We retired from our 30+ years teaching careers to go Sailing Somewhere Sometime. After nearly two years sailing the Gulf of Mexico coast and the Florida Keys we moved to Seattle to be Grandparents to our new Grandson. We have now been in Seattle just over Two years and are now planning the next phase of our retirement.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Our search for our Puget Sound Vessel took many twist and turns. Ultimately we focused on the Catalina 36 as being the vessel we wanted. There were a couple of other that we considered if we could find one that passed our test.We stepped on seven different C36's in the Puget Sound region from Anacortes to Tacoma. We made an offer on four from a 1987 to a 2004, but during the process each one was found to have a serious structural problem that we did not want to deal with. Boat shopping is usually a fun activity but due to the unusual Pacific Northwest boating environment this endeavor was turning into a lot of work.I turned my attention to California and continued the search. I found several on the market and decided to start this part of the hunt in the San Francisco Bay area. Emeryville is just across San Francisco Bay from San Francisco and just south of Oakland. Since we would be hunting long distance I planned a different strategy to try and limit the number of what could develop into a lot of expensive trips.
The Admiral and I had refined our ability to research vessels due to all the others that did not make the cut. We spent a lot of time researching and making sure we had all our questions answered from the owner before making our first trip to the Bay Area. I had the surveyors lined up and if the engine survey passed then the next day the C&V Surveyor would be employed. Even though this boat had some issues, they would not be insurmountable. I have resigned myself into thinking we could find a boat with minimal or no renovation to do after the sale. It is obvious in today's society many buy boats to use not to maintain. People use the boat and put them away without considering the things that one would consider preventive maintenance. Instead they just fix things when they break, or they just let certain things go if it does not stop the fun. They are mainly day sailors or weekend warriors racing. It is a valuable pastime that takes them away from their very busy daily professional lives.
I knew I could manage the things this vessel needed and it would not be near the type of restoration we did on our previous cruising vessel. The boat had a whole new set of very nice sails and all new rigging both standing and running. The only thing the deck needed was a new set of lifelines and some new cowl vents on the stern. There were about 12 leaks that would be pretty easy to fix and they already have been. The electronics would need updating and since we will live aboard for periods of time we will add a full enclosure for the cockpit. I think by summers end we will have it complete including the upgrades.
About the Name.
The previous name had a meaning only relevant to the previous owners. We do not take renaming lightly. Out of the four previous vessels we owned we only renamed one, also due to being a bit dark for us. The Admiral and I discussed several names but we just could not find one that worked for us. I was over at our Seattle family's home caring for our 3 year old grandson. I told him we were about to buy a sailboat and asked him what he would like to name it. Without hesitation he said SNOWBALL! Well I never heard of a boat named SNOWBALL, in fact I search the Coast Guard documentation records and not one came up. We had just had a real live Seattle winter and had a couple of mornings with significant snowfall which is unusual in Seattle.I was walking to a local drugstore one of those mornings and I could not resist making a snowball and throwing it against the wall of a building just for fun. When he said SNOWBALL I thought "What could possibly be wrong with SNOWBALL? Where is the downside to a SNOWBALL? There is none. A SNOWBALL is 100% FUN! I felt that we now had a name. Lynn and I tried one more time to agree on a name, we wrote down several options and it was obvious, SNOWBALL was going to be sailing the Salish Sea.
Welcome to Puget Sound and Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island, WA SNOWBALL!