I launched Spartina in June of '06 so it was in April and May of that year that I was doing all the paperwork, handling registration and getting insurance. So this time every year I get some bills in the mail from BoatUS. BoatUS is of course the on water version of Triple A. Need some fuel? New a tow? Need help? They will take care of you. I wouldn't go on the water without it.
My plan includes the basic membership, unlimited on water towing and 100 miles of trailer towing for about $140. I have never used the on water towing, but twice I've used the trailer towing and each time the membership paid for itself. I got hung up on a ramp a few years ago and they sent a tow truck to help me out. I saw the bill sent to Boat US -- $180. Right there I came out 40 bucks ahead.
I also insure my boat through Boat US. Since it was a home built boat I had to provide some extra documentation. But after sending photographs and receipts for materials they agreed to insure the boat. I've got Spartina covered for all the materials, including sails and outboard, plus a couple of thousand dollars for labor. Hopefully I'll never use it but I'm glad to have it.
I was out for a sail today on a colder, windier day than expected. I saw a tug boat chasing me down and knew right away it was a Sam Devlin designed Godzilla tugboat. In fact that very boat had spent some time in my friend Jim's garage (Jim is building a Navigator) just a block from my house while under construction a few years ago. On board were Mike and his wife Claire. Mike had started building the boat and eventually sold it to a friend. But he still gets to use it now and then.
They were out on the river to see off the schooner Spirit of Independence (below) as she left on a trip to Bermuda. I often sail in company with the Spirit and we trade tacks (for as long as I can keep up) heading down the Elizabeth River. She left Portsmouth a little after noon. I'll look forward to seeing her back in town in a few weeks.
I took Mike and Claire on board for a short sail (Mike said they had been "shanghai'd) then anchored in Crawford Bay where they ran me around in the tug so I could get some photos of Spartina. Below you'll see her with Norfolk in the background.
And another view showing the Portsmouth Naval Hospital in the background. The hospital was built in 1823 and is still in use (the hospital facility is now in a new building but the administrative offices are in the original building).
As I said it was colder and windier than expected and I eventually put on my foul weather gear just to keep warm. There is my gear drying on the mast at home after a fun day on the water.