Friday, January 18, 2013

The Two Happiest Days in a Boat Owner's Life

I mentioned yesterday that a boat broker visited us to discuss selling Drift Away.  I'm now sitting alone here tonight while Pam is working, listening to the wind howling outside, Drift Away rocking back and forth...  and my mind is wandering.

To be sure, Pam and I are both excited and looking forward to building our shack in the woods, but we're going to miss this life, and this boat, a lot.

Isle of Hope Marina...  we made our closest cruising friends there.  It had a nice, small liveaboard community and we socialized.  A lot.  As in everyday, at happy-three-hours.  But, being cruisers, we've all moved on.  It's what cruisers do.  In a way, that's very sad.  We miss our Isle of Hope friends.

Brunswick Landing Marina dock mates... all of our dock mates on our dock but one have left.  Most have headed to the Bahamas, except Rod and Patti on Second Chance who are now in the Pacific and headed for California.  But Pam and I both love Brunswick, and are enjoying the weather here.  Even the "cool" days when its only in the 60s.  We don't regret staying here.

Drift Away... has been a great boat.  Except for gunk in the fuel tanks, which resulted in us getting towed into Oyster Bay one time, and then me swapping out filters and bleeding the engines off Sandy Hook the second, this boat has run flawlessly.

By the way, I fixed the tank problem by installing two Filter Boss systems and using the old Racors to make a fuel polishing system.  I've never had to change a Filter Boss filter, and we've had no issues since.

As I was describing all we've done to this boat since we bought it three years ago to the broker, I realized all we've accomplished.  It's pretty mind numbing.  I won't go into it all here.  The list would be too long, and it would be repetitive to our regular readers.  We've done A LOT on Drift Away, turning it from a bone yard derelict boat into a vessel reliable enough to take us from Albany, New York all the way to Brunswick Georgia.

The broker seemed especially impressed with our Naid Stabilizers, which added $70,000 to the price of the boat in 1980.  With the stabilizers, Drift Away doesn't rock side to side, at all.  The system has a gyroscope, and as the boat starts to rock, fins attached to the hull kick and keep it level.  It's one of the cooler things this boat has.  We love them.  Thank you, Mr. Tiner!

Yeah... I love this boat.  I always thought I'd be making this trip in a sailboat, but here I am, snug and warm in our trawler, the reverse cycle air conditioning keep it warm and toasty, while the wind howls outside, and Drift Away happily, gently rocking in a soothing sort of way.

Our blog...  I've been going back to our blog to see what we were doing one and two years ago, reliving the fun we've had.   In 2011, we were living aboard in Stamford, Connecticut.  I had just started the blog on January 13th and didn't update it everyday, but suffice it to say that we were tied to a dock and didn't go anyplace for the next year and a half.  In 2012, it was Coinjock to the Alligator River.  Yawn.   We were on our way to Belhaven, North Carolina, a place we both loved and spent a few days in.  We were ICW newbies, looking for our first palm tree.

We've made a lot of fine memories in this old boat.  We visited many interesting places, met many fine people and made new friends, and had many adventures.

When we hand the keys over to a new owner, we'll take one long, last look at her, and then drive slowly away... I'm sure we're both going to have a few tears.  That old saying about the two happiest days in a boat owner's life is the day he buys it and the day he sells it is baloney.  Our first days were full of trepidation, and our last a feeling of abandonment.  Like leaving a faithful dog off at the pound.

Except a boat isn't alive, and doesn't have feelings... right?


  1. It will be a truly sad day for me when you walk away from Drift Away as I feel we are friends even though we've never "met". I will of course be a daily visitor to your Bleecker (sp?) site to continue to see how you, Pam and the Pooches are doing. I'm sure it will be as entertaining as this site is with some beautiful mountain pics. Best of luck selling Drift Away and hope that the new owners will be as loving to her as you and Pam.

  2. Thanks, Mark. It's encouraging to know that we've connected and entertained. Maybe when, and if, Drift Away sells, I'll turn the blog over to the new owner to continue the adventure.

    If you think this was interesting, wait until we start building our little farmstead in Bleecker. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of laughs there.

  3. Dave, I agree completely.

    Just last week, I watched "Hide Away" with Josh Lucas. A nice little flick about a man restoring a gaff rigged wooden sloop as he heals from the trauma in his life. The cliche about two happiest days was mentioned when he bought the boat at the beginning of the movie.

    I spent the entire moving watching him work on his boat while I remembered the projects I've done on mine and knew with complete certainty that the day I finally sell my boat will be the saddest day of my life.


  4. "Except a boat isn't alive, and doesn't have feelings... right?"

    Dead as a doornail, a boat. But that doesn't mean it isn't full of memories.

    Anytime I've sold a boat, I've folded those memories instantly into the new boat at the sale.

    It's selling the last one that scares me, Dave.

  5. Jim and Jean Tiner here, thanking you for the blog and pics. We loved that boat too and some of our most cherished memories are working on it and living aboard. Let me hear from you if you have any questions I might answer. Thanks,

    1. Jim, good to hear from you!

      You'd be sad to see the shape the Tiner Liner was in when we bought it. The fiberglass decks were removed to expose the teak underneath and then it sat on the hard for over 20 years with leaking decks. What a mess. But you'd be pleased to know that Mr. Van Breems kept your well organized manuals, and I have every manual for everything on this boat.

      As for upgrades, I did have to replace all the electronics. You'd be amazed at the changes. :)

      I truly wish we could afford to keep it, but we'll be busy building our place in the Adirondack Mountains and we wouldn't be able to use it for quite some time. Not being wealthy, we can't justify paying $8,000 a year in dock fees and insurance for something we can't use. Besides, we also don't want the boat to sit here neglected. It's time to let someone else love it like we do.

      I hope all is well with you and Jean, and if you're ever in Georgia, please feel free to come by and visit us in Brunswick.