Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Could this be the boat?

So I've been searching through boats a little more seriously lately.   I figure, why not start there, then worry about the job, and marina to live at.  Plus I'm still hanging out in Cincinnati until I get this all figured out anyways.  So below is a description of a Watkins I found that is located on Lake Erie.   It sounds enticing (of course anything does these days - the rose colored glasses of dreams! :)

Watkins 27' shoal runner aprox 4' draft. 1979. In good operating condition. We sailed right up until late October this season. Tiller steering. Good sized cockpit. Sleeps up to 6 w/ two double beds- one in salon and v-birth. Two single bunks. Two burner alcohol stovetop, icebox, sink. Length 27ft; waterline 23ft 8in; Beam 10ft; Draft 3ft 8in; Displacement 75000lb; Ballast 3500lb total; Headroom 6'2" Recent bottom work. Three sails- large mainsail, 130% head sail for roller furler and an older hank style jib sail, recent engine work, new motor mounts, new sensors. Motor runs great. A lot of extras like an auto helm, all necessary lines and rigging, 81/2' dingy, two anchors with 90'line,20'chain, a bag of various blocks, bins of other fittings, screws, hinges, latches, stainless and brass, recently added amidships cleats for spring lines, newly upholstered salon. Has cradle. Hand held radio, depth/fish finder, GPS also hand held. 8 disk CD player speakers in and outside in cockpit. Currently kept on Marblehead in East Harbor. Asking $6,000 or trade for roof, plumbing and other work on house in Columbus.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hello Again

I'm sorry for the prolonged absence.  I've had to deal with some issues in my life, and some of us our better equipped to handle those then others.  I apparently am not one of those people.  But rather then focus on the negative, it's time for some positive thinking.  So back to the dream I go.  It may be farther out on the horizon now then it ever was before, but it's still out there, beckoning me.  Asking me to not give up on it.  So how in the world can I refuse. 

I look forward to catching up on all the blogs I enjoyed following before.  And I promise not to get all depressed as I do :) Good sailing to you all, and even though I may not get out there soon, I will get out there!

- Chris

Friday, September 2, 2011

This bucket list item takes some work!

I've decided to try and cross off one of my land-based bucket list items.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for me this will be quite the undertaking.  Why is Chris (yes I talk about myself in the 3rd person) boring us with some boring land stuff?  Well because it's my blog and I can :)  Anyways the years have been less then kind to my once Adonis-like physique, and I would like to change that.  So thinking about the things on my bucket-list I thought maybe it's time to finally attempt to do a marathon. Because what makes more sense then an out of shape, middle-aged man running a marathon?

Once upon a time when I was in decent shape (it was only like 5 years ago..  doesn't take long to do some damage to yourself) I would do road races, and threw a triathlon in here and there.  Now here I sit at 43 (hard to believe I know because I look so darn young!) weighing something way to close to 250.  So it's time to trim the excess, and get back to work.  The big goal of moving aboard, and eventually heading south requires a man in much better shape.  And once I start my cruising I don't know if I'll be able to cross the marathon off my list (see how confident I am that I will be cruising for a long time!).

So it's now or never for the marathon.  Cincinnati has a great marathon on May 6th that I am aiming to run.  I need to start cutting the weight down and getting in shape so that when I start the training program I won't be dying - too much! I want to be one of those 4200+ finishers!  So I apologize now for the updates that may or may not be coming in the future - but at least you were warned :)

One possible training schedule - would start in Jan

163Rest3Walk 2Rest26.2Rest34.2

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Just browsing some cheap boats

Got bored tonight, so I thought I'd take a gander at the listings.  I don't know if it's a need to feed my masochistic nature, or to just inspire me to keep going.   Well assume it's a character defect and it's the former, but really hope it's the later :)  As more of the people I talk to or follow on their blogs, get boats, or make plans to start heading south after hurricane season, I feel the pull more and more.  

It's funny, I seem to notice things boat or water related more often now.  Songs with water, or sailing in the lyrics, or shows with boats in them perk my interest.   In the airport a week ago instead of picking up a Newsweek or some other magazine, I picked up Cruising World.  I paid a lot more attention to Hurricane Irene then I had any previous hurricane.  Tracking it's path, wind speed, what the sea surge was expected to be.  Checking to see if people I had read on the web were ok.

Almost like I feel a part of the sailing community already!  So here's just a few cheap boats I saw as I was looking through boats.

36' Concordia  $9900


 34' Tartan    $9900

Vessel has had recent survey and deck issues were discovered. Classify as project. Hence the low price. Is savable.

This Classic Sparkman & Stephen designed sloop has had 1 owner and has always been used in Lake Erie FRESHWATER. Has sought after Volvo diesel engine and newer Dacron sails made by a renowned local sailmaker, David Bierig. Her Keel/centerboard makes her idea for cruising in coastal regions where you may encounter shallows.

34' Tartan          $8000

Best priced 34 Tartan on market.

 30' Catalina              $6900

This is a very basic Catalina 30 with a newer (2004) Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel engine. The boat has been sitting for several years and the keel bolts may need replacing at an estimated cost of $1,000.00 - $1,500.00

30' Catalina 1983      $10000

No description

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm getting old

No, no - it's not mine!  My daughter turned 17 today.  Next year she turns 18 and she's off to college.  That will make both kids off to school - and means dad will be left all on his own with nobody to watch over him!  It makes me look back and think about the stuff I've done and haven't done in my life.  Sure there are some regrets, but I look at my 2 kids, and they are both thoughtful, kind kids and I realize that I didn't mess them up too bad :)   And now my daughter is talking about going into pre-med, so now my retirement plan is in place !! :)

By this time next year with my daughter off to college, and my son on his second year, I want to be moving onto a boat sitting in a marina here on the "lovely" Ohio river.  So I'll hold the 2 or 3 people that actually read this blog accountable for keeping me on track! :)  It won't be the warm weather that some of the cruisers enjoy, but it will be the start.

Monday, August 29, 2011

130 Blogs in the list

8/30 - update.   Technical difficulties hit yet again.  Now I think somebody is just messing with me!   Maybe this will all work better on the water  - time to move!! :)  Repairs forthcoming to list!

Yeah I know!  A blog that has been sorely lacking in posts the past couple weeks, and I wimp out and just add stuff to the blog list. You should be happy. I have given you an additional 20 something blogs of people that have actual useful information to read.  You might finally enjoy a blog post or two while you are at it.

Fear not, the last couple of weeks of sales school, taking my kid to college, laptop came down with a nasty virus, are hopefully behind me.  So my incessant droning will continue.  I'm sure I can come up with some exciting material.   Or maybe just make some stuff up!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Back from Annapolis

Ok, I'm back for longer now - I promise!  My posting has been sporadic the last couple of weeks.  A week of Sales School, followed by a trip to Annapolis to take my son to college.   He is very excited to be free of his parents and living on his own.  Far, far away from his parents' control.  I'm sure this had absolutely no impact into his decision to go to a school in Maryland - almost sure anyways :)

Another trip to Annapolis means another round of me seeing lots of boats on the water, and wishing I was on one of them.  Since I don't have much to say, I'll just add the pics from the trip. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back from Sales School

East Shore Marina

I am back !!  Yes, I know you were all frustrated that you could not read wonderfully entertaining posts from Chris.  I apologize!   If it makes you feel any better, my plane didn't land until midnight, then I spent an 1 1/2 hrs in a traffic jam on the way home.   Land life sucks!!

my friends boat
I did get an offer to run over to Rocky Fork Lake and sail with a friend from the class I took. There was no wind as usual.  It appears that my presence anywhere near a sailboat is enough for the wind to disappear.  So he motored me around the lake in his 22' Aquarius.  A nice little first boat he got for 2k.  It got me to thinking (well that and many links sent from various friends re: cheap small boats out there) that maybe I could get a beginner boat soon!  Then later get my liveaboard.  

With that thought bouncing around in my head I came across the sign above.  It was sitting on a 1987 Hunter - 23.5 ft.  $3900.  Seems like that might be a good starter boat.  So a message was left on the seller's voicemail.   Maybe I will have something to learn on soon!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Land Life Blues

Stuck on land, but at least I get some sushi

Been a very light week for me.  I've been stuck in a Sales School all week in North Carolina.  Oh if only I was floating in an anchorage somewhere farther south.

But it looks like one way or the other I'll get some sailing in on a friends boat this weekend when I get back.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Liveaboard Article in Annapolis paper

Ok so this post is basically me being lazy.  Yeah, I know, it's a big surprise.  I started talking with this couple in Annapolis after posting in some Sailing Forums awhile ago.  I think they embody what the sailing community is all about.  They are very friendly, and generous with their advice. And they even invited me to stop by and maybe come see their boat when I take my son to college in a couple weeks.

One half of the dynamic duo (are they super heroes?) is a writer, and does blogs for an Annapolis paper, The Capital.  She recently wrote an article about liveaboards in honor of Liveaboard Boater Day in the District of Columbia, August 13th. She interviewed a few liveaboards or people on their way to being liveaboards, and i was lucky enough to be included.   Thanks Jaye!

So since work and landlife has overwhelmed me this past week (that's my excuse for lack of posting), I'll just put a link to Jaye's articles instead.   Looks like yet another link for the blog list :)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Over 100 Blogs in the List

No, Chris did not turn 100!  His net worth might be 100, but that's not what the number signifies.  Due to yet another busy day at work, I decided to see if I couldn't get the blog list over 100.  It's pretty easy actually.  I have so many bookmarks, I could probably hit 200.   But you wouldn't want me to overwhelm you all would you?  So you guys all get 2 presents - no wordy posts from Chris, and some additional blogs to look over in your spare time.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A couple of other Ohio River Marinas

As usual I just can't stop looking around and daydreaming.  I have visted the Four Seasons Marina, had a couple beers there - or was it 5.. hmm I'm getting a little cloudy on that one.  But since I'm still stuck on land, I continue to want to at least look at pictures of boats on water, so I look for more places to visit.   I've added 2 more marinas to my list of possibilities.

Manhattan Harbour Marina is on the Kentucky side of the river.  I never thought I'd be on the Kentucky side, what will all the civilized Ohioans think (sorry - for all of you unaware, Cincinnati is on the Ohio/Kentucky border.  The Ohioans - aka us yankees  - sometimes pick fun at our southern neighbors).  This marina also has a couple restaurants, a bar (i always seem to find a place with a bar), marina shop, and the other expected facilities.  It's part of what appears to be a development of apartments, condos, etc.  So do I want to be in the middle of all that?   Should be a lively area, but will i get peace and quiet?  Do I want peace and quiet? Decisions, decisions

The other marina I found is the Lighthouse Point Yacht Club.  This marina is actually located in Indiana - what's the matter, did I just decide to start hating on my home state? - and looks to be a bit quieter then some of the other ones I've looked at. No restaurants, no bars, just a marina and the boating facilities you need.  I might sleep better there.  It is a bit more of a drive then the others, but everything is open, and plus my job is spent driving around when I"m not at the house anyways. So really anything relatively close will work.

Basically for any of the marinas it'll cost me an average of around $300/month to liveaboard there.  And all 3 of the main ones I've looked at take liveaboards.  The Lighthouse Yacht club has 1 liveaboard, the Four Seaons has 2, and the Manhattan Harbour has several.  So I guess that could also figure into it.  Do I want a larger community of liveaboards (although I'm not sure if the several translates into large - but close enough :) ).

So I need to choose one, and I need to get a boat!  The Search continues (yes I capitalized The Search - it is a big event !).

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Marina on the Ohio River

Look - open slips just waiting for me!!
After work today, I thought I'd stop by that marina I've been thinking about living at next year - Four Seasons. I thought I'd just grab a few beers at Pirates Cover, the bar/restaurant at the marina.  They were setting up for the band to play, so it looks like I would be getting free music (whether I wanted to listen to it or not) if I stayed there. 

The one thing that did strike me, as I looked around spying on the boaters, was the sense of community amongst the boaters.  I know that there are very few liveaboards at the marina, but even the weekenders all seemed to know each other, and we're sitting on the docks in groups of chairs eating, and drinking with each other.  It emboldens me to continue on my path so I can join the fraternity of boaters.  Soon, I keep repeating it to myself, soon. 

I can see myself here someday!

Out of all the boats here - only 1 sailboat

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Soon?

So a comment left from my cruising mentor :) over at Barco Sin Vela II I started thinking more about time frames and how I can keep this dream moving forward.  He had commented on a boat on Ebay that was under $1500, but appeared to be in decent shape.  At first thought I almost dismissed it straight away because I wasn't ready to proceed.  Then I thought (there is a lot of thinking - not much action!), well what if I actually got that boat, or any boat now.  Could I do it.

I looked around a little, and found dry storage from the place that I took my sailing class (Strictly Sail ).   For $400/yr plus tax, I could store the boat and there would be electric and water available. That would allow me to do any work (other then scraping/sanding of bottom paint) on the lot.  This would give me a year to get enough work done on the boat to make it liveable.  During that same time I would be working on the house preparing for it's sale next year.

Next year hopefully then I would sell the house, pocket what would I hope be about 50k of equity.  Sell all of the house stuff I don't need, and add those proceeds to the sailing kitty as well.  Then move myself and whatever boat I ended up with to Four Seasons Marina.  The cost of living aboard there on a 35' boat (just gave them a number for an idea) is $2765 plus electric for May 1 - Nov 30, and $910 plus electric for Dec 1 - Apr 30.  This got me really interested in my little exercise.  A cost of $300/month plus electric seems a LOT cheaper then $1150/month plus electric I'm paying for the house.  In the perfect world (aka my mind) that would seem to mean I can save up more money while working fulltime, and living onboard.  Of course there would be unexpected expenses, but I would be getting a boat ready for cruising, getting used to living on a boat, and enjoy water life (and the winter misery of it as well !).

Now I don't know if I'll go through and try and get that boat or not (the cost is rising quickly over on Ebay).  But I'll keep looking for deals on decent boats, and if one is a match I may just start this a lot sooner then I expected! So who knows.  As I've been told before, I may be closer then I think!

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Good Book

Sailing the Dream

I know I had this book included on an earlier post, but that was after just getting it.  I finally finished this book, in between all those blogs I read (such hard work!).  But it is an inspirational story for people just looking at a cruising lifestyle.  At least I think  so - I could be a little nuts!  A couple that buys a 34' sailboat and sails with their son from North America, to the South Pacific, and to Hawaii.

I thought it to be an honest accounting of their travels.  From the hardships and problems they ran into, to the wonderful new experiences and cultures they encountered.  During some of the recounting of their travels it almost felt like I could experience the journey with them.  Jealousy tinged with admiration at the way they just did it!   Maybe that's why there is a ridiculous list of blogs on my favorites page.  I'm living vicariously through those more brave souls already out there.  Those of you already out there probably don't need to read that book to experience the adventure, but for those land-locked souls, it is something to inspire you to make your plans! 

With that said - guess it's time to practice some knots.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sailing Blogs Updated Today

As promised, on slow creative days on land I'm just going to list the blogs that were updated today from my list.  I figure that nobody wants to look through a list of 91 (and growing) blogs to see what was updated today.  Of course more sane people would just follow a couple of blogs.  But I like to imagine I'm providing a valuable service to somebody !

Favorite List blogs Updated 07/31/11

Attainable Adventure Cruising
Boat Bits
Interview With a Cruiser      not a new interview though - so don't get too excited :)
For As Long As It Takes
Lucey Blue   
Pale Moon Dove
Sailing Adventures of Dream Catcher
Sarf & West
Sailing Cynus III Around the World
S/V Eyoni
S/V Third Day
Tiny House Blog
Twice in a Lifetime
Watery Tails
Sen's Sekai II
Zero to Cruising!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Got the favorite list back

So the computer guy finally got done typing his favorite list back in because he didn't have a backup of it.  Yes - IT is my profession.  And yes, the idea for trying to keep a list of 90 sailing blogs made for a lot of work retyping :)  but I'm a glutton, and it seemed like a popular page - more popular by far then my posts according to the stats - so it's back  

he goes one way
Not really much new to post because of that, but a couple pictures taken from outside.  I see the cruisers posting pics of wildlife, and tropical plants.  So in lieu of me being out there - I will post boring pictures from animals on lands - and boring flowers.  You're welcome :)

then he goes the other

On a side note - it looks like I'm going to get to join in some sailboat racing on a Y-Flyer.  So that'll be exciting for me!

and for no real reason - flowers :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Interesting Documentary

Land life keeps wanting to mess with me!  If I can't be on a boat, at least I could have more time to spend on my incredible blog, with my thousands of readers.  But alas, tonight will be brief.  Maybe I'll just do short recaps of recent posts from blogs on the favorite lists, when I can't come up with my own material.  At least you'll be assured of actually learning something, or enjoy some good writing; all things severely lacking from my own posts.

The movie link that I have so rudely pilfered from Cheap Oars' blog (A blog following a young man with dreams like my own - but with sufficiently more time ahead of him then me!) is Hold Fast.  I found this movie to be very interesting.  Following 4 young adults, from not having a boat, to restoring a boat (the Pestilence), and then sailing it.  I enjoyed it thoroughly myself - although others might not.  It is a full length movie (documentary) so you will need over an hour to watch it.  So find a rainy day, where you have plenty of battery life, and a good fast connection and have a watch of it!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Possible to Liveaboard near Cincinnati?

I've become more inspired recently about the possibility of living onboard locally (days after being depressed about my boat owning prospects - can anybody say bipolar?).  I was doing my almost daily perusing of various boating sites, and I thought to myself; I wonder if there are liveaboards in the area?  I know some of the local lakes have some houseboats, but they also drop the water level drastically in the winter (flood control), and I don't think the lakes are open.   So I thought to myself (usually the only person that will listen to me), let's take a look on the river - probably doesn't freeze as easily.

I looked online at some of the marinas that were listed, and some of them even said they welcomed liveaboards.  I could feel the excitement building.  Is it possible to sell the house, and live locally while working, building up my sailing kitty?  So I inquired at a few places and yes. It's true liveaboards aren't shunned everywhere.  The first place I actually got a response from said they still had a few liveaboards, but the number at fallen off in the last 5 years or so.  I guess the lifestyle isn't for everybody.  Of course - this isn't tropical liveaboard conditions.  We are talking about Ohio - and freezing temperatures in the winter.  But I am not deterred!  Yet :)  Give me the first winter on a boat in Ohio and we may be talking again.

Here are a couple of the Marinas I looked at (links to the marinas are in the picture captions).

Four Seasons

Four Seasons Marina:  The picture up top is off this also

  • Dock electricity, telephone service and water hook-up
  • Wireless Internet
  • Gas dock with convenience store
  • Private showers
  • Coin-operated laundry room
  • Ship's Store - Marine supplies, apparel, groceries and beverages
  • Dock attendants
  • Full marine service at Sea Ray of Cincinnati
  • Full pump-out service
Also it has a couple restaurants, a bar, and a volleyball court.  It sounds like it might be a bit of a party place.  But I'm going to head down and take a look. See if I can find the liveboards there and ask some questions.

Riverside Marina
   Riverside Marina:  

Wet Storage: $36.00 per ft per season
Winter Storage: $22.00 per ft per season
Dry Storage: Includes launching - Starting at $595 per season. 
Dockside electric & water (additional fees) 
Fuel Dock
In-out service
Live aboards welcome

 I did not hear back from this one yet, but I'll still head down and check it out.  It isn't cruising necessarily, but if I find the right boat, and can liveaboard it while getting my finances ready I think that's a good start.  Plus I'll BE ON A BOAT!!! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Couple links for beginners

I'm going to keep this one quick today - been a busy day on land :( 

The guy that I'm going to bum some sailing rides from sent me a couple links for any beginners out there like myself.   The first site is a how-to on various sailing skills needed.  Rest assured I will be going through this site thoroughly.  Maybe that's why he sent me the links.   He doesn't want some idiot on his boat that doesn't know what to do.

An Introduction to the World of Sailing

The other site is a rope tying site.  The neat thing about this one is it has animations for how to tie the various knots. I think this will be very useful. At the class I took, the instructor had about 15 minutes to go over various knots.  And with 12 of us crammed in the store trying to watch the knot tying, it didn't work out so great.  But with this site, I can practice (even if it's with a couple shoelaces) tying the various knots.

Animated Knots

Well I'm off to super-exciting land chores.  Or maybe I'll just go to Yachtworld and do a little dreaming.  See what kind of boat I can get and drop in a marina on the Ohio River.  Hmmmm..  maybe the dream will happen sooner then I think :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Local Sailing Clubs

If you've read this blog at all you already know that I am stuck on land, and boatless.  I know, it's a tragic story that should not befall a kind soul such as myself.  But since that's where I find myself currently, it's time to start figuring out how to get this landlubber some sailing action.  A guy I met during the one class I took has offered to take me along with him when he goes.  I think I will take him up on that as often as I can.  He will be trying during the weekdays - so nobody go ratting me out to my boss!   Unfortunately this past week it has been in the high 90's all week, and not a whisper of wind.  He doesn't yet have a slip for his boat, so we'll have to do the whole trailer thing, and he didn't think it was worth the hassle of sitting in a lake with no wind.  Hopefully the wind will once again visit Ohio soon, and I join can him.

Another option I'm looking into, and one that I've had a few people recommend to me, is to volunteer to crew (or at the vary least be rail meat) during local sailing club races.  So with that in mind I headed out to the almighty Google to look for some clubs in the area.

This lake is a little over an hour from my house.  It's 5260 acres, with no HP limit (I saw a big ole Cigar boat on there during my class), so there are some obstacles here and there.  But it seems pretty lively, and there are quite a few sailors on this lake.

BLSA Website

Cowan Lake Sailing Association

The lake is smaller, only 700 acres.  But it's also only 30 minutes from my house, and has a 10HP limit on the lake. 

CLSA Website

Caesar Creek Sailing Association

This is bigger then Cowan, at 2,830 acres. It's about the same distance as Cowan, but does not have a HP limit.

CCSA Website

Hueston Sailing Association

A small, 625 acre lake about 40 minutes from the house.  10 HP limit on this lake as well.

HSA Website

So I emailed all 4 of those clubs just to get some initial information.  And 3 of the 4 almost emailed me back instantly.  Sailors are a very welcoming community it seems.  So it looks like I'm going to have the opportunity to go be rail meat fairly soon.  I figure even as I'm sitting there adding my sufficient amount of weight to the boat, I can pick up on how the boats are being sailed.  Maybe I can even become a regular crew member for the races.  If that works out well, I'll probably crew all racing season next year as well.  At that point both of the kids will be off to college, and then it may be time to think about moving to a boat.  At least that's my best case scenario dream!