Monday, July 31, 2017
Making it happen
Slowly moving forward. There is so much to catch up on. Sunday my buddy came over and did that minor roof repair that's been bugging me. My leg is still weak from the long recovery after my injury. Now is definitely not the time to stress it by working on a tall ladder. Glad to have the help.
While he was here we changed the oil in my van. Normally I don't bother changing my own oil. It's so inexpensive to have the car's oil changed that it's not worth getting my hands dirty. The van, on the other hand, costs in the neighborhood of $110 – 120 to have a garage do it. The 7.3 turbo diesel takes a lot of oil and has an oil filter the size of a small trash can. Doing the work at home cuts the price in half.
In other news my lovely wife have definitely decided to look over a couple larger sailboats. Right now I'm waiting to hear back from one boat owner and plan to contact a boat yard today. With luck we should be able to check out a number of boats in the same trip.
Old sailboats can be bargains or they can be money pits. I don't mind so much the things that take labor and a few materials: minor fiberglass repair, paint, carpentry, cleaning, some stitching on cushions and sail covers. That sort of thing is no big deal.
It's stuff like bad rigging, broken winches, engine trouble, extensive wood rot, bad sails, keel and other hull problems -some things add up quickly. Older bargain boats are usually not worth paying for a professional survey. While I'm no expert, I can spot most of the trouble areas.
There are real deals to be had where the cosmetics look bad, but all the stuff that matters is sound. One thing where sellers sometimes try to make their money is by selling you the dinghy too. We are perfectly happy using our big Sea Eagle inflatable kayak as a tender. No need to buy a dinghy.
We are in a position where we don't “need” a new boat. That certainly takes the pressure off. Another advantage is that most people are no longer happy with 27 – 30 foot boats. These days people are told you must have at least a 40 foot boat. We were happy living for four months on our 23 foot Ranger. A few decades back, it was common for 30 foot sailboats to be seen all over the world's anchorages. Now, not so much. In a lot of cruising areas, the number of visiting boats is way down. Perhaps the idea that you must have a huge boat is keeping people away?
It's still possible to get out there for the cost of decent used car. Guess what, the sunset from a small boat is just as pretty as from a large one. The very few people who look down at you for being on a small boat are not worth hanging out with anyway. We found that plenty of people actually admired us for sailing on a 19 foot boat. Old salts would come up to us and say, “that's real sailing.” Then they'd say how they regretted ever selling their small boat and getting a bigger one.
Of course, much depends on your sailing partner. If your partner needs a condo that sails, you are in trouble. Even a 40 foot boat has funny toilets, cramped showers, poor laundry options, plus power and water restrictions. It's too far to the opera house and everything is damp. (dump the partner and get a small boat, you'll be far ahead of the game.)
To sum up, I'm getting better, some projects are getting done, and we are sailboat shopping again. Life is looking up.