John Howell Sr. Editorial 5/13/2014

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Call could give boat seller second happiest day

The beautiful sailboat sitting on a trailer parked next to College Street sure caught my eye.
It has a for sale sign with a phone number.

I always wanted to buy a sailboat and learn to sail it. Or vice versa. It was on my bucket list before I knew that’s what the list was called.

Later on I revised my bucket list. Now I just want to be good friends with the owner of a sailboat.
I called the number and found myself speaking with Kent Breckinridge, the seller. It’s a 27-foot Lugar Fairwinds built in 1986 or ’87, he said. The boat was built with extra headroom and can sleep six. He didn’t say how many of the six could be adults, but I suspect that if boat capacity is figured anything like tent capacity, there might be room for three with small children filling the remaining.

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“I enjoy sailing, but I haven’t had the help and I haven’t had the time,” Kent told me.

The boat really needs two sailors, he said. His wife, Camille, enjoyed being a passenger. Step-daughter Sloan Garner was the second sailor, but since she’s been away at school, opportunities for sailing have decreased.

(Early during his ownership, Kent said, he took the boat and family out one day on Sardis Lake in fierce winds, just to see what it would do. Unbeknownst to Kent, the sail had not been properly rigged and before he could get it pulled back down, the high winds blew the boat almost 90 degrees, once to port, once to starboard.

When they got safely back to the marina Camille’s reaction was, “Never again!”
Sloan’s reaction: “Let’s do it again!

And they did, Camille included.)

The sailboat is ready for the water. It features a swing keel that allows the conventional trailer that it’s now sitting on. The keel also cranks up to allow the boat to venture into shallow water, an important consideration in our nearby lakes.

And Kent is a man anticipating the second happiest day of his life.

Call him now and enjoy the coming months of warm weather sailing.

And be my friend. I’ll volunteer to take Camille’s job. And I’ll pay for the gas!