2008_09_14_First_Voyages 013 A few months ago I bought a sailboat at a repo auction. It’s like buying a foreclosed house, only a sailboat is way more fun than a house, and costs much less. The boat had basically been abandoned, but is in nearly perfect condition. It’s a 1972 Catalina with a blue hull and a small cabin. I was gone all summer, which prevented me from spending the five hours it took to clean the boat and get the inboard diesel engine running. The main problem was a bit of a catch 22. The boat was moored in Tacoma, about 50 miles from where I live at the north end of Seattle, which is way too far to drive to work on a boat, but I couldn’t move the boat to Seattle until I had worked on it a bit. Had it been in Seattle I would have been sailing months ago, but as is it took me until yesterday to take the boat on its maiden voyage.

I went out with my dad, who helped me get the diesel running, and we figured out the basics of how to operate the boat. The winds were light, so we were able to figure out what we were doing without any stress.

2008_09_14_First_Voyages 005 Today I went out with my friend Peter. Peter’s three years of sailing experience with Seattle Yacht Club adds to my two years of summer sailing camp experience to give us a combined five years of experience on boats under 14 feet long. Obviously we’re qualified to take a boat twice as big out on our own (or maybe people like me are the reason Washington will be instituting a new law requiring boat pilots to have a license.).

We sailed out and back and a to and forth, and now I feel confident enough with the boat that next week after Nationals I’m going to make a voyage from Tacoma to Seattle. The tides for Sunday the 21st are such that the current will be heading north starting just before noon, so I figure if I leave Tacoma around 11:30 I can make the trip in 5 or 6 hours. I want to see if I can make it entirely on wind power, but if it’s a light breeze and the sails aren’t full, I won’t hesitate to give it a diesel boost.

Once in Seattle I am going to rename the boat and have a naming ceremony (any excuse for a party). The current name is Isis, which has no meaning to me. I’m taking suggestions, but what I’d really like is something with three layers of meaning. So an obvious double meaning (for instance if I were visually impaired, like Aaron Scheidies – who went a 1:58:30 at the Malibu Olympic Distance Triathlon, a minute faster than our World Record performance in Dallas last October – I could name it See Worthy), but then I want a third meaning that is more of an inside joke where you’d have to know me to get it (bc dot org knowledge is enough).

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. A: when the hell did you get a boat? how do I score one for cheap? is there a cabin on that bad boy?
    B: some possible names; 8th grade birthday party, bachelor pad, Isis (is actually a pretty cool name, check out the bob dylan song), mid 20’s crisis, BC booty boat, OK, that is enough for now. wait, what was the name of that one inflatable that we took to California and down the cedar river? miss rainier? I think we had a name for that…


  2. Name it Courtenay and sail it to Portland in time for the race on Saturday! I will go sailing with you but all I know how to do on a boat is duck and get cheese and crackers for everyone, oh and dangle my feet in the water.

    SO FUN!

    Who raced with Aaron? I sent him a text but he was too cool to write me back, so you will have to tell him Hi for me.

  3. Noah, there IS a cabin. it has a V-Birth, and a table! The way to score a cheap boat is to find one that’s been abandoned for two years and is up for auction with only one bidder (in other words I got lucky). The raft we took to California that ended up being too small for two people was definitely Miss Rainier. My Dad got that boat from a friend who owned a bar, and it had the Rainier Beer logo on the side. That was sweet.

    Loren: everything is wrong with Lorpeedo. I get this trippy image in my head when I read it, like a torpeedo that belongs in the “Yellow Submarine” music video, with your goofy smiling face on the front. Sort of like how they put a face on Thomas the Train. That show is weird.

    Courtenay: You’re welcome to come sail with me in Seattle, but my guess is the good weather will not hold for too much longer. Isn’t Sunday the first day of Fall? Wait, am I allowed to say that out loud? Crap. Monday I start school. OMG I’m going back to school AGAIN!!!! what am I thinking?

  4. I’d suggest “Washed Up”, but that’s already taken (by me).

    How about “Yellow Bedwetter”? Peter would appreciate that one.

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