The story of Flying Lady is the story of my introduction to boating in general and sailing in particular. I became enamored with sailboats while living near Baltimore, MD. We used to visit the Inner Harbor and I would be enthralled with the sailboats that I saw. Somehow in my thinking I just assumed that sailing was for the rich. There was no way I could own one of the big, beautiful, sleek sailboats that I would see docked in front of the Light Street Pavilion. Why I didn't realize you could buy a smaller and older boat I do not know. But it wasn't until we moved to NC and I saw the Kells for sale in a local trader newspaper that the thought occurred to me. I bought boat, trailer, motor, rigging et. al. for $2500. We christened her Flying Lady II (Flying Lady I was my wife's Camaro).
My wife made me read up on sailing before I started so I bought Sailing For Dummies by Peter Isler and his wife, both accomplished sailors. The learning curve was steep but I was on the water! I was so green. I remember the first 2 or 3 times I sailed Flying Lady that I attached the rudder and left it sticking out horizontally instead of pushing it down to a vertical position. Man was there a lot of pressure on that tiller in a fresh breeze!
Except for one trip to the Chesapeake Bay (which you can read about in On the High Seas) I sailed her exclusively on Lake Gaston, NC which was only 13 miles from our house. We had some great times on Flying Lady including overnighting on her with my daughter, swimming off of her in the lake, and just being on the water. We also had some tense times on her like the time I forgot to take the straps off before launching and I "baptized" my car!
She was a great first boat. I owned her from 1999 to 2004. I sold her for $2300. Five years of sailing cost me $200 (plus a few things here and there but we won't count that). Not bad for a bunch of fun and memories.