Well we did it again. They say the best two days in a boaters life is when you sell the boat and when you buy a boat. Guess we've had a few of those in our lifetime. We want to introduce you to our new addition. She's a 2000 Beneteau Oceanis 461. We found her in Deltaville, VA of all places. After more than a year of travel and search, we found a boat in the same place were we originally sailed out of in 2017. Funny how things happen. She was in much need of love and repairs to say the least. There were times I was sure we had made a mistake. It took us many months of hard work, sweat, tears, bruises, curse words, Spray 9, Fabuloso, Mr. Eraser pads, and worn out knee pads to get her to the point were we were ready to leave the dock and this picture could be taken. Thank goodness for the kindness, encouragement and goodwill of good friends along the way that not only cheered us on, but helped us, supported us with their hospitality, laundry facilities, feed us and kept our spirits high. There were times I was close to packing up and running south as I was burnt out and she was taking it all out of me. (Liberator was slow to reveal her issues to us but she did reveal them eventually.....as they all do after you spend a little time together.)
Anyone who has undertaken a purchase of an older boat that has been uncared for, I am sure can agree, there comes a time when you doubt yourself and your resolve waivers. Yet at the end of almost every day, I could see that we were making progress....slowly at first. Then it was more noticeable, especially when other come on board and they point it out. You realize you're making headway and that encourages you to keep going, Yes, she has "good bones" and while those words are sometimes thrown around a lot about old boats, Liberator really does. I am always amazed by folks who sell their boats and leave them in the worst conditions and ask the highest price? I am also amazed by folks who don't clean their boats! Do you want to know why your wife doesn't want to go sailing? When the bilge is dirty, the boat smells, no one likes "head smell", the galley hasn't been scrubbed down - especially under the stove. Yes, Liberator had to be Libified. I am a woman with a mission - to keep boat smells off my boat and have creature comfort's such as a nice, thick, real mattress, a Nespresso Coffee maker and since the microwave wasn't working anyway, Captain said I could replace it with a high, speed, low drag, 7 in 1 DeLonghi that is the bomb and fits in the old microwave space! (Yes, we have electrical upgrades too in order to make this all work.). While we were at it, we replaced the electric head. (remember my comment about smells). All these things make me happy, make us comfortable and maybe I need too many creature comforts but I don't need to practice to be miserable.
Amazon order complete: We finally were able to leave Deltaville, VA on the 16th of November, 2022. We have meet some amazing people along the way. Tanner and Jaclyn on Bandit and Josh and Tamara on Honu Time were with us most of the way south and we had a blast with our buddy boats. Found some awesome anchorages, enjoyed some awesome sunsets and meals and reminded us of why we do this. All the pain of the past 6 months somehow was a distant memory.
We arrived in Ft. Pierce on December 16th, where we have been celebrating the holidays and making some additional upgrades/repairs before we head to the islands baby. (Not to mention I've been working).
I have to say, Liberator performed very nicely on our trip south. We had a 33 hour run from Beaufort, NC to Charleston, SC and it was confused seas, but we always felt she could handle a lot more that I could! :-)
She's super comfortable and livability has been such an improvement over our 393. I am in love with my galley and living space and the cockpit is perfect for us. I have plenty of places to secure myself and feel safe. The addition of the SeaDek flooring has been amazing. It saves my knees and joints, especially when I go forward and handle the anchor, windlass, and snubber.
Shout out to the folks at Deltaville Boatyard. Heidi, Keith, Eric and Family/team were all amazing to work with and such great workmanship. Highly recommend. Scott at the Ships Tailor did a great job on our Eisenglass full enclosure, what a game changer for us on the way south! Jimmy and Hannah at Port Urbanna Boatworks for all their advice, hospitality, and friendship.
We are looking forward to our adventures this year/season on Liberator and finally enjoying all the fruits of our hard labor in beautiful places with wicked awesome friends! ;-) #honutime #theoceanbandits #svliberator