Sunday, January 30, 2011

Still learning things at boat shows...


Every time I get off of a monohull after an open water sail I think to myself, "Make mine a double!" But a couple of weeks and months go by, the dutch-roll ride and incessant rocking on the hook memories fade, while romping through the Gulf Stream memories remain.  Then an indoor, monohull show comes along and the little kid in me patters through the isles yelling "Look at all the pretty boats!"  Hull shapes and deep keels whisper assurances that they will put a bow into the wind and honk their way state side from the islands like a proper sailboat should.  Innovative use of interior space is everywhere, galleys with all the fixings right where the Chef would reach, heads with stand-up shower space, living areas where the living would be large, storage everywhere, (and no big deal if you load them up a bit.)  Each cockpit suggests a place secure in a seaway or perfect for lounging off a quiet white beech, sundowner in hand.  And each seems better than the last.  Go below on any boat longer than 40' and the thought comes unbidden, "Yep, this will work, let's write someone a check."  Then get on the next 40 foot plus boat and think the exact same thing.  Just about the time what little sense and self control remains is happily abandoned an adult (usually Deb) taps me gently on the shoulder and points at the fine print.  These things are all carrying price tags well north of a quarter million dollars!  Any check with my signature for one of them would bounce higher than the masts.  (Well, this is an inside show so there are no masts.  But you get the idea.)

Then there was a Tartan 4400, with a price tag twice that quarter million.  Who gets smitten by this one?  You guessed it, my adult supervision.  Now she knows we can't afford even half a new Tartan.  This however, is not a deterrent so much as a challenge.  Within hours of getting back to the hotel she finds an older Tartan that looks nearly as good as new, has a recent survey posted on line, with an asking price that is about twice what I paid for the Z, is located here in Chicago, and is for sale by one of the brokers who has a booth at the show.

There is little chance we will buy this exact boat.  But it has sparked some ideas about different approaches to getting to a boat, and maybe getting to a boat sooner.  You never know what you might learn at a boat show.

The folks at Superior Yacht Sales, Cindy and Dick Kalow were kind enough to show us the Jeanneau Sun Oddyssey 409, a fantastic yacht, and some ideas of how to get hold of one. 

The 409 galley

Tim sitting in the saloon of the Tartan 4400.  All I can say about this boat is W-O-W

Tartan 4400 aft cabin

The Catalina 375

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