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post #1 of 3 Old 03-01-2012 Thread Starter
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It was five years ago – almost to the day – that I first set foot on Northern Lights.

I had been on a sailboat before, but I had never sailed. I had spent a lot of time on dive boats, looking across the water at those beautiful craft and fantasizing about, one day, joining that fraternity of mariners who relied on their skills in reading and riding the wind; not just goosing the throttle and turning the wheel. Now I was standing on the deck of what was to become my boat.

Northern Lights is a 26’ sloop-rigged Nash. When I met her she was braced high in her cradle. Her sails and rigging were stowed for the winter. She looked forlorn and dreary as yachts do when on the hard. But, through the clutter and bleakness of winter storage, Northern Lights beauty shone through.

I learned to sail on Northern Lights. She has a simple rig – not much in the way of fine sail trim adjustments. But I pushed her and she pushed back, and through it all she kept me safe. We journeyed together each summer: many miles of water passed under her keel. Finding secret hideaways and savouring our solitude, or rafting up with friends. Special times - anniversaries; birthdays – were celebrated; sunsets watched; stars counted; dreams revealed and realized. And fun! Lot’s of fun.

Northern Lights introduced me to a passion that will be with me for the rest of my life.

The desire to challenge ourselves is, I believe, a basic human trait. Once we have attained a level of comfort most of us strive to push forward, to reach the next plateau. So it is with me. I came to the decision that I was ready to learn new things, face new challenges, to hone the skills that I have developed in the years since I stepped aboard Northern Lights. With that in mind, we, my wife and I, came to the hard decision that we will be purchasing a larger boat.

We have found, what we think a boat that will be suitable to our needs: combining the comfort of Northern Lights, with the seaworthiness and fine control that I am now ready for.

We have put a conditional offer in, paid the deposit and booked the survey. Unless there is something amiss with the surveyors’ findings it should be a done deal.

We are very excited about the prospect of the new boat, but this is tempered by what we know will be a sadness at the loss of our dear friend.

My wish is that Northern Lights will provide the same joy and safe-passages to whoever is lucky enough to acquire her.

Fair winds.

1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay

Visualize the vastness of the oceans; the infinity of the heavens; the fickleness of the wind; the artistry of the craft and the frailty of the sailor. The oneness that may be achieved through the harmony of these things may lead one to enlightenment. - Flying Welshman
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-01-2012
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It really sounds bittersweet. Heres hoping your new boat will treat you just as well as your old friend.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-01-2012
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I've bought three boats, but never sold one. So I have a fleet of three now, and am attached to all for different reasons. They're worth more to me than the free market would be willing to pay - which is why I keep all of them. (Plus, I still use them all a couple weeks a year.) I really don't know how I'd deal with selling one.

The two trailer boats are easy to keep - I have free storage in my back/side yards. The C250 has slip and storage fees, so I know I'll have to sell her if I upgrade. It will be difficult, though, because so much time has gone into minor upgrades that are worth so much more to me than to anyone else. And, of course, the memories of the things we've done with her.

Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, 50 Ton Master and OUPV
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106

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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina
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