We started our search for a new boat during the fall of 2013 with a trip to the east coast. We had picked out several boat models to see based on our "wish list" for the new vessel:
* No (or little) exterior teak
*34' - 40' in length
*Consider a single engine (diesel)
*Teak and holly floors, if possible (no carpet)
*Good walk-around area for docking and locking
*Easy access to water level for dinghy rides to shore (cockpit)
*One sleeping cabin and head (eliminating space needs and maintenance headaches)
The first boat we looked at was a Camano. No teak showing on the pictures and it looked good and sturdy. We actually looked at two models that were for sale in the same location. The first boat was in a boatyard "on the hard," as we say, or on land mounted on a block and stand structure. We climbed a ladder up to the back deck and checked out the inside. Nice, compact, clean, no carpet (check, check, check). Then to the outside and walk-around. Oops! Deal breaker: no rails on the tiny walk-around. This boat wouldn't work for us. We went ahead and saw the next Camano, out of courtesy to the owner who had set up an appointment for viewing...but we knew it wasn't the boat for us.
Next we looked at a Sabreline trawler, an older model. The fact that this boat showed lots of wear didn't bother us because we were there to look at the design. It was in seeing this boat that we added a want to our wish list: we wanted a sedan flybridge design so that the main living area was on the same level as the cockpit. This boat was an aft cabin, like our former boat, Segue.
After the Sabreline we viewed both a Carver and a Bayliner, but rejected both. Neither had a good walk-around area...nor did they have cleats in the center of the boat. The cleat issue was big for us because we've found that being able to snug up to a lock wall on a center cleat is the easiest ride for us and the boat.
Returning home to Knoxville, we felt we had accomplished a lot in narrowing down our search. We started looking at Mainships, primarily, because of their design, price point, and reputation. When we went to Florida for 2 months in early 2014, we focused on Mainship. In February we drove from Nokomis, FL, back to the east coast of Florida and the Carolinas to view several Mainships for sale. We looked at Mainship 39's, but they had two sleeping areas and the galleys were up, not down. Finally we honed in on a Mainship 34' that was gorgeous, even if it would require adding things like dinghy, lift, etc., and it was at the top of our budget. We got a contract on the boat and were trying to figure out how we would bring it home (by land or "sea"...both of which would require money and time) when the survey turned up a problem. We decided there were some unknown costs associated with fixing the issue and got out of the contract.
Through all this our broker, Brian from Chattanooga, had been super helpful and supportive. We came home in March and asked Brian to keep a lookout for something we might like. Wasn't long before he called us to come down and take a look at a 32' Island Gypsy 1999 sedan trawler. We were a little leary of the 32', two feet shorter than we'd considered, but decided to take an afternoon to check it out. The rest, as they say, is history.
This is Journey:
Oh. So, you notice the TEAK on EXTERIOR of boat. Well, all I can say is that when we saw this little beauty for the first time at the dock in Chattanooga...I fell in love. I swallowed hard and vowed, "I will do the teak." ;-) There's so much that we like about this boat. The walk-around area is wonderfully spacious and the rails are high enough to make us feel very secure in handling lines or securing the boat in a lock. We even like the up galley because it is not very visible from the seating area in the salon. Lucy will be safer because of the height of the sides on the walk-around...and there's a door at the end of the salon we can close so she won't fall down the stairs. (Did I mention Lucy is blind now? Happened last year. Won't impact her longevity, just a retinal thing.) We are enjoying the way the salon opens onto the back deck, the ease of taking the dinghy off and on, and the space on the upper deck.
We brought her up from Chicamauga Lake in late April and docked at Concord Marina. From that point on, we've been working to get her ready for the Loop trip. Wayne has done a ton of installing, rigging, and improvising in the process. The lift for the dinghy was constructed with the help of Ben, inventor par excellence!
At last, we set a date for departure, October 15, and started having friends over for a glimpse of our home for the next year.
Wayne's mother, 95 and just retired from Walmart, came down for a visit, along with Wayne's sister, Linda.
I said goodbye to my mall-walkin' buddies, Martha and Bill, as they were leaving Knoxville for Atlanta. Then we had them over for an "inaugural ride" on the re-vamped vessel.
On September 7 we had an "open boat" and invited friends. Among them were Beth and Glenda, Brenda R's dad, Jeanne, and Donna.
In October we had another "open boat" and had several of our neighbors come out to visit: Ann, Steve, Christy, Julie, and John.
I had a couple of chances to enjoy the company of Hook's Bookers, including our October meeting at Paneras (We missed you, Anne, Norma, and Mary!)
And...oh, I am so remiss in taking photos of these other friends. We enjoyed evenings with our boating buddies, the Birdwell's, Bloomfields, and Smiths; our dear friends, Jay and Carla; the Merrie Librarians; the lunch bunch, Willa, Joan, Linda, and Patty; my longtime friends at LML, and finally, our friends the Alexanders, Pierces, and the Barnes. Fortunately for us, Kay, unlike me, was mindful enough to catch a shot of us the Friday night before our departure...
Thank you to our dock mates at Concord Marina for making us feel right at home. Nice Aft 2, BobKat, and Supertramp...we'll miss you!
And, a shout out to our favorite boys in Wake Forest! They have visited the boat and are ready to spend the night when we get to the east coast next spring!
See you on down the river....