The Boat

Hi, my name is Martin. I live in the sun-drenched state of Tennessee, land-locked among the mid-southern forests of the United States. Although I grew up in the U.K., that gnarly old island on the other side of the Atlantic, I know little about sailing, even less about sailboats or “yachts” as we called them back home.

My work brought me to Tennessee many years ago, but my lifetime profession gradually lost its allure. Late last year, in search of a more noble purpose, I took to the lake on a kayak and camping adventure. On my return, I wrote my first non-fiction book, “One Sumner Tale” and worked as a writer almost every day since.

Earlier this year, I bought a sail for my 15′ Prijon kayak. From the moment the sail billowed out against the backdrop of an infinite blue sky and carried me across the water, my passion for sailing ignited. Owning and piloting a full size yacht became a new and tremendous ambition that quickly turned into an obsession.

With limited funds, I bought a 1981 Catalina 25′ sailboat. Anyone who has acted upon a similar impulse will know that when she, my boat, arrived in the back yard, I became the happiest man alive. The question is though, will she and I make it to the lake by the spring of 2018 or will she just sit there on her trailer, blocking the sun from my window? That we shall see.

After watching countless videos and reading informative blogs, I recognized that every situation is unique. Very few sailboats are identical. During thirty odd years of use and neglect, each boat develops a unique personality. Not only that but every project-boat owner has their own perspective on repair methods, tools, and supplies. Often, personal expectations and available finances determine a renovation strategy, practical goals and ultimately results. Every renovation is different.

Although my Catalina is in fair to good shape for her age, there is a multitude of smaller issues due to either the lack of maintenance or years of neglect that require an upgrade, replacement or repair. The work demands a broad skill-set including plumbing, electrical, fiberglass laminating, mechanical engineering and an understanding of sailor-speak. The Halyards, sheets, boom vang, and spreaders are names that amuse me every time I use them in conversation.
Fortunately, the joy of discovery evaporates the fog of ignorance. So, with a limited budget, I’ll fix the old girl up and sail her in the spring of this year, 2018. My family expects a safe, casual cruise with a comfortable cabin stocked with food and drinks. The challenge excites my core. So, welcome aboard my 1981 Catalina 25’ yacht renovation adventure.

Follow my progress by clicking the following link: Felicity the Cat