That’s a question I get a lot these days.
And I’m writing this to thank all those who have followed our adventures over the past 9 years, either through my blog, DauntlessatSea.com or on Trawler Forum. I learned so much thru Trawler Forum in my formative years, so I wanted to post this also on TF.
The decision to move on to new challenges and sell Dauntless was really just the “other shoe dropping”. When I lost my partner in life and cruising mate in 2016, the writing was on the wall, I just couldn’t see it. Julie, my-ex, was as critical to the Dauntless adventure as I was. Removing that half left me less than whole.
By 2017 I had become an experienced cruiser, but I started making poor strategic decisions and even poorer financial ones. I was lacking my mind partner and it showed. I should have sold Dauntless then, my heart was not in it anymore, I was a delivery captain, but moving my own boat from A to B, B to C.
But I trudged on for another four years. I hated cruising alone, but I saw no alternatives, another indication of my tunnel vision when being alone. So, this past summer 2021, when my dear friends in Austin, Texas, made Ti and I an offer we could not refuse, I knew the next step was to sell.
That has unleashed the last and most unpleasant experience of putting Dauntless up for sale.
Moving Dauntless in the fall from Alaska to Seattle, was a hard, 14-day trip through a quarantined Canada in crappy weather to an expensive marina pretty much sums up the last three months. A lot of work, cleaning up the boat, taking 9 years of memories and household goods off, even throwing away the spices that the previous owner had left was a times heart wrenching for me. We took thousands of pounds of stuff off the boat. When we finally left her, Dauntless hasn’t never looked so good in a half dozen years. But she was also showing signs of normal wear and tear.
For 9 years, it was always about the cruising and the systems that needed to run reliably to make that happen. Mechanically, I kept her in perfect functional condition, meaning, I would cross the Pacific with her tomorrow if the occasion arose. But cosmetically, the little touch-ups that I knew I should be doing were always too far down on the list of things to do.
Therefore, this fall, I was hoping to find the right buyer. Someone who cared about cruising, planning on continuing the circumnavigation that I had started, but unlike me, would also have some skills in getting her back in shape cosmetically slowly but surely. Someone who would spend the time to learn her and figure out what they liked and what needed to be changed to continue the adventure. Maybe take her down to Mexico, where the paint and woodwork could be done quickly and efficiently. By then, they would know her better, understand why I had installed that thing there. Appreciate the inexpensive and practical solutions I had come up with over the years. Eventually, I’d hoped to see her in some far-off Asian port or South Pacific Island.
Dauntless had been a dock queen when we bought her in 2013. With a lot of money, sweat and learning thru experience, we made her into a true passage maker. I was/am extremely proud of that accomplishment.
And that’s the rub now. The buyers that I’ve run across have in actuality wanted that dock queen of years ago. It’s no surprise to me that the side decks are wet. She’s been sitting in the rain for the last two years. I’m sure the fly bridge is wet too. But a few months in the sun would cure al that and then the stanchions on the fly bridge could be re-bedded, as well as the bungs in the teak deck. Beyond that I would leave it alone. In fact, the foredeck, which had been replaced by the previous owner is griddle hot in the sun, the teak side and aft decks are blissfully cool in the same sun. The boat is the way she is for a reason and as you can tell even from this post, my patience has worn out.
So that’s why just a week ago I listed her with a broker, Pop yachts. Let them manage buyer’s expectations.
We do have a contract on her, with another survey and inspection to take place February 4th. I think this buyer is serious, but if not, I will leave her in Blaine, where she rests now, and wait until the right person comes along, but this will be my last trip to Dauntless in any case.
Thanks for reading and your support these past 9 years.
Richard, ex of Dauntless, now in Texas Hill Country amid the Live Oaks.