20160104-DSC_4413When I become giddy over the thought of owning my very own sailboat I remember what my book on inspecting the aging sailboat says, “SNAP OUT OF IT.”

I must remind myself not think about the warm light that will undoubtedly illuminate the saloon, nor the adventures that are sure to ensue. This is a business transaction. Someone is trying to sell me something, and I have to be sure it’s not their problem, or something I can’t afford.

Going to see this little fine beauty next week. I hope she’s in as good of condition as she seems from her pictures. Since I’m a wee bit superstitious I would paint her hull white as soon as I could.

The devil is in the details, so they say. I’m going to look at two boats in New England next week. I’ve done a thorough job in determining whether the boats are worth my time, and “thorough” is not an adjective normally used to describe myself. “Haphazard” is more like it. But I must admit emailing back and forth with the owners, talking with them on the phone, contacting other sailors who own the same type of boats, spending hours researching, it’s been a surprisingly satisfying experience. I haven’t acted this studious in many years. In fact, nearly two years ago I couldn’t even bring myself to finish my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) online certification, and I’d paid $400 for it.

I don’t have a car but luckily I have a good friend whom I haven’t seen in two years who lives in New England and she’s offered to pay for half of a rental car and her parents have a house on Cape Cod where we will stay. We will gallivant around the shores of New England looking at potential boats for me and exploring the region to see if it’s where I’d like to keep the boat and live for the sailing season.

Once again this entire process is a mixture of excitement and terror. I can certainly afford to to buy the boat, but can I afford the boat in general? Most likely not–I’m an underemployed journalist and a waitress, but just like when I get overly optimistic about a boat when I become too negative I must also tell myself to “SNAP OUT OF IT.”IMG_1458



  1. Good luck on your journey and have fun!

  2. Buying a sailboat is not as financially awful as all the old crusty folks will tell you, at least not in my experience. If you find something small, simple, without many flashy things, gizmos (although, if they do come with the boat consider them a bonus perhaps), but also complete, in good enough condition that you will not have to buy a thousand tiny stainless steel parts right away that cost 20 bucks each, and you can anchor somewhere safe, the process will be worth it.

    I often heard analogies such as a boat being ‘like a black hole that eats money’, or ‘throwing money into the water’, but the truth is, my rent in Vancouver was precisely like flushing 1200 dollars down the toilet each month, whereas my second sailboat, a Wharram Tiki 21 Catamaran at the time, cost me barely nothing more than her physical self ($1500) and her transport to water ($1200), some of which was made back when I sold her. I’m currently terrified by my student loans, and the cost of a degree that hasn’t earned me much more salary than my restaurant jobs in the past. I’ve never regretted the little boats though – they’ve been worth every penny, every itchy fiberglass moment, every sticky epoxy mess.

    Enjoy the experience, good hunting, and good luck!