We (Kimberly and Jeff) both sailed when we were younger – Kimberly during summer vacations on a Snark on Mission Bay in San Diego, and Jeff on Lake Ontario in Rochester, NY.
In the spring of 2012, I (Kimberly) suddenly found myself wanting to sail again, and Jeff was all in with the idea. As luck would have it, adult community sailing lessons were starting that weekend at Mystic Seaport. The classes were held using Dyer Dhows, and despite my capsizing twice in the freezing cold Mystic River (and Jeff once), we were hooked. An ASA 101 course followed with Narragansett Sailing in Barrington, RI which included sixteen hours of practice time.
By then we were really addicted, so we bought a 1975 Bristol Corsair 24 in March, 2013. Dreams of selling everything and going cruising followed, so after hundreds of hours of research we bought a 1977 Bristol 29.9 at the end of July, 2015.
After a lot of thought and conversations, we were sure that we wanted to go cruising full-time so we sold our house in February, 2017 and moved into an apartment. Crunching the numbers, it was clear at the time that doing this would allow us to to save up extra money a lot faster.
Our Bristol 29.9 may be considered small for full-time cruising by modern standards, but she’s big enough for us. In choosing our cruising boat we went by the philosophy of “get the smallest boat you can live on” instead of “get the biggest boat you can afford.” We like to maximize our fun vs. boat work ratio whenever possible, and our Pegu Club will help us do that.
In keeping with that philosophy, our plans to get her ready include keeping her systems as simple as we possibly can: 12V only for electrics, foot pumps instead of pressure water, no hot water, composting head, Origo stove, a manual windlass, no refrigerator, a hank-on jib. The simpler things are, the less time and money will need to be spent on upkeep.
As we remove things like the water heater, the shore power, the pressure water system, the furler, we joke that we are doing a good job of decreasing her value. However, she’s going to be just right for us. We truly don’t need much to keep us happy, and our Pegu Club will certainly reflect that.
Update: Our plan was to cut the dock lines in August, 2018 but on Christmas Eve of 2017 we took Jeff to the emergency room. After a two week stay he was released with a diagnosis of congestive heart failure. To say we were shocked is an understatement. He had been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation about seven years previously, but it hadn’t bothered him.
His cardiologists have said that the next one to two years are extremely important so now we are hoping to head out in the fall of 2019. A lot of it will depend on whether we have enough saved up since now it’s very important to keep our excellent health insurance until Jeff qualifies for Medicare, and that excellence does not come cheap. Regardless, we won’t head out any later than August, 2021, health permitting.
In the meantime we’re going to keep Pegu Club as simple as we can, while installing an electric windlass as our one concession to the new reality! We’re looking forward to sailing as much as possible during the sailing seasons until we head out. I am lucky enough to a substantial number of vacation days each year, and I’m planning to use them!