The perfect boat. Is there such a thing? I don't think such a thing exist. The biggest question. "What size boat is best for us?" We don't have an answer. When our search started the range was 38 to 45 foot. As we look at more and more boats and calculate in the initial cost of purchasing the boat and the cost of upkeep that range changed to 34 to 41 foot boats. The debate on size is over smaller easier to handle and maintain or bigger with room for more storage and the addition of life improving luxuries. Ultimately, this decision will likely be decided based on condition and price of the boat that meets the most criteria on our pros and cons list. So, for now the search for the elusive, perfect boat continues.
Cabo Rico 38, Mason 43, and Nordic 40 is how we spent our weekend. Yes, it was another fun boat hunting trip that took us north into Virginia. Friday after work we loaded the car and headed for Richmond to spend the weekend with my mom. It is nice to stay with her and get some quality family time when looking at boats in Virginia and Maryland. Friday night was a relaxing evening, sitting around talking with family.
Saturday morning started with a good ol' Cracker Barrel breakfast with mom and Brett. Tereasa and I then headed south to Gloucester to check out the Mason 43 on the hard. I walked around her looking the hull over realizing she was a big girl. She seemed to only need some fresh paint on the bottom. We then ascended the wobbly ladder to tour the topside and cabin. The deck was teak and needed some major rework or removed altogether, which would have been my choice. The walk through down below caused us to fall in love with the abundance of room she offered. She did need some TLC to get her livable again. It did not stop us from picturing a life sailing her to far away places. Back to reality and contemplated all the work required to get her back in shape. It was decided she was not the one. Of course one of the major factors in this was the delamination of the upper cabin bulkheads where the port lights rest. The cracking and delamination continued all the way around presenting a much bigger project than we were willing to tackle. I snapped a picture of my view from the helm imagining, once again, what it would have been like to sail this old girl. The search continues.
Heading north winding our way through the back-country roads of Virginia searching for the marina that held our next contestant. The broker had said that the Cabo Rico 38 needed major work and that the owner had not taken care of her so we were not expecting this one to make our short list. This visit was mainly to see and fill the difference between the Cabo Rico 38 and the 34 we had seen earlier in the year. Walking down the dock you could tell from the first glimpse that she was a sad and neglected girl. The topside was not in bad shape but the wood did need some love. Dropping down into the cabin and into the water sloshing around on the nice teak flooring. I could almost hear her begging and pleading for us to rescue her and give her back the life she was meant to have. Sailing around the world visiting exotic ports and white sandy beaches. As we stepped back on the dock I gave her one last look and with sadness said "sorry old girl, wish I could help." Knowing that this Cabo Rico 38 never had a chance of making our list. She did serve her purpose in helping us eliminate the Cabo Ricos from our list. It's not that they are unworthy boats, it's just not what we wanted in a boat.
Before leaving the marina we walked the docks to look at the other boats. There was every type imaginable both power and sail in all sorts of conditions. We came across one couple who were cleaning out their trawler as it had taken on water and sunk while tied to the dock. I gave the man a hand getting the heating and AC unit from the boat to the dock. The boat had sunk because they did not live close enough to check on her regularly and apparently the marina did not check either. Such a sad sight to see. On another dock there was a gentleman doing some minor cosmetic work on his trawler and it was obvious he took a great deal of pride in her as she shined from bow to stern. He was and old sailor who had made the transition from sail to power, so he could still enjoy being out on the water. Back in the car and heading to moms we spotted a seafood restaurant in a little country town. With stomachs growling it was agreed to give it a try. Raw oysters and peal and eat shrimp on the menu, yeah this will do just fine. Excellent decision, and the best seafood we have had in quite some time.
Sunday morning at mom's getting our things together for the trip back home with a little sadness that the broker with the Nordic 40 had not contacted us. We had been calling since Friday and had not gotten any response so I decided to send him an email requesting him to contact me when he had time to show the boat. He responded almost immediately and I called the number from the email and he answered right away. It turned out that we had entered the number wrong. He was willing to show us the boat that afternoon so we said our goodbyes to family and jumped in the car and headed to Portsmouth. She was clean and ready to sail which is something seldom seen in our price range. We walked the decks trying to soak it all in then headed below to find she only needed a good cleaning. The layout was decent and easy to see she would be a good boat. Walking away, we both knew that she just was not the one. So the search continues.