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$2k+Used Engine=Cruising Boat

“I’m almost free,” exults Justin Jenkins on the bow of Ichiban. It may be incongruous to have a boat with a Japanese name and Jamaican colors for trim, but why not be different?

©2012 Latitude 38 Media, LLC

It’s tough being young these days. Jobs are hard to find. Good paying jobs are as rare as altruistic politicians. The cost of education and housing have gone through the roof. As if that wasn’t enough good news, the younger generations are faced with the happy prospect of having to spend their entire lives working to pay off the various government Ponzi schemes created by the stupidity and profligacy of previous generations. Who can blame younger folks if they want to bail?

And bailing by sailing south to Mexico and perhaps beyond is exactly what 30-year-old Justin Jenkins of San Diego is planning to do this November with his girlfriend, Anna Wiley, 30. We met Justin at Driscoll’s Boatyard in San Diego, where he was enthusiastically working on Ichiban, his 1972 Columbia 34 MK II, surely the 34-ft production boat with the most headroom ever.

Whether they are cognizant of it or not, younger folks such as Justin and Anna seem to intuit that they have one big advantage over older generations — their youth. So while lots of folks over 40 think they can’t afford to go cruising because boats with all the comforts and luxuries they want cost so much, younger folks, who have had to accept the fact they can’t be so picky and won’t be able to afford as many creature comforts, know different. They realize that by being frugal, cruising south of the border can be dirt cheap. As in being able to live like kings and queens for what would be below the poverty level here in the States.

Having previously owned a Cal 28 that he "sailed all over hell," Justin paid all of $2,000 for his Columbia 34. As you might imagine, the boat wasn’t in perfect shape, but elbow grease cured a lot of it. She wasn’t loaded with sails, either, but when a Hunter 35 owner decided to replace his sails, Justin offered him $100 for his old full-battened main. The man laughed the offer off. But he was back an hour later, not only agreeing to it, but happy to throw in a headsail for another $100.

Justin, green-rimmed sunglasses and all, ready to check out the rest of the world.

© Latitude 38 Media, LLC

Jenkins’ biggest problem and expense has been an engine for Ichiban, which didn’t have one. He initially outfitted the boat with a transom-mounted outboard bracket and an 8-hp Suzuki. "While I did use it to motor my boat all the way to Dana Point, it doesn’t really work. The problem is that, when there is a wake or something, the engine gets swamps and the show is over. So while the outboard is a Plan B for calm conditions or in an emergency, I had to put in a real engine."

Or maybe he just hasn’t read the books by the Pardeys yet.

After a lot of work, Jenkins ended up installing an Atomic 4 gas engine with a V-drive. A gas engine is not the perfect engine for a cruising boat, but unlike politicians willing to borrow 40 cents for every dollar they spend, Jenkins understands that he has to live within his budget.

We think Justin and Anna will do well. In part, because they’re smart. For example, Justin loves to surf and will be taking several boards with him. When we asked if Anna likes to surf, Justin said, "She wants to learn from another girl, she doesn’t want me to teach her." See, we told you they are smart.

Anyway, we wish Justin and Anna — and all younger cruising folks heading out this year — the best of luck on their voyages. We think you’re going to have a great time, and we know that when you come back, you’re going to be both much smarter and much wiser.


  1. Alvin fiji 3 years ago

    Hi Justin & Anna .I didnt realise Ichiban had an article.I’m currently the owner/skipper in Fiji.having first sailing her with just the headsailing & going 6 knots was amazing.did go through every nook not cranny and found a name tag of Anna. And in the emergency backpack had your Jenkins id.had been wondering how these people were related to Ichiban. I’ve kept the name not thinking of changing it, very unique BTW engine still runs how it’s still in its original state and remind kids to keep it that way.for a start it’s a great sailboat my family loves being in her every weekend.would love to hear more history about Ichiban.
    Stay safe n regards

  2. Alvin fiji 3 years ago

    Lovely sailboat. .she’s currently with me in Fiji. A great island hoping boat with space for 7 .still in its factory looking condition which has history. Thanks jenkin n Anna for keeping her well.


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