As newbies to the world of boat ownership, we had little idea of what to look for while shopping for our new home. We tried to be the well-informed shoppers who know what they’re looking for and looking at. We did research on types, brands, and models of boats to help narrow down the search. We went to boat-ownership seminars. We talked to experts who we trusted. It was exhausting and it helped, but it certainly didn’t ensure that we wouldn’t find our fair share of surprises on the boat we purchased.
Craig was able to visit the boat in the Virgin Islands before any money changed hands. I was not able to join him, so Craig bore the burden of being the eyes for both of us. Let’s just say it was a stressful time for both of us. In the end, I agreed to spend all of our money on a boat/home I had never laid eyes on. Those of you who know me know that I may exaggerate at times, but trust me when I say that this is not at all an exaggeration. ALL of our money. Warranted or not, I have faith in Craig and our ability to make things work… even when I don’t know exactly what we’re getting ourselves into.
After we got the boat to Seattle, started putting everything back together, and living aboard, we started to notice that more upgrades were needed than we anticipated. While the previous owners did a lot of work to upgrade Small World, she’s turning 40 and has had several owners. Many owners means that many different ideas and methods have been implemented and sailors are generally known for at least attempting the DIY solution. The result of all of that creativity is… interesting. Sometimes sailors have to MacGyver a fix in the middle of nowhere. (If you don’t know who MacGyver is… no…don’t tell me. I couldn’t bear it.) Sometimes that fix stays in place until it fails. Sometimes the boat gets sold before that happens. Sometimes the new owners have no idea what they’re looking at when they shop for boats and subsequently go through an enormous roller-coaster of emotions and the steepest learning curve they’ve ever faced as they discover all of their new projects.
Craig and I have been very busy over the last few months and haven’t really had the chance to take the old girl out of her slip.
Side note: Based on the recommendation of our dear friend Lisa, I finally started reading Let’s Pretend this Never Happened by Jenny Lawson I’ve been laughing so frequently that Craig wanted in on that action. After reading the first few pages he turned to me and said “This is how I think you should write – I think you have it in you.” Y’all, it’s about to get real in here. (I’m allowed to say Y’all because we are en route to Texas and Arkansas to visit family for Thanksgiving. I’m just fitting in. So put your judgy eyes away now. I’m also allowed to ramble and go off on tangents per the style of Jenny Lawson. My English teacher from middle school likely saw this coming a mile away.) GAME. EFFING. ON.
Now, where was I? Oh yes. How we’re so busy that we don’t’ even go sailing in our boat that we don’t even need to leave home to use. We’re already on the boat EVERY DAY and we never go sailing. We’ve had the boat in the water since June and it’s Thanksgiving now. Total times out on the water: 6. One of those times was only to drive over to the pump-out station because our tiny holding tank was full. That was maybe the best trip because nothing broke and I didn’t feel like I was about to flip my home upside down. It isn’t easy to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel when your biggest adventure so far is to the pump-out station.
The following several blogs will help you understand just how frustrating this process has been so far. If anyone is actually reading this I don’t want the following entries to be a deterrent to the boating life. I want them to serve as a reality check prior to taking the plunge. The one you wish people told you before getting married, or buying a house, or having a baby, or watching Sharknado thinking it would maybe be fun in an ironic sort of way. This shit is hard work y’all. And the saying “She swears like a sailor” is serious. We swear. A lot. Because dropping the tiny little screw that is damn near impossible to replace into the bilge essentially means it’s gone forever. Because salt water is surprisingly corrosive and you need to replace/fix the same shit you just fixed a couple months ago. Because nothing is just a few bucks at the marine supply store – we measure the cost in Boat Units (1 Boat Unit = $1000). Because in order to finish the project you started, you also need to start and finish a string of other projects. We miss renting.
Written by Krystle