2 weekends ago we went to the Strictly Sailboat show in Alameda. It has new and used boats for sale and vendors with boat stuff for sale – from inboard engines to keychains, dishes to canvas cockpit covers.
We’ve been going for years and years but this was the first year we went as owners of a sailboat! Oooh, aaah. Bottom-dweller boat owners, maybe, but still.
I expected to find super deals on SOMEthing…we need so much in the way of outfitting the boat. But, we bought nothing. They had fabulous outdoor cushions made of floaty-cushiony-plastic stuff that cost $800, yes, EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS, for the cockpit of our tiny little boat. Seriously! I kept thinking I wasn’t hearing the saleslady right. I kept trying to make the decimal point go over 1 place. Yikes!
I saw someone walking around with fenders – those big oblong, pillowy things that hang off the side of the boat to protect it from bumping against the dock. Otherwise known as bumpers! Yeah, a normal name for a boating item, how unusual.
Anyway, we didn’t see them for sale; I was hoping they would be cheaper than in the store – they can be almost 70 bucks for 1. You can buy covers for the old ones – as long as they still hold air, they’ll do the job – the covers are almost 30 bucks. Cheaper, yes, so maybe we’ll make do with covers for a while.
Back to the boat show: It was a beautiful sunny day, not too warm. We went on some of the boats, it’s interesting to see what others have done setting up their boats and it gives us good ideas. One boat had a TV that swiveled between a bedroom and the living room (berth & cabin). Great idea, but we couldn’t do that unless it also swiveled on through the bathroom, which is between the v-berth and the cabin. And I can’t see us getting a TV anytime soon, anyway.
We talked awhile to some guys with engines – inboard and inboard. An inboard will cost about $12k installed. Ouch. Our boat’s too old to be worth that kind of expense. We might upgrade the outboard. I’d like something with more power to it. The outboard we have now is about 10hp, which seems too wimpy to me. Especially since we might need the power to get out of the way of something big…even though sailboats have the right-of-way, we don’t always get the right-of-way.
One nice thing about looking around at all the boats is being able to say we like our layout just fine. Unless I’m looking at a catamaran – which is what I want, what I really, really want – none of the sailboats made me jealous. I don’t like heeling; you know what that is don’t you? It’s when the boat is tilted to one side or the other. Bottom line, I’m a klutz.
Here’s a used 34’ catamaran for sale and its only $125,000.
I like catamarans because: 1. They don’t heel unless something is very, very wrong 2. They are roomier than sailboats and, most importantly 3. They don’t heel.
We’ve sailed on a few cats in the past, that’s how I know I want one. However, naturally they are more expensive than sailboats. They aren’t as ubiquitous as sailboats. That’s what makes sailboats cheaper; there are sooo many of them in all shapes and sizes.
My favorite place to be when sailing on a catamaran is standing at the back corner leaning against the rail, holding onto a backstay…hard to do on a sailboat when you’re heeling. One day, maybe, we’ll have a cat. But for now, our budget yacht is just fine.
Oh, here’s where we had lunch – Bocanova. We were lucky enough to beat the lunch crowd by about 3 minutes and snagged an outdoor table where people-watching was the best and so was the food 😉