Thursday, November 1, 2007

One year later...

Yesterday was the anniversary of the first time I saw the GF and stepped aboard. I had purchased the vessel from photos I had been emailed by the last owner... hmmm, perhaps I should tell the story?

For the last couple of years, I had been perusing the internet for a larger boat. But the interior designs/photos I had seen were tight, crowded and dark. It occured to me that if I could design my own interior, I could have a boat that serves my needs and not the needs of some strange sailor/owner profile... so I started looking into damaged boats, hurricane vessels, and the like.

As I continued the process, I started getting an idea of the ideal hull for a project boat: I wanted it to be already gutted out to save me the work; I wanted a boat over 40 feet in length; I wanted a modern, fast, efficient hull shape that could give me a good turn of speed and sail upwind well; it had to be cheap; and it had to include all the standing rigging in good shape; I didn't care whether it had a motor or not, I would probably repower anyway; and I wanted a center cockpit with a nice large aft cabin.

My reasoning was that I might not be able to purchase a 40 foot boat outright, but I could pay for the materials over time as I needed them, and labor rates in Mexico are a fraction of stateside prices.

Last fall, I noticed a posting on the Morgan Owners discussion board about a project boat going up for sale. (I also own the Morgan 33 Out Island, Bliss). The vessel was located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The owner had been struggling with physical problems (a torn rotator cuff) and hadn't been able to do much with the boat. Then, his wife reached retirement age and was quitting her job, his house sold, and now he had the cash to go out and buy the cruising boat he wanted to sail off into the sunset with his wife. He could sell the project cheap and get out from under the storage costs.

Russ and Shelley Terry sent me the pictures of the boat, along with construction estimates, and lists of included gear. It matched my list above to a "T". Actually, it was even better... it was a Morgan! And I knew Morgans, and about Morgans, and all the people who owned Morgans.

Time for the morning cruisers net on channel 72 in San Carlos, Mexico. I'll continue later...

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