This year was a very windy year. Thre were many days of high wind -15 plus knots- and many of this coming from the South and building quite large waves. Although my litte Skerry is pretty solid in high winds and waves it is sometimes too much even for Cricket.
I love a challenge but sometimes (just sometimes) I would like to know that if I make a mistake I will not be swimming in freezing Lake Ontario.
Did I mention I like a challenge? Anyway I felt ready to try my hand sailing a bigger boat. There are several Tanzer 22 at my boat club and they are well though of. They have the reputation of being well built and of being a good boat to learn on.
Kijiji produced several possibilities. I chose the closest on and went to see her. It was a strange story. The boat had been puchased 5 years prior by a woman who wanted a project and a boat. She was not a sailor and had no experience with a keelboat. For 5 years she had lovingly worked on this little Tanzer. She rented space in a friend's yard and gradually she cleaned up the keel, woodwork and rudder. She painted the topside and cleaned up the interior.
Her life moved on and she put her boat up for sale having never put it in the water. I bought it after a quick inspection. The hull was OK, the mast was OK, Sails were there but not great, it came with a cradle.
Coming from a position of great ignorance I jumped in knowing full well that I would find all kinds of problems but not knowing exactly what they were going to be. Boats are like horses. Cheap to buy, expensive to maintain.
I learned many things about Keelboats,
... and Quickly!!
Getting a keelboat in the water in August is not simple.
You need a place that has a crane and a metal frame that keeps the straps separated so your boat doesn't get crushed. Many Yacht clubs will put your boat in for a fee. The ones I phoned were snooty as it gets. They were also staggeringly expensive. I think they try and discourage outsiders from using their facilities. The man who moved my boat finally suggested someone he knew and that problem was solved. Lesson 1: its much cheaper to buy a boat in the water.
The friend of the previous owner moved boats and made that part simple. He had a huge trailer and was an expert driver. Lakeshore Blvd was a mess because of Caribana and construction so scheduling was a nightmare but finally boat was in the water and cradle delivered to the boat club. Yes, the cradle unfortunately doesn't float very well and had to be delivered after we got the boat off.