Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay


Sorry this post was delayed. The Captain has been looking for his ship to come in.

Literally. I want to buy a boat!

Being so close to the lakes area, it’s difficult to not be out there enjoying everything it has to offer.

Now, the Captain likes to read.

I read mostly fiction, mostly set in Key West or the Florida coast. And it seems everyone has a boat.

My favorite read right now is the “Trawler Trash” series by Ed Robinson. His blog “Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat” can be found in the list to the right. (Or go here.) He paints a very enticing picture of life on a boat...

Sure we have friends with boats. And they are kind enough to occasionally invite us to go out with them.

Much appreciated!

But there have been days – beautiful days! – when we have sat around waiting for an invitation that never came…

One of the local marinas does an annual in-water boat show (previously owned), and I always try to go.

Just looking, I tell myself. Can’t afford them anyway, I tell myself. Some day, I tell myself.

Teasing myself. Torturing myself.

If only I had an extra $30,000 laying around…

This year was no different. I immediately fell in love with an American Tug. Cute! Obviously cared-for. Well-appointed.

And bearing a $319,000 price tag!

Captain's Addendum 05-25-2017: I had the opportunity to tour the Tug today! It's amazing! The head has a dedicated shower stall, and there is even a washer/dryer on board!

Just as soon as I win the lottery...

Well, the boat show came and went this Spring; it was a cold and rainy weekend. When I was up there last week I noticed that many of the same boats were still in the water, waiting for someone to come buy them. So I decided I would go take another look.

When I pulled up, who should be standing there but my friend and fellow pirate, Captain Whitebeard.

He had come to the ship chandlery to buy a $4 part for his 22’ sailboat.

I explained why I was there, so he walked with me as I looked at cabin cruisers. Then he mentioned that he knew a woman who worked in the Yacht sales. “Come meet her.” So I did. As we talked, he asked - for himself - if she had any good sailboats in her listings. She took us down to another dock and showed us two or three that were – how do you say… “Project Boats”.

Of course, Captain Whitebeard is not afraid of tackling a project, but he wanted something nicer this time. So she took us to a 29.5-footer that was in amazing condition for its age. The owner was leaving town soon and needed to sell the boat fast, so the price was way below book value.

It took the weekend, but Captain Whitebeard’s First Mate fell in love with it too. They closed the deal yesterday!

So happy for them! We’ll be helping them set the sails this weekend.

But that leaves Captain Dave still without a boat.

Captain’s Note: Add to this [false] urgency the fact that the First Mate’s family is coming to spend a week at the lake with us, and boat rentals run around $350 per day.

Some describe boats as “money pits”, but spending that kind of coin on a rental also seems like throwing it away! As with renting a house, when you are done you have nothing to show for it.

So the Captain made a strategic retreat and aimed lower. Smaller boats closer to my price range. I began scouring internet listings. 

*Make the picture fuzzy so you can't really tell the condition of the boat.

*Only show the exterior; the interior is why this one is selling so cheap!

Uhm... no. Just. No. Nope. Nopitey nope! No way! No how!

One of the difficulties is that I’m not sure what kind of boat I really want…
Something flexible… 
Large enough to carry friends...
A good party boat…
And something livable for when the First Mate finally throws me out!

So I have looked at a lot of different boats.

I mean A LOT of boats!

What the Captain has discovered is that there is an invisible threshold in boat sales, as there is in car sales.

I occasionally have brief flashbacks of the process of buying my first car. Armed with $600 in my pocket, I looked at a lot of junks simply because they were “in my price range”.

Then I discovered auto loans.

And the Captain has been in debt ever since.

I have done a little research on boat loans and have a comfortable price range in mind. But it’s so easy to say, “For only $1,500 more we could get that one…” Or “For only $3,000 more we could get that one…” And before long I am daydreaming again of the big boats at the boat show.

“For only $25,000 more…”

“If I sold a kidney…”

But even for the more expensive of them, the Captain would still have to cut canon ports and supply my own canon!

What is this world coming to?

Captain’s Note: The First Mate is warming to the idea. But there is a lot of pegleg work left to do and time is running short.

Pray for me, brethren!