Sunday, December 30, 2012


After a year or so of searching for a boat, I have finally found her. A Westsail 32 in a sad state of affairs down in Florida. This journey has taken me for a couple of years on many hours pouring over the internet, looking at photos and also going to visit them.

I looked at a real beaut Southern Cross 31 in Mobile Alabama back in April. Unfortunately I didn't understand what I was looking at when I saw her and I passed her up. Here is a photo of her all dressed up with nowhere to go. Not wasted though because she gave me the inspiration of knowing how to setup a cruising boat.

I also looked at a westsail with teakdecks that looked like a lot of work and an Allied 36 sloop that had way too much room in her. In June I looked a Pacific Seacraft 31 Mariah over in Alabama that was poorly setup and three weeks ago I looked at another Mariah in St Petersburg and a derelict Southern Cross in Carolina Beach.

Two days ago though, I made the 7 hour journey down to Jacksonville, to look at a boat that I had seen advertised for a couple of years. There are so many factors to consider when buying a boat. Taxes are a big consideration and 7% is not chump change. However that means that I can sail all around Florida without being hassled. The yard she is at is a do it yourself yard and so I can work on her easily. She is on the hard so I don't have to worry about zincs and hurricanes. I actually was looking for a boat that was ready to sail, however this boat has a lot of good quality stuff on it and even though it is not ready, I can take my time over the next year preparing it and making it bulletproof. She got beaten up pretty badly by tropical storm Beryl back in May and it destroyed her bowsprit and messed up her starboard side. As well she needs new rigging and her rudder needs a repair. She has actually circumnavigated back in the 80's when it was named Gimli and skippered by Bob Packer. (Correction 5/21/13 .....Bob did not circumnavigate in her. She was Aotea before he bought her and a Kiwi did the (almost) circumnavigation. I actually got to talk a few times with Marlyn Packer, Bob's wife down in Mobile, AL.)
I have a bunch of questions to ask so I have sent my check off to the Westsail organization so that I can ask them on their forum. There are 2 items on the hull that I do not know what their purpose is. I have to research a replacement cap rail made of Fiberglass, plasteak or teak. I have to add handrails to the deck and find a source for stainless carriage bolts.
Today I ordered 4 Abus rust free locks with the same key because the companionway lock does not work. The first $32 of many to come.
One step at a time

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