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Old 02-10-2013
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Jeff_H Jeff_H is offline
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Re: Kelly-Peterson 44 for Sale

Your post overwhelms me with a sense of heart-wrenching sadness in much the same way that I always am touched with a similar sense of poignant pathos when I read the introduction to Rockwell Kent’s “North by East”. (If you are not familiar with this short parable, it is a good read which is available online starting on page III of the Google preview available if you do a search on Rockwell Kent “North by East”)

I, in no way, mean my comments to be judgmental or critical of your choices believing that we all know ourselves better than some stranger on the internet, and that there is no universally right or wrong way to enjoy the water (short of putting your life and other’s lives at risk through intentional action, or purposeful negligence).

But I am stuck with a range of thoughts here that I am writing with the hope that if they do not prove useful to you, they may at least be helpful to others.

I will start with the Boat for sale. If someone came to me and said, I plan to go distance cruising and I want an absolutely perfect boat for that, and I have between $90,000 and $110,000 to spend, my first choice would be the Kelly Peterson 44 with Kiwigrip finished glass decks (rather than teak decks) and with aluminum spars. In other words the boat that you are selling. (I know that the aficionatos of the type prefer the KP-66 but these tend to be much more expensive for only reportedly subtle differences)

While these are beefy boats to sail, requiring a fair amount of strength to sail in a breeze, any monohull sailing around the world will require a reasonably fit crew and so that should not be a problem. There was a time when you could find all kinds of articles and blogs written by crewmembers who had nothing but good words to say about how well this venerable design handled as they used her for distance cruising and circumnavigations. Assuming that the boat goes cleanly through survey, this would be a spectacular boat for someone contemplating doing some serious cruising.

But back to my first paragraph, the great boat in question only add to my sense of sadness about your post, especially given my sense of all of the hard work, and money that must have gone into restoring this boat to her apparently near pristine appearance, only to find that you cannot use her as planned. For some people the voyage of self-discovery is in large part about the joy of working on a boat, but for most of us, our work on a boat is a means to the end of being able to go sailing, so it seems depressing to imagine all of the hard work coming to an end at a point that that is so close to achieving that desireable end.

And while I am sure that there may be more to this than your simple description of why your voyage plans ended, and you may, in fact, have had sailing experience before you bought this boat, when I read “But one of us gets vertigo, and the other one freaks out when the boat heels more than ten degrees” I think that this seems so entirely unnecessary in so many ways. It seems tragic to me that you have gone this far in the process before discovering these self- truths.

When new sailors ask about buying a big boat and going voyaging, I always suggest that people spend a lot of time sailing smaller boats before trying to buy their ‘final voyaging vessel’. A part of that advise is aimed at giving people a chance for the kind of self-discovery that might let them know that, “one of us gets vertigo, and the other one freaks out when the boat heels more than ten degrees.” hopefully long before you give up years of your precious lifespan restoring a boat you will not use.

And adding to my sense of the tragic is a sense that even now this avoidable. For the partner with vertigo, there are spectacular medications out there which are super effective against seasickness. My wife has a terrible time with motion sickness, but she takes Stugeron (Cinnarizine) which has proven to be an extremely effective anti-nausea drug. While not available for this use in the US, this is a widely used drug world wide, easily obtained over the internet. In addition to my wife, I have talked to a lot of folks who have used it, and I have heard and read nearly no comments about side effects other than some folks reporting an increased thirst. I would respectfully suggest the partner with 'vertigo' at least experiment with stugeron before throwing in the towel.

That partner will need to do that experiment anyway, since trawlers have a much worse motion than a boat like the Peterson 44. I generally do not get seasick on sailboats but had a miserable time in my late-mother's trawler.

As to the partner who is afraid to heel, I would suggest that they start with a sailing course that talks a little about the physics of sailing so that they understand that the Kelly- Peterson 44 has 8 or so volkswagons hanging 4-5 feet below the boat and get a good understanding of how extremely unlikely a boat like this is to capsize or get rolled. A boat like this can heel way past the horizontal and still come up. And then I suggest that the spend a bunch of time sailing small boats so that they can get a feel for the fact that a boat can heel at pretty large angles and still be perfectly safe.

At the heart of it, you have clearly invested years of your lives perfecting the boat you thought was the right one in an effort to make it capable of going cruising. My advice to you, (or to anyone who is considering distance voyaging), is to now make time to invest in making yourselves capable of going cruising. For most of us, the time spent building up our own capabilities is the most worthwhile, and is far more fun than the fixing up the boat part.

Whatever you chose to do, I only wish you well.


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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay

Last edited by Jeff_H; 02-10-2013 at 04:44 PM. Reason: Typos mostly, clarity in places
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