The THIRD “Last One”

posted in: Boating, Family and Friends | 5

There is a story to tell here and I am not sure where to begin.

I could begin with Al’s “boat history”.  Or with Anthony and Annette’s purchase of their Kadey Krogen 42. I could begin with any number of opening lines, such as “here we go again….,”  but the simple truth is that we are transitioning to yet another boat.  Again. The necessary components all fell into place in a matter of weeks. Who would have thought?? Not me, and I should have known better.

For over a year, Al has been interested in a Kadey Krogen, specifically a 39. Last October he joined the Krogen Cruisers group and attended the rendezvous in Maryland. I humored him while reminding him that we already own a terrific boat into which he had put his heart and soul. We did not need another boat.  The truth is that after 5 years, Al had done everything possible to the Mariner Orient and he needed a new boat to study and learn and customize. And he had always wanted a pilot house and a stand-up engine room.

This year, he talked me into going to the rendezvous with him. It would be fun to spend time with Anthony and Annette again, see my mother and sisters on the way, hopefully see the Delaware kids and grandkids, and even have a quick visit with Quigleys in Annapolis. 

Al was connecting with a yacht club friend who had sold their sailboat and was hoping to find a Mariner Orient like ours. They would chat periodically whenever a possibility came on the market. Then Al spoke these words — “I’ll sell mine.” Ours. Before I knew it, a deal was made. 

Slowly, it dawned on me that this “next boat” was going to happen sooner or later so I might as well get onboard with the idea and have some say. My next worry was that our Mariner Orient 38 would be sold and we would be boatless next summer if we couldn’t find a Kadey Krogen 39. They are few and far between. At the time, there were only ones on the West Coast or in Mississippi. Neither location was an option for us. I was afraid to imagine life with Al without a boat for him to mess about in. After 25 years of marriage, I do understand that messing about in a boat is like breathing to him.

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows

Before the Kadey Krogen Rendezvous, Al emailed all of the KK39 owners on the east coast to see if any might be thinking about selling. Most were not interested in selling at this time, but a few said they would consider such a move. ONE said they were interested in showing us their 39 and discussing the possibility. Wouldn’t you just know that boat happened to be in the Chesapeake Bay region? 

So our multi-state road trip began with a stop to visit my mother and sisters in Pennsylvania. Then another very brief stop in Annapolis to see the Quigley’s.

My mother and me. Love you , Mom!
Has anyone ever noticed how many blog photos among our friends include Frank eating ice cream? With a partner in crime. And the MMs are back together – Mary Marie and Michele Marie!

The 30th Kadey Krogen Rendezvous, held in Solomons, Maryland, was a busy 4 days of fun and activities.  Docks at the marina were filled with Kadey Krogens, ranging in size from 36 feet to 58 feet. The people were nice and eagerly shared their knowledge of Kadey Krogens with us. 

The Krogens dock in a unique manner —

Sterns in towards the dock, all backed up next to each other without finger piers between.
The bows are the fascinating part – see how closely they alternate one after the other?
Crossed bowsprits

One of the neat events was the “Krogen Crawl”. For a few hours people open their boats and you can wander around to visit each one and see what they have done to customize and decorate, boaters’ version of an “open house.”

With Halloween approaching later in the month, Gallactica was decked out in style.
The men gather around on Magnolia

We skipped out of the rendezvous to see a Kadey Krogen 39, a 2 ½ hour drive away in Virginia. We figured that was a very acceptable reason to miss the events that day. After spending several hours on “The Edge”, a 2004 Kadey Krogen 39, with her owners, Billy and Becky, Al and I had a lot to discuss and consider.  

Our first look at The Edge, a 2004 Kadey Krogen 39.
The salon
The galley
Pilot house
Pilothouse controls
That door leads to the ENGINE ROOM – AL can walk into it, there is a lot of room surrounding the engine, and even a workbench!!
A centerline queen berth

Back to the rendezvous for Thursday evening events which included a silent auction to benefit the Abacos. This auction was put together by my dear friend Annette in the shortest time ever and what a success it was! Over $7,000 was raised by the Kadey Krogen Cruisers.

Annette running the silent auction to support the Abacos recovery from Hurricane Dorian. Beautiful items and a good cause. (Photo from AB on Magnolia)

By Friday evening we emailed an offer to the owners, and then went to dinner with everyone in the tent. After dinner, there was a raffle. See the photos below – it certainly appeared to be an omen.

Looks like a winning ticket, honey. (Photo from AB on Magnolia)
A good omen?? Al won a Krogen Cruisers burgee AND two Krogen wine glasses.

Early Saturday morning, we had an agreed upon deal that was good for both buyers and sellers. This was going so well it felt like it was meant to be. Al got right to work to find a surveyor. The stars were still aligned and the survey was scheduled for Monday morning. This meant we could take care of everything before we headed back to Connecticut, saving us another trip south for a survey.

Saturday evening was the dinner dance that concludes the Rendezvous events. We had a bit of celebrating to do and what better place could there be for this?

Bakers and Watsons – what more can I say?
Everyone dressed up in silly outfits for a photo shoot. Ahoy! Arrrgh! Vicki on Confetti took the fun photos and titled ours –“They arrived as wannabes and left as newbies! “

We did have a dilemma now. A couple had recently purchased a Kadey Krogen 42 and renamed the boat………. “Kindred Spirit.” Could there be two Kadey Krogen Kindred Spirits, even if different lengths??? We grappled with that question. Seriously grappled. We couldn’t imagine another name. Since 1997, our boats have all been named Kindred Spirit. Just before we found our Catalina 34, we were watching the PBS mini-series, Anne of Green Gables. Al and I had only been married for a few years, and friends who were also watching the series, commented that Al and I had found our “kindred spirit” in each other. After 22 years, we decided that we would just go ahead and keep the name. Although the Kindred Spirit 42 was not at the Rendezvous, her new owners, Carol and Rob were. We met, liked each other and all decided there was room enough in this world for more kindred spirits.

Rob and Carol with Al and Michele — Kindred Spirits!
Kadey Krogens resting at night.

The Kadey Krogen Rendezvous ended on Sunday morning with an expertly choreographed departure of all the boats.

Magnolia departs.

We headed south to Kilmarnock by car for the survey on The Edge. We met Billy and Becky at Chesapeake Boat Basin for The Edge‘s survey. Jerry and Terry of J. L. Olson Marine Services arrived mid-morning from Hampton, Virginia to begin the day’s work.

Terry did a lot of tapping with his rubber mallet all over the boat.
Jerry and Al are consulting over head questions.
Billy at the helm with Al and Jerry on the short trip over to the lift well.
A shout out to April – she drove the lift into the well! She also measured just where the stabilizers were so they knew where to place the sling.
Into the well
And up!
Al scrapes off the barnacles from the propeller. Those critters grow very quickly in the Chesapeake Bay waters.
This will be our first boat with something called “stabilizers” – that funny airplane wing-like piece that sticks out from the bottom on each side. These fins are mounted beneath the water line to reduce the vessel’s roll due to wind and waves.
Al and Billy (through the windshield) for the in-water test ride.
Al at the helm. He looks good there, doesn’t he?
Hmmm…. I could really get used to this galley.
Billy and Becky on the bow of The Edge. We are delighted to call them friends now.

After the two surveyors spent about 5 hours on the boat, which resulted in a 40 page document (VERY thorough), we felt assured that there were no serious problems. This is the first time we have met the owners of the boat we are interested in purchasing; and the first time, the boat has not needed significant improvements. That said, you know Al will be working on all kinds of projects over the winter and spring to “watsonize” another boat.

Back home in Connecticut, we turned our attention to the sale of the Mariner Orient 38. Her survey had gone incredibly smoothly three weeks earlier. Whit and Joan, the soon-to-be new owners, were in CT to learn about the boat from Al and finalize things.

As sad as it is to let go of the Mariner Orient, it is comforting to see how excited Whit and Joan are about the boat.

In 2002, Al told me that the Morgan Center Cockpit would be our last boat and we would go cruising on her when we retired. Then, in 2014, he said that the Mariner Orient 38 would be the last boat. Here we are again with yet another “last one,”  – the “THIRD Last One”. There are witnesses this time. I may be hunting you people down to sign an affidavit and have it notarized.

5 Responses

  1. David & Catherine Allin

    Congratulations on the new purchase Michele and Al. We hope that the new “Kindred Spirit ” gives you many years of fun and excitement. We too…..may be following your road this year for “Solitaire 1” may have fallen victim to Dorian (awaiting the insurance company) and so we too may be looking for a similar boat.
    Made reading of your experience all the more interesting.D

  2. Marcia

    LOVE hearing the process and pics of your new project!! Please tell me we’ll be around for the renaming ceremony – have to practice the conch!!!

    • Michele Watson

      History repeats itself – You and Annette were there with us when the Mariner Orient journey began. You must bring us good luck! 🙂

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