Sunday, December 04, 2016

Don't Buy a Sailboat!

 Found this somewhere on the Web:

If you like having money in your bank account, don't own a sailboat!

This is countered by the following...

    “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”

    ― Kenneth Grahame
    , The Wind in the Willows

Owning a sailboat is not the choice of the sane. From a pure logic and economic perspective, a sailboat is packaged insanity.  It will cost you more than you can possibly imagine, it will never give back any value close to what you put into it and it will demand more from you than the worst spouse imaginable.

But treated well and she will be your most loyal friend and take you to places where dreams are made of and stories are told from.  And where others will long with envy at the tales that trail in the water leaves behind.

If I was sane and rational, and I usually am, I wouldn't own a sailboat.  The pure financial aspect doesn't make sense.  It would be cheaper for me to charter a boat for the times I've sailed on my boat and even then, the costs of doing so work out to the hundreds of dollars per hour.  Why do I do it?

For the convenience of having my boat when I want it, where I want and on my schedule.  And for the fact that she is "mine".   Sharing a boat with someone else or using the one bought and paid for by others is like having a turn with the town prostitute.  Eventually, everyone will know her good points and bad points and the locals know who's been out dallying with her.

Boats are best when they are monogamous.  Just you and them.  It's ok to bring friends out with them to play and socialize but she goes home with you.

I love watching starry-eyed people at the sailboat show, giddy about the dream and talking about all the things they will do with a boat.  Good boat brokers don't sell boats; they sell dreams.  They are weavers of fantasy, beguiling liars telling tales of faraway lands.  And it works!  I'm on my fourth boat.  But I shake my head and smile at the dreamers.  They'll learn soon enough...

...that there are worse things to do with your money than buy a sailboat.  In the end, you may come to regret the purchase and may eventually get rid of her.  We all eventually do.  The two best days of a sailor's life are the day you buy her and the day you sell her.

But the days in between count too.  And those are the ones you will remember fondly long after the money is gone and the boat has found a new home.  And you won't begrudge them a bit.  Years and memories will fade but the brightest will always be those days among the waves.

Don't allow a sailboat into your life!  Because once that bug bites hard enough it won't let you go.  You'll be a slave to wind and the water.  Addicted, entranced, enraptured.  And you will be taken as far as you'll allow your soul to wander and your dreams will carry you.

It is most definitely not worth it to own a sailboat!

You have been warned.

This is all very true!  However, one thing to be considered is partnerships.  On our 30' sailboat, the 6 of us pay $3 per day to own a very nice little yacht.  I did not want to spend an average of $10k per year to maintain and own a boat.  Plus my wife would not support me on spending that much $$$.  When I told her it would be about $1500 a year, she said OK.  We all sail as much as we want and it works out great.  If you want more info on our partnership, do a search in the top port search bar.  I have written about the virtues of partnerships many times in this blog.  So get out there and pick your partners wisely and start sailing.  It will change your life...for the better!

Our Newport 30 with all the sails up!

Thursday, December 01, 2016

A Palapa in Yelapa...Is Better than a Condo in Redondo!

What a great moment in time.  My life has been filled with amazing connections and coincidences!  Here is a wonderful example.  Last week, my family (Bridget and Connor), headed down to Puerto Vallarta, MX.   This is a special part of Mexico in that they get plenty of rain here and it is tropical as well as very much a jungle.  We were invited to one of the largest resorts in MX by our friends, Frank and Leslie (who, by the way, introduced me to my blushing bride over 25 years ago).  I had finished a sail down the coast on the Baja Haha just two weeks before and my crew/boat was heading to PV for the holiday.  They had plans to stay at a marina right next to our resort.  I told them that I would be in touch so we could get together.  If you are a reader of this blog, you will know that they invited me to join them on the Haha on their 40' trimaran.  We had a blast on the 750 mile adventure from San Diego to Cabo. 

After texting them a few times during our stay, with no response, I figured they must not have arrived in PV yet.

One of my goals this trip was to visit Yelapa.  It's a very small fishing village 15 miles up the coast.  There are no roads and the only way to get there is by boat.  I had asked our group of 15 at the resort, if anyone wanted to join me.  I got a bunch of "yes, I'll go" but when I told them the boat departs at 8am, everyone declined...except for my son Connor.  He is a junior down at SDSU and a very cool kid.  We hit the docks at the appointed hour and off we went into the bay.  The boat was a large motor cat, that could accommodate over 100 passengers.  The morning was clear with a bit of haze as we streaked across the bay at 15 knots.  I mentioned we might see some aquatic life in one of the largest bays in the Americas.  Sure enough, a familiar spout of water was off our starboard bow.  A humpback was chilling at the surface.  We were very close to this ancient sea creature.  Connor loved it.  Next, we hit a small cove for some snorkeling.  An hour later we were off to Yelapa.  What a stunning little bay.  Mountains surround this tiny village and there is a beautiful beach with a waterfall nearby.  We depart the boat for a hike and I look around the bay at the other boats.  On the far side, I see a trimaran.  Could it be Doggone from the Haha?  I look closer and I can see the kayak I used in Santa Maria.  Greg and Leslie were either on the boat or on the beach.  I scanned the beach for a dingy but no luck.  From below the dock, I see two people walking by and it's my crew from the Haha!  How amazing is that?  Timing in life is everything.  We said our hellos and they said they had a great sail to PV, from Cabo (400 miles).  They had sailed out to Yelapa to spend Thanksgiving in one of their favorite towns.  By the time we returned from our short hike to the waterfall, they had already departed to catch the afternoon winds back to PV.  It was great to capture that moment in time where everything came together and I could see these guys once more.  If you missed reading about our Haha adventure.  Head back to November on the starboard sidebar and you can read about our  sail down Baja.  Adios!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turn Your TV into a Beautiful Slide Show

Wouldn't it be fun to turn that monster flat screen into an amazing background of images from around the world?   I have an old Mac Mini hooked into our stereo/TV set up (the Mac is HDMI compatible).   I go to and down on the right is a link that matches the music with the pics.  Hit the green button on the top of your browser to go to full screen.  Voila!  I am currently in a sunset mode on my screen.  The music is very good and eclectic.  They cross all musical genres to set a mood.  So turn it up!  In my case, I usually put my own music to the pics.
I also just hooked up three Google Chromecast Audio units.  There is a similar model for streaming movies that uses HDMI, don't get that one if you are only looking for music.  I hooked my 6 house speakers together in a group and now I am listening to music throughout the house.  Very cool to control everything thru your phone or computer.  Hook up with Spotify/Pandora or many others and cast your ass off.  Costs about $35 per unit.  For a little over $100, you can play music simultaneously in three other areas of your house, as long as you have speakers in those three rooms.  Hook in with a 3.5mm plug and power is needed.  I am loving it.  Here is a holiday gift receiving tip: Ask three friends/family members to get you one and on the big day, you will be the happiest camper on the hill.  These things are great!

 I used to use Airport Expresses for the same purpose but it seems Apple has moved away from supporting these expensive little units and mine no longer work.

Lastly, since I have a computer hooked up to the TV, I use it to stream movies from all the usual online sources.  Works great with an app you can download to your phone called Mobile Mouse Pro.  The app allows you to control your computer thru your phone as it becomes your trackpad, keyboard and clicker.  Have fun!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Horn

Here is a short clip about rounding the Horn, the "sailors Mt. Everest".  Two of my favorite sailors are featured here.  Magnus Olsson (he passed away suddenly in 2013 at 64) is the older man and Sam Davies aboard Roxy is the gal.  I love the part where the waves are so big, she falls out of the picture.  She was sailing solo on the Vendee Globe back in 2008.

A little tribute to my Swedish friend.

Here is Sam on Roxy, what a gorgeous monohull!

Every Sailor Should Know These Four Knots

Knot tying takes practice.  There are so many times that a specific knot will help you in the long run.  These four knots will cover alot of territory.  There are many more out there, but with some practice, these will go along way.  Yachtpals has put together the BIG four.  Check it out
here.  If you have never been to Yachtpals, take a look around.  At one time, this was a very popular site with tons of good info.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What Cruising is All About!

What a wonderful little vid about a 10 year cruise around the planet with a simple boat and some cute girls.

Vixen's Voyage from Nicole Halabisky on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Ever Wanted to Start Your Own Blog?

I started blogging in 2005 after a few bad sailing accidents happened over an April weekend.  They were both situations where boats were lost but the lucky sailors survived.  I thought why not start a sailing blog where we can learn from others mistakes?  The blog has evolved a bit but it is still the main theme.  Sailing is what I am passionate about and I enjoyed passing on some of the knowledge and experiences I have enjoyed over the the last 35 years on the SF Bay and beyond.

Your blog can be about anything that you enjoy, not just sailing.  If you have a pet rock collection, that might be the topic you want to blog about.  There might not be a huge audience, but what the heck, you enjoy that so go for it.  Mix it up with a few of your life experiences and you have got something to say to the world.

They are many free platforms out there that will get you started.  I use because its free and there is no limit to what you can do out there.  Blogger is owned by Google and they make it very simple to post and edit.  I try to post 2-4 times a week to keep readers coming back.  I donot have a hugely popular blog but over the years have well over 500k hits.  Not bad.  You can also sign up with ads and make a few bucks if you wish.  So get out there and make it happen.  Your blog is not going to write itself!