Days 4 through 6 with the Susurrus

The boat’s original name was Susurrus, according to the racing plaques inside.  Comes from Latin, meaning whisper.  I’m not sure we’d keep that name…

On Day 4, Rick went back to Vallejo and paid the balance of the purchase price, poked around all over the boat taking pictures and measurements, checking out the electrical stuff and loading into his truck all the sails and various items left in the boat. 

Rick came home around 7:30pm and all he could talk about was what he’d discovered – the brand of the marine batteries (Kirkland from Costco!  Who knew Costco sold marine batteries?  Waaay cheaper to buy that brand, about ½ the price),  the number of winches (8), the number of electrical outlets, how big the lazarete is for storage and what color we should we paint the hull and should it match the new cushions of the interior and what color should the sail covers be?

He also went to West Marine and got their huge catalog, so he’s going through it bit by bit and checking out prices and reading their articles, researching and studying – which is what Rick does really well.

Rick’s been online for hours looking at Craigslist and discovering that there are places where he can get rebuilt engines – so now do we put in an outboard for $500 or an inboard for $2500?  I think I know what we’ll do, can you guess?

The articles he’s reading show that he can even rebuild the winches, if need be.  One is sorta stuck but the others work smoothly.

 Day 5, we pull the sails and other stuff out of the back of the truck and check everything out.  For the foul-weather gear  1 jacket is ok but the other jacket and pants are ripped too badly so in the trash they go.  2 life-jackets are old and tired but good enough to be put to use in an emergency.  The life-pillow, whatever, is ugly and looks like someone peed on it, but it’s usable, too.  It doesn’t smell, so we’ll keep it.  We’ve still got our gear and life-vests from when we took lessons, fortunately.

Most important are the sails.  There are 5 of them and Rick is excited to see what we’ve got.

 4 are in their own bags, most of them stained and faded, but solid.  One of the bags is even stencilled with the boat’s name on it.  We pull out the first one and it’s dirty but in good shape – a mainsail – and it has the boat manufacturer’s info on it.

The 2nd is a jib, also in good shape!  The 3rd one is also a mainsail, larger than the first but it has a small rip along one side and will need to be taken in for repair.  It’s a Pineapple sail, a good brand, and they’re out of Oakland, so we’ll take it to them.

The 4th sail is the one Rick is most enthusiastic about.  It’s a spinnaker.  We haven’t learned to use one of those yet, so I think a class at Spinnaker Sailing inRedwood City is on our To Do list.  You can’t just throw a spinnaker sail to the wind and expect good results!  It takes finesse.  It’s a beautiful sail, wide horizontal stripes of orange, yellow, light and medium blue.  It’s been repaired numerous times but that’s ok.  It needs some repair now, but that’s ok, too, because they are so thin, like parachute silk, that I can do it on my sewing machine.  Well, I can once my sewing machine has been tuned up.

 The 5th sail is unusual, I can’t recall the name – something that starts with a B and doesn’t make sense…bowler? blurb? bouncer? bummer?  I dunno but somehow in my mind its related to throwing up, strange – ANYway, it’s used along with a spinnaker, on the opposite side.  Another sail we have to learn how to use – either that or sell it.  It was wet when we got it out of the bag so we draped it over Austin’s car to dry.

Now the sails are in the basement awaiting their futures.  We’ll have to get a bag for one of them – that bag will look mighty odd, all fresh and new, compared to the other tired but serviceable bags.  Hmmm, can I buy used sail bags?  eBay, here I come!  …turns out I CAN!  I just saw a bag for $60…too expensive for me, though, I suppose I could make one.  My sewing skills are somewhat minimal, but I’m pretty sure I can sew up a bag…with a drawstring…

Day 6 has Rick at DMV paying for the registration.  Here’s where buying an old clunker has its advantages!  Not only was the line at the DMV very short, the Los Gatos branch, registration for this 30’ sailboat is only $83 a year!  Now that’s happy news!

 Rick will be back up toVallejo on Saturday and Monday.  Will he buy a used outboard motor?  It’s certainly a lot easier to install!  He could do it himself – that is with the help of one of our sons – need a skinny butt to work down inside the lazarette.  Once that is done and some electrical repair, he’ll sail it – I mean, motor it – to the dry dock  in Napa.  Oh, what’s a lazarete, you say?  Its the storage area under the cockpit of the sailboat, accessed by lifting one of the seats along the side.

If Rick gets an inboard motor, then we have to wait for that to be installed before taking the boat to the dry dock.  And THAT means a month of slip rental at the marina. 

I think we might end up like many of our HOMETEC Architecture clients, buying a cheaper solution now and planning on upgrades later, when we can afford it.  No big, our egos can handle it 😉


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