There’s an old saying among boaters, “The two happiest days are the day you buy your boat, and the day you sell it.” We boaters buy and sell because there is always a better boat. Better doesn’t necessarily mean bigger, but so far, all my boats have been successively larger.
I love screwing around with boats. If I’m not with them, I’m thinking about them. Sorta like being in love! Selling them doesn’t make me happy but what can I do? I can’t keep them all. Can I?
“No Rick. You can’t.”
“But why not?”
“Because they’re big and expensive. You don’t have the room or the money.”
“Oh yeah. There’s that.”
It’s not like guitars or jack-knives–God knows I can’t have too many of those–it just feels wrong to give my heart to more than one boat at a time.
The XO and I wanted a bigger boat, but in order to do that we had to sell our old boat friend Ginger Lee. That was really hard emotionally. For well over ten years she took us safely and comfortably to wherever we pointed her bow; so many miles; so many memories. We ran out of new ports to visit in New England so we did The Great Loop.
In all the years we had Ginger Lee she never asked for anything more than a couple of fan belts and a fuel pump. Nevertheless, we sold her to the right person for not so much money as we have lavished on her. Not even close. Boats and cars have this in common, you can never get back what you’ve put into them. It’s better to turn them over to a new owner for a reasonable price knowing that you have made someone happy.
Did you ever have a car that always ran well? One that didn’t ask too much of you or give you a hard time. It’d always start up even on the coldest mornings and would idle there making lovely engine music. “Lum lum lum lum lum”. It made you happy, and you felt that good driving it. How ’bout that car that left you stranded on the side of the road? It would often fail inspection and always needed brakes, or lights, or something. Mechanical things like cars and boats have personalities. Why else would we name them?
I’m not sure why, but buying a bigger boat has proven to be difficult. Maybe it’s the times we live in–the pandemic and all–but even after we found an awesome vessel it was a solid two months before we obtained physical possession. At one point during the whole ordeal I asked the broker: “How ’bout we send you the money and you send us the title?” That brought a chuckle to the guy, then he went on and on about the process and how everything has to be done right and in a certain order and in a certain way so that everybody is protected.
“It’s for your own good,” he said. Blah, blah, blah.
I suppose he’s right because there’s a lot of money involved, but it seems to me the process could be streamlined. For instance, about a month prior a prospective buyer had a complete survey done. Do we really need another? According to the surveyor who took our money we certainly do. And so did the captain we hired to drive the boat to the marina we paid to haul it out so said surveyor can re-inspect the bottom. Geez, it took less time and effort to buy our house! But I get it. Boats are not houses. They have engines, they can move around, they float, they can sink, and the inherent dangers of the environment in which they operate is obvious.
Getting insurance was a bear. Our old boat Ginger Lee was insured by Progressive for liability and an “agreed upon value” which was also what we paid for her. Unfortunately they have a limit as to how much they will underwrite. We had to look elsewhere but eventually got it done. The funny thing is, we had to insure it before we actually owned it. Just one of the many hoops we had to jump through.
We are all travelers in this universe, sailors on the sea of life, if you will. The course we set for ourselves is merely a guideline. What truly transpires during our precious journey is sometimes as unpredictable as life and death. The longer I live the more I understand this. Shit happens, lives change, and for reasons beyond our control the XO and I found ourselves in the enviable position of being able to afford a bigger boat. Well, we got one. It’s a done deal and we are very happy, but it’s not the end of the story. Oh no, in fact, it’s just the beginning. With a boat like this the XO and I can literally go wherever the wind takes us.
Even a dreamer like myself never imagined that this could be possible at a time of my life when such romantic notions seem unlikely; I’m freakin’ old! But here it is, a new episode of our lives together, and best of all, dear reader, I can indulge my narcissistic self by writing all about it.