I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting when I bought Pamela C. I’d spent a good 2 or 3 years looking for the right boat and had put offers in on several over the time, only to be outbid or gazumped and with COVID and lockdown it became harder and harder to find anything suitable. After lockdown, it had become a seller’s market as everyone focussed on staycations rather than holidays abroad.

I had originally been scheduled to see a Moody 33 in Portland, however on the day of the viewing (and 150 miles into the 175 mile journey) I get a phone call from the sales people telling me their office was closed because they had COVID and as such the viewing would have to be rescheduled.

As I was already pretty much in Portland I decided to continue down and see what the area was like. Whilst sitting at the local pub enjoying the sunshine I found a Facebook marketplace advert for a Moody 39CC. The pictures looked perfect and I made contact with the seller and put in an offer then and there, sight unseen (but subject to survey). He didn’t quite believe I was serious, however the survey was booked and within two weeks I had bought the boat and then my journey began!

The first year

The next 12 months were filled with ups and downs, delays with rigging replacement, the rigger condemned the boom but then forgot to order a replacement, then when they did order the replacement which would take another 3+ months to arrive. All of the while I was paying visitor rates at the local marina, which was bleeding me dry.

In the end, the guys at Boatfolk Portland looked after me and found me a permanent berth, I made a number of friends and now call this place home.

A look back at the first year or so of ownership

I haven’t been in Portland all the time, there was a stint in the Solent with just over a month spent on the River Hamble and then nearly 6 months based out of Haslar Marina in Gosport before returning to Portland in April 2023 ahead of a planned excursion down the South Coast towards the Scilly Isles (watch this space for updates from that trip as / when it unfolds).

Pros and Cons

There have been a lot of ups and downs of boat ownership. Considerably more expense than I had planned for (and I had planned for a lot of expense already) but I wouldn’t change her. She’s solid, she sails like a dream and is on the whole very forgiving.

I have installed new Lithium batteries (8 x 170Ah) along with a 3Kw inverter, electric toilet, hot water tank with dual circuit heating, a diesel heater and replaced the entire gas heating/cooking setup with air fryer, induction hob and immersion heater. I also plan on upgrading the galley with a new fridge and freezer units, and better sinks, taps, etc.

The heads have also undergone a makeover, with more to come now I have a better idea of boat life. Black waste tanks were installed too, making the boat ready for the Mediterranean at some point in the near future too!

The most recent upgrades include new B&G Zeus 3S chart plotters, NAC-3 autopilot with DD-15 drive unit. Expensive, but total peace of mind for those long passages – and way better than the existing (and very old) wheel pilot, which really wasn’t up to steering in heavy seas.

The Coming Season

The plan for the coming season, after a few more repairs and some engine maintenance following on from the failure last week, are a trip to the Scilly Isles, Lundy and perhaps down to Portugal if not up to the Isle of Man for the Manx TT.

Beyond that, either a circumnavigation of the UK or down to the Med, Lanzarote, Cape Verde and over to the Bahamas. The world literally is my oyster and I am prepared to explore it, now more than ever!

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