Sunday, October 24, 2021


Sometimes, the Ten Things of Thankful just writes itself, and this is one of those weeks! Here's why:

The sailboat is sold!

In a TToT posted the last week in August, I wrote that I had cleaned (as well as I could or was inclined to do) the sailboat that had been sitting in the carport at the lake house for - I kid you not - 32 years. 32. Years.

Step into the Wayback Machine with me for this one.

In 1988, my parents drove to Las Vegas for an Ace Hardware buying show (my dad owned a farm supply store that also sold Ace). My brother was living in Yuma, Arizona, at the time, and he met them in Vegas, and then all three of them went to Los Angeles for a couple of days. Now, I wasn't there and have only heard the story second hand, but rumor has it that my dad found out there was a boat show in Long Beach, and he didn't want to do any of the activities (which included attending a Tonight Show taping) that my brother had planned once he found this out. By this time, they were all at sixes and sevens, so in the interest of family harmony, it was decided my dad would drop my mom and brother off at the Tonight Show taping, and he would continue on to the boat show.

When the taping had ended, my mom and brother were waiting for my dad to pick them up when what should pull up to the curb but my dad TOWING A SAILBOAT ON A TRAILER. Apparently, he walked into the boat show, saw the sailboat on display, sails up and in all its glory, and he wasn't going to leave without it. And he didn't. What makes this even better (because I wasn't there and didn't have to put up with any of it) is that everywhere they went from that point on was with a 26 foot sailboat following them. Hollywood. Santa Monica. Sailboat. Picture it.

After a couple of days, my brother headed back to Arizona, and my parents towed the sailboat allllll the way back to Missouri. They took the boat to Stockton Lake, about an hour from their home, and my dad learned to sail it (he had a small sailboat that they took to the lake occasionally, but this one was much bigger and could sleep 6 if two of them were very short or very limber). My mother was not a sailor and mostly went out on the boat because she didn't want my dad to go alone, but they did spend two summers going out on it, my dad loving it and my mom tolerating it. 

Fall of 1989, my parents started looking at lake houses on Lake Taneycomo (3 hours from where they lived). At first, it was just for fun, but then they found one they loved and they bought it. They pulled the sailboat out of Stockton Lake for the winter, parked it in the carport of the new lake house, and there it sat until this past weekend.

My mom was always after my dad to sell the sailboat, but he insisted he was going to get it out again (the lake house is NOT a sailing lake - the water is 45-50 degrees year-round), but he didn't. All the cushions and sails were stored inside the house, the boat got an occasional power wash, but otherwise, it just sat, forlornly, in the carport for 32 years.

In the summer of 2019, my dad said he thought maybe he should sell the boat, and we put a sign in front of the house, but no takers. This summer, after making plans with a builder to add on a real garage to the house and turn the carport into a shop for all his tools and saws and stuff, my dad said he might sell the boat on an online auction site, and I told him I would try to sell it on Facebook Marketplace first.

The only time I've been aboard the boat
is to clean it....

I cleaned the boat at the end of August, took pictures, and listed it on Marketplace. We had a couple of lookers, a lot of inquiries, all wanting to know if it came with a motor (it did not), and then I got a message that seemed too good to be true: someone who once owned the exact same boat saw the listing and wanted to buy it, and this weekend, the man drove to Branson, paid what we were asking for it, hitched it to his pick up truck, and drove off with the sailboat.

My daddy.

We couldn't have asked for a better transaction
and transfer of my dad's beloved sailboat.

My dad was wistful. "I wish I could have taken it out one more time," he said the night before it was sold, even though he knew that physically, at almost 87, he couldn't really have sailed it.  As long as the sailboat remained in the carport, there was a chance, but when it was gone, the chapter was finally closed. 

I'm not going to lie: I had a lump in my throat when that boat disappeared down the street behind the new owner's truck. Then I drove my car into the empty space in the carport and parked there for the first time in 32 years, and it was good.

I hereby invoke the TToT's Secret Rule 1.3(c)(iii) that states when one finally sells a boat after 32 years, that's thanks enough!

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  1. Dyanne, I read this with a lump in my throat at the end, and then I read it to Vic and I just completely choked up at the end, tears and all. Closing those final chapters, whatever they may be are difficult ones.

  2. Awwww! Yes, this is thanks enough, although bittersweet. Is there any way you could give your dad a tour on a sailboat as a gift some time in the future?

  3. It looks a lovely boat and I know how you felt when you saw it going. Back in 2004 my partner and I bought a small canal cruiser to sail round the English canals. It needed a lot of refurbishment both inside and out and we did a lot of work on it but sadly we split up before it was finished. It was taking up much needed space in my garage and I couldn't do the rest of the work on my own so I ended up selling it complete with large engine for what I could get for it - I cried when I saw it being towed away on someone else's trailer :(