First Flights with Little Bird

SEABIRD an “the guy” with crew.

She’s a beauty. Took almost 4 years to find this Frances 26. Those who have them tend to hold on to them. The first for sale ad I saw was for a boat in Connecticut. The fellow who answered said he decided not to sell, but he introduced me to a local guy who graciously let me see his. I was hooked, but of course, he too wasn’t selling. A year or so later another ad leads to a call to a doctor in Chicago. We talked for an hour or so. He confirms that he is indeed selling. I buy a plane ticket, rent a car, book a room and spend the better part of the following day listening to how wonderful the boat is. I make a strong offer. The crazy doctor says he’s not selling! I still want to bill him my travel expenses. Shortly thereafter I hear that there is an owner of two Frances and that he was ready to sell one. Nothing. Some months pass and I consider a project Frances in Maine. After study and survey, that made no sense. However, someone has bought that one and is overhauling it. Alas, I get the fine Chickadee to sail while waiting out somebody who will sell their Frances. Eventually it did happen. I’m thrilled. Little Bird, then Seabird, was actually the first one I had even seen. I fell for the boat then and can’t believe I’m sailing her now. She has been so well cared for with exquisite attention to details. Though 44 years old, she is as close to new as you could expect. From masthead to bottom, this boat has been loved. Little Bird is a distillation of all the cruising boats I’ve known. All in a 26′ package.

Here is a short video of three short overnight cruises thus far. Looking toward many more. With her diesel heater, the season is just starting.

Projects?

Regent Point

Hard to even believe there might be any projects given the excellent care and attention this Frances has received prior to my ownership. I believe I am the 10th in a good line of stewards. I pray I don’t muck it up!

I’ve now had three overnight outings in Little Bird. Two short trips originated from Regent Point Marina on the Rappahannock River where the boat was recently hauled. We sailed to the Corrotoman River and later to Carters Creek. On the sail home we ducked into Horn Harbor. Perhaps more on those later.

So, projects, or better, additions. I’ve installed a Noco 2 bank battery charger. Chickadee burned through 2 Powermania chargers in short order. The company has since closed its doors. Wonder why? This Noco unit claims to be waterproof and “smart”. An identical unit was lastly used in Chickadee and seemed to deliver. So, here we are again. Good so far. It’s tucked up in the starboard quarter berth out of the way, but easily readable.

Green means full.

Also, I put another USB plug where a hole once was inside the companionway. Perhaps a vulnerable location, but like I said “hole”.

Twin USB’s in old hole.

Otherwise, we’re making efforts to bring aboard only gear we need. The tool bag did start out slim, but it is getting thicker. Projects!