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post #22 of Old 04-13-2008
LarryandSusanMacDonald's Avatar
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Well, in spite of the admonition against regurgitating old threads, I simply have to comment on this one. I'll come out of the closet and say that my first boat was a Bayliner Buccanneer. 21 feet. Sure, she was ugly and she didn't sail that well, however, and this is an important however, she was constructed poorly.

We bought her about 15 or 16 years ago for $2500. That included a tandem trailer. We sailed her for three years on Chautauqua Lake in western New York. And we loved her, (tear in the eye) like a parent loves a misshapen child. My wife and I and our two daughters spent many many weekends on her: cooking blond pancakes on her little alcohol stove; emptying the disgusting port-a-potty; all four of us standing on the transom after a rain to empty the cockpit because of an inexplicably located scupper; one of my daughters sleeping in the bunk under the cockpit which was referred to as the 'coffin'.

But the family learned to sail, and cope with the tight living quarters, and we learned we could handle emergencies as a family, surviving on lake Erie in an unpredicted storm with winds to 50, sharp breaking 10 foot waves causing the gudgeons to break from the transom and losing the rudder.

We owned her for 3 years and sold her for $5,000. Shortly thereafter, we sold the houses, the cars, etc. etc. bought our current boat and have lived aboard for 11 years. We still think of the Harbinger from time to time. And chuckle. We were new at it. We made mistakes. We learned, we survived. And I'd do it again in a minute under the same circumstances.

So let's not fault others who need to struggle through the learning stages. Let's offer help, not snobbery. Take your Bayliner out on little lakes and have a wonderful time.

Saltwater Suzi and Cap'n Larry

"A sailboat is a fickle mistress. You’ve got to buy her things. You’ve got to understand everything about her. What you don’t know she’ll use against you." -Captain Larry

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