Saturday 19 July 2014

The Changing of the Guard, and A Tour

   "Meet the new boss.  Same as the old boss."
                                            -The Who

   The tired cliche goes something like, as one chapter ends, another begins...

   This time, however, out here on the Dock, we were still editing the previous chapter while writing the next chapter.

   That chapter is, finally, complete.

      Selling Whiskeyjack  is a bittersweet experience.  When SWMBO and I became her stewards, we purchased her with the goal of learning how to sail together, to figure out what we knew and learn what we didn't know, and then next year move up to a bigger boat.

      That was in 2008.

      She suited us so well that it took 6 years of boat searching to find a boat that suited us any better.

      We wanted..  well, okay, we needed more space.

       Or one fewer dog.
        That was  the only improvement we desired over our doughty tank, Whiskeyjack.   Oh, and we had to stay on the Dock, so we couldn't go much longer than our Georgian 23's overall length.

        Damn hard to find a boat that fits that bill.

        We had to go to New Jersey to find one.

         Long story.
        To be told later.

        Whiskeyjack's  new owner, Phil, is the kind of skipper she needs.    He decided he wanted to sail, decided that going small, going simple and going now was the way to go, and he had his sights set on a Georgian 23, for all of the same reasons that drew SWMBO and I to the type:  Big enough to be comfortable, small enough to be manageable, cheap enough to be affordable.   He planned to sail on Lake Ontario, and wanted a boat that wouldn't cost a ton to move to a new home or to dock, and a boat that was cheap enough that, if he decided he didn't like this whole sailing thing, he wouldn't have a whole ton of cash invested.  He dropped by a couple of weeks ago to take a look, liked what he saw, made us an offer that was fair, left a deposit, and left, with the plan of action being to 1. Find dockage in Hamilton or Burlington or Oakville, and 2. Arrange transport, and then 3. We'd finalize the deal when he had all of his plates spinning.  He figured it might take until the end of the month.

      So, we waited, fingers crossed,  hoping that the deal wouldn't fall through.

        The  plates spun faster than expected.

       On Friday night money exchanged hands, papers were signed, and Whiskeyjack motored off to her new home....

         ...  Just down the Dock.

        Phil liked the marina so much when he came to look at Whiskeyjack that he decided  to keep her here for the rest of the season.


       So,  what is our new boat like?


       First impression:  She is worn, but not worn out.
       So am I, so I'm okay with that.

 She is in need of cosmetic improvement, her gelcoat is faded and shows some stress cracks, the woodwork is dull, but her bones are good.  With the exception of the Dock pictures, the images  that follow are pre-purchase photos- you get to see her as we first saw her.

       She is tall.  We joke that her freeboard is more like "Free Bird":  It just goes on and on and on...


     ...  note the stepstool on the Dock.

    The  center cockpit layout means that virtually every foot of length is utilized for accomodation.  It also means that no one is ever going to describe an S2 8.0C as a "classic beauty."

     She isn't.

    We're good with that.  We don't choose a boat based on how she looks, but on how she fits our needs.

    The design is clever, but the feel is very different, since you are sitting on top of the boat,  rather than IN the boat.  but the visibility is fantastic.  No need to stand up to see over the cabin, this boat is designed for seated sailing...

   .... which is good, because the boom is low.  Under sail, the boom is about four feet above the cockpit sole.


     Underway, that bigass freeboard also means that she feels more tender than Whiskeyjack.  When she heels, 15 degrees feels more like 25 degrees, because you are further out on the lever from the fulcrum.  The cockpit  is long but narrow, which is ideal for me and my stubby legs to brace against the aforementioned exaggerated heel.

   The layout pushes the cockpit forward, so the mast is RIGHT THERE.  No need to lead lines aft- the halyards and reefing lines are already at the cockpit.

  The four step companionway ladder is steep, so as not to take up any more room in the cabin than necessary.  Down below there is more than 6 feet of headroom in the center of the salon....

...  and a stripper pole.  Not really, but the compression post is in the very center of the salon.

     It is a little, okay, a lot, like sailing your parents' basement rec room from the 70s- fabric covered walls, small windows, a pole in the middle...  but, once you get past the dated aesthetics, the layout works well for us...

      ...and the Escheresque v-berth upholstery grows on you.

      The v-berth itself is generous in size, with four large storage lockers underneath and a handy deep shelf above.  The mirror is hinged, providing access to the anchor locker forward.

   Ventilation is great- four opening ports, and a large hatch overhead help keep the air moving.

      The galley runs down the port side of the salon,  has adequate counter space and storage space, and a large toploading icebox.

    As I mentioned, cosmetically she needs some help.

looking aft, on the port side is the "tunnel,"  the passage to the aft cabin:

    The tunnel is also the nav station, with a small bench on the port side, and electrical panel and chart desk on the starboard side...   and a pencil sharpener.

The electrical panel is simple, reflecting the simple systems on this boat.

Underneath the nav station lurks the drivetrain, a Yanmar single cylinder diesel.  Access to the workings is AMAZING. The entire nav station can be dismantled, allowing one to easily work on any part of the engine and transmission.

  The aft cabin has a full size berth for two running across the transom, hanign lockers on both sides, a nightstand, bookshelves, and two lockers under the mattress.  

      The unsightly glue and fuzz covered panle to the left of the picture is, apparently, where a TV was mounted.  We are debating how to finish this blemish.  For now, however, we simply live with it.

    Above the bed is another large tinted acrylic hatch, which opens onto the boat's aft deck, or "back porch"

There are also two opening ports on the transom.  Ventilation in the aft cabin is just as good as in the salon.

   To the right of thhe companionway ladder is the head.  One of our "wants" when we were looking for our next boat was a head that was separate from the v-berth.  We got it.

   As with the nav station, the head is tucked under the cockpit, so headroom when using the head is limited. But, head room improves to over 6 feet at the forward end of the head, so at least one can stand up to wash one's hands or brush one's teeth.

   8 metres of length and not a square inch wasted.

She is also 8 metres of new projects.  When she arrived on the Dock, she had no usable weather cannvas, so the first order of business, in the opinion of SWMBO, the ginger, was repairing NextBoat's  existing dodger and installing a bimini.  

 Done and done.  

   Next we needed to replace the depthfinder, install a chart plotter, build and install a table in the salon, a table in the cockpit,  install our grille on the stern rail, replace the galley stove, create some storage for propane canisters,  find a way to get more leg room in the head...

Stay tuned.  


  1. Nice! That's a lot of boat!

    And you got both of the two happiest days of a boat owner's life!

    Congratulations Brian!

  2. You had me at stripper pole.

  3. Right, now I know who's boat to steal ;)

    But actually it shows that some boats are actually built to be sensible, if I run into something like that for a fair price I'd be buying it. Any chance of some more pictures I want to see how well that layout actually works.

  4. wait your parents had a stripper pole in their basement?