Monday, December 3, 2012
I was talking boats with a buddy of mine the other day. There are some great bargains out there on second hand sailboats. They might not be the fastest, or the prettiest, but there are good seaworthy boats for small money.
My friend asked how expensive it would be to live on a sailboat. One of the common answers is: everything you've got. That's true as it's easy to find things and activities to spend your money on. However, it is possible to live for a lot less than on shore. Get rid of the house and mortgage, car, and most physical possessions. Buy a simple boat that doesn't need expensive gear. Spend most of your time at anchor rather at tied up at a marina. Do without AC and refrigeration and power needs could be supplied with a couple of solar panels. There are lots of tricks to reduce expenses.
We talked about the practicalities of boat living for a bit. I'm certainly no expert, but at least I've dabbled in it. What are the chances of him setting out on a boat? He and his wife are certainly taken but the idea. If they really wanted to, they could swing the finances to make it work. Right now, I seriously doubt they'll do it. They are in a web of responsibilities where my lovely wife and I can't even count on them joining us for a movie. Family keeps them jumping from one disaster to the next.
I told them if they are serious, next spring they can join me on my little boat and I'll teach them the basics. That's more than what my wife and I had for instruction. If they can get away to do a few days of sailing, they might get hooked on the life.
People talk about wanting to get away from it all but few take any steps in that direction. Some like the idea of getting away, but really don't want to take any chances. It takes more of a sense of adventure than that. When striking out in a new direction, the downsides are easier to imagine than the potential upsides. You can look around and see what you are giving up. What will be gained is not guaranteed. There will be unforseen problems, but also there will be pleasant surprises.
As for the responsibilities left behind? That's a tough one. However, everyone involved is an adult. It's not they would be ditching young children. E-mail, cell phones, and Skype make it easier than ever to keep in touch.
Who knows, maybe they will join us out on the water next spring.