The History of Oatie Jo
Kristan and Ross met in the summer or 2018. She had been tied to the maritime industry for a decade in Ballard, WA, and he was a recent transplant from Hawaii who had moved his catering business over to the Emerald City.
After realizing that Kristan’s 32 foot Hunter was a little too snug for the both, the two started the search for a bigger, better, yet still sailworthy floating home to house at Shilshole Marina. Space, storage and comfort were paramount for the new boat, which led them towards production boats with modern hull designs. Of the boats listed at the time, Oatie Jo was the only one that checked all of these boxes.
The second the couple stepped aboard, they knew. The cockpit was plenty big, as well as being fully enclosed (Seattle selling point #1).
The galley in line, the saloon roomy, and the main bunk cozy and comfortable.
The boat was lucky enough to have been in good hands for it’s 4 years prior, despite its light use. Brand new, crispy Main and Headsail from Ballard Sails had been installed, as well as an updated navigation system (B&G Zeus 2). Kristan’s maritime friends came by to give their blessings before expressing interest to Paul from Elliot Bay Yacht Brokers.
Jim the electrician inspected all things watts and amps. All went well, and the navigation upgrades were touted as being a huge bonus.
Zack the mechanic gave a thorough inspection of the engine. Despite being a Yanmar fanboy, he said the engine was in great order, but the gearbox was slipping and would need attention down the line (which was their very first boat project after buying Oatie!).
Dan the wooden sailboat man looked over the design, rigging and canvas. A boat perfect for sailing the lighter winds of the puget sound. Reasonable upwind performance, yet still nimble enough to maneuver into a tight slip at low speed. Coupled with a roomy sail plan and asymmetrical spinnaker, cruising the San Juans would not only be comfortable, but would happen more under sail than by motor!
Fast forward to March 2020. The boat is at home at Shilshole Marina. All is well…then COVID. Ross’ catering business is paralyzed by the shutdown. All attention is put into fiddling with boat projects to pass the time while the world stood still. First the gearbox (with Zack the mechanic supervising, of course). Then the water heater with Jim the electrician. Then overhaul of the Espar diesel heater. Boat projects became a full time job. After doing a boat delivery from Hawaii to French Poly, Ross came back to Seattle with a fresh idea. He’d been tied to his job for years, and Kristan the same.
LETS PACK IT UP AND SAIL TO MEXICO.
No hesitations there.
Ross shut his business after 8 years of service. Kristan cashed out her 401k and quit her job working for the city.
The boat has been made nice for weekend jaunts in the sound, but now it needed to be converted to a true cruiser, and they were up to the task. Fresh AGM Battery bank and 620W of solar, downwind pole, topside soft decking, running rigging all installed, as well as countless micro upgrades and customizations that turned Oatie from dock queen to proven nomad (like custom marine beanbag chairs!!).
Oatie made way down the pacific coast from Port Angeles to Monterey in just 6 days. A true feat of weather, but also to her seaworthiness. Never a moment was she doubted. She performed wonderfully downwind. From Monterey to Ensenada she harbor hopped and gunkholed her way south. She spent 3 months shepherding Ross and Kristan thru the often passed up anchorages of Pacific Baja Norte in search of surf and spearfishing. Oatie made her way thru the Los Cabos, Espiritu Santo and La Paz before unfortunate family obligations have called them away from full time cruising for the foreseeable future. The couple will be exploring the US via motorcoach, along with Mom, for their next adventure. Their hopes are to return to Mexico very soon with the intention of finding a smaller craft to keep in Baja as a refuge for the winter months. The difficult decision to part with Oatie Jo presents an amazing opportunity new owners. True turn key. Comfortable as all get out. Sails like a dream. A must see for anyone looking for a reasonably priced, obsessively maintained and upgraded cruiser.