Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Seven Boats during Memorial Day Weekend - Dawn's Review

Since I was still in school, I didn't have much time to fly away to see sailboats like Sam, except for Memorial Day weekend.  I had three days and was able to see 7 boats, four just on Saturday!!

When we showed up to see both Oz and Radiance, I assumed that Radiance was the one to be more excited about.  Once stepping onto Oz I was in awe.  What a beautiful looking boat!  But what do I know about boats?!  I really liked the layout, except for the master cabin...I didn't so much enjoy the V-Bed.  I really liked the galley and the saloon; I couldn't keep my eyes off them; they were staged so nicely.  Oh, and the center cockpit was really nice too, with the teak floor and the nice cushions. After seeing both Oz and Radiance, I wish I had seen Radiance first.  The other three boats I saw on Saturday all had to measure up to Oz in my eyes.

During our time in the car, I studied my ASA course books, reading them aloud to Sam helped me understand the material better. In between chapters, we'd talk about the boats we saw; discussing pros and cons.  My sailing course begins June 18th and I need to have three books read and study enough to pass my first written test before setting foot on board the sailboat.

I wasn't too impressed with Haanli; she seemed much smaller than the other boats because of her layout down below.  I didn't care for the curved settees around the table.  But she had very nice teak in her saloon!

By the time I saw Windbird, it was raining a little and I was tired.  I felt bad because I didn't give her as much time as Sam did; however, he saw her before and was taking a closer look.  I did like what I saw, I was just keeping an open mind and knew that I had planned to see two more (which ended up being three more) during the weekend.  The couple who recently sailed her kept her in immaculate condition.  All the teak in the center cockpit was well taken care of.  The galley was tight, but according to Sam is best when under way.  I liked the saloon and really appreciated ALL the storage all over the boat and in the captain's cabin...it's like having a dresser in the bedroom.  I also really appreciate the separate shower in the captain's head. Up top was nice too.  The center cockpit enclosure was nice but noticeably ready for new canvas...it's easy to see that it would keep us dry during rainy/stormy weather.  Looking back, I wish I had spent more time looking her over.

That evening, we had dinner with John, Windbird's broker, and his wife Beth.  It was nice meeting and spending time with them because they have done some extensive sailing.  Beth recommended a sailing cookbook The Boat Galley Cookbook, which I recently saw from one of my Pinterest pins. Upon saying good-bye, I hoped we would run into them again or could call upon them for some advice in the future.

On Sunday we flew to Tampa to see Marathi and Archipelago.  I was impressed with Marathi up top. She had stainless steel lifelines all around her exterior and a nice dingy davit arch.  Once taking a step below, I was a little saddened.  Sam got me excited about the tile backsplash from her pictures, but looking at it in person, I wasn't too impressed.  She would need a lot of improvement down below for this sailors wife to be happy. :)

We only saw Archipelago to see how she compared to Windbird.  Once aboard, I couldn't look past everything that would need to be updated...her most recent owner had neglected her.  I tried my best to NOT look disgusted while looking around, because the owner and her friend were aboard. They said I could look anywhere, but I felt awkward looking in cupboards and such.  I like seeing how and where people store different things.  Since I've never lived aboard before, I want to get ideas of how I can store things on our sailboat.

That afternoon, we had drinks with Sam's friend and his wife.  We later drove south where Sam set up another boat viewing for Monday morning before I had to fly back.

We saw our third Tayana 42 for the weekend, Sea Schell.  She was on land, so we had to climb a ladder to board her.  It was a hot day to not be on the water, but she had some nice sun canopies, which came with her.  She was well taken care of too.  Each Tayana has a slightly different layout down below, so it was nice to compare the three.  Sea Schell had captains chairs, one that swiveled around to be the seat for the Nav Station - Sam liked this feature.  Most of her hanging lockers had been converted into shelving units, so you could store more in them.  :)

Overall, I can't say that I liked one boat over the other because they were all unique in their own way.  I also needed to make sure I kept an open mind when discussing the boats with Sam because he had his list of needs/wants and I had my own.  We needed to come to an agreement, which could take some time.  I felt that Sam would be the one to make the ultimate decision on which boat would be best for us, but he wanted to make sure that I would be happy living aboard for two to three years.  After a few weeks of discussing we finally came to an agreement...Sam will share shortly after he shares four other boats he saw during the next two days.

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