Saturday, August 7, 2010

“Hey You!” the Hop Boat

IN three years we learned all we could from our friends at Hill Country Yacht Club at Canyon Lake. We had our ASA 101 basic sailing certification earned at the Corpus Christi sailing Center taught by Captain John Lillard who has some notoriety in the Coastal Bend area and beyond. At the end of the course Captain John said " you two just might make it". We had several races, and regattas with some 3rd, 2nd, and 1st place hardware from racing in the Cruisers Class at HCYC. And of course the Bare boat charter experience in the US/British
virgin islands. It was time to move on to a larger boat, and as everyone who knows boats, just 2' in length can make a big difference in the size of the vessel. So I thought 3' longer would do since boats in this range have an inboard diesel, plumbing, more electrical systems both AC and DC, navigation instruments, and in Texas you must have Air Conditioning. So we started shopping in the Kemah area for a 28'. We started out with one broker located in the Kemah Marina who just did not seem to understand what we wanted as he continued to show us boats in the 34' to 38' range. Our friend Jerry at HCYC suggested we we call Kent Little at SeaLake Yachts who had sold them their 32' Beneteau "Bull Market" We called him up and we spent at least three weekends with Kent looking for the 28 footer. Kent showed us a Catalina 30 that Lynn liked. Lynn rationalized that I should consider a bigger boat if I was really serious about all this as it would stimulate the learning curve. So I thought Yeah! and made a 30' the target. We shopped over 20 C30's and a few other 30's all across Texas. Two C30's made it to the top of the list, one tall rig at Lake Texhoma and a standard rig in Kemah., the C30 in Kemah won due to having air conditioning and a brand new 27 hp Westerbeke diesel.
Buying boats is not easy since it always is a 3V1 deal. The Broker, the shipyard, and the surveyor all make their living in the same bed. They are all selling you the boat so you have to be as vigilant as possible... but you are almost always at a disadvantage. Evn though we had a minor issue just prior to closing the deal (the boat took on a foot of water due to a leaky stuffing box and not being connected to shore power at the ship yard so the batteries ran out and the bilge pump stopped). Did I say Minor? SeaLake Yachts promised to make it all good and do any necessary repairs even after there were any issues after we trucked the boat to lake Travis if necessary. So we jumped off the cliff, I took the boat out with Captain Bill for the sea trial. Lynn stayed on land since I was still in a mood over the flooding issue. It was blowing 20+ knots that day, I insisted on putting out all the sails to make sure the rigging could hold up to the task. the boat took off and sailed beautifully in the windy short chop of Galveston Bay...I was sold. As we were coning back in the channel by the boardwalk in Kemah, Lynn hollered out "Hey You!", so hence the name Hey You! Lynn said this is our Hop Boat, it will help us get to where we are going. Hey You! proved to be just that as we learned from her how to maintain, fix, repair, upgrade, and restore an old boat to Bristol condition. We moored the boat on Lake Travis since it was just 30 minutes drive from home. We spent most weekends on her and I could easily go out after work 2-3 times a week for a single handed sail. This was truly our hop boat as learned how to fix & maintain refrigeration, air conditioning, diesel engine fuel & electrical systems, plumbing, marine heads, running and standing rigging, marine batteries and 12 volt electrical, remove, clean, repair deck hardware and re-bed, sand and re-finish bright work, service winches, and service, repair or replace electronics at the helm or the top of the mast.


  1. Steve and Lynn,
    My husband and I are the new (and very proud) owners of Hey You! on Lake Texoma. We are currently learning about how to make sail covers and biminis. We also have dreams of sailing away in our retirement (still a few years away) and love your thought of a "hop boat" since we are also learning about diesel engines and all the other things our prior boat (a Catalina 25) didn't have. We wanted you to know that Hey You! is being maintained and cared for. We just returned from a 4 day sailing weekend on her and loved every minute of it.

    We have enjoyed reading about your current adventures and your experiences with Hey You! and wish you both all the best.

    Brady and Shalene Shuler

    1. Shalene, I just read your comment and it made my day! Somehow keep us posted on your sailng fun, you can find us on face book as Steve Steakley. Cheers⛵️