One never really owns a classic yacht. Yes, we hold the title free and clear, but the term "ownership" isn't really enough to describe our relationship to Compadre. "Stewardship" seems a much more appropriate term. My wife and I are very aware that we are part of a long string of former and future owners. We are the 14th owners that we know of; I'm sure there were more who's names don't appear in the Coast Guard records. As the current stewards, our goal is to provide Compadre with the best possible care, to enjoy this wonderful old cruising boat as we travel throughout Pacific Northwest waters, and to pass her on to the next owners in better condition than when we found her.
So why do a blog? We have seen first hand the amazing interest these boats can generate. As we cruise around Puget Sound and beyond, we seldom arrive at a dock without at least one perfect stranger there to greet us, often to say that a friend or relative once had a boat just like ours (they almost certainly didn't, of course). Or to ask if this is a Chris Craft, or which varnish we use. We learned long ago to be patient, appear interested, and answer their questions as best we could. Occasionally we're pleased to find that the people on the dock actually know about classic boats and might even own one themselves. More often, however, people are simply captivated by these boats from another time, and are happy to see them still in use and well cared for.
Given the great interest we see from boaters and non-boaters alike, I felt it might be useful to share some of our Classic ownership experiences. In particular I would like to dispel some of the myths surrounding ownership of these vessels, namely that they are extraordinarily expensive to own, a nightmare to maintain, and nothing that a sane person should be involved with. Through this blog I hope to show that owning a classic is very rewarding, is a great way to cruise, is not just for crazy people, and is well within the budget of many owners of modern fiberglass boats. In short, this is something you can do!
More than eight years have passed since we purchased Compadre and brought her up from California. I won't attempt to rehash those past years in any detail, but will draw upon a few important events as they relate to the notion of stewardship. In particular, we'll review in some detail the maintenance and repair work we've done to date, as the whole subject of wooden boat care is one rife with mystery and misinformation. I hope that by relating our own experiences we can put things in perspective and show that periodic maintenance and repair is normal, and nothing to be feared.
Going forward we'll also share with you some of the highlights of cruising with Compadre in Northwest waters. Few regions in the US, or the world for that matter, afford the opportunities for cruising that we experience here. One doesn't have to travel far in order to enjoy the beauty and solitude of this land. Yes, the Inside Passage to Alaska is legendary and well withing reach for those able to spend the summer onboard, but a few days or a week in local waters will do almost as well. Cindy and I have spent many days aboard Compadre in the south part of Puget Sound in the height off summer and marveled at the solitude and natural beauty. Often we saw more seals and eagles than we did other boaters, and it was hard to believe we were rarely more than an hour's drive from downtown Seattle.
So in summary, this blog is about one family's journey through classic boat ownership. You will find more information about Compadre, including photos of the interior and a little about her early history, on our website: www.mvcompadre.com . Let us know if you enjoy the blog or have questions. The whole idea is to share this experience with others -- who knows, maybe you will be one of those folks meeting us at the dock.