Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Most Sailing Fun Per Dollar?

The Highlander 18 by Selway-Fisher

This boat pic keeps grabbing at me.... probably since we once had a little 15 foot open centerboarder like this one and used the hell out of it. Ours was on a small mooring on the bay flat right in front of our bayside house in northwest Florida. The tide range was about 15 inches or so and the mooring was a 5 gallon bucket I'd affixed chain inside and filled with cement then buried down a foot or so. The boat would dry out once a day but you can't put a price tag on just being able to wade out 30 feet or so with oars and a few bits, disconnect the bow coupling, and sail off when the wind is just right and you have a spare hour or so.

It's like the difference between living on a boat or on a coast overlooking a surf break or having to drive to one..... you surf a LOT more.

Small beach cruisers are great for camping out. Between our little day sailer and the various rowboats and kayaks I have owned I have done a LOT of tent camping on fairly wild beaches with no one around for miles. With a handy little boat like the 18 footer pictured above you can also sleep aboard with a boom tent in case the beach is more settled with dirt dwellers. And for a expedition of a few weeks or so they are awesome.

This small boat sailing tale is a modern book classic. His 18 footer made some great voyages down the pacific side of the baja peninsula and out to Californias Channel islands. Very well written too. Plus he surfed all the way.... what more could a aging waterman ask for in a armchair read?

Great beachorages await.......................... toss in easy to handle ground tackle, or being able to pull the boat out above the tideline at night, and getting into waters keel sailors could only dream about, and it's pretty darn enticing. No bruising cruising.