In a nutshell, the Grimmett’s are a family that loves sailing! Living in New England, they have spent most of their time sailing the waters from Maine to Massachusetts. In the 1990’s, both Karen and Tom sailed together on the race boat ‘Bodacious’ on San Francisco Bay. Nothing could be better then crewing on someone else’s boat, watching them take risks with their investment, and getting free food and beer in the process! Before Karen and Tom met, Tom spent many years sailing on the West and East Coasts. His father took their family on frequent Sunday afternoon sails on the San Diego Bay. In high school, Tom bought his first boat, a 14ft Hobie Cat and then joined the many Hobie enthusiasts sailing off the beaches of San Diego. Before graduating from high school, he traded up to an 18ft Sol Cat. During college years, boat ownership was frowned upon by his safety minded parents, but he finagled a windsurfer onto the roof rack for a few years! After college, Tom bought a Cheaspeake 32 sailboat, “Two if by Sea”, and lived on her for a year near Annapolis, MD while he worked in Washington, D.C. This became the platform for his cruise in 1986 to New England and Nova Scotia.
Family-style cruising began in 2001 aboard their boat, ‘Pamela J’, a 32′ Pearson Vanguard. She was a ‘classic plastic’ boat as they are often called, and a real delight for weekends and occasional week long sojourns to Downeast Maine. Both of the boys, Zack and Caleb, were very young at the time, but they thoroughly enjoyed the chance to see the Maine coast and spend uninterrupted time with Mom and Dad! While owning Pamela J, Tom took a captain’s course with Boatwise and successfully passed the exam, becoming a US Coast Guard licensed Master, 25 ton. After that, he took a Ham radio course and passed the Technician license. Yet after three years of ownership, Karen and Tom fell into the ubiquitious state of envying larger boats and more space for their growing kids. Tom had spent many nights searching the internet and was ready to go as far as the Caribbean to buy a boat, but he stumbled upon a local 47 foot Jeanneau Sun-Kiss. She was docked on the Sakonnet River in Rhode Island and owned by a fellow that had too many boats to know what to do with (a rough life, ehh?!). The boat was named ‘Eccentricity’ at the time. She was a generally sound boat, and the boat survey identified a few issues, but Karen and Tom were intrigued by the size and the styling of the boat. She showed the typical signs you would expect from a boat that had not been used on a regular basis. In short, she needed a new owner that would really sail her and take care of her like a lady; Tom and Karen, not knowing what they had gotten themselves into, eagerly signed up for the task! They bought her in the spring of 2004 and immediately sailed her up the New England coast to Maine and enjoyed a splendid summer in the Portland area. She was docked at Sunset Marina in South Portland, a delightful location with friendly staff. When they bought the boat, they knew that there were a few areas that needed to be repaired on the deck. These areas had high moisture levels and some areas showed signs of delamination. In the Fall of 2004, they handed the boat over to New England Fiberglass in Portland. This was the beginning of a long and expensive process to rid the deck and a portion of the hull from imbedded moisture and some rot. Karen and Tom were without a boat for 18 months, but they found ways to occupy ourselves with projects around the house. In January of 2006, they finally got the boat back and she was trucked to their house in Bedford, NH for an extensive refit.
A blizzard of activity then started, on both the boat and the house, to hit a departure date of June. The house was rented, Tom left his job, and the family moved aboard. This was the start to an incredible 13 month adventure that took them as far north as Halifax and as far south as Grenada, and is documented with posts on this website.
Now, with adult children, Karen and Tom have continued to sail Thalia throughout New England and look forward to many more adventures farther afield!