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| 06/05/06 Update
Our oldest daughter was car shopping lately and has been taking me along
for advice. New car fever is contagious, so I never should have accepted, but shes
my daughter so I felt obligated ;)
I decided it would be fun to go car shopping for something to replace our 2000 Durango
R/T. Weve had it for six years now. Thats possibly the longest Ive owned
a daily driver. I always seem to get the itch for something different.
The R/T is loaded with pretty much every option available and sold for a painful 36K back
in 2000. It only has 55K miles on it and its about as nice as they come. Its
also paid for! So, why do I want to replace it? Ive become bored with it and 8-MPG
in this day of almost $3.00 a gallon gas, causes severe anxiety attacks at the pump.
While I was out looking at different vehicles, I ran into an old friend who was a regular
customer at our bike shop for many years. He and his son were looking for something for
the son to drive to college. They were interested in the Durango so they drove it, loved
it and almost bought it until they came to their senses. It would not be economical
college transportation when it came to fuel consumption.
The Saturday before last,
I accompanied my daughter to the Honda dealership, where she traded her 1999 GTP in on a
new 2006 Honda Civic Coupe. Tim McVay, who helped install the body and has been on hand
several other times when extra man-power was needed, is the service manager there, so I
know shes in good hands. Its a cool little car and you cant beat 40-MPG!
Later that evening, we were at a high school graduation open house and I told my
car-shopping story to my nephew. His fiancée had wrecked her car and was looking for a
replacement. They knew our Durango was in like-new shape and wanted to buy it when the
banks opened on Tuesday (after Memorial Day).
With the Durango "sold" we diligently started looking at other vehicles but we
couldnt find as nice a vehicle for the same price and we really didnt want to
go back to a car payment again. We couldn't help thinking we were making a mistake.
Sunday evening we went to a graduation ceremony and when we got back home
we got a call from Kelvin. Id bought a five dollar raffle ticket for a 16-foot Hobie
Cat sail boat a few weeks earlier and had won it!
Our boat is the closest one in the photo, with the white
sail and blue streak at the top.
That changed everything. I called my nephew and told
him the deal was off. Suddenly I was thinking of slip rentals, trailers, beaches, sun and
sailing. The new-car fever was completely gone!
I was miraculously cured and realized in
my brief bout of clarity that the Durango makes an excellent pulling vehicle. Ill
pay a bit more per trip - its still less than a car payment and a sail boat looks
great behind it :)
Last Wednesday I drove the `33 to another show, this
time at the Veterans Hospital. I won a ball cap door prize and "Peoples
Choice" award (the car won it, not me). Im really enjoying this lucky streak;
however that makes three wins so it has to be over now.
We finally got to see (and sail!) the boat on Saturday. Were
going to rent a slip on "Hobie Beach" at Lewis and Clark Lake by Yankton, SD
(about an hour away). A beach slip is the next best thing to having a lake cabin.
Theres a great bunch of people down there, so Im sure well have a lot of
fun this summer.
Kelvin has been sailing for 26 years and is teaching me the ropes (no
pun intended) where both sailing and boat maintenance is concerned. Hes raced Hobie
Cats for most of that time. He even manufactures a few accessories that are sold through
various sailing suppliers. The power license plate will make a new addition to his long
list of inventions.
After many years of trudging his wheelchair through the sand, the state of South Dakota
and the local sailing community poured a concrete sidewalk from the parking lot to his
slip. That and some plastic floor mat, make it much easier for him to access his boat now.
Theres never a lack of people willing to lend him a hand when his boat needs to be
carried up or down the beach or pushed off. Theyre a great bunch of caring and
compassionate people and Kelvins a pretty cool guy.
My great grandfather was a Norwegian Sailor, so I come from sailor linage. Kelvin tells me
Ive caught on really quickly - that must be why. Maybe it's karma. I have to say it
feels like destiny fulfilled when Im in my happy zone skimming along on one hull.
Im learning sailing terms like jib, masthead, forestay, block and step, but I put
them into terms that I can relate to; like the sail is the engine and the block is the
throttle pedal. Ive also learned that sailboats live on water, run on beer, and sink
on whisky. Valuable stuff :)
The boat is in our driveway for a week or two while Kelvin and I recondition it. Its
a vintage 1982 and could use a little work but it still sails great. Ive replaced
the bald trailer tires and repaired the trailer lights and wheel bearings. Were
going to make our own tramp (trampoline - the part you sit on) and new rigging. Im
also going to add a few other touches to make it feel more like our own, but intend to
keep it cheap.
I wont blow Project33 off in favor of sailing, so dont worry.
Ive been starting work early so I can get off at 5:30pm. I work on the boat from 6pm
to sundown (around 9pm), take a short break and then I work on the car in the garage from
about 10:30 to midnight. The trunk will be finished before the car is in the Dashboard by
Karls car show and sound-off Saturday (see- the car show came before sailing ;)
The boat needs to be finished ASAP because we have a neighborhood ordinance that prohibits
parking recreational vehicles in your driveway or on your property for an extended period
of time. The car has to be completely finished by June 21st because it *may* be leaving
town on the PPG semi to be displayed in their booth at various runs across the nation. It
isnt a certainty at this point but I need to be prepared. That gives both projects
roughly the same deadline.
As Im replacing boat parts the old ones are going into jars and boxes, to be used on
future projects. This means that our next street rod project will most likely have sail
boat parts as well as bicycle parts on it! :)
|Until next time, Keep the sail side up!
Scooter & Scooterina