March 8-10, 2013 – Road Trip: Part Four (Last One!) – The Tayana

The Tayana.  The last of the road trip boats.  Recall Tayanas are Taiwanese-built boats, hand-crafted, so each one is unique, with a reputation of being sturdy as hell, built to survive the Apocalypse.  This one certainly met that mark.

Pics from Phone 764

Her size and stature were definitely impressive but the remainder I would have to describe only as interesting.  Kind of like when your blind date is described to you not as a smoking hot number but, rather, as “really interesting.”  (But I guess that’s better than “Well, her size and stature are definitely impressive.”).  There were so many things on the boat that the seller had rigged just for him that we just couldn’t see ourselves on it.  For example, the helm.  My God.  That thing had more instruments and gadgets on it than a NASA spacecraft.  You couldn’t even really see beyond it to look out on the waves or water.

Pics from Phone 768

(Yes, that’s the helm, I promise, look closely).

Another was the nav station.  There were panels upon panels of buttons, levers, toggles, etc.  It looked like you could conduct nuclear fission right there on the boat.

Pics from Phone 774

And, the seller was left handed, but the nav station was starboard, so he had rigged a special pullout slat for his elbow so he could write left-handed.  He had also installed a swivel stool for the nav station because it had no seat.  And, the nav station was all the way forward almost to the V-berth.  Definitely not ideal if you’re in the cockpit and need to get quickly to the radio or electronics or your charts.  And, the couple had been cruising on it for about ten years, so the thing was bogged down with buckets, bottles, straps and jerry cans.

Pics from Phone 764

Just a lot of little things that made her not quite right.  Plus, I feel sorry for the Tayana, anyway, having to follow the Hinterhoeller.  She just didn’t stand a chance.

Phillip and I had our minds made up.  We clamored back in the car to make the drive home, only to find we had stumbled onto Daytona Beach during the famed Biker Week.  We saw more leather and chaps in that one drive than I’ve seen in a lifetime (and I grew up a cowgirl), but the leather hydes were more human than bovine.  These women were weathered!

Pics from Phone 784

Biker babes

But we finally made it out of the Biker debacle and back onto the interstate and got our broker on the horn to put in an offer on the Hinterhoeller.  It was a long haul home but we were about as giddy as kids on Christmas morning.  We had found our boat!

March 8-10, 2013 – Road Trip: Part One – The Drive!

A lot of people have asked me: “A sailboat? Really? Nights and days on end, stuck together on a tiny, little boat? Annie, are you sure?” And, I can tell you, the best way to find out if you can spend hours cramped in a tiny space with someone without beginning to plot their slow, painful death, is to jump in the car and cover 1,200 miles in one weekend. That will tell you real quick. And tell us it did. Phillip and I, despite all odds, had a fantastic time.  Road trip!!

We had three boats to look at in three days:

1.  A 1990 Pacific Seacraft (same model as the “Mercedes” we had previously considered but ten years older and about half the price): St. Petersburg, FL.

2.   A 1985 Hinterhoeller Niagra (Canadian built, a new one for us, but one our broker repeatedly said he had a “really good feeling about”): Punta Gorda, FL.

3.   A 1989 Tayana 37 (recall this is the “tank with sails” builder and this boat reportedly had “all the bells and whistles”): Daytona Beach, FL.

It was going to be quite the haul (know that I debated saying “quite the hull” to really capitalize on a cheesy joke, but I decided to forego it):

Map 2

We left on a Friday afternoon, right after my first visit to the knee doctor.  Good news it was not a torn ACL like I thought (I had been down that road before with a gymnastic’s injury to the left knee in high school and knew what an ordeal that would be – not to mention, an appalling hindrance to my sailing endeavors!) but I did sprain just about every ligament in there, particularly my MCL.


My knee was filled with fluid and had a range of only about zero to thirty degrees. Yeah, exactly … not much.  But, he drained that puppy and it felt like he sucked the spawn of Satan out of my knee.  (Yes, through a syringe.  Spawn are small.  But, word to the wise, don’t ever Google “spawn of Satan” looking for an image … just don’t).  Then he slapped a brace on me and sent me packing.  So, Phillip and I, and the newly-engaged torture rack on my leg, hit the road.

We made it down to Ocala, Florida around 9:00 p.m. and stopped at Amrit Palace, a tucked-away little gem of an Indian restaurant (, to gorge on some incredible chicken tiki masala (recipe for the foodies out there: and piles of soft, warm Naan bread.  We finally made it to the hotel in St. Pete around 11:00 p.m. that night, exhausted from the trip but eager to get up the next day and poke around on some beautiful boats!  The morning would begin with a visit to the 1990 Pacific Seacraft in St. Pete, with the Hinterhoeller in Punta Gorda slated for the afternoon.   We crashed hard, without any meds, while visions of sailboats danced in our heads …

March 6, 2013 – On the Hunt for a Good ‘Ole Boat

While the Pacific Seacraft was undoubtedly a quality boat, we were still struggling to justify the price.  It was going to require some serious penny-pinching for us just to get the boat and another disheartening sum to get it in cruising condition.  Instead of “Yes, I’ll have the veal scallopini, please,” we were going to be that embarrassing couple that brings their own PB&Js to the restaurant and then cleans out the table condiments and the mint bowl on the way out.  You really don’t get invited back much after a scene like that plays out, trust me.  So, after some thought and a smart nudge from our broker (thanks Kevin!), we decided to take a look at some “Toyotas,” i.e., older, more affordable boats that boasted the same cruising capability for half the price.

One of the first boats that fit this bill was a Morgan 382 that had just come in from a circumnavigation.  Yes, that means exactly what you think it means.  All the way around the world.  Not only is that just awesome.  Period.  But the fact that the boat had been used, really used, and had proven itself, was definitely a confidence-builder, and it was priced well.

puerto seguro

But, others had the same idea and were chomping at the bit to see this boat too, so we had to move quick.  Luckily, Phillip already had a trip on the books down to Panama City where they were docked so he squeezed in a detour to the marina to check it out.  Sadly, though, it had two major downfalls.  The cockpit benches were cut out on each side to allow maneuverability around the massive (a.k.a. big, honking) steering wheel.


Meaning, you could not stretch out in the cockpit.  This was a deal-breaker for us.  As Phillip explained it to me: “The cockpit is like your living room.  It’s where you’ll spend most of your time.  It’s got to be comfortable.”  So, the T-shape cutout in the cockpit was a big downer, but that wasn’t the only thing.  Phillip also found, while it was beautiful, the galley and salon felt tight and cramped, even for a 38-foot boat.


Like I said in the beginning, you just know when you step on the boat, and Phillip knew when he stepped on this one that it wasn’t right for us.

So, the Morgan was a no-go.  But, to optimize Phillip’s time in PC, our trusty broker had lined up a viewing for him of a Tayana 37 that had already sold but was still in the marina and available for some good poking around.  Tayanas are built in Taiwan and are hand-crafted, each one of them, which makes each one unique, and the woodwork is exquisite.  Think carvings and shapings worthy of an old Spanish chapel.  They’re also sturdy as hell.  It’s like a tank … on the water … with sails on it.

Tayana 37

Phillip really liked the build of the Tayanas so we decided to add them to the list.  In all, we knew we were pleased with the quality and performance of the older boats, not to mention the affordability, so a Toyota it was going to be.  We were now squarely on the hunt for a good ‘ole (emphasis on ‘ole) boat!