One's search for happiness does not manifest itself overnight. It takes days, weeks, months, even years before we settle into something with which we are comfortable. Once we find this jewel in our life, however, we enjoy its existence and live hand in hand with it like a lost love. For us, this jewel came in the form of a new boat.
Seven years ago we purchased our first sailboat, a 1977 O'Day 22. We performed the usual maintenance and every year were rewarded by the good times that we had on the weekends out on Buzzards Bay in Southeast Massachusetts. However, as anyone who has sailed the bay knows, Buzzards Bay is no place for a twenty-two foot shoal draft boat with only 600 pounds of ballast! We dealt with the daily 15-20 knot Southwesterly though, reefing our sails accordingly when the wind piped up. With these usually moderate winds and heavy chop in mind, we went boat shopping about three years ago for something that would handle the hellish conditions that we faced every weekend.
With these thoughts in the forefront of our minds, we narrowed down the field to a certain design: a full keel boat with long, graceful overhangs, a heavy displacement, and a solid build. We first looked at the Cape Dory 25 and 25D, but were slightly dissuaded by the fact that she was not much bigger then our O'Day. The other issue was that the price tag on these boats was very high, especially for the diesel. So, we put off our boat search for another few months, taking time to enjoy what we already had. The next year we saw a nice 27 foot Choey Lee, but the cockpit was too small for our family of five and the teak decks were VERY soft and probably required replacement in certain areas.
Two months later one of our friends noticed an advertisement in his yacht club newsletter for an Alberg 30. There weren't many specifics in the ad, but the price was reasonable and it was located in Newburyport, only an hour away, so we took a look. We had never even looked in the 30 foot range of used boats on the market, but we figured it was worth a shot.
The boat was in less then desirable condition, to say the least, but an Alberg is a classic, and there was still a beautiful air about the boat. We decided to purchase hull #114, a 1965 Alberg 30, in late August 1997. When we first saw her, she was painted in sky-blue, her teak toe rails and cockpit coamings matched the black boot stripe, and the cabin looked like it had gone through the Roaring 40's. For over twenty years Carina Vela had been neglected by its previous owner.
Now commisioned as Carina Vela, #114 was brought back to being a seaworthy vessel in 11 months.
Through this homepage, I will keep you updated on our progress.
Fall/Winter-- The hull was painted in early October, now instead of shedding salt spray, the Hatteras Off-white is shedding snow for a few months. We put a few space heaters in the cabin so work could continue, and it was with this heat that the cabin was wired, as to not use precious warm weather in the spring (needed for sealants to cure).
4-10-98-- After some extensive fiberglass work, the rudder has been put back on the boat with her new gudgeons and pin. During a string of eighty degree weather a few weeks ago, all the new through-hulls were installed as well as the stern tube and cutlass bearing housing. The stanchion bases were rebedded with 4200 bedding compound, and new stanchions were cut from a 12 foot length of stainless pipe. This weekend we will finish prep work on the cabin and hopefully get it ready for a first coat of paint on Sunday. After painting has been finished, we will be able to install the new window frames and lexan windows.
5-3-98--The cabin is finally painted and looks great! We went with Interlux Urethane for this application. Yesterday we installed the new window frames and lexan windows. All of the cabinet fronts, cabin drawers, and the electronics panel have been varnished with Epifanes high gloss varnish. Today we ran all the new fuel line, re-installed the engine panel, and aligned the engine with the shaft. The box for the circuit panel was also lag-bolted through the bulkhead now that all of the battery cables have been run under the cabin sole. Using solid Honduran mahogany, we manufactured two tracks to hold the companionway doors in place. These look much better then the makeshift stainless plates that came with the boat.
5-10-98--Most of the varnishing is almost complete. What a difference from before! We even managed to put down one coat on the floor. This week the doors should be installed and the boot stripe painted. I know we are nearing completion since we are ordering the letters for her name!
My sister, Becky, applying the letters to Carina Vela. Boy, doesn't she look happy!
6-1-98--New window frames are now in and leak tested.
The skipper filing the window openings to fit the new window frames.
The bottom is painted along with the boot top stripe.
All newly varnished doors and hatches are installed. Ten months has come and gone since the arrival of Carina Vela. So much time and effort from all has gone into the renovation. With a little patience and endurance from all, Carina Vela is finally ready for the water. The surveyor commented that this isn't the same boat he knew from 10 months ago. What a compliment!
We also made the decision to move our mooring from Wareham, MA. The distance was just too great to travel on a weekly basis (90 miles one way). Carina Vela is now located in Ipswich, MA.
Look for additional information on our most recent upgrades.