Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | Author: Jacob
Interested in what we are up to now?

Here's a blog for our new boat, MOROSAURUS, Moore 24 hull #60, the classic speedster:

And for miscellaneous oceanography and weather related blog posts visit NAVIGUESS. I will be leaving this week for a research cruise from Charleston S.C. to Capetown S.A. and will most likely be posting updates while underway:

Friday, April 29, 2011 | Author: Jacob
As mentioned in our last post, the process of selling Pisces turned out to be pretty difficult. Not that it took very long, in the end she was only on the market for two months, and half of that time we were not actively advertising. Instead it was difficult as it required a huge time and mental commitment, showing and discussing Pisces with many interested parties, responding to emails, phone calls, questions, concerns, lowball offers, diatribes and the like.

It was an interesting window into the mentality of many would-be cruisers, and at times I wished I could tell people what we had learned through our own experiences, however as the 'seller' that advice had no place and would have fallen on deaf ears. What follows is a brief selection of things that stood out to us through the process of selling Pisces. This is certainly not to say that we were any different when we were boat shopping, in fact almost all of these things are things that we did ourselves. However, now with the benefit of a modicum of experience, we feel a bit entitled to point them out as unnecessary, overly obsessive, or just funny.

1) If you ask the seller something about the build or quality of the boat, please don't act surprised or distrustful when they tell you it's a great boat. We had one interaction that went along the lines of Buyer: 'Is the hull cored?' Me: 'No, it's solid fiberglass, we've replaced thru-hulls and I know that for a fact.' Buyer: 'Am I just supposed to take your word on that?' (repeat for 20 minutes).

2) I know that you are reading the Pardey's and that somewhere deep down you envision cruising as you vs. the sea in an epic battle of cunning and resolve. We did the same thing. But, cruising turns out to not be like that...not at all, and that's a very good thing. I would rank one of Pisces' greatest weaknesses as a cruising boat the fact that she has such small portlights, as it makes her a bit cave-like below. This would be tantamount to sacrilege to many who are planning their first cruise. If you must continue reading cruising books, I highly recommend Beth Leonards and Evan Starzinger as a counterpart to the uber-traditional approach.

3) If you were buying a house (which is in many ways what you are doing) you would not bypass the living room and go straight to the crawl space the first time you saw it. There's a time and a place for going through every nook and cranny of the boat, but the first time you see it isn't that time. Go, walk the deck, imagine how the boat would sail, sit in the cockpit and see if it would be comfortable for hours on end. Go below, imagine cooking a meal, sit at the settee and imagine reading or having friends over for dinner. Lie down in the berths and make sure they are big enough for you and your partner. At this point you ought to have a much better sense of whether this boat fits your basic needs and desires in a cruising boat, and you will know whether it makes sense to start looking at the details. The seller will be completely willing to show you the boat multiple times. It shows that you are seriously considering buying, which makes sellers very happy.

4) The winches are not going to rip out of the deck.

5) Don't do any major projects (unless they impact the basic functioning of the boat) right after you purchase the boat. Sail the boat, go anchor out for the weekends, and generally spend as much time onboard as you can. If the boat has been actively sailed recently there's a good chance that the previous owners learned a thing or two during their time, and the boat might be set up the way it is for a very good reason that you just don't see yet. West Marine gives new boat owners a discount for the first month of boat ownership, this is not altruism.

6) You probably won't do exactly the cruise you think you are going to do. We met very very few people who ended up going where they thought they would when they thought they would. And that's really the joy of cruising. If you like the Sea of Cortez and want to stay there for two seasons, do it! Questions like 'oh, so you've never taken Pisces offshore?' show that you've probably never been out in the Pacific in the middle of the night on a sailboat. We've done an offshore passage, and we've done 'coastal cruising' and found them to not be that significantly different other than the duration involved. Also, sorry if we couldn't hold back a snicker when you said you were going to go from Seattle to the Carribbean and then cross the Pacific. We weren't sure if this betrayed a shocking lack of geographical knowledge, or if you haven't realized how long a few inches on the map takes at 5kts. I'm sure you are going to have a lovely trip, it just probably won't be that one.

7) People in Seattle are really into the idea of composting toilets. I recommend referencing point number 5 above.

8) There are projects and there are Projects. Little 'p' projects are things that might make the boat better, or cost less than a few thousand dollars (scale appropriately for the size boat you are looking at). Big 'P' Projects are ones that are going to cost a lot of money, time, and/or suffering. Try to separate things into these types of categories, it will help you gain some perspective on what you are really looking at as you shop for boats. We had a potential buyer tell us: 'I'm sorry, but I'm looking for a boat that is more ready to sail.' Yes of course, the thousands of miles she's sailed in the last two years do not sufficiently demonstrate her readiness for sailing.

9) Don't act so bummed out! You are shopping for a cruising boat, a luxury item that shows you have disposable cash and are working towards a dream. There are plenty of good boats out there, and the reality is that almost any boat you can afford will end up being fine. If you can relax a little bit and let your expectations match the reality of the experience and your pocketbook, you will no doubt be able to find the perfect sailing ship to take you off into the sunset.

That about sums up the random thoughts we had during the process of selling Pisces. If you'd like more 'reflections on cruising' I highly recommend this blog post from our good friends on s/v Hello World.

Enough of the past, onto the future. In the short term, we are still sailing (actually I think I'm probably sailing almost the same amount now as when we were cruising). I am racing in the very competitive J24 fleet on Tuesday nights, and Julia and I are sailing together on Friday nights on a Moore 24, as well as sailing in frequent weekend regattas. As the weather improves we also plan on inviting ourselves out on our friends' boats as often as possible.

And of course, we are also starting to look for our next boat (by starting I mean that I'm ready to pull out the checkbook and Julia is acting as a voice of restraint and wisdom). Our goals are to get something that can be dry-sailed (left on a trailer), is fast, can be used for camper-style cruising, ocean capable so that we can potentially enter some of the coastal races, and will be a return to the no-systems-no-stress 'hey it's nice out lets go sailing' approach that isn't always there with a big boat. Did I also mention it has to be fast fast fast? There are some great boats that fulfill the above criteria, but the boat that seems to do it all in the minimum size and cost package is the Moore 24, a classic Santa Cruz Ultra Light. We'll see how the next few months play out, but I'm picturing us with a sweet van pulling around our even sweeter Moore 24.

In the longer term, we would like to go cruising again at some point, however I doubt that we will do an open ended cruise again. What seems more likely, and appealing, to us would be to take one year and do a trip to New Zealand through the South Pacific or something similar. I've realized that I'm too much of a type-A personality to truly enjoy slow passages, so speed would be of primary importance for our next boat. I also like sleeping, so we would bring crew for the longer passages. I want to sail the boat hard, go fast, and then be there and be done. I've got some ideas kicking around in my head on what the new 'perfect cruising boat' looks like, although I'm sure if and when it comes time to make that next big boat purchase it will have evolved into something completely different.

Thanks again to everyone for following the blog and keeping in contact with us! We will let you know as soon as we move onto our next blog documenting our portable speed machine.
Friday, April 08, 2011 | Author: Jacob
After a difficult couple months, with one extended false start with some potential buyers, Pisces is now sold. We didn't use a broker, so the process required a ton of time and energy talking with people. It was also an interesting window into the mentality and thought processes of many potential future cruisers, and we have some thoughts coming from that which we will share in a blog post soon.

In the meantime, Pisces has been sold to Roland, who spent time sailing the Med years ago, and currently owns a Contessa 26 (now for sale!) on SF Bay. Roland is excited to start cruising the NW, and eventually ports South, and we know he and Pisces will have some great adventures. She will also be sporting a new name on her transom (as much as a double ender can have a transom): Rollin' Coaster.
So keep an eye out for a familiar looking Jason 35, with a new name!

We will probably be phasing out updates to this blog, however we will most likely be starting a new blog documenting our next boat adventure and when that gets started we'll add the link here. You can also check out a side project of mine, starting to connect some of my school work with ocean sailing and weather routing: naviguess.blogspot.com

Tuesday, February 01, 2011 | Author: Jacob
Updated: See below for a link to an additional photo gallery as well as a chapter from Ferenc Mate's 'Best Boats to Build or Buy' on the Jason 35.

Pisces is a Jason 35 sailboat, built on Bainbridge Island WA by Miller Marine, and then finished by the Fisher family and launched in the late 90's. Although the hull was built in 1979, she is essentially a much newer boat, having not launched until 1998, with all of her deck hardware (including the Mast & Boom) from that same time period. She is currently at Shilshole Marina in Seattle WA.

We have owned her for about 4 years, in which time we repowered her with a great Beta Marine Engine, and added a ton of cruising gear including a Monitor windvane, liferaft, EPIRB, and Fatty Knees dinghy. In the time we've owned her we've sailed her 3500+ miles, through a wide variety of weather between SF and Puerto Vallarta MX. Pisces is a great boat, and is really ready to head back out cruising as soon as her next owners want.

We are selling as we are now in school/work mode for the foreseeable future, and would like to simplify and do a bit of local racing on something smaller. We hope to see Pisces out getting used for what she was designed, built, and equipped for!

Our spec sheet with photos and full details is still a work in progress, but can be downloaded by clicking the link below. Beyond that, please email us (email address on the right sidebar of the blog) if you have any questions.

Asking Price: SOLD

Click Here for Spec Sheet.

Thursday, January 20, 2011 | Author: Jacob
Well, not a whole lot of time to talk about it, but there are even more big changes afoot for us. Most prominently, we are in the process of finalizing a rental house close to the UW (where Julia works and I am attending grad school).

As part of this we will be putting Pisces up for sale shortly! I know, shocker, and it seems a bit surreal to us. We still are planning (and scheming) to do a whole lot of sailing, and something small, fast, and trailerable is certainly in our near future. However, right now Pisces is at the top of her game, ready to go cruising anywhere, and we don't want to watch a slow deterioration as she becomes a full-fledged liveaboard.

More info on all fronts will follow sooner or later, but in the meantime if you have an interest in a great cruising boat, drop us an email and we'll get you all the info!
Monday, December 06, 2010 | Author: Jacob

Great new sailing movie documenting the 2008-9 Vendee Globe, available on iTunes.
Monday, November 22, 2010 | Author: Jacob
It's snowing today.