We would like to introduce the soon-to-be S/V Brighter Days. (Yes, it’s a homage to our mutual favorite musician JJ Grey and one of our favorite songs.) She is a 1975 Fuji 45’ center cockpit ketch. Designed by the venerable John Alden, she sails like a dream! (During our sea trial, we were close hauled in an almost flat 6 knots and we were ghosting along at 4.2 knots under main and headsail….it was fantastic.) Not surprising given she was designed by John Alden. Oh did I say that already? I *might be slightly more than elated to have a boat designed by John Alden. (oops there I go again)
So here is our story, for those who followed along and have asked. Sorry if I ignored some questions but things were in transition. Yes, we were getting ready to sink some major bucks into Mongojo…extended yard time and new sails, etc. But the the conversation kept arising, “Well wouldn’t it be nice if we had an aft cabin…the dogs…the dive gear…the paddleboard…the kid’s and future grandkids…” As much as I don’t mind living pretty minimally on the boat, ( I haven’t had a shower or a microwave in a year) I need my dive gear and my iSup and the furkids. So whilst this conversation is ongoing, fate chimed in. Big time.
The Universe first put this boat in front of us a few years ago when she was newly on the market. We loved the boat and her traditional lines but the price tag wasn’t in our budget…I mean not even close. We’ve watched her over the years, marveled at her beauty, but we had a boat.
So in the midst of these discussions, AND working like crazy to get ready for an expensive refit, once again this boat appeared as a “share” on a friend’s Facebook page…THIS TIME with a drastically reduced price-tag. I truly felt like it was fate. One text to Travis at 11 pm, and the wheels were set into motion. Once that initial step was taken, everything happened at lightening speed. Offer made, sea trial, counter offer made, counter to the counter offer made and accepted, and it was done. The logistics of buying a boat in Mexico are a little daunting but we’re confidant it’s a done deal at this point. And we are SOOO EXCITED!
So about our new girl… Most recently she was known as “Ahea Kali” (I think. I frequently forget or misspell the name but it means something in Hawaiian that was significant to her last owners). She was built in 1975 in the Fuji Yachts boatyard in Yokasuka, Japan. Approximately 28 boats were built, and I believe she is hull #8. She has a hand laid solid fiberglass hull. She has the classic lines that Alden is known for, and all the rich warm teak reminiscent of boats of yesteryear. Her raised cabin top allows for unbelievable interior light and headroom. She has a forward V-berth with head, a roomy main saloon, and an aft cabin with head and queen sized berth. TWO cabins, TWO heads. She feels huge to us! Her previous owner found her in Panama and purchased her in 2003. He did a COMPLETE refit between 2003-2008, no expense spared. She truly has all the “bells and whistles”, actually way too many for our somewhat minimalist tastes. Options are good, however, and it will be fun to decide what we need and what can go. She has solar, fairly recent navigation equipment, lightly used sails in great shape, decent running rigging, standing rigging replaced during refit, extra tall lifelines and heavy stanchions, beautifully professionally repainted hull, I could go on and on. A large fridge and separate FREEZER? Check. A washer and dryer? Check! (Not sure it’s staying, will see how it is on the power draw) Oh, and an actual guest berth! We can have visitors! Yay! The varnish and canvas suffered a bit from sitting in the sun, but those are pretty easily remedied. Aside from a few other small issues, she is as solid as they come! We already had the bottom job done, did some rigging work, and have a few more simple projects that will need to be done, but all cosmetic. From the solid GRP hull, cutaway forefoot long keel, to the new Yanmar, the Spectra watermaker, and an engine room that is the stuff of dreams, she is a bluewater dream. We feel really blessed and can’t wait for our future cruising! We will be reduced to visiting the boat for the next year or so, but that is part of the fun. Banderas Bay is gorgeous…what a cool place to call our second home!
Mongojo has been sold. It is not finalized but we feel pretty secure in the transaction. She sold to the first man that came to see her. Making that decision was HARD because I loved her and felt a lot of loyalty to her. In reality, we were probably not the right owners. She is going to a man who has cruised, has refit boats, is a welder and experienced with fiberglass. Our communication has been so rewarding and that has eased the pain. She’s a good boat.
So there is the update in the Captain and Crew of S/V Mongojo..er… Brighter Days!! We will be visiting her soon, and will post more pictures! Love you all!!
Captain T and First Mate H
S/V Brighter Days