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2016-12-08

Navy cut in half

Somewhat misleading, as she will be on a nearby mooring.
Well, this has been a loooong time coming, and yet I am well-pleased.

Valiente has been sold.

I got a price for her that was not completely insulting, even though it was a fraction of what I paid 17 years ago, a time when she lacked backing plates, new standing and running rigging, a rebuilt Atomic 4, a new fuel tank and system from fill port to exhaust port, repaired tabbing, repaired coring, mid-ship cleats, improved ground tackle deck gear, a Gori folding prop and a nice, custom SS bow roller.

Such, however, has been the nature of the market and I was not offended. I agreed (as I predicted I would) with the buyer's first offer, and I did so perhaps more rapidly than he had anticipated. Nonetheless, I believe we are both pleased with the outcome. An added bonus is the six or seven sailbags no longer hanging from my garage's joists, and I will prefer the space to the presence of the tarp frame. Further good fortune is that I have sold the boat to a friend within the club who will keep her on a mooring. Despite the fact that this suggests I will be a nearby resource for free advice, I actually like the symmetry of Valiente returning to the club from which she sailed for 25 years before I bought her and will enjoy seeing her comings and goings under new management.
I'm not sure if the new owner will change her name; new decals are required in any event!
Now, I can tell you, dear readers, however, that unless you are very old or stricken with a crippling malady, you might as well keep sailing your Good Old Boats. Unless you've put $100K into yours to make it as current as a new Hunter, you'll fail to get what you think it's worth. Your thoughts (and receipts) on the subject are absolutely irrelevent in a market saturated with far newer and far more tricked-out small or even "mid-sized" sailboats chasing a very limited number of people interested in owning any boat at any price. 

Speaking of which, I see sub-30 footers in sail-away (if often damp and dirty) condition being offered for free every week. I had over 40 visitors in the last 18 months to my boat, many of who were very well-aware of the Viking 33's strengths and weaknesses. New rigging and a fresh A4 rebuild could not, however, trump the tatty upholstery or the narrow cabin or the tiller steering which, despite some obvious advantages in "helm feel" and mechanical simplicity, is apparently the goose quill pen of sailboat steering: everyone wants to be at the wheel, irrespective of the ergonomic shortcomings of this choice for boats with tight cockpits.

For my own part, I was looking for someone, ideally not too tall, who didn't mind the lack of modern conveniences and appreciated the sailing qualities and my robust and primarily structural improvements. Someone who therefore would be pleased to find a tough, fast boat with many years left in her.
It will be very nice indeed to launch her again. Part of the deal was in helping the new owner recommission in April.
Until last week, that was no one. How a boat actually sails seems to be way down the list of why people (a very few people) are buying them. So now you know. If you want to get out of owning a Viking 33, or an old if vigorous similar vessel, teach a family member how to sail it, and then give them the boat. It's a lot less worry and delay in the long run.