The Lunacy Report

SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Delivery to Annapolis Completed

Departing Manhattan

Not surprisingly, the very best weather window for getting Lunacy from Huntington to Annapolis came over the Wednesday and Thursday of the Thanksgiving holiday, when abandoning hearth and family for the vicissitudes of offshore sailing would have cost many spousal brownie points. It’s hard not to feel a little anxious about these things this time of year. Every day lost means the day of departure, when finally it comes, will likely be colder, with a smaller weather window and a greater chance of stepping in something.

Not to worry. After the trauma of grinding my fingers through the anchor windlass I was due for a run of good luck. Stroke one: my old partner-in-crime Hank Schmitt (see image up top), a professional delivery skipper no less, was willing and able to ride shotgun on this next leg. Stroke two: it looked like our weather window was stretching out for a bit.

Read more ...

Write comment (1 Comment)

SOUTHBOUND LUNACY: Delivery to Annapolis Interrupted

Synoptic chart

As I expected Lunacy’s putative buyers formally renounced our still-born deal as soon as I returned from the wilds of France. The late season and a lingering illness were the cited causes, but I had sensed other obstacles on their side. A less enthusiastic female partner and a need to borrow much of a boat’s purchase price are always problematic. So I quickly pointed Lunacy south toward Annapolis, where I figure she is much likelier to sell in the off-season. I made it as far as Huntington, New York, before I pressed the pause button to wait for this gale now raging off the Jersey shore (see image up top) and the advent of Thanksgiving.

Read more ...

Write comment (6 Comments)

LUNACY STILL AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE: Price Reduced (Dog Not Included)

Lunacy under sail

Given the bad luck I had when we sea-trialed Lunacy during her purchase survey (dead autopilot and massive shaft-seal leak) it’s not too surprising her putative buyers have not purchased her. The story of how the deal has gone since then has been nearly as big a psycho-drama as this year’s presidential election. I will spare you the tedious details. Suffice it to say the sales contract expired a month ago. The boat’s problems have been resolved (indeed she has been upgraded in some particulars) and she is still a simple, strong bluewater cruiser of a type that rarely comes on the market here in the United States. Even better, she did pass her audio-gauge hull survey with flying colors. For more particulars on Lunacy you can check my original “for sale” post. Her asking price is now reduced from my Optimistic Summer Season number to a More Realistic Fall Season number: $118,500. Negotiable, of course.

Read more ...

Write comment (4 Comments)

PURCHASE SURVEY: Everything Right Is Wrong Again

Hauled out

I have not mentioned this, as I didn’t want to jinx anything, but Lunacy has been under contract to be sold for some time now. The putative buyers, Nico and Amy, mentioned earlier, enjoyed two test-sails back in August before making an offer and this past week arranged to have the boat surveyed. First a short sea trial so Surveyor One, Gene Barnes, could scope out the engine, then a haul-out at Maine Yacht Center (see image up top) so Surveyor Two, Mike Whitten, could probe the hull with an audio gauge while Gene poked around some more.

My anti-jinx precautions, alas, had little effect, and the sea trial proved embarrassing. First the primary autopilot (the old Autohelm 2000 tillerpilot, which drives the head of the Aries windvane) failed to work properly. Then the PSS shaft-seal (which was replaced just last year) decided to stop sealing and spontaneously filled the bilge with seawater. Fortunately, these problems are resolvable.

The third thing that went wrong was that Mike, the audio-gauge guy, simply forgot to show up. So we had to schedule a Survey Day Two, which made this the longest survey I have ever attended.

Read more ...

Write comment (0 Comments)

CAPE COD CIRCUMNAVIGATION: We Go To Come Back Again

Clare in cockpit

For going on ten years now Clare has each summer broached the idea of cruising down south of Cape Cod to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, as she has never been to those places and so has felt culturally deprived. But she normally can only get a week off work at a time, and I have consistently urged that this makes for a tight schedule when sailing from Portsmouth, or worse from Portland, where Lunacy is normally moored. This year, however, we decided at last to give it a try, emboldened by the fact that we’d been offered a mooring in Wood’s Hole, where we could leave the boat for a while if necessary.

With the help of our prospective boat-buyers, Nico and Amy, I sailed Lunacy down to Portsmouth from Portland the Friday before last, thus deleting 40 miles off the distance Clare and I would have to sail to reach the anointed cruising ground. We set off late the following morning from Pepperell Cove in Kittery, just across the river from Portsmouth, bound for Provincetown, first motorsailing then beating under sail against a contrary southerly breeze that eventually topped up to just over 20 knots.

Read more ...

Write comment (1 Comment)

LUNACY UPDATE: Prospective Buyers and Poop On the Foredeck

Nav desk

I was surprised, flattered even, when I heard from some of you that you’ve missed my appearances here. And yes, it has been unprecedented, my neglect of WaveTrain of late, but I do have an excuse. I have been pouring my wordsmithing energy into finishing a book I’ve been working on, which should be out in the world sometime next spring. Loyal readers here can do me a YUGE favor and buy the damn thing when it appears (don’t worry I’ll tip you off when it’s time). Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, you really should buy my first book.

It’s summer, too, so I have been messing around a lot on the boat, which also means working on the book on the boat (see image up top). There have been two outings I’ve failed to document here, both of which have involved sailing with Prospective Buyers. (The boat is for sale, remember???)

Read more ...

Write comment (0 Comments)

LUNACY IS FOR SALE: Well-Maintained 39-Foot Aluminum Cutter With Recent Engine and Sails Seeks New Owner

Lunacy on dock

For reasons we’ll go into later I’ve decided the time has come to part ways with Lunacy, which I’ve now owned for 10 years. Not exactly an easy decision, as she is a fantastic boat--strong as all get-out, fast, with an easy motion in a seaway. Those of you who follow the blog should know her well. She is a seasoned bluewater cruising boat--her previous owners sailed her around the world, and I’ve sailed her back and forth between New England and the Caribbean four times. For fundamental details you can check out the initial post I wrote about her here on the Lunacy Report, and of course if you study this section of the blog in detail you’ll learn a great deal about how I’ve used her and what sort of upgrades she has enjoyed.

If you don’t feel like doing all that research, here’s the capsule version:

Read more ...

Write comment (6 Comments)

BECOMING A BOAT DOG: The Further Adventures of Baxter Afloat

Bax in vest

There were some suggestions after I introduced Baxter here that I needed to get him a life-jacket. I knew this, of course, and wanted one as much for the handle on the back, so I could heave the beast more easily in and out of a tender, as for the flotation. You see him here, modeling his new Ruffwear vest during our recent week-long cruise from Portland to Rockland, and as the expression on his face suggests he doesn’t really mind it a bit. Indeed, by the end of our time together he had deduced that being asked to wear the jacket while aboard Lunacy meant an opportunity to go ashore, and he eagerly wagged his tail whenever I picked it up.

Read more ...

Write comment (4 Comments)

BOAT DOG ORIENTATION: Can Baxter Hack It Afloat?

Baxter

This is Baxter, a more-or-less 2-year-old male mongrel (we suspect a Jack Russell terrier mixed with some sort of pit-bull) who came north on the Underdog Railroad from Georgia last fall. We adopted him through Alpha Dog Rescue in Lebanon, Maine, after persistent lobbying from daughter Lucy, who is passionately interested in animals. Lucy has insisted that Baxter is perfect in every way ever since we got him last October, but I have remained skeptical. Yes, he had checked most of the boxes on my own personal list of family-dog criteria (doesn’t pass waste in the house, tractable disposition, willing to share bed with dog-besotted daughter, etc.), but whenever I tried to lure him on to MiMi2, our Melonseed Skiff, as she lay tied to her dock in Portsmouth’s Back Channel, he resisted mightily and looked at me like a condemned prisoner being led to the gallows.

I didn’t press the point at the time, but I did wonder if we would ever be able to make a boat dog of Baxter. His physique and coat (dense, tautly muscled, with short hair that does not dry easily when soaked) are not especially aquatic, and it seemed clear he had never spent much if any time in or on the water during his dark time in the South. I wondered: would we have to exile Baxter to some kennel while frolicking on Lunacy during the sailing season? Or would he be able to suck it up and somehow adapt to life on a sailboat?

Read more ...

Write comment (6 Comments)

Search

Subscribe

Total Cruise Control

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here