Robert Perry, I Salute You

I’ve lived aboard my boat for about six months now, both in summer and winter, and have come to the conclusion that, though the S/V Libby is a great boat and a cozy home, she’s also my starter boat. When other liveaboards would say “It’s your first boat,” I shook my head at them, whispering: “My only boat,” like I didn’t want Libby to hear such words.

Here’s what I love about Libby:

  • She’s wicked fast, and it’s easy for me to beat other boats out on the water. And I do. Then brag about it later.
  • She’s maneuverable. I can tack Libby easily, in high or light winds, and she turns smoothly on the spot.
  • She’s beamy. 30′ LOA with a 10′ beam makes her live pretty large for a small little boat.
  • The wood. Libby’s interior is decked out in wood, which makes her warm, cozy, and classic.

What I wish Libby had:

  • 6 more feet of length. I want more space. I’ve heard of lots of liveaboards who start big then downsize. That’s not me. I want a little more room.
  • A full keel and more weight. Libby is a coastal cruiser, not meant for blue waters. What makes her manueverable and fast is also keeping her inland. Though I’m not sure if I’ll ever brave the Pacific, I kind of want the option.

So even if I added all the toys, bells, whistles, and modifications I originally planned on adding to my boat, it would still be 30 feet and not able to cruise the ocean. Those are two things I can’t do a gosh darn thing about.

I’m not financially able to buy a new boat right now, nor do I have the necessary skills to comfortably cruise the ocean. But I’m nothing if not a planner, always living in the future, therefore I’m actively dreaming about my next boat. Since I’m already in a boat, one that I like, I can look for, save, and plan for a boat I deeply desire. I’m not going to jump into a great deal just because it’s a great deal. I care about form as well as function, and want my next boat to suit my needs and tickle my fancy.

Enter Robert Perry and Ta Shing.

I’ve seen a couple of Baba 35s around my port, and even took a photo of one a few weeks ago. They are beautiful. The curves of the boats, the character in the brightwork, and the detail to the craftsmanship has pulled at me. The designer of the Baba (Flying Dutchman) is Robert Perry, who is pretty much the rockstar of the sailboat world. Perry has designed many a sailboat, including some Islanders, and if you’re looking to buy a boat and it’s a Perry designed craft, that’s usually the first sentence on the listing. He’s a genius.

Think of how cool it is for him to be introduced to people.

“Hey Courtney, this is Bob.”
“Hi Bob. What do you do for a living?”
“I design sailboats.”
Damn, that’s cool. It’s right up there with “I fly jets,” or “I’m a tour guide for Mordor.”

Anyway, I’ve been reading up on Perry’s boat designs. About 75 Baba 35s were made. There’s also the Union Polaris 36, the Tashiba 36, and the Hans Christian 36, all of which would look amazing with me in them.

Naturally I had to check them out on Yachtworld. Below are some photos of different boats. Click the photos to go to the listing.

union under sail

butterfly hatch

union 36 cockpit

baba35 interior

Union 36 Galley

Yeah. Are you salivating yet? The photo of the galley above makes me jealous. Look at those counters. Freaking tile! It’s perfect. It comes from a Union Polaris 36 for sale in Ventura, California. She might be my dream boat. As I said in the beginning of this post, I do not have the funds or the means to purchase a boat right now, but dreaming is free, and I dream of Caballo Del Mar (Spanish for Sea Horse. How perfect is that? I have a horse! It’s like so meant to be!!!).

By the way, if you are looking for a Union and you live in or around Ventura (or even if you don’t), and you buy this boat, then you tell me about it in ways that can only be described as “neener neener”… I will make a voodoo doll of you (send your photo) and stick pins in it! If you must buy it, have the decency to pity me and not show it off in front of me. Don’t you dare make me cookies in that galley then send them to me with a video of you making them in that galley, perhaps as you’re cruising down to San Diego or over to Hawaii. That’s just mean. Why would you do such a thing?

Anyway. Turns out Mr. Robert Perry, boat designing Jedi master, lives in Washington, in my area code no less. That’s pretty cool, though it’s annoying there aren’t more of his boats for sale around here.

Now what?

I’d like to continue living in my dream world for as long as possible. I’ve seen some Ta Shing boats from the outside, but have yet to see one’s interior. Photos are great, but they don’t replace actually being there. Do you have a Union, Baba, Tashiba, Hans Christian in the Puget Sound area? Would you like to show it off to someone who envies you? I’d love to have a tour, just so I can not-so-secretly hate you for owning such a gem. Doesn’t that sound fun? Oh, and if you don’t live here, but you think “Hey, our boat is a blue water cruiser, let’s go up there just because we can,” then you come here, at least bring cookies or brownies. I’ll provide the milk. And voodoo dolls.

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Copyright 2018. Courtney Kirchoff.