Almost the entire summer last year we scoured Craigslist in search of a sailing dinghy. At the time, we didn’t have any intention of taking one cruising with us (where on earth would we put it?) but we yearned for a little sailing boat to take out after work or on the weekend, one we could rig up quickly and be off sailing in minutes, unlike the hours it takes to get the big boat ready. Besides, sailing little boats is such a sweet lovely pastime: the big boat takes us places but a little 8′ or 10′ boat would just take us around in quiet joyful circles. Our search for a small, affordable boat was fruitless and before we knew it fall had arrived and it was soon much too chilly to mess around on the water much.
With so many projects underway and tasks to check off we haven’t even had time to think about starting up the search for a small sailing boat this spring. But what has happened so many times to us happened again: what we stopped searching for found us. This past weekend our dock neighbors and friends, also a liveaboard family of four, found a great deal on a larger fiberglass sailing dinghy. They’d toted a Walker Bay 10 with them all around the Puget Sound, sailing around countless anchorages with all four family members plus their dog aboard. We were honored when they asked if we’d like to have their beloved dinghy.
Of course we gratefully accepted, rigged the little boat up, bundled up the girls and Michael was off with them on their first dinghy sail. She scooted along our bay in about 5 knots of wind. “We’re gliding!” Leah beamed as they silently circled the bay. It was not the type of dinghy we had been searching for, but with the incredibly easy sailing rig, stable and indestructible hull our new little Walker Bay seems to be just right for now. Besides, with four people on board we are bound to need more tenders.
Michael is on the aft deck as I type this, taking measurements to see if we can fit some davits to accommodate our growing fleet. Looks like we may be cruising with a sailing dinghy after all.