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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I have been a long-time lurker on SailNet, but decided to become more active now that I have my own boat. I am apparently one of a very few number of single women who own their own boat. Not that I intended it to work out that way, but somehow the Creator has a habit of arranging things that Should Be, not what you Think Should Be. :rolleyes:

I was never a fan of the water or boats, having red hair, green eyes and very fair skin. My family owned stink-potters when I was younger, and I never enjoyed the thrashing through wakes, the sunburn or anything associated with trips out on the boat. My Dad, who grew up sailing on the Chesapeake and raced in both CBYRA and off-shore races throughout his youth, was always quick to explain that my arrival was the reason that he had to give up sailing. It turns out that I was sailing before I was born, but Mom quickly decided that her husband needed to stay home and not go to sea for extended periods racing from Newport to Annapolis, Newport to Bermuda, or anywhere else the boats he raced on were heading.

That all changed when I achieved my life-long goal of retiring before I was too old to enjoy life. (Well, that's my layoff-induced story, and I'm sticking to it ;-) I decided to take a little sabbatical from working full-time since the age of 16 and spend more time with my parents. The big shock was seeing my father decline so quickly following his late-in-life retirement, and finding a way to combat that meant getting his Chrysler 26 sailboat back in the water. We sailed EVERY day that summer, and I learned a lot more about sailing than I ever realized in a short period of time, much of which I am only realizing now that I am out crewing on others' boats or dealing with my own boat. At the time it didn't seem like such a great idea - learning to sail from my father is a bit like learning to drive a car from Michael Schumacher. Dad's idea of explaining things is to yell louder. And in some foreign language that I didn't understand at the time - "You're Jibing! You're Jibing! MORE LEE HELM!!!" :hammer :confused:

In order to make a really long story short, I encouraged my Dad to learn to use the internet to look for the one boat he always wanted to own: A Morgan 41 Out/Island Ketch. It was a way of keeping him occupied and mentally engaged, and later provided some interesting mini-vacations as Dad, Mom and I went looking at various (some of them couldn't even be gracefully referred to as) boats.

<snip another long story about many unsuitable boats>

Then it happened.... SheerJoy came along and stole my heart. Well, that wasn't her name. I would have been very happy with any one of the other previous names she had on her stern. But the last one definitely had to go! And, when push came to shove, I had the capital to put up for the purchase, intending to float a loan for my Dad until he could arrange his finances. Once the sale was made, it quickly became obvious that (the gods were laughing and holding their sides by now, devious little devils) the most sensible thing was for me to retain ownership and allow Dad to have usage of the boat for as long as he wants to sail with me, which I hope is a very long time.

Currently, the Morgan is on the C&D Canal and spending its first winter in the water now that it once again moves on its own and is no longer slowly sinking...(another long story). Once I navigate the minefield that Maryland has laid out for boat owners using their waters, I intend to find a marina in Maryland which is much closer to being able to get out and sail. Anyone with advice on USCG documented Delaware-registered boats using Maryland waters, I would love to hear from you! The more I read and ask questions of DNR and various Maryland officials, the more confused I am, and convinced that the regulations of the Coast Guard and Maryland are completely contradictory. :banghead:

Thanks for listening, I'll bet the moderator that suggested I introduce myself in this Thread is regretting it now.... :laugher

s/v Sheer Joy
1981 Morgan 416 O/I Ketch
Summit North Marina, Summit, Delaware

Senior Member
19,488 Posts
Welcome aboard!

Tartan 27' owner
5,241 Posts
Great story Lesley!
Yes, life happens while you are making other plans!
Good of you to help get your old man sailing again.

I'm sure you know this but there is a reason so many boats have the state name "delaware" on their transoms; minimal taxes & fees. Other states are well aware of this and have devised means to get their hands on your wallet one way or another, Maryland in particular being a close neighbor of delaware. Surprisingly, some parts of Virginia may be worse in terms of annual taxes/fees. Like an undertaker they usually get you in the end.

I'm sure the gods are having a good laugh at your situation. I hope you can untangle the red tape and find a marina closer to decent sailing rather than in the middle of the c&d canal.

There is an old movie called: "The Gods must be crazy" which is worth a good chuckle or two.

In my case, since my boat would be required to register with NY State regardless of CG documentation I dropped the CG documentation (& fees) and now I just pay the NY State registration every 2 years.

Best of luck.

Kynntana (Freedom 38)
977 Posts
Welcome Leslie! What a heartwarming story. I too am a single female sailboat owner. It has been interesting, but I love the learning curve. How great that your father is such an expert sailor and you're learning from him. That's very cool. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your adventures :)

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