Sailing is a favorite pastime of mine. Also, if you want a constant supply of projects (as I do), consider buying a boat. If you want to finish these projects, buy a small boat. In the time of Coronavirus, a boat is a better investment than ever. We can visit secluded beaches. We can spend the day adventuring together without getting closer than 20 feet from another soul (at the ramp). For a small upfront investment (think mid-range family vacation) and some basic maintenance each year, a day on the water on a trailerable sailboat is at most $12. This buys your most expensive ramp day pass and a half gallon of fuel (to travel about 10 miles with my Honda 2.3 outboard). We are lucky enough to have two unique boats that we take on very different adventures.

Montgomery 15

The Montgomery 15 is the tiny boat of my dreams. It is a 15 foot sailboat with many trappings of a large yacht. It is unsinkable and has even made the journey from California to Hawaii. That particular 40 year old M15 boat is still sailing today. These little boats have a keel, a dry self-draining cockpit, and sails can be reefed quickly to handle weather worse than I would ever experience on inland waters. My example also has roller furling and a unique wood bowsprit featuring an anchor roller (which actually makes it a 16 foot boat). There is hardly a reason to leave the cockpit. The boat’s small cabin offers all the comfort of a camping trip. With the centerboard up, the boat can go anywhere where the water reaches my knee. I can hop out and pull her through some tight spots at this depth.

Hobie Tandem Island

Our other boat, the Hobie Tandem Island is one of the strangest contraptions on the water. You can paddle it, pedal it or sail it. It can be a two seat kayak, or something resembling a trimaran. When the wind dies or when traveling directly into the wind, you can travel at a comfortable speed without a motor. It can be car-topped with effort. It is not a fast sailboat, but is MY fastest boat and we overtake most kayaks with just one of us pedaling. These are great boats, but have increased in price since I bought ours (a 2014 floor model). I could sell the thing used for more than I paid for it, which illustrates the demand for these unique boats. Late model boats are dryer and more comfortable than my model. Good thing my daughter likes a wet ride (only happens when sailing at speed).

Everyone is entertained, either operating the boat, playing on the boat, or playing with the baby.
We’ve picnicked in some hard to reach places. There is always something new to see.
With a little effort, she zips right along. Pedaling is easier to sustain than paddling. She flies under sail, but not as fast as a dedicated sailboat of her type.

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