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Old 10-23-2012
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New member/sailboat owner..

As the title says, we're new sailboat owners and SailNet members (after a few weeks of lurking)... but not yet sailors.

Brief history...lots of time spent in small 12' - 14' fishing boats w/ a 9.9 hp Merc botherin' Walleyes and Northern Pike. Decades. Always wanted to sail. Bought a Sunfish w/ waterlogged hull 'cause I didn't know any better. Still had fun sailing it maybe 10 times. Sold it due to hull becoming too bad to use any more. Thus endeth our experience.. <grin>.

Fast forward...

We did some dreaming for a couple years and bothered a very nice fellow at a local used boatyard on more than several occasions. Hee finally told us to just go sailing rather than try and figure out what to buy without any experience, and he hooked us up with a very friendly yacht club in our area. They hold open races on Thursday nights. We showed up, asked if anyone would be willing to take us on as crew, and that was that ... we were hooked. We went out on a 30' S2 with a very experienced captain (and VERY helpful) and had a great time. DONE.

Fast forward two months. After a lot of searching, we found a 1972 26' Pearson in decent but not perfect shape and bought it for what I think is a fair price from a very nice person. We didn't steal it, but we didn't get taken for a ride either. Figuratively, not literally. It's been on the hard for four years, but I'm pretty sure it's sailable the way it sits. The keel bolts are EXTREMELY rusty, to the point where two of the nuts aren't even really there any more, there's the usual semi-cob-jobbed electrical work, but very little spider cracking for the vintage (MUCH less than the other two Pearson 26's we looked at). It needs some fairing work at the hull/keel joint, all new running rigging, and obviously bottom painting, but by next season I think we'll have a great starter boat.

I spent two days cleaning her up last weekend, and slept on her for the first time. I'm amazed, at least with just me there, how open, bright, and airy it felt. As a long-time backwoods backpacker, I'm accustomed to roughing it and feeling a little claustrophobic while sleeping... by comparison, this was like staying in the Ritz.

Anyway... nice to be here. Wish my wife and I luck as we prep her (the boat, not my wife) for the official first launch next late April.

Best to all,

Barry
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