As often happens, when Rick Bunzel happened upon his 1999 Camano Troll 31, he wasn’t really in the market for a new boat. Now, after owning the boat for two years and cruising the San Juan Islands and British Columbia, he’s got his sights set on Alaska. Wild Hare is homeported in Anacortes, Washington.
How long have you owned the boat?
We’ve had Wild Hare for two years.
Tell us about your boat’s name.
We hadn’t planned on buying a new boat but a friend told us that they knew of a trawler coming up for sale and that had us thinking of moving up from our Bayliner. When we bought the Camano and needed a name we decide that we had a “Wild Hare.” Also, my wife’s name is Buni, so it all worked.
Have you owned other boats before this one? If so, what kinds?
We had a Bayliner 2850 Contessa and a 19-foot Century runabout.
Tell us a little about your boating background.
I’ve been boating since I was a child. I’ve had lake boats, sailboats, have chartered larger boats with family, and I used to crew on a racing sailboat. When we moved to the Pacific Northwest we knew that this was a more serious place to be out on the water. We took the Power Squadron course and have family and friends with lots of experience. I like to do my own maintenance and never go out without the boat being 100% functional.
What’s the history of your boat?
We don’t really know much about her but it sounds like we are the fourth owner. The previous owner was downsizing and his wife had some health issues so he didn’t put many hours on it.
What do you know now about your boat that you wish you’d known when you bought it? Would that have changed your mind?
The Camano’s were advertised with a 15 to 16 knot cruising speed. The fastest we’ve seen has been 14 knots with three people on board and empty tanks. Some people say the optimal speed is 12, but we find that Wild Hare is most happy at 10 knots. This wouldn’t have changed our mind but means it takes us a little longer to get to our favorite San Juan Islands locations than we anticipated.
What’s your favorite story involving your boat?
We had some engine problems that required us to drop the anchor. The windless breaker would not close and I pushed it several times without success. My wife decide to kick it and that ended up engaging it which kept us from going into some rocks. It was a defining moment that we laughed at later.
Describe the most challenging situation you’ve experienced on your boat and how it performed.
Crossing the Straits of Georgia with big swells. We watched as big logs popped up — which was an real attention getter. It was one of those trips where you don’t realize how tense all your muscles were until you hit the dock and can relax.
Where do you plan to take your boat? Do you have a dream destination?
Hopefully up to Alaska one day. And I wouldn’t mind doing the great loop on the East Coast.
If someone gave you $10,000 that you could only spend on your boat, what would you do with it and why?
New doppler radar, redo the dash so I could have 12-inch displays on both helms, or new flooring.
If you could have any other boat, what would it be and why?
Island Gypsy 40 Med Deck. We like the layout. Some day we will want to take out the grandkids and the Camano is really a two person boat.
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