Nobody wanted to go on the boat today but I know that summer is ending and I haven’t spent enough time on the boat, so I had (reheated leftovers) dinner by myself and watched the sunset on Lake Union.
I’m finally reading The Boys in the Boat and read a chapter of it during and after my dinner. It felt very appropriate to be in a boat at the very place the book is set. Speaking of, I noticed today that the Pocock Rowing Center is right there by the University Bridge that we go under on our way to Lake Union– George Pocock is a significant character in the book and was the most prominent boat builder for crew teams across the country. I love the history.
We finally got the boat today! After all the delays, I was skeptical that we’d really get the boat this week. I was assured that the boat was actually on the ship that was anchored in Puget Sound for almost two weeks waiting in line to get docked but I didn’t know for sure. It was unloaded on Sunday and the trucking company was able to pick it up today, I assume after going through customs and other red tape.
Hamid, our sales guy from Newport Boats, flew up from Los Angeles late last night and met the trucking company at the shipyard this morning. He sent me photos at each stage…
He hired a captain to take it from the shipyard to the Seattle Yacht Club where we met them at our slip.
Hamid poured us some Prosecco and we motored out of Portage Bay and cruised across Lake Washington to Carillon Point and back.
Note that I intentionally wore clothes to match the boat: white shirt to match the interior, aqua blue jeans to match the hull, a blue/white watchband to match both and brown shoes to match the decking. Hamid even gave us an Italian flag.
After Chris and Hamid left, Gay and I went to the deck at the yacht club for an appetizer and a cocktail and to hold a table for dinner. Eva was at a birthday party so Gay went home to pick up Havana and Hudson while I read over the stack of manuals that came with the boat. We had a nice dinner at the yacht club, then Gay left again to pick up Eva from the party at Green Lake and then we met on the boat again to go cruising into Lake Union until sunset.
After missing at least two ships, our boat was supposedly picked up in Panama on Friday/Saturday and is on its way to Seattle. The next stop said Vancouver, BC yesterday but today it says Seattle is the next stop. I’m not 100% convinced it’s on this ship or in the ETA date, but we’ll see…
I think our boat is sitting in Panama right now waiting for this boat, the MSC Fiammetta, to pick it up and take it to Seattle. It’s so cool that ships can be tracked all over the world via VesselFinder:
After only a couple months on the wait list, I got a slip at the Seattle Yacht Club marina in Portage Bay. That was unexpected, I thought I’d have to wait at least 6 months and probably a year or more.
After months of not being able to get moorage, I was relieved to find one a few weeks ago and now I have two! This one isn’t covered but the location is much better for us, so I’ll give the other one up.
I finally found moorage for the boat! It’s hard to find moorage in Seattle, especially now since boating has become even more popular thanks to Covid social-distancing. I’ve been contacting marinas since the Fall and every marina either has waiting lists that are at least 6 months, and even several years long, and other marinas don’t even bother having a waiting list because they’re so lengthy. To make the moorage situation in Seattle even more difficult, Seattle Parks decided to renovate two of the three marinas they run so those marinas are closed down until October.
I was worried that I’d have to get a trailer, park the boat somewhere and put it in and take it out of the water every time I wanted to use it. I got lucky and found a slip yesterday and even better, it’s covered, so I grabbed it immediately. Renting the slip requires insurance for the boat and I got that today too. All of this is a huge relief to me.
I talked to my Cranchi sales rep and he sent me this photo of the shrink-wrapped boat on a rack at the shipyard in Italy just before it went onto a ship to cross the Atlantic. Thanks to the Evergreen debacle in the Suez Canal, worldwide shipping has slowed down. It was tentatively scheduled to be here on May 15th and is now scheduled to arrive in Seattle on May 23rd. Realistically, it’ll probably be a few days later than that and then it’ll take a few days to get it from the Seattle shipyard to the dock where we receive it.
I finally finished placing my order this morning for a boat, our first, a Cranchi E26 Rider!
The colors we chose are Blu Amalfi (love that name!) with Silvertex Cream upholstery, so it’ll look similar to this Classic version:
We could have gotten the above boat right away from a Cranchi dealer in Wisconsin but it’s the Classic version and not the Rider version, and it sold while we were deciding on the Classic vs Rider anyway. Unfortunately, there are no others available anywhere in the world so it has to be built and the earliest manufacturing time slot we could get has it scheduled to be finished on March 31, 2021. Then it takes 30 days to ship it from their Piantedo shipyard in Italy to Seattle. May 1, 2021 is the expected delivery date. This gives me time to find moorage in Seattle, which is currently hard to get but will hopefully open up during the fall and winter season.
It should be a lot of fun as a day boat on Lake Washington and is small and light enough that it can be put on a trailer and we can tow it with the Disco to other lakes too.
I thought picking a boat would be complicated, but after 12+ years of researching and looking at powerboats on and off I learned it’s pretty simple because all boats, assuming they’ve been maintained well, are perfectly fine, meaning they float, i.e., no boat manufacturer is arguing their boats sink less than other boats and the hulls are so good these days that they should all last a long time, assuming it hasn’t been damaged. And assuming that you’re comparing similar types of boats in the same price range, they have similar features and capabilities. The engine is important, of course, but the engines are made by a handful of companies and they can generally be replaced if they fail — you can’t do that with a car. Simply put, it comes down to your personal preferences for the brand of the boat.
My favorite brands have long been Azimut, Pershing and Cranchi. Riva is really nice too but very expensive. All Italian too — the Italians sure know how to make stylish boats! But they all make yachts, which is too much for my first boat. But recently, Cranchi started making a 30-foot boat, the Endurance 30, and an even smaller 26-foot boat, the E26. A small Cranchi? That feels perfect to me.
I originally thought the Endurance 30 would be good for us and got so far as to spec it out with a Cranchi dealer, but it’s too big to be put on a trailer and towed elsewhere, so it’d live either in Lake Washington or Puget Sound. It’d be unnecessarily big for Lake Washington and it’s probably too small for weekend or week-long trips in Puget Sound to the San Juan Islands or further north into Canada. It’s bigger so it has two berths on it, but we don’t intend to sleep on it and a family of five would need even more berths anyway.
The E26 is smaller so it can be put on a trailer and it still has a bathroom on it, which is a requirement. It comes in two versions: Classic and Rider. The Classic has a berth on it but it’s too small to realistically be used, especially for a family of five. The Rider trades that out for bow seating, but still has a (small) bathroom. The Rider is intended as a water sports boat, which is what we want to use it for and has an outboard engine which provides more deck space. The Classic has a nice aft sun deck on top of where the engine is, but the Rider’s aft seating can be converted to sun deck seating (the bow seating can as well) and sits lower which feels safer while motoring. Although the hulls are identical, I prefer the look of the Classic and I prefer its inboard engine. But the Rider is more practical.