Saturday, April 5, 2014

Goodbye to an Old Friend

Treasure, about to have her winter coat put on.
This week, we said goodbye to a friend -- our Compac 19 sailboat, Treasure.  Like so many goodbyes, it was bittersweet.  On the one hand, we'll miss her steady pace and easy launching -- 45 minutes, a minimal amount of sweat, and splash -- she's in the water and we're sailing off.  On the other hand, we really don't have the time you need to be a good parent to a boat -- not with our being up on the island all of June and July.  We spent some time participating in the Indecision Olympics, but we finally decided to find a good home for her.

A Compac is a great little boat.  They're small and easy to trailer, but tough.  For many years, we were members of the Sarasota Sailing Squadron, where an old salt named Walt was quite a fixture.  Walt was a sailor from way back, and had once been a notorious drunk.  It's okay for me to say it; he would tell you himself, and was a recovering alcoholic of many years when we knew him.  He was a badass sailor; winning many a race in his Bayfield.  Before that boat, he had a Compac 16.  Legend has it he sailed across the Gulf Stream in that Compac 16 -- at least four times.  Of course, he was drunk every time, but that speaks even more to the qualities of the boat.  When we starting thinking about a trailer-sailer, we figured Walt was a good recommendation for a Compac.

And Treasure lived up to our expectations!  From our first time launching her, she's brought us adventure. For five years, she took great care of us.  Although we're away all of June and July, we were able to swing a mooring at Paul's Marina in Casco Bay in August and September.  There were many a great day sailing south past the Goslings in the morning, then running with the wind as we headed home.  Of course, she wasn't the fastest or most nimble boat out there, but she did the trick  And she trailered ike a dream.  A terrific week on Buzzard's Bay introduced my niece to sailing and allowed my brother a day out under the sun sailing for the first time for many years.

But we always knew Treasure was a temporary boat for us.  In fact, we had a secret name for her -- Meantime, as in, the boat we had in the meantime -- until we're able to have our forever boat.  (We never told the boat that was her new name.  It's never a good idea to tell a boat she's not the perfect match for you.)  And last year, we found we didn't even have time to sail in August and September, since we only have those months to work on the house here in Maine, and the porch needed to be renovated.  So we decided it was time to find Treasure a home.  Monday, we listed her on Sailboat Listings and Craigslist; thinking we'd have plenty of time to dig her out from under the snow and ice that still encased her, uncover her, and give her a good rinse.  After all, the economy isn't that great, and we've watched boats sit on the market for months, so we obviously would have plenty of time to get her ready to sell.

We were wrong.  It turns out Compacs are highly sought on the market -- at least well equipped, clean Compacs.  It took about an hour before the first buyer called, and the calls just kept coming.  So yesterday we passed Treasure on to a new owner.  It took quite an effort to send her on her woay once we accepted an offer.  I had started the day with a 20 mile run, training for my upcoming marathon.  Damon was at work all day, working wonders with other field station directors from around the Gulf of Maine.  So it was up to me to get the boat on its way.  Luckily it was the first warm day of the year, because I hadn't been able to budge the 2-3 inches of ice surrounding her the day before.  By the time Treasure's new owner arrived, it looked just possible to extricate the boat.  He and I spent about an hour chipping ice away from her, then another hour getting the boat hooked up and moved out of her dry mooring.

I'm happy to say we got most of our money back from her.  We stashed that chunk of change in our "forever boat" account, which is quietly growing every month.  But even better than getting a good price, we sent hert to a new owner who'll truly enjoy her and use her to the fullest.  Boats don't like to sit; they like to be used!

Fair winds, Treasure!  We hope to see you out there!

1 comment :

  1. Boats are definitely members of the family..bon voyage Treasure..