I started sailing as a kid of 6 or 7. For Father’s Day, we bought my father a Jetwind board boat. This is what this boat looked like:
We sailed this boat on the lake behind our house. With it, I regularly terrorized the fish in the lake.
After this little boat, my parents got a 17′ trailerable daysailor. We took it to the lakes within reasonable driving distance from our house. The four of us would stay on that boat with the occasional uncle or cousin.
The next boat was a Hunter 20′, then a Hunter 25′ and finally a Hunter 30′. These boats we kept at Grand Rivers Marina on Kentucky Lake. We met a lot of great people and really solidified our love for sailing and laid the foundation for our future sailing adventure.
After a year or two with the 30′ Hunter, I remember mom and dad calling a family meeting where they asked my brother and I if would like to live on a large sailboat on the ocean and travel the world. For me it was a pretty easy answer. I had always had awful environmental allergies and the doctor always said the best thing for me would be out on the water. On top of that, our school system was changing the district so that I would be going to a school few of the kids I already knew would be attending.
We chartered an Endeavor in Florida with some of our Kentucky Lake friends one summer but other than that we did not have any ocean experience. Dad had read tons of how to sailing books and how to cruising books and was ready to make the big jump. They decided to sell his business, the house, the cars, give the dogs away, and down-size our worldly possessions.
After making lists and looking at quite a few boats, they settled on a Hans Christian 43′. She was a staysail ketch. A beautiful boat and probably one of the top boats on the list, if not the top. The owner’s wife gave the owner an ultimatum of “her or the boat” and we got there at just the right time. He was glad to have her move on to a family that was going to travel with her. He helped us move the boat to St. Augustine where we outfitted her for extended cruising.