So it begins
I've been looking at boat ads in Seattle's CraigsList for about half a year now, and the lesson is... don't sweat it - there's another one out there. You can buy a different pocket cruiser pretty much everyday of the week if you're so inclined, so be circumspect.
Ripple is the first counter example in my price range. It was love at first sight, and second sight as well. This is an uncommon sailboat.
Ripple is a jewel built in 1993 by the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, WA. She has clearly been cared for lovingly in her 16 years afloat. Her previous owner donated her to the Center for Wooden Boats, sale to benefit the CWB's programs. I wrote a deposit check for her today, and will sail her, weather permitting, tomorrow.
Her interior is compact, without the luxury of standing headroom, but replete with bronze, opening port-lights, a hatch prism, V-berth and settee berth, and a galley that is capacious in proportion to the size of the boat. A glance in any direction reveals details rarely found among production boats. Compact, yes. And meticulous.
Above deck, Ripple bespeaks tradition and a sailplan to inspire passion. A gaff-rigged cutter, with a topsail no less! Bronze stanchions and deck hardware, bronze-capped teak rubrail, a bowsprit that carries her forestays proudly forward. The standing rigging is parcelled, wormed, and served. And belaying pins. Goodness!
So, a sea trial, a survey, insurance, a loan, and moorage. Lots of details to attend to. And perhaps some sailing for the holidays if all goes well. In a proper sailboat.