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Posted by on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 in Boats, YouTube Videos | 4 comments

Did We Just Buy A Sailboat?

We did! We did! We did just buy a boat!

We are so excited about this next step!

I’ll tell you a little bit about the most recent trip we took to find “The One”. (Watch the video here.)  We found a boat on Sailboat Listings that looked wonderful, and so perfect. It had everything we wanted in a boat, the only thing we were worried about us was that it was in Maryland. Did we really want to go that far north to buy our boat? We decided to go for it, especially since the search has taken us all over the place, and we hadn’t looked that far North yet. Why not try it right? So we packed up the car, and drove to Maryland.

Pit stop at the Virginia Welcome Center.

Swimming at the hotel in Virginia.

When we got to Maryland, we couldn’t wait to look at the boat, we went straight there. We climbed inside and felt great. It was clean, it appeared to be in great shape, and looked to be well taken care of! 3 things that had been very hard to find for us in the boat search. We were really happy! We spent a few hours checking her out. We looked in all the storage spaces, we looked at all the stuff that was in the lockers that was going to be staying with the boat, we were very thorough to be sure that the hull was in good shape, and we wanted to be sure that there wasn’t anything wrong with her that we couldn’t live with.

After looking at the boat, we found a place to stay, and had a wonderful sunset dinner on the water at the most beautiful place.

That night, after dinner, we got an email from a man who owns an Aloha 34 who we had previously given a verbal offer for his boat. He would not move on his offer then, but now he was ready to take it. We were interested in seeing it, before committing to this Endeavour, the only problem….

IT WAS IN GEORGETOWN, SOUTH CAROLINA! A whole 8 hours from where we were. Did we really want to leave Maryland, and drive all the way to South Carolina just to see this boat? Yes. We wanted to be sure. So we did it. When we got there, we met the owner at his boat. At first sight, it was dirty, needed some work, and full of junk. We went inside and aside from the obvious problems, and MESS that was inside, I was in love. There was so much storage, so much room, and a galley to die for. If you ever find an Aloha 34 in good shape, for a reasonable price. BUY IT. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

We were pretty disappointed when we left the Aloha. As disappointed as we were though, it really made the Endeavour in Maryland look perfect for us. So, we drove BACK to Maryland! Yep, that’s right. Crazy us, but we just had to be sure about this Endeavour before we bought her. When we got there, we went straight back to the boat, climbed aboard, and knew that this was the one. We loved it, and we wanted to make it ours. We negotiated a price with the owner, signed a contract, and gave the broker a deposit.

We left Maryland feeling excited that this was it, and anxious to get the paperwork back telling us that the boat was ours. Just a few days after getting home, we got the signed paperwork and confirmation that she was ours!  We are SO excited and can’t wait until the next step where we go to Maryland and get her ready to go!

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Posted by on Friday, August 26, 2016 in Boats, YouTube Videos | 2 comments

Sailboat Search in Washington, NC

July 25-28, 2016

This trip has been a difficult one. Probably the worst trip I’ve ever taken. It was hot, sweaty, and just all-around discouraging.

You can view the video here. . . 

It began with what we thought would be a 6 hour drive and ended up being a 10 hour drive. Good thing we left at 5 in the morning or else we would have been getting in very late.

As soon as we got to town, we drove straight to the boat. We were pretty excited! It looked so good sitting there at the end of a beautiful dock surrounded with tall grass at the edge of the river. We thought at that moment isn’t this perfect? We walked up to the boat, climbed aboard, and started digging around. We opened her up and took a look inside. She looked pretty clean compared to what we’ve seen so far. Ben stepped down inside and immediately felt a soft cabin sole. He went topside to feel around and the bow felt like he was standing on a trampoline. “Solid as a rock” the ad said. Really? We drove 10 hours in the heat with no a/c for this? Feeling very frustrated we left the boat and didn’t even look back. What now?

We went to our hotel and checked it. After dinner at a Mexican restaurant we went swimming and then did some boat recon and tried to find something else to look at while we were here. We decided that the best thing would be to drive the 5 hours to Charleston to see if there is anything we can dig up there, since it was on the way home again.

When we got to the outskirts of Charleston, we still hadn’t found a hotel. This was a very difficult task. Everything was booked unless we wanted to pay $200 a night. We found a budget hotel and booked it, when we got there we realized it was a sketchy place where there were a lot of weirdos living. We were not going to stay here. We cancelled our reservation, spent the next 20 minutes on the phone with trying to get a refund. We finally found a Relax Inn with one room left. It wasn’t the best place we’ve ever stayed, but it wasn’t the worst either. We showered, got some dinner and went to bed.

On Wednesday, we drove the 20 minutes to Charleston. Trying to find the Charleston City Marina, Agnes the GPS had us lost in the ghetto. When we finally got ourselves out, we found our way to the Marina. We walked around the marina for about an hour, found three boats for sale, all too big or way out of our price range. We decided to call it a day and head back to the motel.

We were sweaty, tired, and frankly not doing so good. We were frustrated with ourselves, each other, and the boat search all together. We got back to the hotel, showered, and spent the next three hours taking a time out. Ben searched for boats, I read the last half of Harry potter and the Chamber of Secrets while Molly watched cartoons. We went to dinner, then went to bed. We were done with this trip and ready to go home.

We got up at 7, packed the car, had a wonderful breakfast at IHOP and drove the last 4 hours home.

Looks like we’ll be taking another trip as soon as we recuperate, and locate some more boats to check out. Until next time when we go to Maryland and have a great time! Fair winds friends.

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Posted by on Wednesday, August 10, 2016 in Boats, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Boat search in Florida | Part Two

July 10-16 2016

In the second half of our trip to Savannah, we head South to Palm Bay Florida where I (Tambi) has family. We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle while we check out some more boats. You can watch the video here. 

While we’re there, we end up seeing a Watkins 33, a Endeavour 37, a Hunter 30, and a Rival 34.

The Watkins and the Endeavour were up on blocks. It was super weird to climb the ladder and go on these boats. We’ve never been on a boat that was on the hard like that before. Super creepy.

The Watkins is a great boat and it has a lot of storage. This particular boat, however, needs A TON of work. There were some visible leaks around the chain plates, the running rigging needs to be replaced, the cockpit needed some obvious repairs, and it needed a bottom job big time. It had been out of the water sitting in the yard for about 8 months and we didn’t even know if it ran properly.

Water in the bilge.

Leaky chain plate.

Next we saw the Endeavour 37. I LOVE Endeavour 37’s. This was the first one we have actually been on, but I’ve seen photos of them. Let me tell you, I could totally live on one of those. However, Ben said this one, wasn’t an option because 1) he thinks it’s too big and 2) he thinks it’s a money pit and it needs too much work. He also said that any Endeavour 37 that is in good enough shape for us to purchase, would be WAY out of our price range. Man was I bummed. These boats don’t have a designated V-Berth. The V is where the salon area is. There is a fully enclosed quarter berth on the port side right next to the head and another good sized quarter berth on the starboard side. I felt like Ben and I could both sleep in there and just leave the salon area the way it is, or we could convert the V into basically a king sized bed. The galley was awesome and there was plenty of storage! The down sides of this boat were some soft spots on the deck, and the rigging was not in very good shape. Maybe one day I will get my Endeavour 37, but for now……

We look elsewhere.

Our next stop was a Hunter 30. The Hunter was beautiful. If it had been 3 to 5 feet longer, and not a Hunter we probably would have bought it on the spot. It had been well maintained and it was by far the cleanest boat we have seen so far. The owners were such great people and we probably spent 3-4 hours on their boat. They told us everything we could possibly need to know about this boat. It did need a bottom job and it also needed to be painted on the top side. I really did like this boat, but we are still worried that a 30 footer will end up being too small in the long run.

The last boat we saw on this trip was a  Rival 34. It was a pretty unique and awesome boat. This boat has crossed the Atlantic. It’s a hardcore blue water ocean crosser. It had tiller steering, a wind-vane, and tons of storage. The most impressive thing about this boat, was the BRAND NEW engine. Ben took one look at that thing and fell in love. As much as we really did like this boat. We just didn’t get the feelings we thought we needed to have. Also, it had a small little bimini on it and there really was no other way to put a larger one on. There were just some things about this boat that made us feel like it wasn’t the one.

As far as we’re concerned, this was a great trip. It was very educational for us to get on more boats and put together a better idea of what we are looking for in a boat. The next trip we take is going to be to Washington, North Carolina and Charleston, South Carolina. Until then, happy sails.

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Posted by on Wednesday, August 3, 2016 in Boats, Learning to sail, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Boat shopping in Savannah, GA

July 10-16 2016

We were really looking forward to this next trip (You can watch the video from this trip here). Savannah is one of our most favorite places. We got married on Tybee Island in 2005 and we like to go back every few years. In fact it was almost a year ago on our 10th anniversary trip there that we decided sailing was what we wanted to do with ourselves. We had an awesome boat in our sights and thought it would be pretty cool if we found out boat where everything began.

 The boat was an Endevour 33. We really liked the Endevours and the owner seemed like a great guy. When we got to Savannah, after we checked in to our hotel we headed straight too the boat. The owner said we were free to look around without him there, which we really like so we can look around and talk freely about what we find. We stepped aboard and it really felt like home. The cockpit had a nice bimini cover, the rigging looked in really good shape, and there were no soft spots on deck.

After inspecting the topside, we went in. It was obvious that it was dirty and needed a good cleaning, but aside from that it looked great. Plenty of storage, nice size quarter berth, nice galley, I actually had the warm and fuzzy feelings I have been looking for. I couldn’t believe it! Ben actually felt it too. We spent several hours on the boat looking in every nook and cranny, checking out everything we could.

During our search, Ben did see that the through hulls needed to be replaced. There was one other thing that stood out in that back of Ben’s mind…. the engine. The engine had over 4200 hours on it. Ben was hoping that it had previously had a rebuild on it and the owner just didn’t know. But when we got there and he saw it, that wasn’t that case. Still we liked it so much we wanted to take it or and do a sea trial.

The next day we met the owner at the boat, after a delicious lunch at the famous Pirate House, aka my favorite restaurant and a walk down Riverstreet. He answered a lot of Ben’s questions, but some he had no clue about. He’d only had the boat about a year. There were even some things that Ben knew about that he didn’t. (We’ll get to that later) After we finished talking and the owners friend came aboard to help us take her out, we excitedly pulled away from the dock and motored down the river.

Then it came time to pull out the sails. This boat has a special attachment on the mast with a furling main sail. It was a bit tricky to get the sail out. (This furling main is something new to us and we’ve decided we’d rather not have one on our boat.) As the sails came out and we turned to catch the wind, the boat did not turn in the way that we expected. The wheel went slack.

We were surprised to find that at that very moment, the steering cable had broken. So we quickly threw out the anchor so we didn’t end up in the shallow part of the river and run aground. Then there is a look of “now what?” on everyone’s faces. This is where Ben says let’s get out the emergency tiller. “The what?” The owner says. Luckily Ben had found it while we were searching the boat the day before, because the owner had no idea he had one. The owner was ready to call a sea tow.

We dig out the long rusted poles from a cockpit locker and Ben showed them how to assemble the emergency tiller. We pulled in the sails and motored back to the dock. We sat there for a while longer and Ben and the owner talked about what to do next. We decided that Ben and I needed some time to think about the situation and we would get back to him.

We went back to our hotel, had a shower, and got some dinner. At dinner we decided that we would pass on the boat unless we could negotiate a much lower price. We thought that if we could get the price low enough we could put in a new engine and would feel much better about the boat overall. No deal. We were a little bummed, but let the owner know that our offer still stands if he changes his mind.

The next day we decided we needed a little family fun and headed to Tybee Island.

On our way to Tybee Island we decided to stop at the Bull River Marina. We started down the dock and when we got to the end there was a man standing on his boat. We decided to say hi. His name is Steve. Doctor-Captain Steve. We stood there talking to him for an hour about sailboats. He showed us around his Morgan Out Island 41. Then he invited us to take it out  for a sail around the river. We had a great time and really enjoyed learning from Capt’n Steve.

After we got back from sailing with Capt’n Steve, we went to Tybee and saw the lighthouse. We ate at the North Beach Grill and then went down to the beach to splash around in the water. It was such a great day and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Next we head down to Melbourne, Florida to check out some more boats. Stay tuned!

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Posted by on Thursday, July 28, 2016 in Boats, YouTube Videos | 2 comments

Crystal River Trip | Part Two

June 12-16 2016

In the second half of this trip (watch it here in Episode 9), we located a broker and he took us to see a few boats.

First he took us to Bradenton to see a Morgan Out Island 33. We stepped aboard and knew instantly this was not a good deal. It had been so badly neglected. There was so much water in the bilge that it was almost overflowing into the cabin sole. There was mold everywhere and things were badly broken from a recent storm. It’s such a shame because you could tell that this was once a very loved boat. There was custom built cabinets and a beautiful hand made table inside. We were really excited to see this one because this is one of the boats on the top of our love list. To get there and it be so badly taken care of was a real disappointment.



The next boat he took us to see was a Watkins 33. This boat was much nicer than the Morgan. It could have been perfect if it didn’t have so much moisture inside. It felt like it had some leakage issues. None of the cabinets would open because they were so swollen, and it looked like there had recently been three inches of water sitting on the cabin sole for awhile. Time to move on.


The broker didn’t have anything else for us so we went back to our hotel in Crystal River to gear up for another day of searching tomorrow.

While we were at the Marina looking at the Watkins, we saw a flyer for another Morgan 33. We called the owner and he said we could take a look and he told us he would leave the key aboard because he was going out of town. The next day we drove back to St. Petersburg. We got onboard, and pretty quickly knew, this was another one that just didn’t work. There was a large leak where the deck to hull joint is and there were a lot of weird modifications and exposed wiring. Not things we want to deal with.


On the way back to Crystal River we had two more stops to make. We had located an Ericsson 32 and a Columbia 36.

The Ericsson wasn’t bad, except the cabin sole was pretty soft and so was the fore deck. The galley wasn’t in the best shape either. This was an easy decision and we decided to pass.



The Columbia needed a complete overhaul job. There were no cushions, the interior was completely torn apart and there wasn’t even a stove. The guy had put a lot of money into it, but it was still going to take several months to get it to where it would work for us. The engine wouldn’t even start and the floor had been so rotted at one point that it had been replaced piece by piece with plywood. That was a big nope.

So with a bit of disappointment we made our way back to the hotel where we spent the last night enjoying each others company and taking a swim in the motels pool. Tomorrow it was time to make the long drive home.

Until next time friends, where we take another trip boat shopping. This time we head to Savannah.

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Posted by on Monday, July 25, 2016 in Boats, YouTube Videos | 0 comments

Boat Shopping in Crystal River, Florida!

June 12-16 2016

In part one of the videos (Episode 8), you saw that we went down to Crystal River, Florida to check out the S2 9.6C. When we got there we were so excited to see this boat. We thought it could be “the one”.

We met the owner at Pete’s Marina. He took us over to the boat on his small motor boat, because the sailboat was moored out in the bay. When we climbed aboard it felt great. We looked around the deck and it seamed to be loved and well taken care of. There were a few minor cosmetic things that needed to be done, but what boat doesn’t have those things. When we went down below, I was pleasantly surprised that it felt bigger than a 30 foot boat. We looked around, inspected in every nook and cranny, took measurements and began thinking, could we make this boat work for us. We know it’s a 30 footer, but it has made some great use of the space, it’s been well taken care of, and it has an aft cabin. Which we loved!

After we had time to talk with the owner and fully inspect the boat for ourselves, it was time to take her out! We spent the next hour or so tacking around the bay. It was so much fun and she sailed like a dream. I bet that right now your thinking, well if you loved the boat so much why didn’t you buy it right then and there?



Well she had some issues too… Firstly, the rigging was pretty old, Ben didn’t feel comfortable with the shape that the rigging was in. Secondly, it was a 30 footer, and while it seamed perfect right then and there, we also have to take into account that we do have to live on it and we would still need to fit three peoples belongings, homeschool stuff, galley equipment, food, tools, line, fenders, toiletries, and all the other possessions that we have on board. We thought that we would fill that boat up pretty quickly. Since it was a center cockpit and had an aft cabin, there was ZERO storage in the cockpit except for one small “saddlebag” on the back. Lastly, the most disappointing issue of all, neither Ben or I could stand up under the bimini in the cockpit. We were hunched over like The Hunchback of Notre Dame. We imagined standing under there and being very uncomfortable, very quick.

So, with that we left that boat with so many thoughts running through our heads. We were disappointed that this boat that seamed perfect didn’t work out, but somehow we knew in our hearts that this boat wasn’t the one for us, despite all the good qualities that it had. Time to move on.



In part two of the videos (Episode 9), we scramble to find more boats in the area to make this trip worth it. We were not giving up that easily. Part two blog post coming soon.

Until then, I’m going to leave you with some photos of the fun things we did in Crystal River.

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