Members' Online Book: How To Buy a Cruising Boat, Chapter 5 of 27

Refit #2—A Good Boat Made Ocean-Ready

2007.11_Sojourner checking out the start of the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner raceMy Mom and Dad bought their first sailboat when they were about the same age as I was when I bought Arcturus. She was a Bristol 24, and they sailed her on the northern Chesapeake out of the Sassafras.

Sojourner, a Wauquiez Hood 38 built in 1986, the subject of this chapter, is my parent’s seventh boat of the same name, but the first that truly went bluewater.

A Tragic Start

My Mom died from brain cancer in 2012. Mia, Dad and I first heard the news that she was sick back in 2009, the day we returned from delivering a Mason 44 to the Bahamas. While we’d been offshore, and unbeknownst to us, Mom had been to the eye doctor complaining of blurry vision. He immediately sent her to the hospital where they diagnosed her with a brain tumor, later declared a glioblastoma, the worst kind. She lived another 2-and-a-half years, far longer than anyone had expected, but the diagnosis was basically a death sentence.

Though Mom and Dad had cruised together before—in their early thirties when they spent a year in the Bahamas—the latest Sojourner was meant to be their retirement home. Mom was 62 when she died. If it’s not obvious by reading the above, if you are thinking of going cruising, go.

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Meet the Author

AndySchell

Andy grew up sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and spent a year cruising Bahamas with his family. He met Mia on a backpacking trip in New Zealand in 2006, and the two have been seeking adventures together ever since. They've logged over 70,000 bluewater miles and have crossed the Atlantic a combined nine times (5 for Mia, 4 for Andy). Andy and Mia share their love of offshore sailing by taking paying crew on voyages on their Swan 48 "Isbjorn" and through their wildly popular podcast On The Wind Andy & Mia are based in Sweden when they're off the boat & love endurance sports!