December 07, 2005
wanna buy a boat?
Recondo 32 does.
I took a one-hour nap yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon, then went to my Outpatient Counceling in Statesboro. By the time I got back home at around 8:30 PM, I looked and felt like Fido's ass. Except for that nap, I had been awake since 6:30 AM on MONDAY and I still was not sleepy. I was just dog-assed tired.
I ended up staying awake and reading until 2:00 AM before nodding off on my sofa. Recondo 32 was pounding on my front door at 9:00 this morning, which was a good thing, because if he hadn't awakened me, I probably would have slept half the day and REALLY screwed up my body clock.
I slammed a cup of coffee into my gut and rode with Recondo down to St. Simon's Island to look at a sailboat he was thinking about buying. He's got this lunatic idea about spending the summer sailing the Carribean. Don't laugh. When Recondo gets a lunatic idea, the crazy bastard usually follows through on it.
The boat in question was a 28-footer (I forget the manufacturer), in good shape and surprisingly roomy inside. It also had new sails, lots of spare sails and a one year-old 15-horse motor on the back. The price was $9,500, which seemed fair to me.
Recondo didn't like it because it had a tiller instead of a wheel for steering, and that tiller handle took up too much room in the cockpit. One person manning the helm was about all that would fit in there if serious tacking was required. Also, Recondo wanted an inboard diesel instead of an outboard gas motor. He didn't buy the boat.
He DID ask me to ride up to Wilmington, North Carolina with him to look at another boat on Monday. I'll probably go to keep him company and keep myself from thinking about liquor. That should be a pleasant ride to NC.
Recondo got his Captain's license several years ago. I don't know if the license is still valid, and I don't know if I trust him out on the briney deep until he's made a few shakedown cruises, but I am certain that he WILL buy a boat eventually. And if he wants to sail it to Belize, I'm just crazy enough to go with him.
The decrepit old bastard is gonna need a deck hand anyway. He's too broken-down to wrestle sails anymore, and I've come a long way, physically at least, toward getting back into decent shape. Besides--- I've never been to Belize before. That trip might be worth wrestling a few sails.
I just wonder how long I can take orders from Captain Recondo before I mutiny.
One of the things I've always regretted is that I've never went sailing. It sounds as though it would be a wonderful trip. Recondo would be the man to do it with, that's for sure. I hope you can get your body clock into some kind of order. I know it's got to be rough.
I'm really proud of you Rob.
Have him call Donnie Baker.
I sailed when I was young, but I suspect it would kick my ass, now. Plus, there's all the sun, which I despise.
By the way "Tiller handle" is redundant.
It's kinda like calling a sloop rigged boat a "Sailing Sloop" or a Trawler a "Fishing Trawler."
On the West Coast we don't have trawlers anyway. We call 'em Draggers.
Oh that sounds like fun, but you can't go until after I meet you!
this boat is a little further north
Wish I had known you were coming to Wilmington before I committed to an out of town favor. I would have shown you oth the town as well as my 33 Endeavour. Maybe there will be a next time if he finds the right boat.
I wish I had known you guys were coming, since you almost drove past my front door (I live on St Simons facing across the marsh at Sea Island) and I would of liked to have met you both.
Don't be a stranger next time...we could have had a glass of Iced Tea and a Grouper sandwich.
Yeah, I know that "tiller handle" is redundant for any old salt, but I wrote it that way for the lubbers out there.
Okay, that's a fucking lie. I just wanted to stress that the TILLER swings all the way across the cockpit, which sure does cut down on the seating area.
... now that is a great idea... I've always wanted to play pirate...
He's right about the diesel engine, and GuyK's right about the size-it gets pretty rough down here in the summer, even without the storms; I'd want at least 32' under me. Course length is money, and I know folks that've sailed smaller boats all over the Caribbean, so, whatever works. Ya'll get down to Puerto Rico, look me up.
What's a Captain's license have to do with sailing? Other than being able to ferry clients rather than take some friends sailing?
Do Recondo 32 (and yourself, if you are going to be his deckhand) a favor and do a few week-long charters first. For about $2500/week, you can charter a boat, sail it and taste the sailing life.
It's the best way to get into the life without getting ALL the way into it first.
Lots of experience of power AND sail in this family, so email with any and all questions, especially on the technical quality of sailboats. Also, sailing daughter spent a couple of years in the Caribb, so has tons of info on ports, etc. Her website is:
There's a surprising amount of owner's information out on the 'Net about individual boat models, so take your laptop when you go to look at boats. Most marinas with liveaboards have wireless now.
I spent two years of my life moving sailboats to, from and around the Carribean. Lived on a boat in St. Thomas. Rivrdog is right, charter a sailboat before you buy. Take a course and learn to really navigate and read charts, not just read a GPS(They can break at really scary times). Go buy a copy of Chapmans Small Boat Handling and read it.
Unprepared and unschooled is a very quick way to get into serious trouble in the middle of the ocean. The radio don't work too good out there.
However, that being said, learning all the stuff you need to know is a lot of fun and planning a long voyage and seeing it through will give you great satisfaction in your newfound skills. I kinda view a voyage as an extended backpacking trip where you have to be self reliant in all areas.
Good luck and tight lines
In addition to the above, tillers aren't all bad, they have far fewer parts to break than a wheel. If you buy a boat with a wheel, make sure that you have an emergency tiller as a backup. Hey, been there done that, 50 miles off of Hilton Head, February 1984, limped into Charleston.
Boats are for the super rich with nothing else to throw their money at. I owned one for two years and it was the biggest damn money pit I have ever seen. the only good boat is someone elses. You can ride around and enjoy it without all the expense of keeping it seaworthy.
Enjoy your ride to North Carolina. It's beautiful country. I used to live just south of Wilmington on Oak Island. I had some of the best times of my life there. I haven't been there in 30 years though. I hear the Canadians took over the island.
I just love St. Simons Island and god willing, I'll have enough money to retire there someday. Wife's family is from the Island and it might be the best thing about her.
As far as boats, there is a boat broker in the Marina across from Brogens Raw Bar. They keep pretty good track of boats for sale along the coast. I'd recommend stopping off there, if you haven't already.