If you read last month’s iteration, I waxed on about the Covid-driven explosion in boating and the process of finding a new family boat and ended with teasing the grand plan to bring the boat back north with my 12-year-old. Well, what a surprise! Things did not go as planned.
Many aspects of the mission were accomplished. My son got to experience firsthand the logistics of getting a survey done, doing sea trials, making friends while doing business with the sellers, broker and surveyor, and then the planning and packing of the boat in preparation for a 1,000-mile-plus trip. All very worthwhile experiences. He also garnered some of the equally common experiences…those that come with disappointment, frustration and mystery!
Now to be clear, my optimism that this last bit of learning would not happen probably served to blindside him a bit…I didn’t think to inform him that 34-year old-engines with 860 hours on them might have a problem at some point. But the good news is that he is a quick learner, and he was already making overtures about over-under bets on how far we’d get before we’d even closed the deal. When the port engine first misfired about an hour out of Jupiter, forcing me to throttle back off of the nice 20-knot cruising plane we were on, he immediately turned to me and said “We’ve been taken.”’
Whoa now! Such cynicism! So young! And so hopefully not spot-on accurate! And where did he learn the phrase “We’ve been taken” anyway? At least he didn’t say, “Dad, you are such a rube!”
Well, what did mitigate his dour view was the countless efforts made by the sellers, the sellers’ friend, the friends of the sellers’ friend, one of whom met us at the dock in Melbourne to try and help diagnose the problem, and the broker, all of whom assured us that it must be something simple like timing or other ignition problem. And then when we finally had to concede defeat, largely (and thankfully) because the forces beckoning us home were very much ramped up by the new wrinkle of a 14-day quarantine which was now going to eat into the Little League baseball season and the team desperately needed their catcher and of course junior sailing which had begun on schedule, the woman we found to broker the trucking of the boat home turned out to be a great character too.
So, here she sits, getting ready for her new port side power, safe and sound in a yard in Bridgeport, CT, where we are meeting more unique, friendly and capable characters. Hopefully we can report on their success next month when you see us making our way to Falmouth for the family vacation…the clock is ticking!
See you on the water…soon!!!
Benjamin V. Cesare