M is a sailor. Not the white hat, military kind of sailor...but, the sail on a sail boat kind of sailor. He's been sailing since he was about 8 years old. He learned on small boats on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin -- boats that took one or two kids to race. He's been racing big sailboats for about 10 years -- big, as in 32 feet or so big -- the kind that take about 7-9 people to sail in a race. He's done the legendary Chicago-to-Mackinac Island race about 6 times. (Even though you may not heard of the race, it is legendary. Ted Turner has even raced it on his sailing yacht.)
Anyway, needless to say, M has wanted a sailboat FOREVER. When we moved to the Midwest from San Francisco (and had a big of jingle in our pockets) he wanted to buy a boat. But he also wanted to put in a pool, and he wanted to own some hunting property, and he wanted to own a cottage, and he wanted to upgrade our RV...am I missing anything? So, we made a deal. We set aside a bit of money and agreed (note, that means that we agreed together) that we would live through one summer and then decide which of the fun summer things we wanted to invest in -- the boat, pool, cottage, or RV. It would be silly to just jump into one of these expensive things without knowing where we'd rather spend our time (and money). We agreed to this. Together. Agreed.
How is it that every other week, M has come to me with another "amazing deal" on a sailboat? Honey, this is such a bargain and she's a beauty (all boats are female, did you know that?) Each time, I would remind my darlin' that we agreed to a plan and wouldn't buy anything this summer. Then, there was the sailboat in Grand Haven that was in incredible condition -- no, I reminded him, we agreed that wouldn't buy a boat this summer. Each boat seemed to get more expensive. First they were in the $5K range, then somehow they crept up to an amazing deal at $9K. He wore me down (which was probably his plan to begin with.) I finally said, okay, if you can find a boat that works for the family for $1K we can get it this summer. Of course, I thought that this was impossible. After all, look at the price ranges that he was dealing with before.
Well, I obviously don't know my husband very well, because I should have known a "mission" when I said one. For two weeks, he was online and on the phone, researching sailboats that were for sale in the closest five states. He learned about which fleets were active, which boats had benches (a stipulation that I had -- I hate sitting on the edge of the boat, and it's not safe for the kids), which boats were light enough for our SUV to pull on a trailer. I knew I was in trouble.
He had it narrowed down to two kinds of boats -- Stars and Buccanneers. He found a Buccaneer in great shape a half an hour away from his mom's house. The Buccaneer is 18 feet long. As T says, "it doesn't have a basement" so there is no place to sleep. But she's a cutie! I'll post a picture as soon as I get one. Ours is sky blue with a red-and-white striped (like the Cat in the Hat's hat) spinnaker. We named her Yankee Doodle because of her colors and the fact that we got her on the 4th of July weekend. The name Firecracker was a close second; actually, it was the kids' favorite, but we wanted to show a bit more patriotism.
M and the kids sailed it at his mom's house last week and had a great time. We put it in the nearby lake on Sunday and had a blast too. R is a natural sailor. When M told him to "cleat the jib" R knew exactly what to do! T was more interested in the snacks that I packed than learning how to sail, but he had fun too.
Here's a website that shows some pictures of the Buccaneers, so you get a feel for her. They race them with two people, but you can sail with 4 or 5 pretty comfortably.
Yesterday, the wind picked up and the trees in our woods started really blowing, so he jumped in the car and went out and took Yankee Doodle for a spin around the lake before the thunderstorm started.
My man has his boat...and he's a'grinnin' from ear to ear.