She’s a Keeper!


Boat shopping has always been one of my greatest affinities. Pretending that the gorgeous wood Chris Craft I’ll never be able to afford may actually be a possibility.

After months and months of shopping for boats we found our baby!  “Sea Wolf” a 41′ 1978 CHB Trawler. Luckily she also comes with little to no mechanical issues and just some minor aesthetics to repair. Really it’s just the teak that needs to be done, so I swore up and down that I would happily sand and varnish all of the teak on the boat. Telling Chris that I could see myself out there in my bikini with a cocktail in one hand and the sander in the other. I could even start a business called “Cheeki Tiki” since I do actually enjoy using a paintbrush.  He laughed and could see right through my bullshit, answering with a chuckle “OK babe I’ll believe it when I see it”…who knows…but so far, not so good, it will happen once the summer is over…swear!

The previous owner was a pilot and I’ve since learned that pilots are very meticulous people.  The engine room is spotless, the records and logs are extremely thorough as well.  You can see by the 32 point checklist below…


Since this is our first boat of this size we really appreciate all the attention to detail was kept. The sea trial went flawlessly confirming that Sea Wolf will soon be our new home.

Moving comes with an array of emotions – excitement, fear, curiosity, oh…and exhaustion! Now since we don’t have much stuff, we arrived at the marina with Chris’s Frontier and my Altima full of our things to meet and pick up the keys. It was a Friday after work at dusk, we were really exhausted and just wanted to load a few things aboard to make our bed so we could celebrate with a cocktail…or three (in true sailor fashion – not that excuses are needed here either but it was the day before Chris’s birthday so cocktails were not even up for discussion, it was necessary). We ended up meeting with the owners wife who was the sweetest and nicest lady ever, since the owner was away flying somewhere.  She wanted to show us a few things with the boat like how to use the head, tricks for the stove and to point out the central vacuum system (which is not a central vacuum system at all, it’s actually the manual bilge pump – we really got a kick out of that later).  She had also mentioned that she was leaving all of their belongings on board because they no longer had any use for it anymore. Let me add that they owned Sea Wolf for ten years, so you can imagine the built up clutter. We thanked her for her time and she was on her way.

IT’S OURS AT LAST!!!  We then looked at each other excited but so drained.  “Shit, we really have to clean all of this stuff out before we can even more in?” “I just want a cocktail!!!” I said.  We decided first, instead of getting overwhelmed by all of the stuff left behind we would A: make a cocktail (DUH) and B: go from there. It was not the end of the world that they left all of their stuff, but just part of the ebb and flow of being a boat owner. So we began yet another purge process. The previous owners had the boat for ten years so you can imagine how much crap was accumulated in that time (even being a clean, meticulous pilot). We started with the master stateroom because we did eventually need to get some rest. So we just began throwing things out into the dock cart, and many very full loads later we had cleaned out enough of their crap to replace it with our crap. We did find many things that we did find a use for and many things that were still in good condition that we could not find a use for and many things that I really don’t want to mention or even think about ever again 🙂

One of my first lessons in dock life is that you don’t throw away things that are in any kind of decent condition, you place them in front of or beside the trash and someone will make use of it. It was very amusing we had put an array of things by the trash including blankets, pillows, a microwave, old canvas and a half dead plant. We woke up the next morning to find many things were already claimed (were our neighbors watching us? Damn! That was quick!) including the plant that was half dead “YEY! Someone took our dead plant!” I said laughing hysterically (fast forward three months later when leaving for work one day the now fully dead plant was back by the trash – BY the trash not IN the trash – there’s a difference).

After seeing this on our first morning we strangely felt a sense of being “home” the quirkiness and community is real and we love it. We ended up throwing everything on board just so we had it, and we would figure out the organization later.  But first…cocktails!


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