Since moving to Port Townsend, I've been longing to go sailing. I'm very greatful to the generous folks who have allowed me to come along on their boats, like Mycia. But what I am missing the taking a boat out myself. I've learned a lot on other people's boats, but there are some things you can only learn when you are responsible for the whole outing. The Center for Wooden Boats gave me the chance to do these things, but there's nothing like that here.
So it's time to break the first rule I set for myself when I started sailing: don't own a boat.
First, I have to decide what I'm looking for. Here's a short list of everything I can think of:
- Traditional wood construction, which I love
- Within my ability to maintain (which isn't much!)
- Small enough to pull behind the bicycle, since I abhor driving
- Small enough to car-top, so I can skip the car trailer
- Small enough to launch at a beach, so I can avoid the boat launch
- Small enough to row, so I can skip the motor
- Cheap, so I can continue my adventure without running out of money
- Safe, stable, and dry enought to take the kids out on Townsend Bay
- Big enough to be comfortable.
- Big enough to carry not just the 5 of us, but also our dear friends in Mill Creek, who are also 5.
- Big enough to take a multi-day trip with the family, and explore various anchorages
- Capable of transporting us to visit my brother in Hilo.
- Big enough for us to live on, as we explore the 7 seas.
Obviously, there are many contradicting items on my list. Note that speed is not on my list. Nor is status of a fancy boat.
After pondering my options, I decided to buy a cheap, used El Toro or similar. It meets the small, easy to launch, easy to haul, etc. However, I got advice from some wise folks, and decide that I needed something a little bigger to be able to sail in comfort & safety, especially with a kid on board. So, I'm now looking for something between 10' and 22'.
Wish me luck finding the right boat!