Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chicago area
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Ok, so here we go - taking the plunge
Hello, I am Dave. Don't know how much I will post here, but have been lurking a few weeks, and figured I'd better join. I've loved sailing ever since high school. I took a week of instructional sailing at a church camp in OH, and have been hooked ever since. Shortly out of college, I bought a 14' Hobie Cat from a coworker. Have sailed it off and on as time would allow. It is a fun boat, but requires constant involvement to sail - no time to relax. Its also very wet. I've sailed it out on lake MI, best fun I had was in 2-4 foot waves and small craft advisory. The boat handled that very well, although I almost learned the hard way that you have to be careful as the pontoons tend to poke through the waves, rather than go over them. Had one big wave brake over the trampoline and almost flipped the boat over forward.
Since being married and having kids, my hobbies turned to other things, mainly RVing. I own a 1983 Revcon Motorhome. It is a custom front wheel drive chassis, all Aircraft aluminum - very light weight and low center of gravity. It will slide, long before it would ever roll - ask me how I know. I've done a bunch of mods, including installing a 502 CI crate engine, with and Edelbrock multiport fuel injection. It runs around 440 HP and before re-gearing would light up the front wheels from a 20 mph roll.
So what does all this have to do with sailing? Well in planning our vacation this year, I decided to get back to some forgotten things I love. I was going to try to get the Hobie Cat back into the water and also fix up an old Sunfish someone gave me. However, I realized that it was just not going to be practical for the whole family to be out on the Hobie Cat, so on a whim, I searched Ebay for a small boat that was still big enough to have a cabin. Cabin is a must, as I have digestive issues and occasionally need instant access to a porta-potty. So on a Friday morning I starting surfing Ebay, found a boat that was local, and bought it Saturday afternoon. So within 2 days, I went from thinking I needed to do something different, to owning the boat. This is pretty amazing, as I am one of those people who can't make a decision if my life depended on it. Like took me 2 years to buy living room furniture. So I don't know what hit me. I had surfed Ebay maybe one or 2 times before - seen prices all over the place and didn't begin to know where to start. Basically what happened is that I found a boat cheap enough that if it turned out to be a mistake, it would only be a small one. Structurally the boat hull is sound, sails look new. Rigging intact. I've had the boat for 3 weeks. Discovered it has a bunch of leaks in the deck - mostly windows and grab rails. Unfortunately, that rotted the interior wood in one of the lower compartments. Its only a small section, 1.5' X 4' X 8". I've ripped out the wood and was able to leave the fiberglass intact that covered the wood. I will rebuild it using plastic / composite decking boards. Hopefully that will never rot again. Replace the windows and have made new grab rails from "Brazillion" Teak decking. Hopefully that should be all it needs.
The big sailing vacation is planned for August. Going to try Lake Monroe in Indiana. Got my camping spot reserved, found it by a fly over on Bing maps. Never been there, but it looks pretty cool from air. Anyone been there, let me know how it is.
So that is how I got here. Oh, I suppose one last thing is in order. The boat. It is American Fiberglass Mini Tonner 2+2. It seems like its a bit of a cheapy, but for a 1976, it has held up well all those years, so it can't be too bad.