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‘Tilligo’ and a Final Journey

Just in case you missed the news, September’s Latitude 38 is out and ready to pick up from your favorite distributor, or read online. Here’s a preview of one of our favorite stories in this month’s edition: how Tilligo carried a special meaning for her new owner. 

I recently bought another boat. I have gone over to the dark side with the purchase of a really nice 1986 Grand Banks 42. Her name is Grand Dame. I’ve had my eye on this specific boat for a few years. I was finally able to get the owner to sell her to me and am very happy with her. Though I will miss sailing my own boat, I can always sail with friends when the urge strikes.

Tilligo — a special kind of boat for a special kind of sailor.
© 2020 Dan Texeira

So, I’ve been working on selling my beloved sailboat, Tilligo, a 1988 Union Polaris 36. I have owned her for 16+ wonderful years and put many miles and adventures under her keel. She’s an amazing vessel, with everything one would need to safely and comfortably cross an ocean. This boat is not for just any sailor. There are many systems and special kinds of maintenance that must be performed and managed. Over the past year, I have had many interested parties come out and look her over, flying or driving in from all over the country. After viewing her, the comments were always the same: “I just want something simple to sail around in.” Or, “Way too much maintenance for me,” and “I just want something to live on and party on.”

One day, I got a call from a guy asking if Tilligo was still for sale. We chatted for a long time and set up a day to meet at the marina. After meeting and going through the boat, we set up another day to take her out and put her through her paces on the Bay. As we hoisted the sails and cranked on the winches, I could see a warm and satisfied smile on the man’s face. That smile continued through the remainder of the sail, as we tacked, ran with the wind, and maneuvered the boat through every sailing angle and configuration.

Tilligo anchored
Even at anchor Tilligo is a breathtaking sight.
© 2020 Andy Smith

After we arrived back at the dock, he made an offer on the spot. This was a bittersweet moment for me, as I was happy to get her sold, but very sad because of my love for and attachment to her. I agreed to his offer, which was the full asking price. As we secured the final dockline, he looked at me and said, “Andy, I have an expiration date on my life — I have lung cancer with maybe 10 or 12 months to live.”

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  1. Phil Anderson 3 years ago

    That made me cry….life is so short and the shorter it is the more precious, thanks for this story. I hope the new owner wears her out ….

  2. Susan Flieder 3 years ago

    Sigh . . . . what an amazing way to spend the rest of his life, enjoying your beautiful Tilligo.

  3. Greg Clausen 3 years ago

    The proper way to sell your your boat to a good home, with no regrets for both parties. Its hard to give up your boat and see it not turn out well. I donated one of my boats to the local sea scouts which was a good cause another boat become headlines in the news because the new owner didn’t know what he was doing and almost killed himself (that story was posted in latitude a while back)

  4. Ken Tighe 3 years ago

    Okay, so I too sold my beloved S2 35CC “Second Wind” as I wasn’t getting any younger and the young man who purchased her spent two years making her ready for the Bahamas as sv “Frida Kai”. I had her 16 years as well and cherish the memories, and yes I miss her every day.

  5. barry spanier 3 years ago

    or… he could be like Peter Tangvald and prove the doctors wrong. Tangvald was a stressed out successful business person, given months to live under fifty at the time as I recall. he bought a motorless sail boat and went on to live many more years of healthy life. and Bob Griffiths as well. the sea can heal.

  6. Kelvin D. Meeks 3 years ago

    A story that will linger in my mind for a long time.

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