If you’ve been following, you may remember that we went to the Annapolis Sailboat Show back in October (post linked there). Inspired by ideas brought about when we were on Little Tybee Island back in September (post linked there). These ideas having to do mostly with both of us being very attracted to all things nautical, and the boating lifestyle(ie – no shoes, informal, flexible schedule, lots of beaches…..) Like I’ve said before, sailing (and any other kind of boating) is not something you can just pick up and do if you want to do it right. It takes time, and prep, and education, and planning. But when I say that we’ve been talking about it for 6 months or more, we have been completely submerged in the idea and in ongoing conversations about how to make it happen.
Shannon had been researching. He’d also been shopping on Facebook marketplace, craigslist, and other sites that sell boats like https://www.sailboatlistings.com for instance. He’d decided he wanted to start with a trailerable boat, meaning something that would fit on a trailer in the garage. Something that we could take out and see how much we actually enjoyed doing it without paying for a slip in a marina just yet. Valentine’s weekend, he mentioned wanting to stop by a marina on Weiss Lake, about an hour and a half away. We pulled up into the marina and found a very nice man who walked over, introduced himself, and started chatting with us. He had several boats that he was working on and was interested in selling. He showed us several on trailers in the boat yard, and walked us down to the docks to show us a few more. Most of the ones he had for sale were larger than what we were looking for. He motioned over to a smaller boat and said he’d just gotten it and wasn’t ready to let it go yet. Of course that’s the one Shannon wanted.
As we talked to the man, who we now know is named Steve, Shannon let him know that the boat he wasn’t selling was exactly what we were looking for. It is a 1979 Siren 17′ sailboat. Steve began talking to us about his life in ministry to teenaged boys. He told us that his current focus is in building a houseboat ministry to help at risk teenaged boys, and to give them opportunities to learn to be men. As a retired former military chaplain, he understands the importance of positive male role models in the lives of at risk teens. In the area where he lives in Georgia, he says there are programs to help young teenaged girls, especially teenaged mothers. But he said there are no programs to help the young fathers, who are just as scared as the mothers. As he spoke, we could see how much he cares for the young men he aims to reach and how much love behind his efforts to reach them. Steve purchases old sailboats, fixes them up and turns a bit of a profit. His sailboat profits will go towards getting the houseboat ministry up and running. He was more than happy to let us get a good look at the Siren 17, and take photos, but he needed time to think about it.
As we pulled out of the marina, I told Shannon If we were going to give anyone any money for a boat, I hoped it would be Steve. His at risk ministry to teens touched me deeply. We had just gotten to lunch and ordered food when we got a text from Steve with a very fair and reasonable offer for the Siren 17 sailboat and the boat trailer. Shannon agreed and we made a plan to meet him the following day to pick it up!!!
You’ve never seen two more giddy people than Shannon and me driving away from the marina pulling that little sailboat. The Siren 17 , “….. is a Canadian trailerable sailboat, that was designed by Hubert Vandestadt as trailer sailer and first built in 1974″ From Wikipedia.com
I’ll give you more details about her and the work that Shannon did/is doing on her in my next post!