Baggy Wrinkles

Baggy Wrinkles
S/V Nautica, Hull #614, Built at Whitby Boatworks Ltd., Ontario, Canada 1977, one of the most recognizeable Carl Alberg designs. A masthead sloop displacing 9000 lbs, keel hull, Yanmar 15 hp diesel, LOA 30.27 Beam 8.75, Draft 4.29, roller furling headsail, tiller, berths for 4, interior teak bulkheads, teak cap rail and cockpit teak coamings, 12 volt lighting, aluminum mast support, Harken self tailing winches, in its day was designed for customers as a Cruiser-Racer, the Alberg 30 remains a Classic design of the large Alberg inventory.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

I am constantly looking at sailboats for sale on the market.  It's a habit of mine.  But not without reason.  

There's always the live-aboard boat dream which seems to dwell within, a sort of Quixotic condition that effects me, I mean us, with that lure of the sea.  And I include "you" because you probably also have this problem if you're following this.  The best remedy for this chronic condition is to shop for a boat that you will not purchase today, or tomorrow, but in a distant time when less wittingly you will cast your cautions like useless deck lines to shore, and drift out onto the pleasant waters of a time and place impervious to the hectic nonsense of today and resistant to the nonsensical digital flotsam.  A place where you can instead breathe easy and be left alone on your yacht, your world.  A place where you are in control and you can say "be-damned" to the urgencies of the digital monolith and respond only to your wishes and the winds' whimsical attitudes.

Your mind has this all worked out of course.  It's putting it to paper that becomes the reality therapy that causes me to shop.  Shopping delays this fantasy while it also lures me to look.  Yet your daily to-do list keeps you tied to shore and your sensibilities have a tendency to kick-in when your fantasies grow monstrously, scrolling through listing photos of bronze and teak, brilliant under-way glimpses of the yacht you will command, one day, or so you imagine... 

The price of used sailboats varies drastically.  It is also remarkably outrageous how much certain folks are asking for what they have as if they are somehow trying to recoup their personal attachment rather than trying to be frank about the value of their vessel.

So, I did a test of this on sailboatlistings.com and decided to look at Hinckleys, a veritable standard of fine vessels.  You can begin at nearly 1 million dollars for an 1980's 60 footer and drop to 100k for a 30 some-footer of the same builder, there were only 17 listings.  Each vessel however, had its ups and downs, as these vessels are a combination of solid manufacturing and the ordinary wear and tear of a life on and near the water.  Some owners care and others are those who couldn't care, and still others are those who might not have the energy left to care and so the boat listings languish over the weeks, months, years!

Makes me smile and be happy that I'm sailing a Cape Dory which doesn't cost me a fortune nor require a fortune to sustain.  However, if you do the same search for Cape Dory Typhoons on that site, you will find the same disparity of pricing of 31 similar Typhoons, from 22k to 2k.  It is interesting that due to their quality of build that these boats are still available.  They do wear in weather.  And some of the Typhoons listed are in pretty dour condition while others are in stellar condition, at least on the outside!  Like their bigger brother, the Hinkley, it is a good idea to look underneath the deck to see the state of affairs and make sure of the seaworthiness of a potential purchase.

Hull #729, circa 1974 photo taken in 2015
Yet in the end, I am happy to own one of these little buggers for its place in history and its lure on the water.  Like more famous and fast designs, it has its niche and appeal to a certain kind of buyer for a certain kind of sailing.  It's not fast, doesn't point well, and requires updating the varnish all the time, and it rewards its owners with classic lines on the water appearing as something which might have time traveled in order to catch your eye.

Nonetheless, I'll keep perusing the used sailboats' market to see how the hulls are doing despite a market in which anyone can find most any sailboat of most any style, length, price, and fantasy.  Meanwhile, this one sails just right!