Saturday, October 21, 2006

Had the survey done on the 19th

Well, I finally coughed up the dough to get the Allied surveyed on the 19th. I wound up working with one of the very best surveyors in Texas, Mike Firestone. I highly recommend him. He is one of the only surveyors who makes going up the rigging a standard part of his procedure. Not to mention he truly leaves no system untested. Apparently the brokers don't like him much because he doesn't do anything to help them sell boats. That's the kind of recommendation I like to hear. The title link will take you to the boat page where the survey has been posted along with two new links of pictures. The first link takes you to the pictures Mike took during the survey. The second are my own.

Getting the boat surveyed wasn't really the experience I thought it was going to be. Things went very well, but it turns out to be a difficult process spending 9 hours doing nothing but finding fault with something I've already started envisioning myself owning. At the end of the day I was ready to scrap the whole deal. Oddly enough, after sleeping on it and reading the report things seemed much better. I've still got the same concerns about the boat I had going into the survey, including the high engine hours, and a few new ones like the rusty fuel tank.

I think at the end of the day this is still my boat. For the money I am not going to find something that will be this comfortable to live aboard. She really has been well maintained even though she does have some age on her. She is pretty down below and roomy enough for two and a couple of dogs. I think with some elbow grease and time I can have her up to speed for a round the world rally. I'll see if I can get the seller to knock off a few thousand based on the new findings from the survey. I'll need every penny if I want to get this boat upgraded like I want it. I am still incredibly nervous about having enough money to outfit the boat and have anything remaining to go cruising on, but I won't know until I try. Worse case scenario, I buy a sextant and go as is.

Considering I am 1K into this know I really do want to get the spreadsheet up and running that I'll use to track all the expenses for the boat and the cruise. I think putting real numbers together for this will be informative for myself and for someone else looking to undertake such a trip.

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Ulysses Factor and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

Robin Knox-Johnston was born in 1939 and was the first man to sail around the world non-stop. He returned home to England received by a hero's welcome. Following the race around the world RKJ continued to move in the sailing community helping to teach children of all ages to sail on tall ships and continuing to race to a lessor degree. Amazingly, RKJ is setting of again at age 67 to race around the world.

The Ulysses Factor is a concept derived by J.R.L. Anderson in his work by the same title. it addresses the exploring instinct in man, or better put, what makes a man chose to journey? One of the factors inherent to the factor is that it does not diminish with age. RKJ was held up by Anderson as one modern example of a man who embodied the Ulysses Factor. I think RKJ has added substantial corroboration to Anderson's argument with his latest adventure.

To learn more about the first non-stop race around the world check out the book A Voyage for Madmen. You can find an Amazon link on the required reading page of my website. These guys sailed around the world when the sextant was the best means to fix your position. Just a reminder, gadgets are great, but they don't make the trip possible. That's your job.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A whole lot going on.

I think I am still in a little bit of shock, but I made an offer on one of the boats in Texas. The Allied Mistress 39 meets almost all of the basic requirements I set out for the cruising boat. I found a website that runs through these requirements in much better detail that I have outlined them to date. Check them out at This couple did a really great job of documenting their cruising experience. I hope I can be as diligent.

The boat will still need a lot of work even thought she is in good shape overall. The engine has 7000 hours on her and will most likely need an overhaul. The radar, gps, instruments (depth, speed, wind) no longer work, and the autopilot is old enough that spares will be almost impossible to come by. These all have to be replaced. The manual anchor windlass needs to be sandblasted and recoated, the sails need to be refurbished with some minor repair, the boat needs a total paint job to look really good, and I am sure the survey will find much more for me to do. Speaking of which, we haul her out and get her inspected and take her on a sea trial on the 19th. I haven't been great about pictures, but I am planning on loading up during the sea trial. There are too many details I can't remember from the few hours I spent on the boat.

Considering the total investment that will be made in the boat I am going to publish an online spreadsheet so that others thinking of doing this can see the "real" cost of owning and outfitting a cruising boat. While the cost scares the hell out of me, I am really excited to transition from boat hunting to boat outfitting. I threw up some details about the Allied company and boat model on my page. Click the title above or head to my homepage to check it out.