Friday, July 20, 2012


Noon Position: 30 46' N, 119 39' W, SOG 4.9, COG 040, Day's Run 107nm.
One of the ways I've entertained myself in the last few weeks has been
to think about the creation of the "perfect" boat. Clearly perfect is a
bit of a silly term, but my thoughts lie towards a 35-40 foot ocean
cruiser, optimized for single and doublehanding from the tropics to the
high latitudes. I won't bore you with all my maunderings, but a few
characteristics spring to the fore, namely - Dry: I fantasize about a
metal boat, with everything welded, no leaky through bolts, so I could
sail upwind without a little puddle on the floor as a constant
companion, and books and clothes in various lockers wouldn't
mysteriously emerge soaked and moldy. To take it even further, said
boat would have a far more spray-proof companionway than Odyssey, and
when shut up would be totally watertight, able to be rolled 360 by a
breaking wave without leaking. The other characteristic that I would
love is strength, and by association, stiffness, so that going upwind in
25-30 kts of wind as I am right now I'd slow down for my own comfort,
not out of concern for the boat and rigging, and could face big breakers
without too much worry. These, of course, come on top of good sailing
qualities, a boat that could be operated essentially as if it didn't
have an engine, saving that grumbling goblin for maneuvering in and out
of tight docks. I've drawn and written out pages of thoughts and goals,
but in the end it's really a futile exercise. I'd rather be out sailing
now on my 35 year old, leaky, bendy, boat, than spending the next 20
years in a cubicle farm in Albany or Secaucus, slaving away while
dreaming about sailing away some day. The world is full of sailors and
would be sailors doing just that, and there are countless dream boats
lying half finished in yards across the country, sad monuments to dreams
deferred. Better to be wet and nervous and uncomfortable, but on the
ocean, than looking at pictures of tropical islands while slowly dying,
day by day, in the snakepit ashore. Still, while I'm out here doing, it
doesn't hurt to dream.

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