This is a two part story- a boat, and a cruise. They are of course related, but they are also two separate dreams.
So I scalled back my dreams a bit and bought the plans for MALEO, a 32ft cruising Tug designed by Charles Witholtz. I had those plans on the walls of my last cubical when I worked at Compaq. I told everyone I was going to retire and build the boat.
Then I saw Carl Stambaughs work and thought I had finally found the correct level of design and simplification in his Redwing 34. I even had him draw a modified Tug version of his design. Ive spent hours looking at the plans and thinking about building it.
But all of this has just been dreams, I just have not quite been able to start such a large project. So this winter, I decided it was time to buy a boat and get on with a cruise.
I talked to my boatyard friend, Mike Nyboe, and he suggested a couple boats I should look for. The most promising was an Albin 27. It had the 'downeast' look I wanted, they were diesel powered, of modest speed (cheap to operate) and seemed to have the accomodation I wanted for cruising with my wife, and some singlehanding.
So, I started looking for Albins. Google and Yachtworld.com found me several listings. I studied them, reading all the descriptions, and finally decided to call a couple of the brokers. Thats when I found out Albin 27's sell very fast. Every one of the boats I found listed had already sold, some in only a few days after posting.
Now I was annoyed, I wanted an Albin 27 and I couldnt find one. On Easter I was browsing the web at my daughters house and I asked Google for 'albin 27 for sale'. I got a hit, in a page on a trawler forum where John Murray said he was planning to sell his 27 and upgrade to a 30. I sent off an e-mail and found he had not sold the boat, in fact his ad had not yet appeared in print.
So after several e-mails and long phone conversations a deal was struck, and I was about to become an Albin 27 owner. I sent off a deposit check, and made plans for a visit to Ottawa to see the boat, and have a formal survey made by a professional Marine Surveyor.
See some details of the boat.
Over the years I have continued to think about some variation of that trip. After I moved to New England in 1971 I drove along the Erie canal at leat 3 or 4 times a year as we returned to visit family in Detroit. I always said someday I was going to do the trip.
So here is where the two parts come together- I've found the boat I want, and it's located such that the Erie Canal is a logial route to bring it home. Now, any sane person would call a trucking company and have the boat shipped home. It would probably cost less than its going to cost for fuel and food and all the expenses of a month trip. But this is my chance for at least part of the trip Ive always wanted to take. And I only have to run it one way.
See The route for my planned trip.
Here is the The Trip Log
Hope you enjoy reading about my boat dreams!