I left the arctic earlier in the year in late February (2017) to go to Blue Tale at Cowichan Bay Marina where we keep her to move her over to Canoe Cove Marina & Boatyard to Blackline Marine to install our new bowsprit and have a survey done as per my requirements for our insurance (every 5yrs), to fix the staysail clew attachment point, and fix the pintles & gudgeons on the rudder. Also, we might have had a potential buyer that wanted to have a look at Blue Tale, so this was a good time for everyone.
To backtrack a bit, I ordered a new bowsprit from Bud Taplin of Westsail Parts & Services in early January and it arrived in Point Robertson Shell Center late January. So when I flew into Vancouver I rented a van and drove straight to Point Roberts (45 min), picked the bowsprit up and then took the ferry to Sidney and then drove to Cowichan Bay; surprisingly a very painless process.
The following day with the new bowsprit loaded on Blue Tale, my neighbour Bill and I took Blue Tale to Canoe Cove in a snowstorm. Sophia of course was enjoying some beautiful arctic weather in Arviat, sunny with no clouds and temperatures hovering around -30°C.
The bowsprit I got from Bud was just a blank actually, as its cheaper to have that kind of fabrication done in the United States, the remainder of the work on the bowsprit was done by Blackline (staysail eye bolt attachment, stag head post, etc.), I also wanted to work on the pintles & gudgeons as there’s been a lot of play in them, and a bottom paint. As we had a potential buyer, then the bottom job would wait and be covered buy the buyer. So for the next two weeks I lived and worked on Blue Tale on the hard in Canoe Cove’s yard.
So the tedious job of taking all the chain and anchors off, secure the forestay, and remove the old bowsprit. Also on the list was to remove the tiller, and then the rudder. I actually thought the rudder would be really heavy, but it was actually very managable.
We actually had two people come to see our boat while she was on the hard being fixed. Both were Americans, the first had previously owned a WS years ago and was shopping around for another as she had just retired; she called and was in route coming over on the ferry from Seattle. After getting off the phone with her, my broker called (5 minutes later) and said he had a guy who wanted to buy the boat, sight onseen and had come over in the morning intentionally to put an offer down; his offer was the full asking price as long as I finished the work. This obviously all seemed way to good to be true. Both interested parties loved our boat, and the condition we had kept her in.
Sophia (after telling her) and I felt bad because we felt like we were betraying Blue Tale. Was there something we missed? Don’t we like her as much as other people seem to like her? Are we making the right decision in selling her? Will we find another “Blue Tale”? Of course some of these questions stem from the fact that we have spent a lot of time and energy (and money) on Blue Tale getting her into shape and we really do love our boat! But we’ve also had a wondering eye, and we’ve been looking at other boats more seriously to accommodate our needs of ours.
The prospective buyer, who we’ll call ‘Francis’ (‘DeadPool‘ reference) was serious and enthusiastic, the paperwork signed, and the sale was now contingent on the hull/mechanical survey and sea trail. Sophia and I will have to go down in May to complete this last bit before the transaction would be complete as the boat was out of the water and being worked on; Francis said this would work as he would go back east and bring his contents from his old boat (it sank apparently) up to Blue Tale.
Again, whoever said that the best day of a sailor’s life is the day they buy a boat and the day the sell a boat was so wrong in that! ~Rob