There used to be a time, when I (allegedly) wasn’t quite old enough to stay home alone all day, when I would pout as my mom and step-dad drug me along to look at houses to buy. All I wanted to do was stay home and lose myself in a book or a game of tag. Instead I was the annoying tag-along who loved and hated all the houses in direct opposition to the adults. It was clear that my input was never going to be a deciding factor when purchasing a house, so I wondered why I had to be there to begin with. In the end I was powerless; I knew it and I hated it.
One of the ways I know I’m an adult now is that I’ve done a one-eighty on this topic; I LOVE touring homes. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly wasteful with my time, I find myself perusing apartment listings on Craigslist and houses on Redfin. If you ever need help finding a place, let me know. If you need someone to go with you when you check out a bunch of places, I’m your woman. I will even spend a random Sunday going to open houses for no good reason if you want. If you have a boat, you can bet your bottom paint that I want a tour.
Let me in there! Show me how your 240 square feet is incredibly different than ours on Small World. Teach me the clever ways you’ve stored all the weird accoutrements of boat life that manage to clutter up the entire boat. Please help me figure out how to find a home for everything, just please don’t tell me to get rid of too many more clothes.
Inevitably, after weaseling my way into a tour of another boat, I walk away with a bit of envy. Small World is wonderful, and she keeps us safe when we’re out at sea. But there’s always room for improvement. And always a better way to organize all our shit belongings and spare parts. Even though all adjustments and additions aren’t possible to implement on our boat, it’s always nice to get some inspiration.
Recently we met another couple who are also on a Westsail 42 with a cutter ketch rig. There aren’t many of us out there and we were very excited at the potential to check out their boat to see what changes Westsail made after our hull (the first of its kind) was built, or what other owners have adjusted in the last 44 years. The morning we woke up to find them anchored to starboard, Craig sounded like a kid at Christmas. “Krystle! It’s another one of us! Holy shit!” (Everyone swears at Christmas, right?) We had to leave that morning to head south, but we hoped they would be doing the same. Craig broke out the binoculars to check them out and attempted to read their boat name. As he stared across, he spied a man behind his own pair of binoculars looking back at us. Craig slowly lowered the binoculars and sank down below the window.
When we finally met Ivan and Jane (S/V Chantey), it only took 60 seconds to offer a trade of boat tours. Apparently, I’m not the only one eager to check out the nooks and crannies of other boats! Even though our boats are theoretically identical, I still noticed several differences and wondered if I could make those changes on our boat. While aboard Small World, Jane did the same, exclaiming, “Ohhhhh Ivan! I want that!”
Despite the many, many variations between vessels, we’re all in the same boat.