I’ve had a sailboat sitting, for a long while, in a place not very well suited for a boat of any kind, much less one with a 25′ mast. It’s been sitting on a trailer in my garage, and it’s been sad.
I bought her from a co-worker. Spent a few months fixing things – new running rigging, repairing a mast dent, fixing the centerboard, getting the trailer roadworthy. It’s not a hot rod, and was never meant to be (someday I’ll get back to multihulls!) – instead, I bought her because she was big enough to lounge on comfortably, but small enough my kids could handle the loads in a stiff breeze.
The name on her stern, Hatikva, is not mine. It’s unfamiliar to me, and when I bought her I had some vague notion, though it didn’t matter, it was something Scandinavian, a good Viking sailing name. But it’s actually the name of the Israeli national anthem, and means “The Hope” in Hebrew. A little different than my mental image… but changing names on boats is a risky endeavor, as any sailor will tell you. So for now, she’s still Hatikva.
At 16 feet long and about 475 pounds, the boat is easy to haul around on a trailer – but the work involved with hooking up the trailer, getting to a ramp, putting up the mast, and boom, etc, etc, and then reversing the process to go home always seemed like too much work to actually go sailing. And so she sat.
In the meantime, I’ve continued to race “big” boats, and my kids have started sailing FJs for the high school team (a very Chesapeake Bay thing to do, but what an opportunity!), while Hatikva sat, and got buried with other things, including kayaks, tools, and bikes up around her hull, blocking the trailer in place. A victim of “stuff lock”.
Then, this weekend, I had an opportunity. One of my boys and I cleared the way, hooked the trailer to the car, and got her out to a ramp. We raised the mast, rigged the sails, put her in the water, and set her free. It was good to get some heel on, to hear the waves under the hull, to get her moving again. We headed for a friend’s house, and tied her up along the pier opposite a ski boat – where she’ll stay, rigged, in the water, for the season.
Hatikva is where she belongs now, and the barriers to sailing her are gone. Now, we can just jump aboard, hoist sails and spend an hour on the water with no hassle. We’ll get to explore a new area, and learn Hatikva‘s limits. Meanwhile, the ski-boat friends with a half-empty pier will learn to sail this summer, and their view of the water will have a sailboat mast in it. A win-win, and I’m extremely grateful!
Get Out There