If you're lucky enough to live to 100, the years between 50 & 75 are your third quarter. That segment in life could be the waning of your physically agile years, so it's a good idea to stay active. It's also a good time to challenge your brain to keep things limber up there - by mastering something new. We decided to go sailing, and this is a chronicle of our journey.


Searching for a Sailboat: Looking farther from Home

Driving along the Central Coast of California to look at a sailboat.

Since there are only about 11 Cape Dory 36's in California, we realized it was likely we'd have to travel to see anything listed for sale. After looking at and deciding against the first one we saw close to home, we ventured a little further - to San Francisco - to take a gander at another one.  Since my step Dad Tom lives halfway between us and our SF destination, we took the opportunity to stop for a night at his house, and take him with us for the drive up to see the boat.

Driving through San Francisco
 During the drive, since Tom's boat was still for sale, we talked about the boat market, currently and historically. The innovation and manufacturing process for boat building between the late 60's and early 80's got so streamlined, everyone could own a boat. Because of innovations with fiberglass molds to build hulls and decks, boats could be built assembly-line-style, for a full range of prices, instead of building one boat at a time, for a much higher cost. Boat manufacturers were very busy. Since fiberglass doesn't rot like wood, or rust like steel does, after a time, boat manufacturers were competing with their own used boats on the market that were still in great shape and totally sea worthy. A couple decades of brisk boat production resulted in a saturated market. In the mid 80's, there were more boats than slips and marina's to hold them. I lived in Santa Barbara in the early 80's, and I recall the wait list for a slip at that marina was 7 years. Yikes!
One of many lovely waterways in San Francisco
Once we arrived in San Francisco, I was strolling around at the marina, wondering how many sailboats in front of me were actually from the 60's, 70's and 80's. Most of the Cape Dory boats we'd seen in listings spanned at least 3 or 4 decades. Tom's CD31 is almost 30 years old, and she's in great condition. I saw plenty of newer boats in the marina that day, but the classic shape and swell of the older boats have always tugged at my attention.
Not the boat we looked at, but a mighty fine house/slip/boat set up, for sure. :)
So, we looked at a very sweet CD36 that day, kept pristine and conditioned by her very proud owner.   Not long into the conversation - it became clear to the three of us that the owner didn't really want to sell his boat.  His attention to detail and meticulous care of her was a labor of love, and I can't say I blame him one bit; she was beautiful.  We drove home - dropping Tom off at his house along the way - and talked about the next steps in finding a boat to love that much. I felt very encouraged to have what I already knew confirmed: Cape Dory boats hold up very well over time, especially with just the right amount of love and attention.

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea.  ~Isak Dinesen

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