Rhonda and I moved to San Francisco from New York in the fall of 2014. After settling in we began to look at boats for sailing in San Francisco Bay. We knew we wanted a Nonsuch 30 because of the the large comfortable cockpit, the ease of shorthanded or singlehanded sailing, the ability to reef quickly and simply from the cockpit, the very ample headroom in the cabin (one of our sons is 6’5″), and the design’s capability of standing up to the summer winds of the Bay.
We didn’t plan on doing much cruising, mostly day sailing, so our first choice was the Classic model. However, after going aboard a number of available Classics, with our grown children and their spouses, it was agreed that the two cabin layout of the Ultra was roomier and felt better for us. So we redirected our search to a 30 Ultra.
The situation in the Bay area was that the Ultra’s for sale either needed more work than I was willing to do or pay for, or they were under-equipped. My “want list” included refrigeration, hot water, stove top and oven, and electric windlass. Our original plans were for mostly day sails, but when we arrived here we joined the Sausalito Yacht Club which has a terrific cruising calendar, so we wanted the flexibility to do some weekend cruises.
By November, 2014, we opened up our search to the entire West Coast and found a few candidates in the Seattle area. My son and I flew up there for a weekend to visit the brokers and the boats. The first one we looked at was in such horrible shape I asked the broker how she could show it without at least cleaning in up a bit.
Next we went to Seacraft Yacht Sales and met with Ray Neglay to see a 30U named Skylark.
No boat is perfect, but Skylark had all the features on our list, and had been well maintained by her owner. Skylark was built in 1985 and is powered with a 1985 Westerbeke 27 with 1780 hours.
After one more trip to Seattle and some back and forth with the owner over price, our bid was accepted. We hired John Sanford of Sanford Marine Surveys in Seattle to inspect the hull, systems, and rigging. Gallery Marine Services inspected the Westerbeke 27.
Both surveys provided a list of to-do repairs, nothing of a major nature.
Financing was arranged and we had a trouble-free closing in Seattle which we didn’t need to attend.
Since this took place in February we decided to truck the boat to San Francisco rather than sail based on the advice of several delivery captains we spoke to.