One of our hobbies that we have enjoyed through the years has been sailing. (We live on the Gulf Coast which has wonderful sailing weather, plus Panama City has an avid sailing community.)
Our first boat was a little 19 ft Baylinger Buccaneer. She was easy to sail, but small and tricky to get in and out of the water. (We thought about naming her "High Tide" because that was about the only way to get her in and out.) Also, (because it was so small) if someone on the boat moved - it moved as well. So, once everyone was "positioned" we pretty much tried to keep them in that spot. It only drew 2 foot of water, but one time we did manage to run aground and get her stuck. It was a great little boat to learn to sail on and we enjoyed her.
Our next boat was a Renelle 26. It was just about as big a sailboat as you could get and still call it a "trailor sailor". She was big, ugly and not stable in bad weather. But, at the time we felt it was a real step up from the 19 footer we did have. This boat was designed so that you could actually "stand up" in the keel area. It had a little table as well, so you could sit down and eat a bit, or make it into a bed and spend the night or a week end. One day a friend of ours told us that we could use his boat slip that he had paid for, but would not be using for the rest of the summer. After that summer we were spoiled. Stepping and unstepping the mast just to go sailing was out. We were going to get a "real" sailboat and rent a slip.
A friend of ours told us about a great deal on a 30 foot boat that had been donated to a local charity and they were looking to sell. It was a 1969 Islander. The inboard motor had been removed and it required an outboard engine to run it. However, since we were moving up from the trailor sailors we didn't see that as a problem at all. This was the first boat that we really started sailing up and down the coast in. (Previously, we had pretty much stayed in the bay because the boats were so tender.) The only ireal ssue with the "Blue Goose" (we kept the boat name the same) was that if the tide was coming in and you were trying to get out, the waves would cause the outboard to pop up out of the water and cavitate. But, compared to the other boats we had, this one was huge and built like a tank! You could move around on it while under sail and it did not severely affect the sailing. We became more adventurous with this boat and more accustomed to staying out overnight.
We really had not intended to sell the Islander 30, but a friend of ours (same one who got me sailing in the first place) told me about a real deal on a 35 foot boat at a local boat yard. The boat yard had recently sold out to condo developers. They had aquired this boat due to extensive back yard fees and needed to sell it fast. The boat was a 1971 Morgan 35 classic. There was no engine. The boat had been sitting on the hard for many years and needed lots of cosmetic and engine work, (the hull and fiberglass was VERY solid) but, the price was a steal!
Also, the previous owner had purchased a lot of "parts" for future upgrades that were stored in the boat along with the sail inventory. So, we purchased the boat and found a boat hauler who moved it over to our house. Over the next two years we worked on her at our house, rebuilding all the systems, installing a Yanmar diesel engine and redoing the interior.
Since we had done so much "rebuilding" we decided to give her a new name - "Due Sea-Sun". It is named after my favorite scripture - (Gal 6:9 KJV) "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" - which we felt was appropriate since it had taken so long to get her going again. Also, we changed the spelling of "season" to "Sea-Sun" to reflect the fact that I loved the sea, but Suzanne (my wife) love to lay out! You can view more pictures of the boat and some of the activities we did on it in the photo album here. We are also very fortunate to have a rare original Morgan 35 owners manual with it. You can view it here.
Below are a few pictures from the 3 years we sailed her. She was a great boat, and at times I regret that I ever sold it.
Suzanne and I sold our boat because we thought a LARGER boat would be a little nicer. However, one of the things we discovered while looking at the larger boats was that the mast height would prevent us from being able to get under a couple area bridges (50 ft) that we would occasionally go under. So, we made the decision to stay with a shorter mast and (consequently) a smaller boat. After some extensive looking we have finally purchased another boat - a 1979 Endeavour 32. She appears to be well designed and made. (Our very first sail on her was straight across the Gulf from Bradenton,FL to Panama City.) We are planning on making a few upgrades and changes and expect many years of enjoyment on her.
After sailing our Endeavour 32 for a while several developments prevented us from being able to go sailing (weather, commitments, life, etc). So, after some considerable debate we made the decision to sell her instead of just letting her sit at the boat slip (and incuring boat slip fees). On a whim I put her on the market and she sold in just a week! She was a great boat and later I regretted selling her. Anyone who has an Endearvour 32 in good shape has a great little cruiser. Later I tried to find another one at a decent price but couldn't. So, we ended up being boatless for a couple of years.
This is our latest (and probably last) boat. It is a 1975 Glander Tavana 33.
We purchased her in Mobile, AL and sailed/motored her back to Panama City with many adventurous and memorable moments. She sat neglected for many years without any upkeep or maintanance, so our plan is to do a complete refit of her. The plan is to partially "gut" the interior and rebuild to a little different layout, update all of the systems and give the boat a much needed paint and bottom job. When purchased the boat was nameless. So, after the adventurous trip home and the fact that the boat has sat neglected for many years yet still performed admirably, we have decided to name her "Prevail".
We have already started repairs on her. Below Warren is "up the mast" removing all of the lights (tricolor, anchor, steaming and spreader lights). We are replacing them with modern LED lights. All new lines have been ordered along with many various "parts" needed to get her ship shape again. As of this writing we are mostly waiting on better weather to complete some of the repairs.
UPDATE- This is our latest (and probably last) boat. It is a 1975 Glander Tavana 33. (Sailboat Data link – CLICK HERE.) That being said, there is almost nothing that is 1975 about this boat. There is quite an unusual story here. This is what I was able to discover from the previous owner and others at the boat yard in Mobile.
In about 1995 a local doctor took the boat to a boat yard there in Mobile to be redone (don't know how long he owned the boat before that.) with the intention of creating a stable, well equipped boat to sail single handed through the Bahamas and Caribbean. (The boat was originally designed for this purpose. It is shoal draft, drawing only 3 foot of water with the board up.) The boat was gutted down to the hull with the cabin roof and all of the decks removed. Then it was rebuilt with new specs (smaller cockpit, redesigned interior, higher ceilings, larger tankage, etc.). I was told it took about 2 years to complete and that it cost over $80K. Everything you could squeeze into a 33 foot boat was included such as, top of the line radar, gps, autopilot, SSB, VHF, self-tailing winches, rack & pinion steering, A/C, freezer, full batten mail sail, roller furling, double back stays and head stays, 4 Bomar hatches, a new Westerbke motor, you name it. (Keep in mind that all of the technology stuff was all 1995 technology, but everything put into was top of the line at the time.)
Then, (I’ve heard several stories as to why) the boat sat for 20 years. A year or so before I got the boat a retired diesel mechanic as told that if he could get it running again they would give him the boat. He did and not long after he got it realized that getting it back up to shape was a bigger project than what he wanted to undertake. So, he sold it to me. Since then (October 2015) we have continually upgraded and worked on restoring this unique boat. All of the electronics have been updated, all lights replaced with LEDs, all of the systems revitalized and working and the boat sails beautifully! As of this writing I still need to repaint the hull. It just takes time.
To view the Google Photos album of some of the work we have done – CLICK HERE.
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