January 2010

We did it!! As of yesterday afternoon we are the proud owners of a 1989 Sabre 34 Targa named Serendipity. The boat is gorgeous and I’m so excited to have it. What a step up from the Hunter! There’s enough headroom in the cabin for me to stand up, and a fully enclosed head so there won’t be any more accidents of falling off the porta-potty and through the ‘barely hiding you’ curtains in rough water (sorry, dad). This also means that there will actually be space to move around below deck without getting in the way of another person, or the one bag that was brought on board with that day’s lunch and other necessities. There is a full galley so now I can do more than just heat up canned soup, and there are even 3 sinks that actually spit out water. There are multiple places to sleep, and places where you can just sit and enjoy yourself without feeling like your in a rocking cave (my thoughts, not Matt’s).

I don’t want this to sound like a bashing of the Hunter, it was a great starter boat and we had some really good times on it. But moving up to the Sabre was like going from a tent in a rustic campground with water pumps and outhouses to a fully loaded RV at a lush RV resort. Ok, maybe not that big of a step, but it feels like it to me. This is a whole other world where I will want to spend time in the cabin as opposed to just the cockpit, and Matt won’t have to beg me to spend entire weekends on it without going home in the evening for a decent nights sleep. There are visions of taking her out for one or even two week excursions on Lake Michigan because now we can actually do that! (Although it would have been possible to do that in the Hunter, and people have crossed much larger bodies of water in much smaller boats, there was no way I was going to leave myself in that little thing in the middle of Lake Michigan should a storm come up) Matt and I had been talking about going to Milwaukee on a boat for quite some time, and even made plans with friends to do so in Serendipity before she was even purchased. Yes, the possibilities now seem endless.

That’s not to say we can just turn her key this spring and she’ll be ready to go. Despite the fact that the previous owners (the most recent one in particular) kept the boat in wonderful condition and with a million spare parts, there is still a lot of work we will need to complete before she’s ready to go in the water. Luckily this winter, and just about every one before, she’s being kept in a heated storage facility at Eldean’s in Holland, and that means we’ll have full access to work on her all through the winter and spring. The not so nice part about it? The price tag that comes with heated storage at one of the best marina’s in West Michigan. Ouch. We only had to pay half of the $2,800 fee since we didn’t become owners until half way through the winter, but what a way to start owning a more luxurious boat. I can already tell that this is going to eat up a lot more of our time and money than the Hunter ever could. One thing is for sure though, and I could tell this from the moment I first stepped on her,….. I’ve got a breathtaking new cabin on the lake!!

*If you want to see photos of our old Hunter 240, check them out here.


Welcome to Matt & Jessica’s sailing page.  We are a couple of Michiganders who two years ago had never been aboard a sailboat, but decided to take it up as a hobby.  Although that’s putting it lightly for my husband Matt. For him, it’s an obsession.

For the past 10 years that Matt and I have been together he’ll go through phases of different hobbies/obssesion. Ranging from rally cars, watches, and real estate, sailing has become the latest and hopefully permanent one. It started in late summer of 2007 while on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Matt would look at the sailboats on the water and comment on how he’d like to try that someday.  I didn’t pay too much attention, because of course, there was another hobby at hand at the moment.  Still, every time we were at the beach he’d gaze longingly at the boats dotting the horizon.  Come winter though, there were no beaches, no boats, and the subject slowly died.   We turned out interest to Matt’s newest engrossment, buying property in northern Michigan and building a small pod home or prefabricated cabin.  The whole winter was spent searching for properties and cabin designs.  We had even narrowed it down to a few designs and certain locations when out of nowhere Matt asked, “We can either get a piece of property or spend the money to get a sailboat, which do you think would be best?”.  I hadn’t known the sailboat might even come back into the equation, so the question took me a little by surprise.  And Matt was not going to let me off the hook with saying ‘I don’t know, whatever you want to do’, so we sat down to weigh the pros and cons of both.  Eventually we decided that although the cabin would give us year-round access where we could only use the boat in the summer, that we would rather spend our summers on the water with constant activity and enjoyment than every other weekend in a 400 sq ft cabin on barren land.

Once the decision was made, Matt dove into his new obsession by scouring the internet for boats up for sale, and which ones would best fit our need.  In the end though, we did what we had done with our house and most of our cars, which is to buy the first one we actually see in person.  It was August 2008 and we had driven about 45 minutes south to Battle Creek to see a 1998 Hunter 240.  It was in pretty good condition, was a great beginner boat, and the price was right.  So after taking a sailing lesson the following day (different boat, different town) to make sure it was something we liked, we put an offer on the Hunter and it was accepted.

Within a week we had the boat up to Muskegon where we had purchased a mooring at Torresen Marine.  With the exception of bumping into about 6 other boats on our first time out of the channel (we literally had to have a guy passing by jump in our boat to save us), we had a wonderful two and a half months (thank you Indian Summer) learning and loving the sport of sailing on Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan.  Scratch that, we also hit 4-5 boats in the channel again taking our boat out of the water for the year.  We learned to put in and take out at a different location the following year.

So that is the story of how we came into sailing.  Follow our new adventures and mishaps as we just purchased a new (to us) Sabre 34 Targa over the winter.  And keep an eye out for us. We’ll probably be the only boat on the water with a greyhound aboard and blasting techno music from our speakers.