Monday, March 29, 2010

…….. and the hills the greenest green, in Seattle

I’ll buy that line but the previous line is definitely not true.  Maybe “the greyest sky you’ve ever seen …” but not the bluest.  We can count the time we’ve seen the sun since we got here in minutes not hours.  Nevertheless its a wonderful area and we have been getting out and seeing the neighbourhood.

The area around La Conner is rustic and pretty and it will be a lot of fun to come back to either in the bus or on a boat.  Saturday we headed out on a ferry-riding adventure which eventually brought us into the heart of Seattle.  We had an appointment with a broker to see a Tollycraft – once again visiting the boat helped us better understand what we DON’T want, even if it didn’t solidify any positive desire for a specific brand or type.

Along the way we had an appointment to keep to see a boat in Port Townsend.  That visit just confirmed what we had suspected which is that we will not be buying a wooden boat.  We’ve seen some really nice ones – the one in Port Townsend lamentably wasn’t on the list of nice ones – but visiting with the owners has convinced me that they are way more work than I want to take on.  Its definitely possible to do the work and I have no doubt there are some seriously good wooden boats on the market.  I never liked being married to a yard and I think a wooden boat would feel the same.  Instead of getting out and enjoying the boat there would always be some overdue maintenance that either needed doing or made you feel guilty for not doing it immediately.

After looking at the Tollycraft we headed back downtown to find Pike Street Market.  We were there 100 years ago on our honeymoon.  That time we hired a kid to pedal us up the hill on some kind of bicycle affair but we must be in better shape now because we climbed the stairs.  Maybe we’re just cheaper in our old age.


Today (Monday) for the first time we looked at a boat that we could both have happily moved onboard. 

Defever 48 Tri Cabin

I have always loved the profile of the Defever boats.  I’m a firm believer that function follows form in boats.  The boats that perform best are also the ones that look right.  This picture doesn’t really capture the sweeping prow that Defevers are famous for and it has too much garbage above the cabin for my taste but its still a pretty good looking boat.  More importantly for our situation, it has sufficient headroom throughout for me.  It actually has a lot more headroom than our current residence.

We’re not ready to buy but we will be looking really hard at Defevers from now on.  This one has active stabilizers which is not my preference.  I wouldn’t mind if we ended up with active stabilizers but they would have to be in addition to passive stabilizers.  I’ve heard too many horror stories about the actives failing or getting bashed up against something.  I think my partner is going to need a stabilized boat and reliable stabilization means passive stabilization as far as I can tell.

We also weren’t wild about the space behind the salon/galley.  There’s a deck area underneath the fly bridge that has about 4’ of headroom.  I think its designed for a couple of chaise lounges but it just looks like wasted space to me.  Other than those quibbles it was a pretty nice boat at a reasonable price.  

So we reached a watershed today – up until today all we had was a list of what we don’t want.  We don’t want wood.  We don’t want anything under 45 feet.  We don’t want a single engine.  But now we have something that we actually do want.  That’s not saying that we will buy a Defever but we’ll make damn sure to look at every one that comes along.

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