Join Date: Feb 2008
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Its going to be a beautiful summer
This is my first post, but have been lurking here for a year.
My wife and I bought a 1971 Grampian 26 last September. This is the first boat (smaller than the a cruise ship on your 10th anniversary) that she has been on. My boating experience was 10 years on a Sunfish in the cove behind my parents house and a number of 16' and smaller utility boats.
We took the boat out last year a few times, but were overwhelmed with the learning curve. My biggest issue is worrying about channels and water depth, growing up in waters with 1-4 foot mean low tide, thinking about 5' draft is challenging.
Yesterday was like a dream. We ventured from our moring to the Ledge Lighthouse in the Thames River off the coast of New London, CT. The wind was perfect, running home, we hit 7.4 knots relative to shore (GPS), and had the boat heeling to the level of my wife's tolerance. The dogs were resting on the cockpit sole.
What excited my spirits most of all was the scenery. Every direction you looked, boats were at full sail. 19' to well over 40' sailboats, the Block Island Ferry going by in the distance, we only counted 4 racing power boats. The water was filled with about 100 sailboats, 10 boats with fishermen casting lines, and the ferry.
The day was everything I imagined about local sailing. We aren't ready to venture off to the horizon, but a few more days like yesterday and my wife will be hooked for life. I have spent the last 15 years daydreaming of a return to the water, and this is the first season that dream is really coming true.
Our boat is a work in progress, we bought a new mainsail over the winter, installed new halyards last month, and we replaced 5 of the 6 windows on the boat this month, have the 6th ready, but ran out of gasket material. The boat looks respectable, and in time, it will look nicer than my wallet. Whoever said the boat is a hole in the water is not mistaken, but I wouldn't trade that hole for anything right now. My next project is building a new tiller, then restoring the 'stuff' on top of the mast: Windex, light, etc. I have spliced a 40' rope ladder for the climb. Treads 10" apart, even after stretch should be a safe bet...
Anyway, my rambling probably annoys most who read it, but I am loving my boat right now, and needed to share that