So, safely back in San Francisco I opened up my laptop and started to do the nitty gritty work that one must do in order to find a boat to purchase.
I set up an IFTTT “recipe” that would alert me every time a new listing was posted to craigslist that met my criterion. These criterion being the following: 27-35′, SAILboat, <$5,000. At this, I began to call every person who was selling a boat that remotely resembled what I wanted. If you want an idea of what I was looking for, it was a Pearson “Triton” in decent enough condition to sail off the bat, no motor necessary.
In a two week period, while I stayed at a friends place in SOMA, I called over 500 different people. I dropped damn near everything to find a boat, I visited plenty, and a few I invited my more experienced boat friends to come check them out with me. By the end of the two weeks I was losing patience and getting worried, and then I saw a post on Craigslist that interested me. No picture, and even less information, “Cal 2-34, in good condition. Needs home. Westerbeke engine doesn’t work.” So, I called and went to look at it the next day.
Well, needless to say it wasn’t a Cal 2-34, it was a 34-3 (there’s a difference, but we can talk about that later), and it was in great condition. I put up a bid that day for $4,500, and owned it the following Monday. Just in time to get out of my friends apartment so that his subletter could take the room I was in.
So, I bought this boat…
So Rendezvous is awesome, let me just say that. She’s the best, like we’re totes besties for life, for ever. She came with lots of gizmos and gadgets, an 1800w inverter, auto-helm, a switch board that looks like star wars, a second pair of sails, self tailing winches, and a paint job that appears to still be doing it’s job! With a roller furling jib, and some of the stupidest cleats you’ve ever seen (don’t put spin-lock cleats on your big sailboat, just don’t), being some of the larger things that I want to replace, I had me a good deal.
Without an inboard that functions, and wasn’t going to, I had it removed. I posted it to Craigslist and a guy from Monterey came and pulled it out, paying me 150$ for the privilege. Took him six hours, with the assistance of his son, a friend of his, and my dear friend Josh. I was super useful too, in that I took a bunch of pictures.
So what do you do without an inboard? Well, you can do a lot of things, you can sail without it, or you can find alternative options. I’ve opted for what I can find, and what I could find was a borrowed 6hp Tohatsu extra long shaft outboard stuck as low on the transom as it can get. It was enough to get me in and out of my slip, motor around in calm conditions, and to finish rounding a poorly planned tack. It is also still a sea cow, and with all sea cow’s you get headaches, back aches (those chokes can be damn hard to pull), and funny looks from all of your friends.
“You push your boat with that?” Folks on the docks ask me, and I beam proudly and say, “Yep! I also was forced to tack out of the Port of Chicago for six hours.”
At this point I am writing this, I am completely engineless, as the friend’s I borrowed the motor from (Thank you Chris and Alana!) needed their sea cow so they could get to their haul out. In all honesty, I’m not too upset about the lack of a motor at the very moment as there isn’t much wind here in the wintertime anyhow. I am planning on buying another outboard motor by the end of the winter. Iff’n you get word of an affordable and operable 10-15 horse Honda 4-stroke with an extra long shaft and an electric start, holla.
The previous owners were a middling couple who had owned the boat for about a decade and had grown tired of paying for a boat with a non-operating engine. I suspect they also had grown tired of the idea of sailing a boat around, when they had other interests building up. These things happen, and turned out well to my favor.
I inherited the slip along with the boat, at Marina Village Yacht Harbor in Alameda, California. A little island adjacent to Oakland built by landfill and was the home to a fairly large naval base for many years. I tend to describe it to folks as the place the BART doesn’t go.
“…The place the BART doesn’t go.”
Now, amongst liveaboards, and those who want to live on boats, there is a firm understanding that finding liveaboard-legal slips can be a tricky thing in the Bay Area. Berkeley Marina, though alive and bustling with a bountiful culture and a great location for sailing, is very stern about their liveaboard policies. The waiting list being a long one, and shrouded in mysterious preferences and requirements. Jack London Square Marina allows for it, but also has certain (and possibly strict) requirements. 5th Avenue has this, but also lacks shower facilities and other niceties. Emeryville Marina is about as sketch as they come, and of course then there is the option to anchor out in Richardson Bay. Though the last option is a fine one, not one I am quite ready for yet at this point.
I was worried when I got the boat if I would be able to acquire a legal liveaboard slip, or if I would have to “sneakaboard”, (This is the cutesy name given to those that illegally live on their boats within marina’s). Surprisingly enough, I had no trouble getting this legal status at the marina in Alameda. I simply asked the harbor master if I could live there, and began to pay the $200 monthly fee on top of my slip fees. I may have a super power, or more likely, I am just supremely lucky.
Life went on in a battle for an engine, until June 20th, 2014. This being the date of Rendezvous’ and I’s first sail together. More on this in the next post.