March 8-10, 2013 – Road Trip: Part Three – The Hinterhoeller

Feeling refreshed from the coconut drinks in St. Pete, we headed down to Punta Gorda to check out the Hinterhoeller.

Pics from Phone 669

Hinterhoellers are Canadian-built with a reputation as solid, sea-worthy vessels.  We were looking at a 1985 Niagara that was primarily a one-owner.  The seller, Jack, had owned it since 1989 and you could just tell he loved that boat.  It was extremely well-cared for.  Polished and clean, organized and tidy.  She was most definitely Jack’s baby.  And, for good reason.  Jack had sailed the boat several times in the Mackinac race (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Huron_to_Mackinac_Boat_Race) from Lake Huron to Mackinac Island, MI (a 290-mile freshwater course) single-handedly.  As a result, just about every system on the boat was streamlined and rigged for quick, easy, single-handed use.  He and his wife were now retired and and, as tough as it was for them, after decades of wonderful sails on the boat (from quick weekend trips to month-long voyages) they were ready to retire from the cruising as well.  Jack greeted us with a bright smile and big paw handshakes and jumped right on the boat with us to tinker around.

The Hinterhoeller had a spacious cockpit with plenty of room to kickback and stretch out at the helm.   To use the old cockpit/living room analogy – where the others had felt like the stuffy, formal “sitting” room you keep at the front of the house for show, this one felt like the comfy den in the back with the old, grungy couches where everyone piles in on Saturdays to watch the game.  It was just so damn comfortable.

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We felt the same about the galley and saloon down below.

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(And, a fun little boat fact for those useless knowledge junkies out there – much to my surprise, turns out the word saloon originates not from the old swinging doors, whiskey-busting joints you see in old westerns, but from boats!!  It’s true – it has to be – it’s on the internet: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/saloon).

It also came with a hard bottom dinghy and a 15 horse-power, 2 stroke outboard.  A rare find, and a bonus that had our broker salivating like a kid in a candy store.

Pics from Phone 668

Phillip and I felt the same (minus the salivating).  We were like teenagers with a crush, secretly doodling pictures of the boat in our Five Star spiral notebooks with little squiggles and hearts all around it.  It was all we could think about.  It was all we could talk about.  Looking back on it, it’s probably a good thing no one else made that trip with us, because they probably would have jumped right out of the Prius and hitchhiked home.  Phillip and I were enamored.  Images of the two of us with our hands on the wheel while the boat glided through crystal green waters filled our heads all the way to Daytona.

Pics from Phone 936

We still had one more boat to check out on this trip, the Tayana – a beast of a boat, but we both had a sneaking feeling we had already found ours.

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3 Responses to March 8-10, 2013 – Road Trip: Part Three – The Hinterhoeller

  1. Annie: this is amazing. I love the water, I love your boat, I wish it were me doing that! I would diffidently like to have my address on your blog and read it every week. Oh for the adventure! Do be careful. It’s troublesome out there. I’ve read many of Cleve Custlers books about the sea and its antics. As far as my house goes, I have finally landed a publishing contract with KG Books. The title is “Detective Frank Hawthorn is…Blindsided.” Along with that they have promised to add two more books as series. I already have the second one done, “Detective Frank Hawthorn has…The Missing Link.”
    Maybe the third one will be The Cusac Caper?
    Hey, I am thrilled to see you taking advantage of a very good thing. Keep me posted on all your activity and I will keep watching your blog. I will also send the connection to others on my list.
    Regards,
    James M. Copeland

    • anniedike says:

      Hi Jim. Thanks! That’s fantastic news about your book. Congratulations! On that front, I’ve still got some hooks in the water and am hoping for the best. Until then, I’ve got plenty to do on the boat to keep me busy. We sure are having a great time out there on the water. I’m thrilled to have you following along on the blog. Thanks again, and good to hear from you!

  2. jimcopeland says:

    My pleasure Annie. I have pinched myself several times considering what you’re doing. Even though dangerous (If the wind gets high) it is the most adventurous thing I think anyone can do. I wonder what Bill is saying?
    Have fun, I’ll be watching!
    Best regards,
    James M. Copeland

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