S/V The Pursuit

Short for:

 "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness"

An internet friend steered me toward a great deal on a boat.  It had no trailer, so I started searching EBay for a trailer I could modify.  I found one for $350 in West Tennessee and spent about $100 modifying it for a sailboat.  Trailer specs

We went to Florida Valentine's Day, 2004 to get the boat.  My Daughter and her Huband took their truck, as I didn't think my Trooper was up to the task of getting it back. After getting it home, and pulling it around a little with the Trooper, it was prettty obvious I needed a larger tow vehicle.  Florida Trip

Once I got the boat home I started a bottom job  and ran into much water!

Chemical stripping
Grinding and airing out
Sanding and more sanding
Tools used in bottom job

Keel Dolly

My new tow truck, now named "Hee-Hawler"

We had some success at out intial regatta.   My Son went with me in February to the Midwinters in Orlando, and an internet friend from Austin flew up to race with us.  Jacon and I finished mounting cleats and hardware on the deck in the parking lot Wednesday and Thursday.  Jenny turned out to be great crew and added tactical help that was much needed, allowing me to concentrate on sailing the boat.  I was thrilled that on the last beat of the first race, we got in phase and passed 2 boats for a win.  We ended up taking 3 more bullets and the 1st place trophy.  Haha, one regatta and I got bumped out of the silver fleet.  

At the Nationals, in June, 2005, I found out how much I still needed to learn about how to sail the boat.   We finished very far back in the pack after getting 1 good start and 2 OK starts in 4 days of racing, and routinely catching ourselves on the wrong side of the course in our attmept to get some clean air.  All in all, I sailed pretty poorly.  It would have been a complete bummer, had not my crew annouced a couple times a day that how much fun she was having.  I am very lucky to have Jenny crew, with her a great attitude.

What a great group of competitors in the C22 class!   Peter Harper, who beat Dennis by one point in the 2005 Nationals, was extremely nice to share a few of the finer points of sailing the boat in those wind conditions. I leanrd more from him at that one dinner about sailing light air than I had learned in 15 years.  Dennis Slayton has been very open with his vast knowledge of the boat.  One tack, in particular told me I have a long way to go.  I was pinned by Dennis, and couldn't tack, so I was keeping my eye on him, as I would tack as soon as he did.  I saw his crew reaching for the jib sheets and I announced "prepare to tack".  I watched my crew get the sheets ready and looked back to see if I was clear.  Haha, in that few seconds, Dennis had tacked, they were up on the other rail and up to speed on the new tack!  I have never seen anyone tack that quickly in anything other than a Laser. 

We keep learning every regatta and have had some glimmers of success.  I had to withdraw from one regatta I won because I let my crew hike out.  She was going trhough a tough divorce and had sailed dinghies with her Husband.  She was so thrilled to be sailing again, I just didn't have the heart to tell her we aren't allowed to hike.  We won the regatta, then withdrew and gave the trophy back. 

Please ignore the fact that my forestay is way too loose and the jib halyard is too slack for 20mph winds!  The winds were gusting to over 25 and on one run, we were passing a Ranger with his spinnaker up while we were surfing.  Too awesome!