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.

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