My wife and I are the new owners of an old boat. We just brought home a 37-foot custom-built boat that is a converted crabber. Kingfisher
was one of six hand-built by a fellow in Sechelt, British Columbia in the 1970s. She's cold-molded commercial boat from 1976...and her hull is absolutely pristine. In 2007 she had her cabin extended and completely rebuilt. She was completely rewired at that time as well. Her venerable single Ford Lehman is old but superbly maintained.
I grew up on boats and lived aboard a sailboat for years...a lovely Bristol Channel Cutter blue-water cruising boat. That was in a previous life, and I've been without a boat for many, many years. Our youngest just started college and we realize how quickly life is going by. We both work at a hospital and we see every day how ephemeral life can be, and how important it is to live now, before it's too late. And so my wonderful wife urged me to stop dreaming and start seriously looking at boats. This one came to us serendipitously from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The fellow who owned her for a long time has bought a 50-foot Ed Monk trawler and it's an enormous restoration project. He lived half the year on the 37-foot boat and is now planning to live full-time on the larger boat with his new lady. So, after having enjoyed it for many years, he has passed it on to a new family.
The boat's home was deep in a lovely fjord just north of Victoria, BC. We spent a day getting to know her in the placid waters of the fjord, then provisioned her for a 3-day return to our home in northwest Washington.
She isn't a fancy vessel, but beautifully converted in traditional workboat style to a family yacht.
We brought her to Friday Harbor to process the importation of Kingfisher
into the United States. We met with the director of the Customs and Border Protection office there and had an effortless experience. Hats off to these folks who are extremely familiar with this sort of thing. We had called them weeks in advance and they emailed us the checklist that they've developed. This ensured that we had everything already at hand and ready to go when we showed up at Friday Harbor. It was a very straightforward, pleasant experience. We took a leisurely two days to arrive, and then my wife had to board the ferry for the mainland to be at work the next morning. I brought the boat home singlehanded the following day.
The forecast told me that a front was coming through and the weather I had coming home was no surprise to me. Kingfisher
, being a BC-built fishing boat, simply laughed at the wind and waves. But I am glad that I was alone because I doubt if my wife or daughters would have been anything other than alarmed (and sickened) by the 5-foot breaking seas and 30-40 knot winds. I hand-steered for several hours in the quartering seas because I didn't have the experience with this boat to be sure she wouldn't broach. She never did, though I steered like mad as I was taking no chances. The autopilot was able to relieve some of my workload for the last two hours as we cleared Sucia Island and made a bee-line for her new home in Blaine, Washington. We were in beam seas and she didn't fuss too much, though we occasionally rolled through 90 degrees of arc. It did wear me out to be on a carnival ride for a full six hours, but Kingfisher
never fussed a bit.
We're really looking forward to getting to know her more, and to learning from the collective experience of the membership here on Trawler Forum. Thanks for inviting us aboard!