Tag Archives: survey

What’s in a Name?

  1. courage in pain or adversity.
    synonyms: couragebraveryenduranceresiliencemettle, moral fiber, strength of mind, strength of character, strong-mindedness, backbonespiritgrit, true grit, steadfastness;

    informal guts

We started thinking about names for the boat immediately after handing over a check for a deposit.  The boat had been very specifically named for the previous owners – a hyphenated combo of their first names that obviously had no relevance to us, so it had to go. That said,  I was nervous about changing the name, always having believed it was super bad luck to change the name of a boat.

After  researching the subject of renaming a boat, of which there is a great deal of information on the interwebs, I decided that if we said just the right blessing, and  gave Neptune a little bit of the best champagne we could afford (which wasn’t excellent, we did just buy a boat), we were good to go with a new name.

The problem was figuring out what that name would be. Again, I went to the internet for advice and started a list of options. There were certain “tests” it needed to pass. We didn’t want to have to give a lot of explanation for the name, we didn’t want to need to spell it out and it needed to sound okay 3 times if we ever God-forbid, needed to call Mayday. We tried anagrams of our kids names, anagrams of places that meant something to us, Latin and Irish words that I felt represented our family – the list (and languages) went on and on. Then, we invited our kids and extended family to join in and give us ideas, which was not a good idea. It’s like just asking a bunch of folks to help name your kid. We were completely stuck.

A few weeks after handing over deposit check and after a growing list of name ideas – all of which were a no-go, we headed back down to Olympia for the survey and sea-trial.  This was surprisingly fun and way more informative than I expected.  I think I had just imagined that inspecting engines and stuff would be boring. It was a busy day with lots of folks aboard: my husband, myself, our 22 year old son, the previous owners, our broker, an engine guy and our surveyor.

Over the course of the entire day during which everything was inspected and tested, hauled out and inspected some more – there were two words and a common theme that kept getting mentioned: Strong and Sturdy. “She’s got everything she needs to head to Alaska tomorrow”.

And that was it. We went home and realized we had the wrong idea for naming the boat all along. We didn’t need a name that represented us or the family, we needed a name that represented the boat.

There’s lots of information out there about what you need to do when de-naming and re-naming your boat in order to maintain good boating juju.  Some quite humorous and requiring lots of protocol in appeasing Poseidon. But we culled the lengthy ceremony and took the superstitions down a notch, yet feel we maintained a bit of reverence.  We invited our dearest friends over to the boat, made sure to have plenty of prosecco (and a bottle of the good stuff for Neptune) and read the following blessing which I edited slightly from another one I found online*:

Let this be our quiet place. 
Our small haven of escape and adventure.
Let us find within these walls of wind, water and sky
The joy of family togetherness, as well as individual moments
Of reflection, clarity and inspiration to rejuvenate our souls.
Let us cherish the beauty of the natural world beyond our doorstep,
And let the memories we create and share here, and the peace we find here
Give us hearts’ ease whenever we’re far from home. 
And may the Lord bless us with the protection of fair winds and following seas.
We Christen thee, FORTITUDE. May she stay ever true to her name. 

A toast followed and we went for an inaugural cruise on Lake Union and into Lake Washington. I think her name fits her – so far, (touch wood) she seems to have quite a bit of Fortitude for an ol’ gal.

*feel free to borrow the same for your own use if you’d like!

We Accidentally Bought a Trawler

While sitting in a high school parking lot waiting to pick our daughter up from the SAT exams, my husband was scrolling through Yachtworld and saw a great looking boat on the very last page. He called the broker, who happened to be there and had just shown it to another couple. He said he could wait another couple of hours for us to get there.

My husband said, “You want to go look at it?”

We had been looking at boats for about eight months. We previously owned a sailboat in Maine, but trawlers (and the waters of the Pacific Northwest) were new to us, so these first few months of searching were purely educational. We had never really seen or been on a trawler, so had no idea what we wanted until we started touring the boats, and also figured we wouldn’t really be in a position to buy a boat for 3-5 more years, as we still had 2 kids at home and college tuitions looming.

So we walked the docks. A lot. Went through a lot of boats, all of which were starting to look alike to me. Steven would ask, remember “this that and the other thing about that boat we saw”? I couldn’t recall. That said, we asked a lot of questions, and came up with the list of wants:

  • True pilothouse
  • Around 40′
  • No cored hulls
  • Either a single with “get home” something & bow thruster or a twin (we bought a twin)
  • Steps over ladders (for our aging parents who we hoped would visit and cruise with us)
  • Flybridge
  • Portuguese Bridge
  • Front and back staircase (so anyone can wake up and make coffee without moving through someone else’s cabin).
  • Room to sleep up to six (ourselves, our 3 kids and a friend) but more often just us.
  • Midship master stateroom
  • One Head
  • Separate Shower
  • PNW tankage (1200 nm, 300 gal of water)
  • Well appointed (teak, galley, genset, etc.)
  • Mechnically maintained and in decent shape with DIY upgrades we can handle ourselves.

There are a lot of options out there and we found the winnowing process to be a challenge that took a lot of time and discussion as most boats with our list of wants were in the 50′ and $250K + range, which exceeded our budget and size needs.

While the entire list was important, in our case finding a Pilothouse at 40′ was one of the most limiting factors as there aren’t many brands out there in this configuration at that length. KK42 was the next closest contender but typically exceeded the budget.

So when we walked into the boathouse in Olympia to see the boat we had just found a couple hours earlier on Yachtworld, it took all of about 5 minutes to know we had found our boat.

It was like finding a classic old car that had been in someones garage for decades – really well maintained and low mileage. In this case, only 1100 hours on the engines. It was everything we had been looking for and checked off nearly everything on our list (still don’t have those bow thrusters though!).  There was work to be done for sure – it was a 30 year old boat, but we hadn’t seen a single boat yet that didn’t need work. We knew we wouldn’t see another boat like it, in the condition she was in at the price they were asking. So we put down a deposit and scheduled a sea trial.

Walking back from finding our boat … now off to find engine mechanics and surveyors!

The sea trial went well – there were no surprises or deal breakers, nothing that scared off my very DIY handy husband that knows how to fix anything and everything. We were able to come down a bit on the price, and that was it – we were suddenly boat owners, about 5 years earlier than planned.

There were a few sleepless nights between that day we saw the boat, the sea trial and delivery – wondering about whether what we had just done was really a good idea. But as with anything in life; buying a house, having a kid, having another kid, moving across the country, there is never a good time for any of these things. You’re never fully prepared. But somehow – it all works out. You just figure shit out and make it work. So far, do not at all regret accidentally buying this boat. It’s just opened up a whole new adventure to add to our lives.