Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands

Teak world

Teak worldWestsail 32 and moorage site 063

Teak on a boat is the nautical equivalent of leather in your living room at home. Only the very best quality boats have an abundance of teak, and this photo shows the only boat I’ve owned that qualifies for that greatness.

The boat was a kit Westsail 32 which comes with a heavy duty fiberglass hull and deck and you finish the interior. Whoever did the insides of this beauty went the whole way. I bought this vessel in not the best condition, and I was paying double moorage for I still owned my 40 foot motorsailer. In hindsight I wish I had kept this boat and sold the motorsailer.

My plan (considered sacrilege by sailing purists) was to convert it to a power boat, build a wheelhouse aft over the cockpit, and explore the islands in my yacht! Though the interior was dirty, the gold shown beneath the dirt. The head (bathroom) area was paneled with knotty pine and in my view was just as fancy as the main cabin.

The main problem with owning anything, in my view, is the upkeep, which in a boat is considerable, and also includes the expensive moorage. I now own a 31 foot Cruise-a-home houseboat, and the moorage is around $3,200 a year! Since I’m attempting to live on Social Security with a bit of extra work during the year, the moorage is killing me!

But, we keep our toys because they hold value of some sort for us. Some of that value is nostalgic, some investment, some due to laziness. And for those who can afford it, like Jay Leno, we have warehouses full of toys, well maintained toys. I don’t envy them though, for I’ve always followed Thoreau’s model of simplicity as being the most satisfying of lifestyles.

Thus, my current plan for the interior of my present vessel is not teak. I will insulate it (I’m fond of being warm inside) and follow a decor of minimalism. Clean, simple, satisfying. That just shows that our tastes change, and leather, or teak, is not always going to be the first choice.

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