New boat is in the water. I like it. But, OMG, is it an ugly boat!
Wasabi is 16.5 feet with a walk-thru windshield and a pretty nice hull shape. She’ll do well. She replaces Lolita, the 14.5 footer that I had temporarily while I fixed up Big Surf, the 17 foot Whaler-type knock-off. Yes, I got boats!
But I traded sweet little Lolita to my mechanic ’cause she needed a new home now that Wasabi is here and she was just too small for me anyway. So she is gone.
And now I have to find a home for Big Surf. It is also a good boat and practically perfect for a builder-on-an-island ’cause it is almost rectangular, ultra stable, handles seas beautifully (Whaler style hull) and is completely open which makes loading stuff easy. The problem with Big Surf is that she is so heavily built, she takes a larger outboard for any kind of efficiency. I have a 50. She needs a 70. I took her apart because I thought there must be water trapped between the two hulls but no, she was dry as a bone. Just heavy scantlings. Great work boat.
Wasabi is old. Circa 1980. But the hull is in very good shape and so is the deck. The deck/interior is all a faded green that, when cleaned up a bit, looks like wasabi paste (horseradish flavoring used with sushi), thus the name. We went down yesterday and ‘chucked’ the sleeper seats that were wrecked with age and permanently wet. We’ll use Dairyland milk crates as seats instead. They are light weight and they don’t get soggy.
While we were down there ‘chucking and cleaning’, we checked Wasabi out more closely. Sal removed an unnecessary deck fitting and the original colour of the hull was revealed. “Oh my Gawd! Nuclear puke green. Worse than day-glo pus! That is soooooo ugly! The dirty, faded, blotchy colour is a blessing by comparison. Who could have possibly bought this boat new? Yuck!”
Lolita cost $500. Wasabi the same. No one uses the term ‘beater-boat’ but, essentially, that is what many of us have out here. We are definitely no longer amongst the teak-varnishing, bronze and stainless-polishing, yachty-set. We tend to use our boats now like old beat up pick-up trucks.
“Don’t care what she looks like so long as it runs good and carries a lot!” And it is the engine that determines that for the most part. $500 for the boat, $5,000 for the engine.
That statement would have been heresy when Sal and I lived on our boat when we were in our twenties. (Three different boats, actually). Now, it is just practical. We don’t do SAILPAST out here. We just commute. And carry stuff.
Wasabi came with an old cracked vinyl roof on an aluminum frame. Completely wrecked. Probably original. We put it up. Wasabi is now – hard to believe – even uglier. But Sal will make a new canvas top soon and that will make it look better and provide some much needed winter shelter. Sometimes speeding along in an open boat in the winter sleet and storm spray feels like a ‘bit much’. We are getting soft. But soon, we’ll be comfy.
Ahhhh, yes. Does it get any better?