Why We bought Clifford “the big red boat”
When we moved to Edmonds in 2017, we realized that Puget Sound is a one-of-a-kind body of water that is very unique. We noticed a variety of boats on the Sound - cargo boats, cruise lines, ferries, Navy and pleasure craft all traverse the Sound. We decided that this was one feature of the Pacific Northwest that we should explore.
We also noticed that towns such as Edmonds, Poulsbo, and Kingston all have excellent marinas that are within walking distance of their downtown area. This meant that we could explore both the Sound and the various towns on the Sound. Stories of Tides Tavern in gig Harbor, the rain shadow in Port Townsend and the naval base in Bangor only served to make us more determined to visit as many towns and marinas as possible.
However, the purchase price, maintenance, and moorage costs of having a boat on Puget Sound was prohibitive for our budget. We had no idea they were the price of a small house.
About this time twin grandsons came along as well as another grandson eight months later. We wanted them and their parents to have the experience of exploring the Sound with us as a family. So we became more determined to find a way to own a boat at a reasonable cost.
The many types of boats available made it difficult to decide which type and size of boat would work best for our needs. We decided on a “pocket trawler” design and then started researching the various brands. I noticed the top speed of many of these pocket trawlers was well under 10 knots, the older ones had twin diesels driving up the operating costs, and the newer ones were cost prohibitive. I looked into Ranger Tugs for a period and liked their design and functionality. Their turbo-charged single diesel design appealed to us. They also had a top speed above 15 knots which meant you could get someplace relatively quickly since I was not retired at that time and vacation days were limited.
I noticed an ad for a Camano Troll 31’ at Windworks sailing Club and researched the Camano design. It had all of the positive features of a Ranger Tug but the added benefit of a “ keelform" (Scroll down to the section titled “WARMAN OUTLINES CAMANO HISTORY AT '11 RONDY”. We were sold on the design.
The option to keep the boat in the rental fleet also appealed to us for several reasons, 1) the grandkids are not old enough yet to go on serious exploring and camping trips, 2) the cost of ownership is partially defrayed by renting the boat out, 3) the staff at Windworks takes meticulous care of the rental fleet, and 4) we still had access to the boat for our use. We hope you enjoy Clifford as much as we do and let us know if there is anything you would like us to add to make your trips more enjoyable!
A note on the name – the original name of this boat was “Lady in Red” which didn’t fly so well. We thought the grandkids and the public would appreciate a more family oriented name so we changed it to Clifford when we bought the boat in December of 2018.
John and Ruth Rasmus and family