-Clear Lake area where the 3rd largest collection of recreational vessels in the US were moored, sold and traded. Lynn & I began to make regular weekend trips to Kemah where we put our broker Kent Little through the long search for a boat that would meet our specifications, it had to be at least a 38 and no bigger than a 44 footer. This all had to do with space and what I believed would be the limit in the practical size of boat a retiring baby boomer couple could handle. I am not sure how many boats we stepped on but we continued going to Kemah for two years putting Kent through the paces. I read two books that helped to narrow the list to a top eight, The complete guide to Cruising boats by Marshall and Sailboat Design I & II by Robert Perry. Certain design ratios became the center piece on my spreadsheet for comparison: Capsize Ratio, Comfort ratio, Sail area/Displacement ratio, and Displacement/Length Ratio. On one of our latter visits to Kemah we were over by the Higgens/Smyth docks and we were just leaving after spending a couple of hours looking at a couple of boats there. As we were walking back to our cars Kent stopped on the docks and said, "You know I just sold this boat to this couple and it might be what you are looking for, I know the couple would not mind if we stepped aboard and take a look". I immediately declined since the boat was not on the list, but Lynn said she wanted to see it so we interrupted the retired Coast Guard Captain & his admiral. They were very nice and we just spent 10 or so minutes aboard looking around, I really did not want to interrupt someone who had just bought their dream so I cut our look short. But when we got back to Austin I started researching the 42' Endeavour Center Cockpit. It made the top nine list. Above are a few of the boats that made the top 9.

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