Homeward Bound, Part 2 – Jersey Shore

We are in “delivery mode”. The days are long and tiring, but things are going fine, when one considers that this boat is totally new to us. We spend a lot of our time trying to figure things out — “Where is the ______?  What does this do?   Have you found the  ______ yet?  Whoa, look at this?? Really?” She is in good shape, but has definitely been ignored. Today, we waxed the flybridge “dashboard” while we were underway.  Looks much better! I laid my face on the fiberglass and softly whispered , “Don’t worry anymore. Your years of neglect and being ignored are over now. We are here to take care of you and everything will be all right.”

We left Cape May at 6:00 am on Wednesday morning so that we could arrive in Atlantic City at slack tide for an easy entry into the channel.

The sun was rising as we left Cape May.

The sun was rising as we left Cape May.

Dolphins escorted us out of the channel and into the ocean.

Dolphins escorted us out of the channel and into the ocean.

This boat does not have davits so we are towing our dinghy behind us. Have to remember to look backwards and keep an eye on it!

This boat does not have davits so we are towing our dinghy behind us. Have to remember to look backwards and keep an eye on it!

After 6 hours of traveling, we reached Atlantic City.

After 6 hours of traveling, we reached Atlantic City.

A cute water tower was visible over the buildings in Atlantic City.

A cute water tower was visible over the buildings in Atlantic City.

This time we anchored just before the bridge, outside of the channel. When we return to the boat in the dinghy, I have to look around the harbor to find "my" boat. I am still looking for the Morgan sailboat. I think it is like getting a new car and trying to find it in the parking lot.

This time we anchored just before the bridge, outside of the channel. When we return to the boat in the dinghy, I have to look around the harbor to find “my” boat. I am still looking for the Morgan sailboat. I think it is like getting a new car and trying to find it in the parking lot.

 

The very best part of stopping in Atlantic City was a visit with our friends, Mary Marie and Frank, from Eleanor Q. We have not seen them since Hopetown in the Bahamas back in February.

~ Frank and Mary Marie ("Ems") ~The guys are deep in boat talk.

~ Frank and Mary Marie (“Ems”)
~The guys are deep in boat talk.

We had a nice dinner in a funky little spot on the docks.

We had a nice dinner in a funky little spot on the docks. Frank’s daughter, Nicole, is a chef in Brigantine, New Jersey. She is competing on The Next Food Network Star show this season. We cheer for her every week. Can’t wait to get home and catch up on the most recent shows. Good Luck, Colie!

Our first picture with our new boat. Thank you, Mary Marie! Oh my, we just have to change that name as soon as possible!!

Our first picture with our new boat. Thank you, Mary Marie! Oh my, we just have to change that name as soon as possible!!

And there was Miss Maggie, our friends from Lubbers Quarters & North Carolina on their way south. WE actually crossed paths again. Three times in 3 weeks.

And there was Miss Maggie, our friends from Lubbers Quarters & North Carolina on their way south. They have been traveling south and arrived in Atlantic City on the same day that we did, traveling north.

Thursday began early – the trip from Atlantic City to Sandy Hook, New Jersey is 80 nautical miles and would take us all day. We left Atlantic City at 5:30 am.

Watching the sun rise in the east as we traveled. You just can't see this often enough.

Watching the sun rise in the east as we traveled. You just can’t see this often enough.

It was a good day for an ocean ride. Light breeze, calm seas, sunshine. Long, but nice for most of the way.

A two-masted schooner passed us, moving southward.

A two-masted schooner passed us, moving southward.

Here is a TRAWLER in the true sense of the word - a fishing trawler that is trawling for fish.

Here is a TRAWLER in the true sense of the word – a fishing trawler that is trawling for fish.

There were things in the air as well.

There were things in the air as well.

As we approached the Sandy Hook peninsula, ready to make the turn, my ears heard a different sound from this ordinary looking green marker buoy. Instead of a simple clanging bell, it sounded like church bells. There were three distinctly different chiming sounds.

As we approached the Sandy Hook peninsula, ready to make the turn, my ears heard a different sound from this ordinary looking green marker buoy. Instead of a simple clanging bell, it sounded like church bells. There were three distinctly different chiming sounds.

The view along Sandy Hook on our way to anchor behind the breakwater.

The view along the Sandy Hook peninsula on our way to anchor behind the breakwater.

Not much more to say about today. The trip is going well, all things considered. We are learning about this particular boat and how a trawler is different from a sailboat. We are also making a long list of what we need to do to make her ours. A long list.

It amy be after 9:00 pm, but Al has decided to see how things are put together and start taking things apart and seeing them apart. ???? It can't wait until we get home???

It may be after 9:00 pm, but Al has decided to see how things are put together and start taking things apart.???? It can’t wait until we get home???

Tomorrow is New York Harbor and Hell’s Gate – Long Island Sound, here we come!

The sun set over the sailboats at Sandy Hook

The sun set over the sailboats at Sandy Hook

Homeward Bound, Part 1- Chesapeake Bay to Cape May, NJ

The waiting and anticipation finally came to an end. We picked up a rented cargo van and loaded it with everything we thought we might need, and could fit into it. We attempted a minimalist approach, which applied to clothing, food,and galley needs, but not safety equipment or tools.

We needed to bring our dinghy and outboard engine with us. Hmmmm, is this really going to fit?? This is not our old 11ft Novarania dinghy that we loved. Sold that in Florida. This is our “new” 9.5 Caribe, bought on Craig’s List. Guess it is a good thing we downsized!

We needed to bring our dinghy and outboard engine with us. Hmmmm, is this really going to fit?? This is not our old 11ft Novarania dinghy that we loved. Sold that in Florida. This is our “new” 9.5 Caribe, bought on Craig’s List. Guess it is a good thing we downsized!

Everything fits!! Al is the supreme packer and loader.

Everything fits!! Al is the supreme packer and loader.

This side view proves that even the dinghy is in the cargo van. We are ready to roll.

This side view proves that even the dinghy is in the cargo van. We are ready to roll.

We began our third drive to Maryland, one to view the boat, second for the survey and sea trial, and this third one to bring it home to Connecticut. Back over the George Washington Bridge in New York and down the Jersey Turnpike.

ThIs bridge goes over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Next time we are here, we will be under it!

ThIs bridge goes over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Next time we are here, we will be under it!

We drive through Middletown. Not in Connecticut, but in Maryland.

We drive through Middletown. Not in Connecticut, but in Maryland.

By 1:30 pm on Saturday, we had arrived at Piney Narrows Marina on Kent Island where Unfunded Requirement sat waiting for us. I did not take photos of either Saturday or Sunday because all we did was unload, clean, and unpack for hours and hours. With the emphasis on clean. We also filled a dumpster with things abandoned on the boat by the previous owners. It became more and more obvious that this boat had not seen real attention in several years. Somebody lost interest. Poor thing. Looks like another rescue job for us.

Sunday evening - first dinner onboard the boat. A Toast to us and the new, soon-to-be Kindred Spirit.

Sunday evening – first dinner onboard the boat. A toast to us and the new, soon-to-be Kindred Spirit.

The only "decorating" we did for this trip was to select three bears from our little collection of sailing  bears and bring them along for good luck.

The only “decorating” we did for this trip was to select three bears from our little collection of sailing bears and bring them along for good luck.

It was now time to start the journey home and step into “trawlerhood.” Monday morning we pulled out of the slip and stopped at the fuel dock.  Our first moments on the “dark side” brought that inevitable, and expected, sticker shock at the pump. 120 gallons of fuel added to the 300 gallon capacity tanks. Our little tank on the Morgan only held 50 gallons.

That first day was a long rough ride – strong winds (20 -25 knots) and seas of 4 feet. We both discussed reefing before setting out into the Chesapeake Bay. OOPS! Wait a minute, we don’t have sails to reef anymore! Old habits die hard. We took a lot of spray over the bow and even up to the flybridge. What a baptism into “trawlerhood.”

Al begins the day at the lower helm. He already looks pretty comfortable, doesn't he?

Al begins the day at the lower helm. He already looks pretty comfortable, doesn’t he?

When we move up to the flybridge, I get to drive the boat. Windy day!

When we move up to the flybridge, I get to drive the boat. Windy day!

We arrived at Chesapeake City at the western end of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal at 4:30 pm. Hooray –There is a spot at the end of the free town dock and Al maneuvers the boat into it.  Two fine docking jobs in one day!

At the Chesapeake City dock. Reminds us of our trip south last September when the Morgan sailboat was at the dock.

At the Chesapeake City dock. Reminds us of our trip south last September when the Morgan sailboat was at the dock.

Our reward for the long rough ride was a visit from Alicia, Aaron, and Ella!!! What a nice way to spend the evening. We introduced the grandchildren to the new boat.

~Aaron in the helm seat on the flybridge. Ready to captain! ~ Ella investigates the transom door. Trying to escape??

~Aaron in the helm seat on the flybridge. Ready to captain!
~ Ella investigates the transom door. Trying to escape??

Hanging out on the bow

Hanging out on the bow

The boys go for a dinghy ride.

The boys go for a dinghy ride. This is the first time we have tested this dinghy.

Sunset at Chesapeake City. A good first day.

Sunset at Chesapeake City. A good first day.

Day 2 of the trip home begins with the trip through the C&D Canal and down the Delaware Bay. It was a much calmer day, both the waves and the winds had died down. The air was cool and dry, and the skies were a little overcast.

Here we go under the bridge we had driven over just two days earlier.

Here we go under the bridge we had driven over just two days earlier.

The Delaware Bay is looong and not very scenic. It just isn’t.

~ A lighthouse marking shoals ~ The nuclear power plant spewing smoke.

~ A lighthouse marking shoals
~ The nuclear power plant spewing smoke.

This yellow nun (not the usual red one) shows the current against us. Once the current changed and was with us, our speed increased from 6 knots to 9 knots, while always running at 1850 rpms.

This yellow nun (not the usual red one) shows the current against us. Once the current changed and was with us, our speed increased from 6 knots to 9 knots, while always running at 1650 rpms.

While I was at the bridge helm, Al investigated the anchor lines and windlass in preparation or anchoring in Cape May Harbor for the night.  Hmmmm…..

Measuring the anchor lines

16 feet of chain! You have got to be kidding us! This will have to change. We loved our rocna and 200 feet of chain. We want to be able to sleep at night on the anchor.

This time we can go through the Cape May Canal instead of around the tip of southern New Jersey. With the sailboat we didn’t dare try that. The bridge clearance is 58 feet and our mast was 59 feet.  The Cape May Canal is man-made, 12 feet deep by about 100 feet wide, and was built by the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II.  This was done so  that maritime traffic wasn’t exposed to German U-Boats that may have been patrolling near the coast. Today, for pleasure craft and smaller fishing boats, it makes a shorter and more protected run from the ocean to the Delaware Bay, avoiding   “the rips” off of Cape May Point.

The Cape May Ferry makes the run across the lower Delaware Bay from Lewes, Delaware, at Cape Henlopen.

The Cape May Ferry makes the run across the lower Delaware Bay from Lewes, Delaware, at Cape Henlopen.

We approach the entrance to the Cape May Canal. It  was an easy 3 mile ride and cut about an hour off the trip to Cape May.

We approach the entrance to the Cape May Canal. It was an easy 3 mile ride and cut about an hour off the trip to Cape May.

We saw quite a few people fishing along the shore of the canal. From the look of the water, I am not sure I would eat anything from it.

We saw quite a few people fishing along the shore of the canal. From the look of the water, I am not sure I would eat anything from it.

Our second day ended with our first anchoring experience in a trawler. It was successful, and we slept peacefully in the Cape May Harbor for the night.

Waitin’ and Anticipatin’

Days came and went, and by July 23rd we still did’t have a closing date for the new Kindred Spirit. We were waiting for the repairs on the Mariner to be done and closing papers to be finalized, while anticipating all the things we will need for the trip home on a boat we were don’t really know yet.

While we were waiting, anticipating, and packing ,we have found plenty to do.

Al is alway busy making things and fixing things. He has done crown molding and a tile backsplash in neighbors’ homes. He makes things for our children’s homes and the grandchildren. In no time at all, he made this Lego carry box for our grandson Aaron.

~The Lego carry box for Aaron ~ I'm still trying my hand at weaving

~The Lego carry box for Aaron
~ I’m still trying my hand at weaving (going slower that I had hoped!)

Together we made this glass lamp. Bought it at a discount and then took the rope off and pried off the top so that I could fill it with sea glass, shells, and coral.

Our glass lamp project

Our glass lamp project

In need of a land activity, we are enjoying bike rides. There is an especially nice path along the old Farmington Canal.

Bike helmets make such a fashion statement.

Bike helmets make such a fashion statement.

The Farmington Canal Linear Park bike path

The Farmington Canal Linear Park bike path

Charlie, our "grand-dog" spent 10 days with us while his "parents" were on vacation.

Charlie, our “grand-dog” spent 10 days with us while his “parents” were on vacation.

Al participated in the Shennecossett Yacht Club “Dock Races” again on the team for D Dock.

Bill gives the race instructions to the teams.

Bill gives the race instructions to the teams.

At this point in time, Al was still considered to be the “sail” part of the two-man team, which had to be one sailor with one power-boater.  Hmmm… what happens next year? Can you rally take the “sail” out of the man?
syc race 1 syc race 2

Al still gets a chance to do some sailing during the SYC Dock Races.

SYC race 3

swimming retirevers

Two Golden Retrievers swimming along side the race course. What stamina they have!

Another summer treat was meeting with friends from our Bahama trip. Miss Maggie, a Grand Banks 36, brought Bruce and Tracey and their Golden Retriever, Maggie May, all the way to Connecticut from North Carolina. We had a delightful visit and dinner with them.

~ Miss Maggie on the mooring ~ A toast from Bruce

~ Miss Maggie on the mooring
~ A toast from Bruce

On the same weekend, our friends on Magnolia, (Morgan sistership, remember?) arrived at Shennecossett Yacht Club as they passed through southern New England on their way north.

Miss Maggie and Magnolia stop by Shennecossett on their trips north.

Miss Maggie and Magnolia stop by Shennecossett on their trips north. It’s nice to see a Morgan out there on the mooring again.

We had a Bahama reunion/potluck barbecue at the yacht club. Magnolia’s freezer needed defrosting before their land trip to Ohio and we all benefited. 🙂 Yum! Although our boats had all met at one point or another on our respective Bahama voyages, all four boats were never in the same place at the same time. Until now. Well, except that our boat isn’t there.

The Bahama gang reunited - Anthony, Annette, Dave, Sue, Al, Michele, Dan, and Marcia

The Bahama gang reunited – from left to right Magnolia -Anthony & Annette, san cles -Dave & Sue, Kindred Spirit – Al & Michele, and Cutting Class -Dan & Marcia

Rockin' Captains

Captains Al, Anthony, and Dan, sitting on the  porch sharing sailing stories and mechanical tales.

What a feast we had!!

What a feast we had!!

Ending with Rum Cake, officially known as "Great Guana Cay Rum Cake."

Ending with Rum Cake, officially known as “Great Guana Cay Rum Cake.” That’s all that was left. Rumor has it that some folks ate it for breakfast the next day????

A day trip to to southeast Connecticut by car kept our minds off our delayed ownership of the new boat.

A stop at Abbotts in Noak for lunch. Clam chowder and shrimp & corn bisque, followed by crab cakes. This was actually a taste test. Although the crab cakes were good, they did not compare at all to the ones in the Chesapeake Bay!!

A stop at Abbotts in Noak for lunch. Clam chowder and shrimp & corn bisque, followed by crab cakes. This was actually a taste test. Although the crab cakes were good, they did not compare at all to the ones in the Chesapeake Bay!!

We enjoyed the view form our picnic table, overlooking the Mystic River.

We enjoyed the view from our picnic table, overlooking the Mystic River.

A stop in Mystic and a stroll over the bridge and down the street.

A stop in Mystic and a stroll over the bridge and down the street.

A stop at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream is a MUST. Their Lemon Chocolate Kiss is to die for!

A visit to the Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream shop is a MUST. Their unique flavor, Lemon Chocolate Kiss, is to die for!

And then there are the grandchildren!

July 4th weekend visit with  ~ Alicia and Ella ~ Papa and Aaron play with the toy sailboat int he sink.

July 4th weekend visit with
~ Alicia and Ella
~ Papa and Aaron play with the toy sailboat int he sink.

9 week old Caleb is already anticipating our next boat, and seems to know we are heading to the Chesapeake to get it.

9-week old Caleb is already anticipating our next boat, and seems to know we are heading to the Chesapeake to get it (see his shirts??)

GOOD NEWS!!  We are loading a cargo van and heading to Maryland tomorrow (July 26th) to bring this Mariner Orient 38 home to Connecticut.

The Next Kindred Spirit ?

I know the suspense is incredible. Buying a boat is a little like buying a car and a lot like buying a house. Including the stress levels.

Chesapeake Bay Bridges

Chesapeake Bay Bridges

We drove to Annapolis on June 21st to see the Albin 36 that seemed like a possible boat for us. As I already said, we were both disappointed and walked away, mutually agreeing that it wasn’t right for us (that is why we are “kindred spirits.”) Since we were in Annapolis, we met Anthony and Annette (Magnolia, our Morgan sistership) for dinner. While eating and chatting, I suggested (yes, it was me) that we try to see a Mariner Orient 38 that was for sale on Kent Island. Al wasn’t keen on it when it first appeared on YachtWorld because there is only a steep ladder to the flybridge. That concerned him because of my leg. But, what the heck, we are in the area, right? And, we love looking at boats.

The broker was quite casual about the showing. Unlocked the boat and said take your time, leaving us alone. We spent two hours looking through everything, and took 188 photos.  The pics are a help to us when we get home so we can review and discuss everything. Don’t worry, I am NOT including all 188 photos here!

Our first look at the Mariner Orient 38

Our first look at the Mariner Orient 38. It has an appealing “look”.

Step into the salon right form the aft deck

Step into the salon right from the aft deck

Galley pictures. Not bad, but not much storage.

Galley pictures. Nice, but not much storage.

Yeah! Al has enough headroom in the shower.

Yeah! Al has enough headroom in the shower. But the flamingo shower curtain has got to GO!

Up to the flybridge. Yup - that's a steep ladder, but I did it without much of a struggle.

Up to the flybridge. That’s a steep ladder, but I did it without much of a struggle.

Mechanical things that I really don't understand. These are photos of the engine, the water tank, some  wiring, and the electrical panel. There are many more photos of the engine room, which is extremely roomy - a real plus for a hands-on guy like Al.

Mechanical things that I really don’t understand. These are photos of the engine, the hot water tank, some wiring, and the electrical panel. There are many more photos of the engine room, which is extremely roomy – a real plus for a hands-on guy like Al.

Features we liked:
• Aft deck with hard roof cover (shade and rain protection)
• Transom door to access swim platform
• Door at the interior helm station
• Large comfortable salon
• Centerline queen berth
• Head with a separate shower
• Guest cabin (bunk beds)
• Wide decks to walk forward
• Engine size – 220 Cummins, diesel
2003 — Wow! We never imagined we would own a boat built in this century!

Since every boat is a compromise, there are things we will need to address, modify, or add:
• New bimini (deteriorating) and a new enclosure for flybridge
• New flybridge seating (cushions are deteriorated and there needs to be another nice seat for the admiral -me.)
• Better refrigeration (powerboats don’t seem to understand the need for good refrigeration and freezer capacity the way sailors do.)
• More galley storage
• Solar panels for free energy to keep those batteries full (a necessity in our opinion)
• Davits (we don’t like storing a dinghy on top of the flybridge and hauling it up and down all the time.)
• Update the electronics (boat doesn’t even have a chart plotter, and the radar is small)
• Autopilot

Our biggest concern was that steep ladder to the flybridge. No boat is perfect (unless Al and I designed it from scratch.) You have to make compromises and balance what you need, what you want, and what you can afford. Especially the latter.

All in all, this boat seemed like a good fit. We have always renovated and improved every boat we have ever owned, and this one would be no different. It felt right for two other crazy reasons:
FirstTHE NAME. For some bizarre reason, we seem to end up with boats that have, hmmm ……. how do I put it? Unacceptable names, to us. Our Irwin 37 was named Unicorn. She became Patience. Our first Kindred Spirit, the Catalina 34 was named Merry T. Our lovely Morgan 43 was named “L.O.C.” What did that mean?? “Lost Opportunity Cost,” some insurance term. Really? She quickly became Kindred Spirit, and probably thanked us every day thereafter.

I’ll bet you are curious about this Mariner’s name, aren’t you? Al called me over to the transom, and said, “Look, honey. Another boat with a financial name!”

"Unfunded Requirement"

“Unfunded Requirement” I suppose that having a boat is a bit of an unfunded requirement for us. We need to be on the water so it is a “requirement,” and on a retirement budget, well, a case could be made that it is “unfunded.” But we are cautious, careful, and do-it-yourselfers, so it should work.

Second, this is another boat that has not received much care and attention over her recent years. Every boat we have ever owned suffered from this, to one degree or another. Will we be rescuing another boat?

We returned home, reviewed the photos, our finances (you should see my spreadsheets!) and negotiated a price, subject to a survey and sea trial.

Back to Kent Island we went for the survey and sea trial on July 8th.The night before the survey, we took a quick look at the boat and then ate dinner at a restaurant right next to it.

Dinner at the Crab Deck, a restaurant right next to the boat.

Dinner at the Crab Deck – two Blue Moons, steamers, and crab cakes! Cannot be in Maryland without having crab cakes. They are better here than anywhere else.

Curious sign at this restaurant. The waitress told us it was not a joke - children have fallen in and been swept away by the current. Yikes!

Curious sign at this restaurant. The waitress told us it was not a joke – children have fallen in and been swept away by the current. Yikes!

On the morning of July 8th, we all met at a local yard where Unfunded Requirement would be hauled out of the water for part of the survey.

Unfunded Requirement on her way to be hauled out of the water for inspection.

Unfunded Requirement on her way to be hauled out of the water for inspection.

The men are waiting on the finger dock - John, the surveyor, Al and his brother Bill, our broker.

The men are waiting on the finger dock – John, the surveyor, Al, and his brother Bill, our broker.

The process of hauling a boat out of the water is fascinating.

In the sling - before and after. Her bottom is much cleaner after a power washing.

In the sling – before and after. Her bottom is much cleaner after a power washing.

Surveying and inspecting. Everyone is involved!

Surveying and inspecting. Everyone is involved! Our surveyor, John, inspected the bottom, the rudder, the bow thruster, and so on.

Time for the sea trial.

Time for the sea trial.

We used the Garmin Blue Chart app on the iPad during the sea trial, a trip of 2.5 nautical miles.

We used the Garmin Blue Chart app on the iPad during the sea trial, a trip of 2.5 nautical miles.

The sea trial was uneventful (which is good) except for very hard steering. Back at the dock, John continued with the survey throughout the interior, the engine room and its mechanical systems. Al’s brother, Bill, has been our broker for the sale of Kindred Spirit (#2) and in our search for the next one. He flew from Florida to Maryland to be there for the entire survey and sea trial. That’s not just because they are brothers – Bill does that for all of his clients. It is easy for people to resent brokerage fees when they sell their houses or boats. It’s a big chunk of money. But Bill goes the extra mile and is worth it. We cannot stress how helpful he has been throughout this process on both ends – phone calls, emails, contacts, resources, paperwork, all with attention to the details. Thanks, Bill!!

The "SOLD" sign was on the boat when we arrived for the survey and sea trail. Yu gotta love that kind of optimism - this was not a done deal, yet!

The selling broker had posted this “SOLD” sign on the boat when we arrived for the survey and sea trail. You gotta love that kind of optimism – this was not a done deal, yet!

John did an excellent job of surveying Unfunded Requirement. There were a number of small things that will need to be addressed by us, but the four major items were a concern. In our conditional acceptance, we requested that they be addressed before closing. The final acceptance was yes on three and a monetary deduction for the fourth item.

Where do we stand now, on July 18th? This was the original closing date, but we are patiently waiting for the repairs to be completed in the Maryland yard so that a new closing date can be set. It is hard to be patient.

The Answer to the Question, “What’s Next?”

After 3 months, we can finally answer the question, “What’s next?” for us as far as boats. Our Morgan 43 center cockpit was officially sold on June 26th. Al flew to Florida for the survey and to captain her for the sea trial. All went well with only typical minor glitches that were promptly resolved. The new owners are nice people who will care and love the boat as much as we did. Her new home will be on the west coast of Florida, so off she went to sail in new waters. The owners intend to keep the name Kindred Spirit. This brings back memories of our Catalina 34, our first “Kindred Spirit.” She has been sailed by a fine family on Long Island, New York since 2002. They also kept the name, Kindred Spirit. I believe that is a tribute to Al and his skills as a boat owner and captain. Once he lays his hands on a boat, she is never quite the same, and always better!

Where does that leave us? This summer, it has left us “boat-less”, a state we do not like! Summer is just not the same without a boat. The only other summer that we did not spend on a boat was 2011 when I was recovering from cancer.

We have been searching for a trawler that will meet our “requirements.” Preferences in a boat are a very individual choice, subject to one’s style, needs, and wants. Our trawler considerations have evolved over the past year. Living aboard for 7 months helped to define what was important to us. We owe a big thanks to Yachtworld.com for allowing us to do some searching virtually and vicariously before expending time, energy and money to see the real thing.

We began looking at the Grand Banks 36, a salty and “classic” looking trawler, hoping to find one in the late 1980’s that was in reasonably good condition. I think we saw 11 different ones over the past year from Florida to New York. Although they are great boats, well-built, and highly respected, in the end we decided the Grand Banks would not suit our style. We spend most of our time “outdoors” in the cockpit of our boat. With the aft cabin of the Grand Banks, there was no real easily accessible outdoor space, except the flybridge.

A Grand Banks 36

We then shifted our view to “Europa” or Sedan styles with an aft cockpit that one can walk right out onto from the salon. We seriously considered the Albin Express Trawler 36, which has a terrific aft cockpit and a spacious, easily accessible flybridge. We looked at four Albins, but in the end, we both changed our minds, at the very same moment – it just didn’t feel right.  Although it clearly had the best outdoor spaces, the interior felt too small (Al had difficulty standing upright) and the engine was just too big. We really want to minimize our fuel costs; after all, we rarely sailed over 8 knots as it was.

An Albin 36 Express Trawler

An Albin 36 Express Trawler

We stumbled upon the Eagle Transpac 40 and really liked it. We met one in Vero Beach on our way south, and then looked at one for sale in March in Fort Pierce, Florida before we came home. It had real possibilities – very salty looking, very solid, reasonable engine, a pilot house, and a spacious galley and salon. The downside was that it only had one cabin; and guests, if they slept on the dinette, would have to enter our cabin to use the bathroom during the night. This was a boat that begs the question, “What were you thinking????” when it was designed. Really?? But, we were willing to overlook that and make some accommodations. Unfortunately, the boat in Florida sold before we were able to make a commitment. Most of the Eagle 40s are on the west coast, but we did find an Eagle 40 here in Connecticut and even made an offer. It needed considerable work and upgrades, and we could not agree on a reasonable price with the owners. So, we walked away.

An Eagle Transpac 40

An Eagle Transpac 40

Finally, we made a last minute appointment to see a Mariner Orient 38 on Kent Island while we were in Annapolis to look at the Albin. As soon as we stepped aboard, we felt this might be the one. After 2 hours on it, we were told that we almost set a new yard record for longest time spent looking at a boat.  🙂

Is this the next Kindred Spirit?

Is this the next Kindred Spirit?

You’ll have to wait until the next blog to see how it all turns out.