The Swan under full sail….
This has, at long last, nothing to do with videojournalism, television news or the video revolution.
This is August and this is about boats.
They say that the two happiest days in a man’s life are when he buys a boat, and when he sells it.
They also say owning a boat is akin to standing in a cold shower tearing up $100 bills.
I owned my first boat when I was 9 years old. It was a Sunfish – easy to sail great fun. It was the boat I learned how to sail on. I have owned a sailboat ever since, at least until my divorce in 2005, when my Swan 36 was dissolved as part of the ‘community property’. I swore than that it was the last sailboat I would ever own.
Yesterday we chartered a Sparkman and Stephens 48. It was an old boat, but built in that classic style – low cabin, big cockpit, broad foredeck.
There is something magical about sea, sail and wind. No engine. No noise. And a kind of harmony between you and the boat and the elements. The boat glides out onto the water, the wind fills the sails and the boat heels into the wind and water and takes off. People who ride horses (and I do not) tell me that there is a kind of connection between them and the animal. They don’t ‘ride’ the horse, they ‘pilot’ it.
It’s the same with the boat. You feel a connection between you and the boat and the wind and the sea. It’s all part of one thing, all moving in the same direction.
This is one expensive hobby.
A screw at a hardware store will cost you 39 cents. A ‘marine’ screw will cost you $39. So when I sold this Swan, I swore I would never do this again. And even the Swan was a new boat. Before that I had owned a Cheoy Lee Offshore 41 – a wood boat that was 30 years old. You cannot imagine (impossible!) the upkeep on a boat like that. It is like taking an fine piece of antique furniture, tossing it in the river, leaving it outside all winter and summer and expecting it to look varnished, shiny and bright. Insane!
But sailing is like heroin. You make all kinds of rationalizations.
But this morning I find myself on yachtworld.com
(even if you have never sailed, take a look. they have powerboats there also.. but who cares?)
Those Hinckley B-40s look awfully nice.
Here’s one I love. Redhead. And she’s only 32 years old. Nothing!