Creative photos and essays from the San Juan Islands



Looks can be deceiving

Here lies an attractive sloop with the name “Gloria” anchored in the back-bay down by the shipyard. I’ve ventured out in my kayak to look over this 25 foot fiberglass gal as a potential partial trade for my Cruise-a-Home houseboat which, once again, I’ve put on the market. The moorage fee on my houseboat is killing my meager Social Security income, and it’s time for a change, though I admit I’ll likely never again own such a nice liveaboard boat.

I was thinking maybe a smaller vessel that could be taken out of the water in the winter and parked on the property to save 3/4 of a year’s expense. But that doesn’t allow living aboard, and the whole scenario falls apart with that conclusion.

Then I climb aboard this cutie and discover that she has a rotten heart. Nearly every panel of plywood in the interior is rotted or delaminated. A prior owner has started the gutting procedure and it’s mostly an empty shell inside. I spend two hours contemplating various options of restorations, but couldn’t pull a likely picture of how I’d do any of it successfully.

Heck, I’m not even sure I want a sailboat! The last one I owned and lived aboard was a chore to sail, and getting older doesn’t favorably change the challenge of climbing on the cabin top to adjust or raise the sails.

So I informed the sloop’s current owner that I couldn’t conjure a solution and the trade won’t work. He says he’s secretly glad, for he loves the boat, and I think, ah youth! It must be nice to look at a seemingly difficult task with such boundless motivation while also looking at acquiring yet another boat!

Of late I’ve not done well selling boats. I’ve lost money on the last three I’ve sold, not an uncommon happening for boat owners. They say, ironically, that the two happiest days for a boat owner are the day he buys his boat, and the day he sells it! This time it appears, finally, that I’ll make a little profit, which doesn’t even begin to cover the huge yearly expense of moorage at the Port. No matter, I’ve often said that living aboard is the reward I’ve enjoyed, in stark contrast to the majority of boat owners I’ve observed who keep their expensive charges while seldom visiting them, something I just don’t understand. The best laid plans and all that. I actually entertain myself reading Craigslist boat ads stating the wife has declared “use it or lose it.”


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