Friday, March 15, 2013

Size Matters - Our Last Boat

Our CS36 Élan 
This is our LAST BOAT...  At least that's what we thought when we bought our CS36, Élan...

And for a while... she was!  Bruce had a very nice CS33 when I met him.  In fact, it was what first attracted me to him.  He invited me sailing one sunny February day, and we just continued on from there...  We played for months aboard Artemesia, beginning our lives together.

Soon after that, we took a vacation charter in the BVI's and had an extra day to kill.  We went over to Nanny Cay and took a look at the CS36.  Bruce was smitten... I was not.  It had been chartered and was in terrible shape but Bruce saw potential.  He got on the Internet when we returned home and found our new boat in Michigan.  Ahhhh when he got the 36 ft boat home and cleaned her up...  What a HUGE difference that extra three feet made!  I was SO happy with the extra weight and all the room inside...

Élan fit our lives perfectly.  We spent almost all of our free time on the boat exploring the area with friends and alone.  We talked a LOT about going cruising while we sat on the deck watching the sun go down.  One of the sticking points between us was whether or not we could cruise on THIS boat.  Bruce was not too happy when I started talking about selling her.  It was like I was talking ugly about his CHILD!  He would light up in defense of his baby.  He wanted to try cruising the boat we have, and if we liked it, THEN consider getting a bigger boat.  I was sure that if we went cruising on the smaller boat, there was less of a chance that I would like cruising...  There just wasn't enough ROOM on a 36 ft. boat with only one sleeping cabin.

I also felt that Élan was HIS boat, not ours.  I knew this every time I put my stuff into a cubby, only to come back to find it had been removed and replaced with Bruce's stuff.  There just weren't enough cubbies to hold all of our stuff.  We were only trying to pack on enough stuff to last the weekend... maybe a week at the most... and ALREADY there wasn't enough room.  (And we won't even TALK about the times Bruce removed almost EVERYTHING from the boat in preparation for a race...)  After countless conversations, Bruce finally began to relent.  If we plan on going cruising, we will need a bigger boat.

Bruce wanted to keep under the 40 ft mark so I started looking.  I was primarily interested in an aft cabin and more storage space.  We looked at several 38 ft boats and one or two rose to the top of our list... on paper.  We took a road trip to Kemah to see some boats and I felt dread when I stepped aboard the ones that I thought would be perfect.  They were too small, too cramped, too dark.  If this is going to be my home, I can't live in a hole!  Even if it IS a hole in the water....

I know!  I know!  I realize that there are SO many Cruisers out there on boats smaller than 38 feet, having the time of their lives.  I just can't do it!

We trashed our boat list and started a new list of the wants and needs we were looking for in a boat.  Bruce trembled in fear at my upward spiral in length... It came to a halt when the Liberty 49 ft caught my interest.  We actually boarded one and even I felt that it was too big for us to handle...  You see, I can be reasonable.  (I did love the interior though.)

I was feeling hopeless.  Will there EVER be a boat that both of us could love?  I had submitted a seemingly endless parade of "possibles" to Bruce and he only perked at a few.  It wasn't until we got an offer on our boat that he started paying attention.  He asked me for my "short list", and went to work...  He examined every detail of each boat on the list and came up with the same conclusion I did!  Our Morgan 45.

There is no such thing as the "perfect boat".  At least not in our budget range...  But, this boat is THE ONE.  She has so many of the things we want and really none of the things we didn't want.  I will admit that I suffered a shock when that first slip payment came due.  It's a bit more hefty than our old 40 ft slip.  I also have concerns that the price of sails will be exponentially higher on this boat.  But, Bruce shops the consignment market and finds great deals so maybe it won't be so bad when the time comes for baby to have a new set of finery.

Pics Prior to Moving Aboard... You think I'm going to let you see the STUFF?
The best thing about our 45 that the 36 ft boat didn't have... all of the lovely cubbies.  There are actual closets!  We have cabinets and floor hidey holes...  Bruce has a "garage" across from the engine room where he is free to store all of his stuff.  We no longer have to fight over storage space.  The interior is bright and roomy.  Our aft cabin is a dream.  It's a "real" bedroom.  A refuge where I can hang out and be at home.  Our galley is more than twice the size of that on our 36.  I'm in heaven.

I know that there will be changes in our lifestyle once we leave the dock... but I just don't think I could be happy on a much smaller boat.  I really really really DO think that THIS is our last boat!

Bruce's Note:  If you ask me... Elan was like a sports car and competed successfully in local regattas.  She handled like a dream and was capable of blue water.  Our Morgan is more like an RV.  But, it's still a sailboat.  We set a course and enjoy the scenery and the company, but pay less attention to tweaking sails for that extra half a knot...  We've changed direction in life.  This bigger boat is now our home.  It will take us where we want to go in comfort and a LOT of stuff!

Tammy's Post Note Note:  If you ask me... Bruce will NEVER quit tweaking sails for that extra half a knot and any two boats going in the same direction within eyeshot of one another... is a RACE!

Click on the monkey's fist to read others bloggers on this topic.
The Monkey's Fist


  1. LOVE the he said/she said. Too cute.

  2. Wow, what a beautiful boat! I'm sure you'll enjoy cruising her! We have a 1987 Catalina 30, so once we move aboard within a year we'll be jealous of all that storage passage you have! =)

  3. Thanks! We LOVE her! So many people who are already out there say that you don't need all the space... I just couldn't do it! Our previous boat being a 36 ft really had very little storage space for that size boat. She was more of a Racer/Cruiser. We will pay more and give up some things for having the bigger boat, but there are PLENTY of compromises in our choice of lifestyle.

    Maybe we can hang out when we make our way to NOLA later this year! I've enjoyed your blog for quite a while and it's always more fun when you're practically neighbors!