We started our search, looking at Craigslist & Yachtworld.com in locations along the Pacific Coast. We had a few specifications:
- Bluewater capable
- In good condition
- Under 40 feet, as many marinas start charging a higher rate-per-foot above 40 feet
- Comfortable for living & sailing
The first boat we went to see was a Lady Helmsman named “Vagabond”, located in Santa Cruz Harbor. Vagabond was previously owned by Charles’ father, and is a recommended bluewater yacht. It was fun to see, had a beautiful line for sailing, and was a rare tiller helm – but it did not meet our comfort & condition desires.
We looked at a Cal 39, and had some brief interests in other boats, but during our search, we saw a listing for a Fairweather Mariner 39 down in San Pedro. It was out of the price range we were hoping to spend, but the pictures were captivating. Glorious teak interior, with a very distinctive central arch, and a ton of natural light marked the interior. The exterior was beautiful too, with very attractive lines.
We decided not to pursue it, but I kept showing friends & family photos of the Mariner, just to admire it. I checked for other Fairweather Mariners, but it was not until a few weeks later that another one popped up in Dana Point, within our price range. We were thrilled, and dug into our due diligence on the boat. We read listings, cruising forums, Bob Perry’s own writings about it, talked to yacht club salts, etc. This seemed like a great possibility.