Cottonwood II – A Cabot 36

While we were at my parents’ house, Margaret came across two Cabot 36s listed on Yachtworld and located in Indiantown, Florida, near where we had looked at So Bella and Suwendenjen. We were unfamiliar with this design, but started to do a little research.

It turns out the Cabot has an interesting history as the product of a Canadian government development grant that helped get the company off the ground in the early 1970s. They produced boats in the far north for about eight years, constructing some 50 Cabot 36s. The design seemed sound and there were quite a few Cabots that have made serious ocean voyages. While there was not too much information available on the web, there was a blog that many owners had contributed to that filled in some of the details
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The Bachelor Pad – A Bayfield 36 (joint post)

With Suwendejen – and the less than helpful broker – behind us, Margaret and I got some breakfast in Fort Pierce and then drove across the state to my folks’ house near Charlotte Harbor.  During that time, we talked a lot about boats and decided we wanted to try and get on more while we were in Florida.  Before leaving Illinois, we had created a spreadsheet of nine boats we might want to look at over break.  Once we made it to my folks, we went through all the listings on Yachtworld and expanded that list to about 20.  That meant that our list now had boats that we felt were good values and others that we just wanted to check out so we could get a feel for the design and learn a little more about what to look for, though we would soon discover that there was little distinction between these categories.  And, with that, we promptly called a broker down the road in Punta Gorda who had a Bayfield 36 for sale.
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Addendum to Our Valiant 40 Suwendejen Post

After writing our post on Suwendejen, I started having second thoughts about the boat.  After being aboard her, I had crossed her off our list.  However, while writing the post, I started to think a little more about the possibility of making an offer.  In discussing the boat with Margaret while writing the post, I had come to realize just how much she liked the layout of the Valiant 40, and I was reminded of its strong reputation.  I also started to reassess the condition of the boat, realizing that most of what we focused on in the review was relatively superficial.
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Viewing a Valiant 40 – another joint post

After getting off So Bella, we crossed the yard, waited another fifteen minutes while the broker took care of more important things, and then finally headed out on the dock to see the Valiant 40 we had also come to take a look at.  Margaret and I were both fairly excited about this boat.  On Yachtworld, it appeared to be in great condition and the list of equipment – including a new mast and boom – seemed impressive.  I had even written in our notes that I thought this boat represented the best value of the Valiants for sale under a 100,000 dollars.  Adding to my excitement, the broker explained that this was the owner’s third Valiant and that he was in the process of completing a refit, based on his experiences with the other two, in anticipation of a circumnavigation before health concerns forced him to sell.  Unfortunately, it did not take long for the boat’s actual condition to overcome my optimism.
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So Bella, a Passport 42 (another joint post)

As Margaret and I investigated various bluewater boats on Yachtworld, one of our favorite designs continued to be the Passport 42. It is at the top end of both the size of boat and budget we are considering. However, it stayed on the list because of the more than ample cabin, open side decks, and, especially, the beautiful woodwork below. Consequently, when we saw that there was a Passport 42, So Bella, for sale in Fort Pierce, in the same yard as three other boats we wanted to take a look at, we started getting excited. This would be our opportunity to step aboard our dream yacht, and one that was, arguably, the best value of the three Passport 42s listed on Yachtworld.
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Our Thoughts after Looking at the Southern Cross 31

Margaret and I looked at the Southern Cross 31 in St. Simons Island, Georgia, and have lots of thoughts about it.  We are going to try to make a joint post about what those thoughts are.  We’ll both open with a basic comments and then list four concerns we had with the boat.  I also provide some additional commentary on the boat and the broker.
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Heading to Georgia to Look at a Southern Cross 31

We just left Peoria yesterday afternoon – after giving our last final exams of the fall semester – and headed southeast. Our first stop will be St. Simons Island on the coast of Georgia where we will look at a Southern Cross 31, a cutter rigged yacht designed by Tom Gillmer. Driving in the early morning sun on Interstate 75, Margaret interviewed Jeff, the edited transcript of which is below.
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Buying A Boat and Learning To Sail: Part 3

Two days later, in the mid-afternoon, we strapped the boat back on top of the car and headed down to the river.  Knowing we had only a few days left in the season to sail in warm sun and warm-ish water, we decided to capitalize on this balmy autumn day.  When we got to Detweiller Marina it was 68 degrees and breezy.  I sealed our $5 launch fee in the envelope while Jeff took all of the pieces of the boat out of the car.  Together we carried the Dingster (my new nickname for the yet unnamed vessel) down to the concrete launch while another couple backed their ugly 1970’s era powerboat in to the water alongside us.  The marina was full of motorized adult play toys, though a few sail and house boats joined the ranks.

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Buying A Boat and Learning To Sail: Part 2

We arranged to look at the boat on a Wednesday evening around 6 p.m..  David and Jenni, the Walker Bay sellers, live in the historic district of Bloomington, on a piece of land that contains a recently renovated carriage house that is now Davids’ boat building workshop.  Beautifully accented with wide plank, knotty pine flooring, the interior is reminiscent of a Northwestern fishing cottage.

As we discussed the boat with David, we learned about his dreams of cruising and his current and past collection of water toys.  When I mentioned that we were considering long term cruising in the future, David told us about their plans to cruise, which ended abruptly when Jenni backed out of the plan about 3 weeks before their new C&C cruiser was set to be delivered.

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Buying A Boat and Learning To Sail: Part I

Last Wednesday we took a trip over to Bloomington, IL to check out a used Walker Bay 8’ dingy that we saw on Craigslist. We decided to look at the boat after we had a discussion about me wanting to learn how to sail. While I am gung-ho most of the time, ready to down size and leave behind a life of competition and consumerism, occasionally I have moments of apprehension and anxiety. My main concerns are that we will go broke or that I will not enjoy sailing. One of these issues is easy to get to the bottom of; the other might take a bit more creativity!

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