Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Big fun...little boats

I had the pleasure of participating in the R/C Laser North Americans last weekend at Tred Avon Yacht Club, Oxford MD....
Very cool event with 37 sailors from three countries competing for something you can't even brag about!..."Those two days I was the 12th best toy Laser sailor in North America" ...just doesn't impress!

But man it was fun... Racing R/C sail is something every big boat sailor should try, same tactics, same rules, same intensity as "real boat" racing but with the ability to see the entire fleet and race course at once.
Great group of people... I can't wait to play again!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What a difference a day makes.....

Wind is amazing, able to grab a hold of water, lift and distort an otherwise perfectly smooth surface creating ripples. As the wind increases it pushes those ripples up into lumps, left unchecked it will line those lumps up create troughs so that the wind has a nearly vertical surface to now push against creating waves.
At about 35 kts water starts to blow apart... "smoke on the water"
Here are two pictures from the same spot 24 hours apart... Two different sailboats coming into Swan Creek
As I was rigging to go windsurfing Crab crusher #1 was grunting along at about 1 knt. SOG into 30 kn0ts. Crab crusher #2 24 hours later having a better go of it....
No moral here...oh hell maybe alittle one..."we've all done it, we've all said we'll never do it again...we all will."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Winners of "I read your brilliant blog" Contest announced!

Congratulations Peter Gadd from Portland Oregon! Peter was the first person shameless enough to admit reading this dribble and will soon have in his possession our entire West Coast advertising budget! Send me back a picture of you actually wearing your new size medium "SALT YACHT BROKERAGE CO." t shirt and I might send you another amazing gift....
And no Peter, being friends with Tina had no effect on the outcome of this contest.
Runners up but just as shameless Jill and Dave Voeller will also receive T's but in an effort to maximize our East Coast advertising budget...they will need to pick theirs up at the Salt Corporate headquarters.

Submitted short story...

The following was submitted by Alex Potter, a client of ours that recently purchased a 31' Tartan, what makes this story cool is that Alex and Rebecca where very close to becoming parents when they took the plunge to purchase "Latitudes".... Now they have crew and Alena will get a chance to grow up "As a Daughter of a Son of a Son of a Sailor" on!

Son of a Son of the Sea

As a boy I can remember sitting on our Hobie’s wet trampoline white knuckling a green jib sheet with one hand while using the other to keep my butt from sliding downhill to meet Cape Cod’s Vineyard Sound as it rushed past to leeward. Looking back at my father at the tiller he glanced down at me and bellowed through a moustache veiled grin, “Hold on squirt!” I was soaked to the bone from spray, my eyes were stinging from the salt, and I couldn’t help but live every minute with the vivid image that ‘ol King Neptune was about to have another laugh at our expense. My own grin only got wider. I was completely hooked and loving every minute. This was one of the few times my father and I went sailing as just the two of us. Those summer days out in the cool Atlantic waters of New England taught me so much and the sea worked its way into my soul. Sailing was meant to be shared and if only I’d realized it would be twenty years until it would be just the two of us sailing together again I’d have asked for more rides with Captain Dad.

Many years later while living in southern California with my future wife we had a life altering conversation that went something like this:
Me: “Hey babe, what do you think about buying a little sailboat and living …”
Her: “YEA! Let’s do it!”
Me: “…on it…um, really?!”
I’m not sure it was that particular moment that my ‘she’s-the-one’ suspicions were confirmed or not, but it was certainly one of the many. The hunt began and each serious contender inevitably involved a call back home to ask my old Captain his advice. After an extensive search we found a 1983 Catalina ’30 named Abhoca that was just right. We learned so much about sailing, each other, and ourselves and this time the sea worked its way into two souls and bound them together. There were numerous adventures and misadventures aboard Abhoca and I can’t even count the number of times I wished I had the wisdom of just a few more sailing trips with my father as a kid. The makers of the board game Othello must have been sailors, hence the game’s moniker, “A moment to learn. A lifetime to master,” Come to think of it living, loving, and sailing all seem to share that. Ironically, we paid exactly the same for that first home as my parents did back when mortgages had fewer teeth and took smaller bites. Six months after moving aboard our little boat we were engaged and four months later, while a strong wind joyfully tossed her beautiful dress and tugged at my coat, we had our first pictures as husband and wife over looking the same sound that my father first taught me to be a man of the sea. After a short 14 months of living aboard, and breaking every wineglass we owned, we answered another knock on opportunity’s door, sold our floating home, and moved back east swearing we’d have another boat before we could miss it too much.

While slowly decorating our first house (that didn’t require bow lines) on the spoils of two government salaries – ok, so it was really slowly – we went back to school and time slipped away. We had purchased our house hoping that the housing market would stay strong. Then we could sell it in a few years, buy another boat, and go on our first real cruise before trying to make our parents any grander. After all, if I was going to teach my son or daughter some day the way my father had taught me I’d better get some more experience. Well, life, like the weather that fills our sails, shifted and we’ve had to adjust our lines.

During our four year “dry spell” we religiously attended the Annapolis Sailboat Show every October and fantasized about the boat that we’d be taking home that year. Then, last October, while fantasizing over the Tartan 3400, we met Tom Lippincott. At these shows you meet a lot of people who are familiar with boats but only a few true yachtsmen. We had a feeling Tom might be one of the latter, so when he offered to take us out on a brand new Tartan we felt like it would be time well spent. If sanity got the better of us and we found a new Tartan 3400 wouldn’t fit into our bank account we were pretty sure Tom could help us find one that would. As it turns out we found out a lot about Tom during that test sail and also discovered we really liked Tartan. Tom really knew his stuff and was so easy going and down to earth that we liked him instantly. We found out that he and his family had built boats of many varieties until recently. Ironically, every summer for the past five years we’d sailed on my uncle’s Lippincott Lightening and didn’t make the connection until later. Also, Tom had taken his wife and kids on a two year sailing cruise. This was the perfect guy to help us find our next floating adventure and maybe even help us solidify our own cruising dreams. We were getting pretty close to our savings goal so the search began in earnest. After many discussions with Tom and many calls back to Captain Dad, we had a few good options. Almost all were Tartan, but none were perfect. Then we found her. Mon Repose, a 1993 Tartan 31 Piper, was listed just the day before. We called Tom and Dad and got the same message from both, “Get up there and check it out.” We drove the five and a half hours up to Milford, Connecticut and saw her up on the hard still shaking off the winter. She was perfect. On the way home we called Tom and he convinced us that we should put in an offer right away saying, “a boat that clean and well outfitted isn’t going to last long in any market”. We did and Tom helped us get her under contract ahead of six other offers. Tom even drove up to meet us after she was put in the water for the sea trial. Even with conditions gusting to 40-kts the trial went flawlessly leaving nothing but a bunch of signatures between us and becoming ‘yachties’ again. I really can’t say enough about how much of a help Tom was and we really felt rather like we had a new sailing friend than just a great broker. Delivering the boat with my father a little over a month later I found that there were quite a few questions that neither of us could answer, but a short call to Tom had us back on track.

Since having the boat safely home after an amazing 400-mile delivery trip we got to know the boat fairly well (with a few more calls to Tom), and with a few lines of Latitude under our belts and many more to come we decided to re-christen her Latitudes. Of course any good Parrot-head knows the “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” connection and for us there is a whole new dimension each time we step aboard our little floating piece of paradise. Recently, with my wife’s growing belly, changes aboard Latitudes are indeed underway and I can’t wait to share the sailing life with our new little girl.

Thanks for putting the wind back in our sails Tom!
Note: You too can have a story published here...simply submit any story that shamelessly talks highly of us and we might use it!