Saturday, August 18, 2018
Life is not static, it is dynamic. We knew changing continents would be difficult. We’ve done it before, many times in fact.
First Mate was the priority this time, not the Skipper. So we moved overseas and left s/v Nautica in her berth at our Sailing Club in South Carolina under the careful supervision of Chef-Skipper. He and his family continue to enjoy sailing this classic.
Funny how there are so many boats and skippers in the world. They are everywhere. Just the other weekend we drove over to Lake Garda, this Pleistocene, i.e. “ice age,” type of lake with steep mountain walls falling down into icy dark waters, and found there, boats. Many boats, of all sizes and ages and conditions in all sorts of berths and harbors. And it was so funny to see the nice ones, the cute colored ones and the really ugly ones nestled in together, some wasting their lives away in an aquatically gorgeous environment without any hope of being part of it. Life, like lakes, is dynamic and in between life’s movement are those other parts of life which are stuck. Boats that rarely move. Boats that simply clink and clank in the breeze waiting patiently for their owners to show up!
We’re not stuck, we’re very engaged and active. And our Nautica is not a static part of life either, she was designed to be in and on, lapping and dancing on the water. We were so glad to have found her up in Nova Scotia as early as we did as she had come to the end of her sailing days in that region. The past couple of years of intense work and revitalizing has made her a star on the water. One yacht club member told me, “whenever I bring someone to the club I show them your boat first, because it is the most beautiful boat in the club.” He told me this before I departed for Italy. I knew looking at her graceful lines did something to me when I showed up too, but had no idea she was flirting with others!
Our situation has turned in another direction and the First Mate and I realize she deserves more play-time than we thought. Or, maybe it’s that we’re too concerned about not being around to fiddle with her. Oh well, not too sure. We’ve got a great stand-in skipper caring for her, but we know that when you don’t have enough time, you miss getting things done aboard you want done. And when you don’t have any time you miss getting anything done. We don’t have time at all for Nautica. It wakes me up at night.
I thought I could do it. I’d not think about her. Keep busy enough and it won’t bother you…well, that’s not working. How do I forget about how she slides through the water on a near windless day at 4 knots and how she leans over and runs in 25 knot gusts and a beating hail of rain. And in the end, she trots back to her berth like a race horse full of herself for a fast run in muddy track.
So, she’s on the market. I had hinted at this some months back, but this time it’s true.
And, like the original “BaggyWrinkles,” my Cape Dory Typhoon which started the blog, Nautica is a thoroughbred Alberg design. All Alberg, from the original pegboard on the bulkhead, to the faithful little Yanmar diesel with her new stainless steel shaft and high tech PSS shaft seal and her vintage brass 3 blade prop. I did not rebuild or completely refurbish this Alberg, I improved upon what I had. I wanted to keep that “period” look she had. Oh sure, I had fully intended to replace the pegboards with fir slats, but life is dynamic, and I had to relent on that. The head I did refurbish with its portable that was cobbled together by a previous owner, and I added some accoutrements to accent her nicely. I did the reinforcement work on the chain plates but did not improve when something was working. Hers were all fine, just need better bolts and new metal. Everywhere, things were redone without trying to make her look like a new boat, rather, she looks her age but has great bones!
When I had West Marine remanufacture her lifelines I insisted that if the pelican clamps were structurally sound that I preferred the originals to a bright shiny new device. Keeps her looking her age. I’m very proud that when I’m on the water people look over, wave and nod their heads out of respect for her design knowing she came from another time, another idea, and lines that never tire the eyes. I realize there are other people like me, probably worse than me, who love their boats more than they like sleep, and those who never hesitate to spend more money on their boats than eating. It’s love. That’s all. And a bit of obsession along with it. They go well together.
It’s because of that it’s never a good idea to ask someone how much they want for their boat! Well, they’ll tell you, “Well I can’t put a price on her…,” or “She’s worth a million to me!” or “Well I bought her for 10k and I’ve put about 10k into her, so I’d say about 30k, what do you think?” It’s monkey math but there’s something to it. I know that when I sold my Typhoon, I did not recoup what I had put into her. First Mate and I talked about this silly tendency to want to recoup upgrades and maintenance monies, it’s just silly. If I were to tally up all the visits I’ve made to BMW over the past ten years to the price of a used car, it’d make sense to just go get a new one! They’re used because they’re cheaper in price!
So, we know pricing is more an estimation of how much you want to put into the dowry, not how much something is worth by way of cumulative maintenance. It doesn’t work in that way. But we all who treasure our rigs do honestly think that way.
All sailors look at boat pricings.
Have you seen the sellers who list their items on fore sale pages? Alongside the shrouds, or sails or whatever part they put NEW in capital letters but that was in 1998 when it was NEW. I laugh at those lists. Nothing is new if you’ve sailed it and had it for 30 days. It’s not about the stuff you put in it unless it’s brand new from the factory. We bought a new Beneteau years ago and walked the factory floor and saw it before it was put in the dunk tank to check for leaks. It was NEW. That’s the NEW part. Most of our old boats may have some NEW parts but they’re just recent additions to the boat which is, not NEW.
Well, as I said, she’s on the market to the degree that if the right suitor comes along, I would entertain the discussion. In the meantime I have my eyes on a plane ticket for home during which time Nautica and I will get out on the water together and stretch our legs again. And we just won’t talk about how long it’s been!