Our first Sailboat – 1985 Hunter 40


A short tour down memory lane.  Our first sailboat was a 1985 Hunter 40 – that we found listed in “The Log”.  She was finished when we purchased her but we needed to make her ours.  For years I struggled with the question of how big can I go – as a solo sailor.  The picture above is how she looked when we sold her about 12 years later.  I don’t have any before pictures but I’ll share some of the improvements made over the years.

My biggest windfall – Finding a Guatemalan that was working on a burnt boat in Marina Del Rey, CA.  This guy whom today I can’t even recall his name was working magic on the interior of a fired damaged boats interior.  The guy spoke no English and I needed to practice my Spanish.  Patti and I, on our evening walks looked forward to seeing his progress on the burnt boat.

Before long I found out that in Guatemala he made a living building and restoring violins – and that before this boat he had never stepped foot on one.  When he finished his first project we brought him over to the Patti Lynn.  The first project Patti and I assigned him was to remove those ugly plexiglass sliding panels.  This was circa 1985 but, what the hell was Hunter Marine thinking back then?  The previous owner upgraded all the windows and hatches.


The Galley – If you saw the original you would agree that this is a vast improvement.  Removed and threw out the dorm type refrigerator that was not only a power hog, but vented into the master cabin and was noisy.  I wish I had a picture of the new pantry to show you – that took its place.


Patti wanted a mirror and I wanted a computer table.  This is the inside of the master cabin.  If you stood as close as a foot to the mirror you could still see your shoes.  A great hit with Patti.  The table below the mirror is my Guatemalans friends response to – I want a computer table – build what you think will work.


The steps into the boat are steep.  I told our friend that we needed some sort of grab rail when we stepped into the boat.  Patti also told him that she did not like washing dishes and having the water spill onto the cushions – bad set up.  His response was to build a raised backing and build this functional banister.  I also rope wrapped the mast support behind the banister.


The sailboat came with two heads but no almost no storage – At some point I tore down the forward head and made it into a sail, tool, junk, spares storage room.


A little messy but I knew where everything was.  Everything from dive flag to sail harness to foul weather gear was carried here.


The main cabin where we both nearly crushed our heads getting up as a result of the low ceiling.  This is when I first realized Patti was a slow learner.


The sail pack.  One of the best flawless inventions.  We also replaced the dodger and added handrails.  I removed and threw out the teak grab rails that were almost impossible to strip and varnish.  This is before I knew anything about Cetol.  Note the new stainless steel grab rails.  I did the same thing on the Western Flyer.


I added these (preventers) after getting knocked on the side of the head by the swinging boats boom – as we were going wing to wing down the inside of the breakwater towards Long Beach with another couple.

If it was only me on board the accident would never have happened.