Prelude and Purchase
I’ve been enthralled with sailing since high school, when my father arranged a week long charter in the B.V.I.’s.
As life has progressed for the past thirty years I’ve whetted my appetite mostly by day dreaming and living vicariously through others, pouring over plans, occasional day sails, and more recently, joining sail clubs.
As in all things, a change of life circumstance created new opportunities. Like pregnancy, there is no such thing as the perfect time and I decided to jump in and buy my own sail boat.
All the daydreaming helped me formulate a baseline of what I wanted. Still employed, I didn’t need a deep water cruiser, though I did want something that could accommodate two for a number of days. I wanted to trailer it, for storage and mobility. It had to be light enough for my current vehicle (a 2007 Mercury Mariner) to handle. A large volume production base to draw on the experiences of others, accessories and support. A still functioning manufacturer is a plus. Buying it used to save myself the depreciation was another point.
Which got me to the MAC26 (X or M) or West Wight Potter 19.
I finally went with a West Wight Potter 19. Why? Size for ease of storage (7 feet shorter overall). They were less expensive ($6k to 8K for the same model year). Cost of outboards were less expensive (max 5 HP vs 50 HP).
Through constant hunting, I found a WWP19 before it went on the market through members of the West Coast Trailer Sailor Squadron. The previous skipper of the “Minnow” referred me to the skipper of the “Red Tag”. I have to say that from the pictures I saw and the information I was incredibly excited.
A long road trip and only an hour and a half on scene and I committed to purchasing the “Red Tag”. A week later I drove back and took possession of “Red Tag”.
“Red Tag” is a West Wight Potter 19 Premier with a 5HP and Pacific “Baja” trailer. It has a roller furling jib, depth sounder, vhf radio, two gel cell deep discharge 12v batteries, integrated 10 amp battery charger, and a unique hull color that looks blue from a distance and a very dark forest green when close. That only scratched the surface, but was more than enough to convince me.
Everything was in excellent shape and I couldn’t have asked for a better turn key purchase.
Dave was “Red Tag’s” owner and gave me the inside track on how to arrange an AC unit, the basic operation of things to keep in mind, key things that can make life easier for prolonged cruising, along with a healthy encouragement to join the West Coast Trailer Sailer Squadron. He handed me original documentation, instructions, and even a small solar panel for trickle charge of batteries.
In no time I was on I-75 traveling home with the foundation of a dream that’s been percolating for over thirty years. I couldn’t help but glance back in the mirror, think of all the things I needed to do and daydream a bit about where to go.
By that evening I had her nicely nestled into her storage spot. Then I realized she was under trees.