Sunday, June 27, 2010

Let's have a go

It's my second day with the boat, and my buddy Ryan and I, stoked on being sailors now--and a little disappointed with our demonstrated sailing ability yesterday--are hitting the water again.

This time, I've re-read key parts of some of my sailing books and I'm pretty sure we're gonna fly this time. Let's go.

After motoring out into the middle of the bay, I point into the wind and we get started. Mainsail up (boy, that electric winch is handy!) . Check. Boom free. Check. turn 90 degrees to wind. Check. Sheet in mainsail until...shit! We're moving! The engine is off and look at that--3 knots. Woo Woo! This is easy...

Stoked, but still a little unsatisfied, we decided to unroll (furl, whatever) the jib and have a go with that thing. I chose a winch, put a couple of [clockwise] turns on it and let Ryan crank away. The jib--genoa, apparently--isn't even all the way unfurled and we're already noticeably accelerating. Nice!

Headsail fully unfurled and sheeted in somewhat appropriately and making nearly 7 knots, we celebrate thoroughly happy with ourselves and with the fact that we are such superb sailors.

Our celebration is short-lived, though, since we quickly run out of water and need to come about before we end up on the rocks. We've never had to do this before, but no problem. I start to turn, he releases the working sheet, and starts hauling in the lazy one. Voila! Now we are sailing the other way. Damn, this sailing thing seems pretty easy.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trust me, it'll fit!

Well, I managed to acquire a slip just in time to take delivery. It was a bit of a rush because I was stoked and wanted to bring the boat home as soon as possible. Sooner, actually.

I ended up in a marina that was not my first, second, or third choice, but it's in a good location, has decent amenities, gave me a sweet discount, and is very close to an excellent bar (very important). Oh yeah, and they had a liveaboard slip available. (Fun Fact: San Diego only allows 10% of any marina's slips to be liveaboards)

I brought a buddy along to handle lines and we drove down to pick up the boat. The previous owner was there and was understandably pretty sad to see her go as she had owned her for 25 years. The previous owner was also a little concerned with the fact that neither my buddy or I was much of a sailor, but it's my boat now, so let's go.

Getting underway was easy and uneventful, i.e., good, and soon we were out in the bay on our way to my new slip. Since we had plenty of time, we decided that we might as well put the sails up and have a go at actually sailing.

We got the sails up, then looked at each other and asked, "Now what?" We weren't going anywhere, the sails were just flapping, and we certainly weren't heeled over and dipping a rail in the water. After a bit of steering around, the sails finally tightened and we started making some headway--just under a knot. Obviously we were doing something wrong, or at least not doing something right, so we eventually brought down the sails and motored the rest of the way home.

Pulling into my new slip was a little hairy, though. It's accessible enough, being on the end, but it is downwind. I motored past it, turned around, and lined up to enter the slip slowly. Everything is going smoothly until about halfway in we notice that it's getting a little tight. The fenders are getting smashed and by the time we're in there all the way there is about two inches of room on either side of the boat, and we're wedged in tight by the fenders. I'm gonna need a bigger slip...

We'll sort that out later, though, since the boat's definitely not moving and we're still pumped about what awesome sailors we are. Time for a mojito!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Where the F*** am I going to keep this thing?

So aside from actually signing over the money, the last step is to find a slip. Good luck. So far all the marinas I've called have waiting lists well over a year--some said at least five!

The best ones I've found are built into the backs of hotels. These ones have some of the best locations on the bay, and even better, offer full access to all the amenities of the hotel (room service right to your boat?), and best of all they have bars in them. I could essentially be living at one of the nicest hotels in town, and be able to sail whenever I want. However...waiting list, waiting list, waiting list.

I forgot to mention one other thing. Those marinas are a little pricey. $20 to $30+ per foot per month. Plus, you can add $200 to $500 per month to any of these for "liveaboard fee." On the other side of the spectrum, I found a marina that is only about $5 per foot, but of course it's not nearly as nice and still has a long waiting list. But, just imagine how much extra money I'd have left over to spend on repairs and upgrades!

In the meantime, though, I just need a place to put my boat. I'll go for just about any marina with an opening for now.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Finally, after nearly two years, I've done it. I found the boat I want, found the money I needed, and pulled the trigger.

S/V Queen's B IV

Yesterday, we hauled out, surveyed, and test sailed the boat, a 1984 Beneteau First 42. The surveyor found it in great condition for it's age, and the bottom looked fantastic. It sailed great, with plenty of easy speed and power with fingertouch control all the way.

Let's go.