After enjoying our daughter’s wedding in December and getting through the holidays, we took the family to Park City where we have a home and did some skiing and enjoyed the mountain house lifestyle. It’s a good thing we bought this place because as we sat watching the snow fall, we realized we would be selling our Leopard 50 and be boatless for potentially a year. It’s okay we thought…we would ski a ton and visit South Africa to see the new boat in the factory (shed) and that would keep us busy. We will see about that, but I expect a long slow summer and fall in deep anticipation of receiving the new boat. Visiting the Miami boat show this weekend reminded us that sailing is our true love and passion, and skiing and traveling are in second place. Driving back from the show in Miami last night I realized I needed to update my blog and let you know what is up. The following will give you some highlights and plans that we are working on and in December you can look back and see how we did!
At the Annapolis show in October, just seconds before we made the decision to walk in the Kinetic booth and pull the trigger, a couple walked up to us and thanked us for the years we had made videos. They told us we had helped inspire their desire to retire and buy a boat to go sailing. During the conversation, the husband said, “we would like to buy your boat and you should buy this one” and he pointed at the Kinetic. Yes, my friends, that is how it happened. And the rest is history. We exchanged emails that night and yes we bought the Kinetic, and yes they bought our Leopard. What timing! We got a lot or flack for not marketing it to the highest bidder, but we felt that it was kismet. Delivered in January, she is already in Galveston awaiting her new owner’s retirement in August. We appreciate our buyers and our new friendship.
Welcome to Miami
In February we celebrate Valentine’s Day each year, which is usually overlapping with the boat show so that is just perfect for us! We knew the Kinetic hull number one would be on display again and we planned on spending several days aboard with local test sails thereafter. The show was great, and we reconnected with all our old friends at Leopard, Balance, Kinetic, Maxprop, Highfield, Victron, Just Catamarans, Rocna, and several beer carts. We love these shows. We come away feeling “up to date” on the industry as a whole and seeing the new gear and boat designs is all part of it. We really bent the ears of Kinetic’s two experienced captains Collin and Brandon and we spent a great deal of time going over the rig and sail plan along with all sorts of deployment scenarios. We are ready for the test sails. We are deep in the selection process of fabrics, countertops, flooring, cabinets, and everything else so we needed a lot of time on the interior as well. We followed up each day with a special dinner with boating friends to gush over each day’s events. Another show for the Smiths in the logbooks. We think it’s number 60 for us.
Over the horizon
In May, we will head to Holland to meet with Alex and Maarten, the designers of the Kinetic, and then on to tour the factory in Knysna SA and test sail hull number 2 in Cape Town (ours is hull number 3). Number 2 is being delivered to a talented sailing couple from Holland and we look forward to meeting them and sailing their boat, which will have the same “racing” rig that we have ordered so we can’t wait. In July, we are renting a house in the Bahamas for two weeks with the family and we will have our Chris Craft with us tied at the dock in the back of the house. So, at least we will dive and enjoy the clear waters of the Bahamas for a while. In August, I will help my friend Mike Draper (our crew from our videos) sail his Nordic 40 from San Francisco to San Diego where he will stage before joining the Baja Haha this fall. In September, we will be 90 days out (supply chain depending) and we are leaving the calendar free for a delivery date. In between all this we are spending ten days a month in Park City and sprinkling in a few dirt bike adventures in Baja and Romania so that will fill out the schedule. Yeah, we are really going to make the most out of this “boatless” year, but life, like sailing has its own surprises that are thrown at you like weather so let’s see how this all unfolds. We hope you are off to a great 2022 as well.