Pioneer Update

It has been a very interesting few months here in North Carolina.  In December, we moved off Pioneer so that we could better prepare her to show to potential buyers.  We have rented a lovely apartment above a garage which is attached to a house on the shores of the Neuse River.  While the owners are away, we house and cat sit. Our landlords, Jayne and John, are very helpful and it has been a pleasure to deal with them.  The view out our window is a sandy shore with the water lapping on the beach.  It has been ideal.




  Our view on a lovely sunny afternoon


When evening comes we are almost facing the sunset. It is just around the corner but the colours out of our window are quite magnificent.




A sunrise from our apartment at Janeiro Park





Sunrise #2 in Janeiro






The famous Oriental dragon is depicted here just down the road from our apartment




We listed Pioneer on For Sale by Owner sailboat listing sites.   The listing sites we used were:, and in Oriental.  After setting up the listings we got busy polishing her up and moving all of our belongings off. We wanted potential owners to see her as possibly theirs as opposed to ours. We waited patiently for that windless day when we could raise all the sails and clean off any of the mud dauber nests.  The day finally came and her sails were virtually mud free!




Pioneer at dock in full sail – clean and bright – no mud wasp nests in site!




The weather, for the most part, in December and January, was ideal to be doing boat work and to be working at cleaning up our storage locker.  We took full advantage of that time!  It wasn’t long before that cold Canadian air caught up to us, however, and deposited snow and freezing rain on us and on Pioneer.  It got so cold that the creek, where our marina is located, froze over. We had a lamp and incandescent bulb shining on Pioneer’s engine throughout the cold snap.  She came through it all just fine.




Snow on our apartment deck with temperatures of 18 degrees Fahrenheit






Ice in the creek happens, but not very often.  Each time we boarded Pioneer, the ice would crack – a very strange sensation for us southern winter sailors!





Our first opportunity to show Pioneer was on Friday January 13th (somewhat unnerving if we were in the least superstitious) .  We were also supposed to show her to a Florida couple the following day, but that showing was cancelled mid week. The couple that came to see her lived near the mountains in North Carolina.  Their dream was to sail into the Caribbean this coming Fall and experience their own adventure of a lifetime.  They reminded us so much of ourselves when we bought Pioneer!  They ended up spending all of Friday and all of Saturday with us and Pioneer.  By Sunday we had a virtual handshake deal, via Facetime, and on Tuesday we had signed the Agreement to Purchase.  We got the blank copy of an Agreement to Purchase off the BoatUS website – very useful information there on selling your boat!  The following weekend, the potential new owners had arranged for a surveyor to do the survey and sea trial needed before we could close the deal. As we took our dinghy, Scout, off the davits to leave her at the dock during her sea trial we took our potentially last picture of Pioneer’s backside!




Ron gets his last view of “our Pioneer” from the water




The survey went very well but the sea trial had to be delayed a day because the water level was too low to safely get out of the creek.  The following morning the water was up and it was mighty foggy out on the river, but we decided that it might be our only opportunity for weeks, so off we went.  The channel coming into the marina from the river was still pretty “skinny” but we managed to bump and push our way out and back in again.  The sea trial itself was lots of fun with 12 knot winds and Pioneer sailing at a little over 5 knots.



Pioneer on her survey haul out with the surveyor checking the hull for moisture






Pioneers potential new owners, bring Scout back to her home on Pioneer



With all the pieces coming together, we finalized the sale of Pioneer and arranged to have the papers notarized the following Friday.  Several days before the survey we took down our “For Sale” sign and said our goodbyes to Pioneer. 





Ron covers up the “FOR” on our sign as we prepare to remove it from Pioneer’s Pulpit





Judy signs the papers in front of the notary while Pioneer’s new owners look on






What a whirlwind 2 weeks it was.  Ken and Sharon saw Pioneer for the first time on Friday, January 13th and 2 weeks later, on Friday,  January 27th, she was officially theirs. The only remaining official thing to do was for us to have Pioneer removed from the Canadian Register of Vessels and get a Deletion Certificate so that her new owners could register her in the US. We were able to do this by email with Transport Canada and had only a one day turnover before we had the certificate in hand for the new owners.  Perhaps it was good to sell Pioneer in the middle of winter as it gave the Canadian Registrar of Ships something to do while all the Canadian boats back home were shrink wrapped and winterized!  Saying goodbye to Pioneer was not easy and we had our emotional moments, however, we are so pleased with her new owners.  They are a perfect fit for Pioneer, who is now named “Charis” (Greek for Grace).  Ken, Sharon and Charis will have an exciting and adventure filled sailing future.  We wish them all the best.  We plan to be available to them, for questions and help, until the end of March when we return to Canada and our home on Salt Spring.


Ken and Sharon aboard “Charis”

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