Taking the Tiller: We're Boat Owners--Again

Now the proud, part-owner of a Tartan 30, CW associate editor Kitty Martin will offset her purchase by selling her belongings on eBay.

Thank goodness for those sailing lessons because Charlie went out and bought a boat. What about the Rhodes Ranger 28 that's been sitting in the yard for the past however many years? Well, "cute little camper" (Charlie's term) that it is, we simply didn't have the time or the money to get it in the water.

I know, careful reader, you're probably asking, "Then how did Charlie find the time and the money to get another boat in the water?"


This boat will require a lot less time to get it, if not Bristol, at least water-ready; and in addition to Charlie's brother-in-law Brian going in "halfsies" on the deal, Charlie has decided to put a few items up for bid on e-Bay to finance our half. Luckily we have a big yard, because besides the Rhodes, there's also another sailboat that we've been using as a parts boat, which, admittedly, hasn't seen the water in who knows how long and would surely sink if it did. But there's a good deal of lead in the keel that has to be of use to somebody. Hey, Ben Zartman, (CW's very own Backyard Warrior) are you reading this?

Also up for grabs is a rather large and sturdy "flatbed-ish" truck, and two classic and sporty 3-something (324, 325?) turbo-diesel BMWs. Caveat Emptor: We're recommending them as a package deal as one has a smashed-up front end but a recently rebuilt engine, and the other has no engine but the body's in near-perfect condition.

There's also a 16-foot Hobie Cat sinking into the lawn near the clothesline, which Charlie's not even going to bother putting on e-Bay. But I'll let it go on the cheap. Once upon a time when it was still in the water, we used to get to Cuttyhunk from Padanaram in about 20 minutes. OK, maybe that's a bit of a fish story, but it really could fly.

Back to the new boat-I'm sure the suspense has been killing you. It's a 1970-something Tartan 30, hull number 161. Personally, I don't think that it's as elegant looking as the Rhodes, but it has three very important features that helped seal the deal: a working inboard engine, all the rigging, and sails. Something tells me these items will come in quite handy.

Charlie told me on Wednesday, June 13, that he wanted to buy a boat, which on that day he thought was going to be a 31-foot Seafarer. By Friday, he'd switched alliance to the Tartan, which by Saturday, he couldn't stop thinking about. Since Sunday was Father's Day and he could do whatever he wished, we drove to Milford, Connecticut, to check out the boat. So as you can see, this wasn't a rash decision.

The broker couldn't get the combination to unlock the main hatch, and well, we'd driven all that way, and Charlie was fairly sure he and Brian were going to buy it, so we sort of broke in to the boat via the forward hatch.
Kudos to the Tartan designers and congratulations to all you Tartan owners, because it was no easy task to unscrew all those nuts and bolts and open the hatch wide enough for the two of us to squeeze through.

It was pretty clean below with amenities unbeknownst to the Rhodes: many cabinets and drawers, a toilet, several sinks, electronics, and even a gaslight. Wow. Charlie was sold.

Charlie drove to Milford again the following week to sign a contract, and he's down there again today with a friend, prepping it for its maiden voyage from Milford to our mooring in Padanaram. I'm not exactly sure when that voyage will take place, but Charlie already has plans to go down and work on it again next weekend, so it should be soon.

At any rate, we're boat owners-again.

So if you're planning or even just thinking about making a similar, rash or not-so-rash purchase, drop me a line. Or if you'd like to bid on anything in our backyard, let me know. The prices could get really low over the weekend while Charlie's down in Connecticut.