We bought a boat!!!

It’s official! We bought a boat!

What an upgrade! We’ve never really seen ourselves as owning a sailboat of our own, but here we are, (amazing given about a year ago G had his wages cut & we were genuinely concerned about how things might go, but sometimes the stars align (not to diminish the hard work & determination we had to make it work, but sometimes you really need the stars to align too).

We’ve gone from exploring the waters in a 6 metre (20 foot) sea kayak (which G & I used for over a decade doing 100-200km expeditions not that infrequently), to getting a canoe to paddle with the kids, when they were a little too big to sit in the hatches, to a 30 foot sailboat!

Clearly we aren’t water or boat virgins’, having worked up from small watercraft to a sailboat, & it might not be the manner that most take to get a sailboat, but it’s the path that we have taken. We’ve been on a few boats with family & friends, both sail & motorized & loved it, I’m sure it helps that we got to have all the fun without the reality of owning a sailboat.

Before we bought a boat though, we did do a Sail Canada, sailing course, which we highly recommend (especially to any random person who reads this that is on the fence), to get more of a taste for sailing on our own eventually (if we proceeded down this path). It resulted in us receiving our PCOC cards, something that you really want to have before you get a boat of your own anyhow. After getting it & proceeding down the path of boat ownership, you realise just how important that little card is, for insurance too.

Catalina30 Mk II (1991) on the hard.
(mast yet to be re-attached after winter storage)

Looking for boats in the middle of a pandemic, when it’s a safe recreational activity, is a shit though. Normally, the market would be awash with boats for sale, now, they were in short supply & demand was bumping costs up. Here in Canada, you could fairly easily get a boat from the States or even Europe normally, but these days, with all the borders shut between countries, you really are stuck with the local market, there aren’t that many out there.

We started looking a little at the end of the 202o season, but nothing really grabbed us & we really didn’t have the funds to be fair. We did however workout that $10K for a boat, wasn’t what we were looking for, which was beneficial in itself.

After some searching online for a few months through the winter, we started to notice the market pickup again at the end of February (2021). By March, we had looked at a few boats seriously already & put in an offer on one boat that we liked, but fortunately didn’t get put forward to the owners (thank goodness for dodgy boat sales guys, just like other sales people). At the time we were annoyed & disappointed, it was certainly a lesson learnt.

Fortuitously, the boat broker (not affiliated with the dodgy AF guy) that we were dealing with locally, told us about the one we ended up buying that same week & connected us with the broker who was looking after the sale directly.

Our soon to be ours boat, went up for sale on a Friday. We organized to physically see it on the Saturday, put in an offer immediately, which was accepted (conditional on a survey & float test) & the boat purchase process was started. To say that the market is HOT is an understatement.

Official sail boat owners, no longer boat maintenance virgins, but still noobs

The boat is beautiful, it’s a Catalina 30 MkII. The previous owner, Ben, was quite unwell & had to sell it, unfortunately. You can tell he loved the boat though, it has been well cared for & we are so lucky to be it’s current owners. It came with a lot of added extra’s because of the manner in which it was being sold, which suited us perfectly too. Whilst we are going to be using some of our sea kayaking kit on the boat, not that much really crosses over, unfortunately.

After cleaning off a little growth, painting the bottom with VC 17, as per prior years (you can’t switch bottom paints from previous applications)

The sale went through officially at the start of April & we managed to get the bottom coated with VC 17 bottom paint to protect it. There are still a few more things to do, like put on a new anode on the bottom, before it’s refloated (this one really has to be done) plus there is some cleaning of the hull, work on the impeller & an oil change. Getting to where the boat is, is a little challenging given the stay at home orders (lockdown of sorts) though. So, somehow we have to sort out how to do that. It might involve asking someone else to get another anode (we took the one we bought home, as we needed some allen keys to install & wanted to make sure we have the right one to do the job, so unfortunately it’s not with the boat)

The boat was originally due to be launched the first weekend in May, but given current restrictions, it’s been pushed until the end of May. So our big celebrations will be pushed back a little longer, unfortunately. I hope that we can get there then, in theory one of us has to be, for the float test. Even though the boat is ours & we have the bill of sale, we have to make sure there aren’t any engine issues to be sorted (not that we are anticipating any issues, but you can’t be sure either).

At 30 foot it isn’t small, but it it also isn’t too huge either for a family of four, the boat actually sleeps 6. A good boat to learn & improve our skills on, because in the end, our plan is, that this will be our first sailboat, not our last one.

We didn’t get a lot of interior images of our own, but here is an image of the layout that I found online with a link to the original image here that seems to represent our boat

Catalina 30 Mk II layout

Here’s to many more water adventures to come, whenever we can do so 🙂

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