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Our First Boat

by Asailof2hearts

We bought our first sailboat, S/V Whisper, a 1983 Catalina 36 (hull #31) in March 2015. We decided if we were going to sail, we wanted our own boat. I (Doug) wasn’t anticipating starting with our own boat, I had a smaller vision: joining a club and renting. (You’ll see that pattern in our relationship: Mary tends to have the grander vision, while I tend to be conservative, and hesitant.) I thought it was great that we were going to learn to sail together. When we decided to look, I was thinking something smaller, inexpensive, more manageable.

We quickly discovered that boats under 30 feet don’t offer much headroom below deck. I’m 6 ft 3 in (190.5 cm), which was one of the prerequisites for Mary’s Match.com search for a date, so unless I want to walk around with a permanent kink in my neck, we needed a bigger boat. Our broker advised us to look at Catalina 36’s because they are great boats, and have more headroom (6 ft 2 in the salon, so I wouldn’t have to stoop too much).

A beautiful weekend at anchor in Carr Inlet

Mary-hand on the tiller-in our ASA 101 class

We bought Whisper from a couple in Olympia who were racing her, but decided she wasn’t exactly what they wanted. So they were selling her to purchase a different boat. We moved her to a marina in Tacoma and took our sailing lessons.

When we registered the boat in our name, we renamed her Daring Greatly. We seriously considered Peas & Carrots as an option.

It wasn’t long and we were taking her out overnight and for trips around the South Puget Sound. Being on the boat, even at dock in the marina, was wonderful. It was like having a cabin in the woods we could retreat to (there were still some of Mary’s kids living with her/us).

Being on the water, being at the marina, soon had us dreaming of living on a boat fulltime. Mary wanted to do it right away on the Catalina. I wasn’t convinced that would work very well. Doable, yes. Comfortable (for us), no. The boat didn’t have a heating system, and there would be a lot of inconveniences around living aboard on her that I didn’t think were worth it.

Hence, we started thinking about a bigger boat.

A sailing friend of mine told me when we would talk about boats, that most boaters develop “2 foot-itis”—always wanting a bigger boat. Bigger boats offer more space and amenities (like a berth you don’t necessarily have to crawl up into), but they come with more maintenance (more boat and systems to maintain) and expense (longer boat = increased moorage fees as well). But, we were going to save money by moving out of a rental (no more rent, garbage and water utilities) and onto a boat, right? We were already paying for moorage, we’d just be adding the liveaboard fee…

I started searching the internet and researching…cause that’s what I do. 🙂

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