Originally Posted by redbopeep
Oh, those of us who love our boats are truly "pleased as punch" and that is very close to smug
. But, no, never smug
I really am glad that you can visualize how you'll use your boat solo and you're able to do so on this particular boat. So many people try very hard to "get it right" and somehow it doesn't work out for them. I know another fellow who has an absolutely lovely center cockpit boat (oh, I must tell you that I thought we'd end up with a center cockpit boat because they have so many good features....but we did end up aft cockpit after all...) ...back to my story...this guy has a wonderful boat but somehow can't get it all together to solo sail and its just driving him to distraction. So, these things are very, very important.
I learned to sail solo on a 21 ft. Yngling. I think some of the happiest moments of my life occurred when I had the Spinnaker set, the tiller between my knees and I was roaring up the Alpine lake I live on, seeing the water rush by and feeling her react to the tiniest pressure on the tiller or letting the Spi up a bit higher. Sailing alone is unlike anything I’ve ever done and it is a very personal thing.
I still have the Yngling, of course, and she is what keeps me sailing and sane when I can’t fly down to Langkawi and be on Spirit. The way we love our boats is a story unto itself. Mine developed in a way, which is not unusual but certainly effects how I relate to Spirit.
For over 20 years I chartered all the boats I sailed on. So they “belonged” to me for a week. It was a long list of different boats and the boats themselves became longer, over time. On the first day we would set the sails and those first hours getting to know my ship under sail are the ones I treasure most. A sailboat will “talk” to you, if one is willing to listen. And sailboats love giving up their special secrets, as each 1/10th of a knot is carefully negotiated and she starts really moving.
I developed a special bond with every ship I’ve sailed on. But in the end, the week did pass and I had to give her up again. I would then give my list of “required maintenance” to the charter company and she was out of my life.
Life, however, cannot consist of a countless number of “one week stands”.
So, when I found “Spirit” and recognized her and all of her excellent attributes, I really fell in love with her. She now belongs to me and will be sailed only by me. She is my home and an expression of my self.
I have learned that she sails exquisitely but has a mind of her own when backing up under engine power. We are working on this issue. A lot of work needs to be put into her, especially regarding things like her radar and plotter. These will simply be replaced this summer.
But she sails like a dream and all the rest is second tier.
This was originally only to be a short reply and has turned into an “Ode to my Boat”. I wonder whether I should post these comments, but presumably will. At the end of the day, it’s just a story about a guy who could finally love the boat he loves to sail.
And I think you know where I’m coming from.