Our search for a boat started as soon as we moved back to Texas in November 2014. We found a few boats down by the coast that fit our minimum requirements so David drove 3.5 hours to Kemah to go check them out. He wasn't impressed though, and as he was looking at the last one, he saw another boat that piqued his interest. The broker said that the owners were just dropping it off, and it hadn't been listed yet. It seemed perfect for us. The owners' had just returned from the Caribbean so it was outfitted with most of the equipment that we wanted to have. After talking it over that night, we decided to put an offer in the next day. The owners' accepted, and we scheduled the survey and sea trial. During the sea trial, the transmission case opened and dumped out all of the fluid. Not good! It made us very apprehensive because we had already decided that if this boat didn't work out, we were going to stop looking. Everything was put on hold until the owners could have a mechanic look at it and determine if it could be repaired. It turned out that it was a quick fix, and the transmission was soon back in working order. The survey was finally finished a week later. The results were mostly good, but there were several minor things that would need to be fixed. We revised our offer, and after a little negotiating, they accepted it. The boat officially became ours on 01/05/15. We liked the story behind the name Dulcinea so we decided to keep it. Here's a passage included in the owner's manual from the original owner.
"In the Spanish Classic, "Don Quixote de la Mancha", the Champion, Don Quixote, is slightly demented. He considers himself in Holy Combat as he fights with windmills. He meets Aldonza, a common woman of the world - sees her as a vision of loveliness, a fair Lady, and christens her DULCINEA.
"To each his Dulcinea", is explained by Miguel Cervantes, the author, as meaning that every man, regardless of rank or station, sees life as he chooses, sets his own goal before him, his Quest, his IMPOSSSIBLE DREAM. Don Quixote includes the winning of Dulcinea as part of his impossible dream.
Yachtsmen are considered by some elements of society to be slightly demented, hence the comparison of Don Quixote and me as master of this vessel. This then is my Impossible Dream...my Dulcinea."
Dulcinea is a 35 foot 1981 Hinterhoeller Niagara. She's had many additions and upgrades throughout the years and has been kept in great condition. There are two aft quarter berths (sleeping areas) and the two settees in the salon, which both convert to sleeping areas (one is a double and the other is a single). This all means that we can sleep 6 people comfortably. The head, galley, and a forward work room make up the rest of the interior. I was surprised that all of the belongings we brought fit, and we actually had room to spare. The cockpit is covered by a dodger and bimini, which helps keep the rain out and will help keep us from roasting in the hot Caribbean sun. She is outfitted with a GPS, compass, autopilot, radar, depth sounder, wind instruments, and solar panels. Under the right sailing conditions, we are able to achieve a little over 7 knots, and our Westerbeke diesel engine will do about the same.