The Boat

Heartbeat is a 36ft sloop designed by Sparkman and Stephens, and built in Denmark by Bianca in 1979. She is just the right size for 2 people to spread out, 3 or 4 people to be comfortable and 5 to be awkwardly cosy. We've had 6 of us onboard overnight at one stage, but that involved 2 people cramming into the single aft berth.



We spent a year looking at boats before we found her, both online and in person. We fell in love as soon as we were onboard. Walking inside is like being wrapped up in a blanket in front of a fire, or it is for us anyway. It just feels cosy and warm. We looked at another boat the day before we found her, and it was beautiful. I don't even remember what it was but the asking price was at the very limit of our price range so it could have been ours. With four extra feet it had room for a whole extra section at the bottom of the companionway, where the navstation was in its own room with a bunk and a door separating it from the rest of the boat. The saloon was huge, with a big kitchen aft of it. Hot water. A shower. A second set of stairs leading up to the deck. It was shiny and fancy and modern and beautiful. It had actual rooms instead of cramped up little bunks. This was not our boat.

Our boat is old. It's been loved. It's been scratched. It will get scratched again. Things have been repaired, replaced and patched up. The cutlery draws are full of tools. There's a net for fruit and computer fans for ventilihation. Hot water comes from a kettle and you bathe underneath a camping shower, usually on deck as the sun is setting. There's paint in the freezer bin. Most of the cupboards are filled with miscellaneous boat things. The dodger is small and the sails are big. There's a drawer full of manuals that almost always sticks when you try to close it. The bimini zip is missing the bit that locks it shut, and a wing nut hangs down to secure it. It has three spare main sails. Two spinnakers but no spinnaker pole. The fitted sheet for the V berth and the white table cloth have one tiny blue love heart stiched onto them. The stove temperature goes up to a non-descriptive 6. The sail cover doesn't fit over the sail. It has no chartplotter, AIS, Danbuoy or tracking device, yet it has been all over the world. It has character and personality. Nothing is shiny, but everything is beautiful. That is our boat.

Looking back from the bow


Of course some of those things have been rectified since we bought it, but it's kept most of its original charm. We bought a new fridge with a tiny freezer built in, and left the paint in the freezer box. The cutlery draws are still full of tools. We've tidied up the rigging and had a spinnaker pole made. We invested in a good chartplotter. She now has Taniwha eyes painted on the bow. But she's the same boat as that day we first laid eyes on her, with 3 of us balancing on a 1 man dinghy as our broker rowed us out to see her.



It's quite roomy on board for a boat of her size and age. Usually there would be two aft berths on a 36 footer, but we have one plus a heap of storage space. This makes me happy. The kitchen is tiny but efficient. The navstation is on top of the fridge, then further forward is a cosy saloon. A pretty wooden hallway leads to the V berth , and you'll find the bathroom just off that hallway.

Aft berth
Galley
Cockpit
Hallway
V berth
The head
Saloon starboard side, looking back from the bow
Saloon port side, looking back from the bow

That's our home. She's kept us safe so far, and in exchange we've loved her and given her everything she's wanted

















4 comments:

  1. I have never opened your "The Boat" tab before today - I am very touched by your description of how you and Garth connected with her and your photos show how much you love her. She is a very beautiful boat indeed. XOXO

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    Replies
    1. Hi there,

      We just found your blog! Our little family of 3 will soon be getting a sailboat and cruising the Bahamas. Right now though, as far as we've made it in the process is to move out of our house, rent it out, and move into my wife's Mother's house. Yep - you heard right... we're temporarily living with the In-Laws to make the whole Sailing Adventure come together.

      Also we did go ahead and set up a blog of our own. It's not as good-looking as yours yet, but it's coming along. We think it will be a lot better once we can actually blog about, you know, sailing - haha. Anyways, our blog is over at http://sailboatstory.com/ if you care to check it out.

      We'll continue following along with your blog! Always nice to read about other sailor's adventures to keep our spirits up and stay excited.

      Take care!

      Ben, Tambi, and Molly
      Sailboat Story
      http://sailboatstory.com/

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    2. Eep, not the in-laws! I just hope they're as fabulous as mine are :)

      If you look back to when I started this blog you'll see it was super awkward - without sailing to write about, it's hard to keep up a sailing blog! Looking forward to following your adventure, I hope you make it onto a boat soon!
      Best wishes,
      Monique

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    3. Eep, not the in-laws! I just hope they're as fabulous as mine are :)

      If you look back to when I started this blog you'll see it was super awkward - without sailing to write about, it's hard to keep up a sailing blog! Looking forward to following your adventure, I hope you make it onto a boat soon!
      Best wishes,
      Monique

      Delete