Introducing Halcyon

In October 2009 John and I purchased a 1980 Catalina 30 tall rig sailboat. Halcyon is our second sailboat. Our first was a 1972 Venture 2-22 on which we learned how to sail and perform simple maintenance such as fiberglass repair, hull painting and installing a masthead antenna. I taught myself fiberglass repair and learned that I need more patience and probably should leave it to professionals. But I know that in a pinch I can do it and at least I now know what is involved from a hands-on perspective. I learned not to wax at dusk. There are still bits of dried wax on the hull that I could not get off. I learned that while it looks fantastic, a solid mahogany rudder is a pain to take on and off in rolling seas. On the other hand, John has an electrical background and did an excellent job on the marine wiring, making sure that we wouldn’t burst into flames at an inopportune time. Like there is ever a good time.

When we decided to take the plunge and buy a larger boat I researched sailboats for two years, narrowing our choices to three boat manufacturers before choosing Catalina. The Catalina provided more headroom (we’re both tall), more cabin space for its length and an extremely strong owner’s association to tap into for advice. I spoke to several people who had sold their Catalina for other boats and regretted it. The Catalina is a lot of boat for the price, which was also important given the economy. The ability to ask questions of Catalina owners was priceless as we were able to pinpoint known issues and decide whether we wanted to take them on and could afford to have them fixed. Our broker told us that after a few years most Catalina 30 owners trade up to a larger Catalina and I find myself already eying a Catalina 445…but I’m sure his point was that we should get a fairly decent resale price if we are diligent with maintenance and upkeep.

Our primary cruising ground with Halcyon is the Chesapeake Bay. Halcyon’s home port is Rock Hall, MD located on the Eastern Shore. Because we bought the boat so late in the season we only had two trips on her: a perfect sail from Annapolis where we bought her up to Rock Hall and one day sail out of Rock Hall with air so light the Bay looked like glass. We have a few major fixes to complete and then we have a full season of sailing planned.

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