Friday, December 17, 2010

Take Two

They say opposites attract, a fact that Tim and I have confirmed many times over the nearly 36 years that we've been married.  So it should come as no surprise that I will have a completely different take on the question posed by Otto, our shipmate on the Long Island circumnavigation.  Vive la differance!

First, some disclaimers.  Point One - Any discussion on this blog about catamaran vs monohull or the features of any particular boat is set on the background of available funds.  I want to be sure that everyone realizes that if it comes down to time to go and we don't have the funds for a catamaran, then we go on a monohull and do it quite happily.  If we don't have funds for a 47 foot then we go on a 42 foot or a 37 foot or a Pearson 35.   Point Two - Any boat that we own will be cared for meticulously because we're both quite anal when it comes to things of that sort.  Tim's a former aircraft mechanic with the FAA peering non-stop over his shoulder and I'm just a tiny bit OCD when it comes to organization. (You can stop laughing now Tim).

OK, now that the formalities are out of the way, to compare Osprey and Quetzal in any way - size, shape, amenities, handling, stability, and heaven forbid, style, is like comparing a 1970 VW bus to a  classic Jaguar.  While on Osprey, I always felt underpowered both in sail and engine, overweight, graceless, and insecure.  I'm sure that given many months and many dollars I could turn that Pearson into something that felt more like home to me (think liveaboard), but it just didn't "fit".  Quetzal, on the other hand, even at 25 years old, had the grace and lines of a classic, and the handling to match.  It felt immediately like home and I could have easily turned the boat around at the end of 6 days and done it again.  And again.  And again.  I truly enjoyed the Long Island trip, but it was in spite of Osprey not because of it.  The trip was enjoyable because we had a good instructor, great company, and an incredible destination.  The Bahamas trip had all of those things, and a really great vessel to enjoy them with.

As a mechanic and a pilot, Tim tends to look at the technical aspects of the boats we sail.  Specs, power, handling, headroom.   Not being particularly gender biased, I'm not sure if  it's a woman thing or a me thing, but I tend to feel the boat.  Every boat I've ever been on has an atmosphere and I'm pretty sensitive to that.  That's why as we got off the new Beneteaus and Jeanneaus at the boat show, I was left with the feeling of leaving a cold hotel room. Osprey left me feeling a little like leaving a trailer park, but Quetzal felt just like Nomad, a place I could call home.

To be sure, I hope to sail a catamaran off into the sunset, but if the monohull we end up on is anything like Quetzal, this will be one happy camper.


John Loggins said...

I know what you mean about a boats "feel". Boats have a lot personality. And they will tell you much if you listen to them.

Deb said...

Yeah I think I may earn the title of "Boat Whisperer" yet!

Merry Christmas,