Establishing ownership

The last month has been a complete emotional roller coaster. I’ve given up many chances to socialize with friends and get outside to climb and ski so I could learn as much as I could about sailboat ownership and how to prepare for the day I am responsible for it and beyond. I’ve been concerned that all of this work and sacrifice will end up wasted. I know that even if I don’t get Satori there will be another boat in the future to own and sail. Who knows when that would ever happen though. I’m 37, single, no kids and nothing tying me to land except a stable income to feed my obsessions. I’ve decided not to wait this out any longer. It’s too risky and I need to start doing hard budget planning and to figure out what to prioritize. In order to really dig in I need to put myself at ease and go ahead and take the big plunge. So this Saturday I’m heading to Satori and will pay for the boat in advance.

For those new to buying a sailboat, there are Washington State requirements. First you need a bill of sale. Next you need to pay use taxes on the boat which currently runs between 8.5 and 9 percent of the sale price. Then a new title is needed.  Finally a vessel registration will make the boat legal. If I want to put her in mooring in Seattle I will also need to pay vessel liability insurance which is not cheap. Then if I want to qualify her for living aboard I will likely need to pay more for that. Sailing vessels are not cheap!


While I’m hanging out at the boat I will also plan on inspecting the standing and running rigging. I want to put up the sails while she’s docked to see how they look. The boat hasn’t been sailed in over 10 years and I’m not sure how long a tanbark sail lasts under rotting sail covers. From the photos I have of Satori underway I can see only a single reef on the mainsail so regardless I will need to buy a new mainsail and likely other front sails. I’m also going to have a look at the masthead and inspect everything up top while I’m there. This way if I notice any issues with either the standing rigging or sails I have 4 months to get it all worked out so Satori can sail without failure.

Amps, Watts & Volts

I took a little time today to remind myself of how a DC to AC electrical conversion works. One of my favorite parts of off-shore sailing is coming up with a reliable system to produce your own energy that can run your electronics and provide a regular surplus of energy for entertainment purposes. That could be for simple pleasures of producing hot water for showering and running a refrigerator or something a little more robust like a home entertainment system with HD display and a couple hundred watt stereo and various gadgets. I don’t plan on running a generator to produce electricity except in an emergency to keep navigation equipment running. So far I am considering a single wind generator and four solar panels. It makes sense to have both due to the pressure fluctuations from high pressure, low wind to low pressure high wind and everything in between.


Since I made a commitment to buying my own capable world traveling house and wind rider water skimmer, I have started a planning process that is killing my social life. Phone calls, note taking, video watching, book and article reading have been a priority recently. I need to answer some pretty big questions so I can relax and enjoy the day leading to the physical acquisition. I am planning some weekends to arrange some preliminary upgrades before the big day. I will need to haul it out of the water and have it inspected, hull cleaned and painted and a final launch into the sound to bring it into Seattle.

I’m currently prioritizing the upgrades, a budget and budget timeline plan for ensuring that my finances will be able to cover the upgrades in the next year. I’ve been considering a plan to begin sailing Satori beginning in June 2014. There should be nothing major that would prevent me from leaving Seattle between now and then, assuming I can maintain employment and avoid spending a lot of money.

Right now the most important priority is learning about how others have maintained their Westsail and kept it traveling around the ocean. There is quite a difference in the kind of overhauling people have done and the amount of time they have invested in preparing for a/the voyage. I’d like to hope that it is mostly ready to go but a part of me seems to believe that some major resealing will keep me from getting it further than Juan de Fuca. Fortunately I can push the envelope a bit thanks to the large amount of marinas between here and San Francisco in the event something major prevents me from making a complete voyage. It will be a great shakedown passage and I can keep working when I’m not skippering the vessel.

I leave you with a video series on a Westsail 42 called the Paragon.