I can’t tell the story about how Coconut found me without mentioning my friend Joel. I’d met him through friends in the Bay, and he was just getting ready to sail down from SF to LA. I was green with envy and wanted to join, but… work and stuff got in the way.
When I’d planned to visit LA to see an old friend, I stopped by his boat to check it out as I hadn’t seen it yet. It was SO cool! I remember thinking how big it was for a 35’er. We went for a quick sail and that was that.
A few days later I was at my marina’s potluck that I never went to anymore, just to say goodbye to a friend who was leaving. There were a few of us talking about our next boat, I was completely over my little Columbia and needed something bigger. Again, that was that.
The next morning I got a text from an unknown number offering me a 35′ boat for sale. I looked at the Craigslist ad and thought “harumph, beautiful but it’s too big for me.” I posted it to Facebook, as I was posting potential boats every day asking for feedback. This boat got LOTS of interest. People were seriously considering buying it. I went back to look at the ad again. Was I passing up a good deal??
I read the description rather than just looking at the pictures and noticed the boat was a double ender center cockpit, which as far as I’m aware is not really a thing except for Joel’s boat that I had just seen. I forwarded the ad to him and asked if it was his boat. It was, and he said if I didn’t buy it, he would. This boat was half the price he got his for and was in better shape, sort of, and he raved about his boat.
My friend Steve came with me to check out the boat that same day, and several other people (who I’d alerted this boats’ availability to) came as well. (I made sure I had first dibs!)
When I heard the boats name was Coconut that was it for me, my heart melted into the bildge and we became one. That was May of 2014. Side note, people always ask what the name was prior to Coconut, but I’ve looked through the documents and it has always been named Coconut. Further proof this boat has always been awesome, perhaps not always allowed to show her true colors from being neglected for so long.
I left the Bay (as in sailed away!) exactly a month ago and had the opportunity to see Joel and his boat Valkyrie. He doesn’t live on the boat anymore, but he was in town working on it. So many people have helped me with Coconut since we left the dock, so sanding, scrubbing, bondo’ing, and painting Val for a couple of days was my way of paying it forward.
It was really trippy being on another twin boat. There were so many similarities, yet enough differences to let you know it’s not your baby. I learned more about the boat, why things are the way they are, and what important pieces I’m probably missing (because he was too). It was a lot of fun rowing across the harbor to give some love to another Fantasia.
Just a few days prior to this I’d been approached by a gentleman who used to own a Fantasia for 20 years. It turns out he also was a long time friend of a former dock neighbor, it is such a small world. He also had lots of advice and fond memories of the boat. I love talking shop with salty sailors!
Val’s cockpit is pretty similar, except it is fully enclosed and Coconut’s have cutouts on the port and starboard side. There used to be a folding step there apparently, and whoever had my boat just tore them out and whoever had Joel’s boat decided to enclose them. Coconut’s cutout is better for when water enters the cockpit, it at least has somewhere to escape. Val also has mechanical steering and Coco has hydraulic, so our steering columns are different.
I was going to ask how Joel’s kept the portholes from leaking, but his are totally different. I’ve replaced the gaskets on mine and they’re leaking again. Grr.
There was a bunch of water damage in the aft cabin of Coconut and I’ve mentioned to several woodworkers I want it rebuilt eventually. They always ask me how, and now at least I have an image of what it should look like! One day, in Mejico, this will be done.
I remembered Joel telling me his chainplates were put on the exterior of the boat. When I was redoing my rigging, I mentioned this but the yard wasn’t interested in re-doing the design and getting a naval architect involved. The picture of Coconut’s chainplates are the old ones, as you can see they were pretty crusty. They’re new now, so have no fear!
The shelving area where the fridge is on Coconut was torn up. The photo below is from when I first bought the boat, so I immediately tore out all of the old electrical stuff. I eventually filled in the hole in the shelf with epoxy so I could at least use it as a shelf, but being that there’s no railing things fall off fairly easily. Also, on Val a previous owner attempted maybe to replace the insulation on the fridge, something I will need to do at some point. I’m not sure I’d go about it the same way they did…
When it comes to the shop… I’m not sure I can work this but I really like the doors on the cabinetry, along with the upper shelf (white). I currently have to reach my hand around the corner to feel my way to the correct tool I’m looking for. It never works, and I end up removing everything which is annoying. I’ve got a 2nd shelf but it’s kinda sorta falling down and there’s only maybe 2″ of space to store stuff. I like Val’s solution better. I also realized after the fact that Val’s hull number is inside the shop! When I had a survey done, we couldn’t find the hull number anywhere and honestly I’ve never seen it. I now know where it should be. (Anyone know if I can just inscribe it on a piece of wood and slap it in there? Or does it have to be more official?)