Originally Posted by Pluto
She looked at me and said she cant wait. Neither can I.
Of course one doesn't want to get themselves into a financial situation that ends up forcing one to live in a cardboard box under a freeway. So a boat acquisition should be approached with the same intelligence and care you would use in buying a house.
But..... while I've not seen it expressed on this forum yet, back when I used to participate in the Trawlers and Trawlering mailing list (T&T) I recall reading on fairly frequent occasions about couples who had planned for years to take up cruising upon retirement and who had saved and finally bought the boat of their dreams only to have a health problem (or simply age) swoop in and put an end to the dream.
Obviously health is a crap shoot and is not something that can be counted on one way or the other. But my wife and I have always believed that it's better to do something we want to to do as soon as we can swing it rather than wait until it's "safe." Because for most of us, that "safe" time never arrives.
So the two of us believe that things one really wants to do and are important to that person to
do should be done as soon as it's at all possible. We have followed that philosophy for everything from flying floatplanes up and down the Inside Passage to Alaska, to running canal boats in England, to acquiring the cruising boat we have today.
No, you don't want to be stupid about it and put too much at risk just for the sake of doing what you want to do. But it's very easy to talk one's self out of doing something big like buying a cruising boat until a better time. And then that better time never seems to quite arrive until one day you find that you can't do what you want to do no matter how much you want to it, and the opportunity has passed you by for good.
You only go around once, as they say, so why not try to do and see as much as one possibly can during that revolution. Most of us will never be able to do everything we would like to do, but I also think that most of us will not do as much as we could have done had we tried a bit harder to make it work.
So don't be dumb and put yourselves in jeopardy, but don't be shy and let an opportunity to do something really cool slip by you, either.
Speaking only for me and my wife, the value of owning our boat and using it cannot be measured in dollars and cents, nor can it be justified in dollars and cents. It can only be measured and justified by how it has enriched our lives and our relationship. And that is something that outweighs any argument, pro or con, based purely on dollars.
The years I've been around so far have taught me to place a lot of credibility in what my gut tells me. Pro and con lists are great and a good thing to draw up, I think. But in the end, I do what just feels right even if it's not what the objective lists tell me should be right.
Selecting a boat is the same thing. Look at lots of them if you think that's a good approach. Charter one or some if you think that will help you determine if you even like the cruising thing (that's what we did). But when you come across the right boat, I think you'll instinctively know it. Don't stop using your head, but in the end I think it will be your gut that will help you make the right decision.
When Alan Mulally was head of the 777 program at Boeing and later became president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, I worked with him on a fairly regular basis. He always had a little sign on his desk that said, "Remember, this is supposed to be fun." I think it applies to boating every bit as much as it does to building airplanes.