04 February 2012 | Roa Island
As I said in my previous blog we've ditched the idea of buying one of those classic looking old yachts from Taiwan, and the last week we've started looking at more modern conventional boats. This is a complete turn around I know, but we've had a big reality check after last weeks visit to see the CT41.
Now it's all Beneteau clones, as lots of modern boats look very much the same, a bit like modern cars, I suppose. The silly thing is that before now we've passed over these ads, looking for that something a bit different, something with character, lots of wood to polish and varnish, wooden grabrails, bowsprits, some even with figureheads, a traditional wooden helm, the list goes on. What we couldn't find on all these boats though was a fair sized head, ample galley and a large cockpit, and so when we started to swallow our pride and have a look at more practical options, like the plastic tubs with a stick what did we find.
On the whole that's exactly what these newer boats have, a spacious heads, bigger galleys and large cockpits. The only thing is they're mostly fin and skeg, not your heavy displacement, long keel jobs, the ones that we've been steered towards from all the heavy weather sailing books, your first ocean crossing, secure at sea books etc, we've devoured in our quest to become navigators.
Surfing the net on this new tack, we found a boat in our back yard, at Roa Island just eight miles away. This was a Janneau sunrise, and at 34'6" just about our size. We made contact with the owner Paul and arranged to see her on Saturday morning. We chose the morning because Jackie, who had an eye on the weather reckoned it was likely to snow in the afternoon, so we arranged to meet at 11am. At 10am it started snowing.
Oh well, not the best day to see a boat that may be bound for the Caribbean. Luckily the boat, Silver Lining, was on the hard standing, but the northwesterly's were blowing in freezing rain and snow flurrys. We clambered up the ladder propped against the stern and gave the decks a miss as the boat was caked in ice. Below was cozy though, Paul had had the heaters on. First impressions were that we quite liked her, not love at first sight, but not a no no. She's a 1987 model so not too ostentatious like these production boats can be and the layout would definitely suit our list of requirements, nice heads, ok galley, largish cockpit. And then my smart phone sounded an alarm, telling me we had to be back in Ulverston in 30 minutes, clever things these smart phones, which is why they called smart phones, I suppose.
We said to Paul we would like to see her on a better day and scurried off back to our appointment. On the way home we mulled over the pros and cons of Silver Lining and agreed that we needed another visit in more pleasant weather. By the time we reached Ulverston the snow was thick on the ground. This was not the day to view boats bound for the tropics but it lightened our hearts on a very cold and miserable winters day. Maybe our boat lay in our own backyard, just maybe. Surfing the net over lunch we found a similar boat, but a thirty eight footer just south of Glasgow about 5000 pounds cheaper. We'll arrange to check that out I'm sure, but today Silver Lining was the name of the game, an apt name for a winters day.