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Our Tartan 37 - Rouser

Our happy home for the last 2 years and for several more!

The history of Rouser

Tartan 37

How Rouser found us

See also: Modifications (from Trip Log-Getting Started)

The history of Rouser

Rainbow over Rouser in Huahine

The Name

The name Rouser is certainly unique.  This has been its given name since first christened.  We have received many questions as to the name's origin.  A friend of the first owner gave us the name's background.  Apparently the Rouser was the person on board the boat that doled out the rum...  so everyone was happy when the Rouser came around.  We enjoyed that story as well as the definition of "rouse":

1 to cause to break from cover
2 to stir up: excite, awaken

These definitions are what we hope this trip will do for us and for our life.  We are looking to break from our norm and learn about the world and ourselves.

Past Ocean Life

In the early 80's, Rouser spent two years cruising the South Pacific with Miggles and Ron Shannon as crew.  She made a round-trip passage from Santa Cruz, California through the Marquesas, Tahiti and Hawaii.

Afterwards, Rouser spent many years in the hands of Bill Fraser sailing around the San Francisco Bay area and ferrying food and supplies to biologists stationed at the Point Reyes Bird Observatory in the Farrallon Islands.

Tartan 37

The Tartan 37 was designed by Sparkman & Stephens in the mid-70's.  There are two keel configurations of the 37 available: either the popular keel/centerboard or the deep fin keel that Rouser has.  Rouser is hull #119, built in 1978.  There is an active Tartan 37 owner's association.


LOA     37' 3.5"    
LWL   28' 6"
Beam   11' 9"
Draft   6' 7"
Ballast   7,200 lbs.
Displacement   15,500 lbs.
Sail area   625 sq. feet
I   47' 0"
J   16' 0"
P   41' 6"
E   12' 0"

Much information is available online regarding the Tartan 37.  Blue Water Sailing wrote a great review of the boat.

How Rouser found us

Once we decided to that our trip would become a sailing adventure, we began the search for the "perfect" boat - one that we felt would fit our needs and our budget.  We looked at literally hundreds of boats throughout almost four months of searching.  With every boat we boarded, we learned of new likes and dislikes.  We searched throughout Washington and north into British Columbia.  Several boats would have done the job, but we had not found the boat that met all major criteria and still fit within our budget parameters.

Finally, we found Rouser via a web site one night.  It was located in Alameda, California (near San Francisco) and WE were located in Olympia, Washington!  The price was right, low compared to comparable boats in the Seattle area, but it would mean plane tickets down to San Fran just to check it out.  And IF it were the right vessel, we still had to bring it north to Washington.

That evening, we were talking about the possibility of this crazy California boat over some cheap Chinese food.  When we finished the meal, we still had not reached a verdict of whether to go or not to go.  Eric made a joke that we might let the fortune cookies decide.  While we don't usually place much value in the wisdom of any dessert, we found this advice to be very fitting.  Our fortunes that evening, I kid you not, were as follows:

You will travel far and wide.

You will soon be crossing the great waters. 

We decided that it couldn't hurt to check it out!  On the flight down to San Francisco, we kept hoping that there would be enough wind during our test sail to really get a feel for the boat.  We only had Saturday and Sunday to check Rouser out.  Before even seeing it, we had made an offer on the boat so that we might take her out on a test sail and, if it went well, have it surveyed all in one weekend.

On the Saturday of our planned test sail, the wind in the bay was blowing 35 knots and the brokerage didn't even want to take us out.  We explained that this would be "perfect" for the test sail we were hoping for and one of the brokers felt comfortable going with us.  During the test sail, we were rained on, hailed on and generally blown about.  It was perfect!  By the time we reached the dock, we both knew that, barring any major problems with the survey, we had found our boat.  After much wild weather, when we reached the dock and told the broker that we wanted to continue down the path of buying Rouser, we were greeted with a beautiful rainbow.  Now that surely must be a good sign!

The diesel and hull surveys went very smoothly.  On our Sunday plane ride home, Rouser was ours.  She was just in California.

Angela had JUST started a new job and had no leave built up, so we were unable to justify taking off right then to deliver her north.  We were also concerned that a delivery from California north to Washington in the spring might be a wild shake-down cruise.  All of that, coupled with the fact that we wanted to move aboard in two weeks when our apartment contract ran out, caused us to truck Rouser north.  What a trip - 60 mph upwind!

And that was when the fun began...