Boat Lust and Teeth Gnashing

I fear I have an addiction. No, I’m not into drinking or doing mind-altering drugs. But I continue to engage in an activity that, by its very nature, is probably not good for me and makes me feel weepy and frantic at times. It’s like one minute I’m on a magic carpet and the next minute I’m in a tumbling free fall until I come smack down to earth. Still, I continue, knowing this will happen again and again. I feel somewhat powerless in the face of this behavior. I don’t exactly ‘hide’ this behavior from my husband or friends, not exactly, but other signs of addiction are mounting. I spend more and more time engaging in the behavior. I neglect other parts of my life in order to give myself wholly to this endeavor. It owns me, heart and soul.  I speak, of course, of looking at boats on

Okay, so I'm doing it again. What's your point?

I can spend literally hours at a time cruising the Yachtworld pages. I have a running list of boats I like, most of which are not even listed anymore. I compare the boats available in the Great Lakes region to the ones available on the East coast, to those in California, to those in my own Pacific Northwest (where I will have to pay about 9% sales tax on a boat! Damn! That’s going to cut into the budget seriously!).  I consider the wisdom of buying a boat in Mexico or Canada.

But, hey, I’m doing research! I mean, I do learn a lot about what I like and don’t like about each boat. I guess you could say that all of this looking is helping us narrow down what’s important to us. But mostly it makes me feel like whining.

In spite of myself I’ve experienced price creep in my longings. I started out keeping my searches to a reasonable price of 50,000$. Yes, that IS a lot of money. But not for a sailboat. It’s not going to buy you much of a sailboat. So I upped it to 75,000$.  That buys a bit more. That will buy a boat that is workable for our little plan, but will still need substantial upgrading if I want to feel safe and prepared at sea, which I do.

Like all good addictions, that wasn’t enough. Soon I had to increase the price to $100,000. I hear all the gasps of pain from you readers, especially those of you who are not owned by boats. It’s a crazy amount of money. But this will basically be our HOUSE for a number of years if all goes as planned. Does it still sound like too much? Yeah. That’s what I thought, too. So I started looking at boats between 100,000 and 200,000$. Did you catch that complete disconnect there?  Dear God there are some beautiful floating houses out there. Now I’m REALLY flying out of my league. Way, way out.

Not even close to my price range.

The day is coming when the shopping needs to end and a decision needs to be made. I think we are getting closer to making that decision to buy a different boat, my addiction not withstanding. The money we’re spending on a boat now needs to be spent on a boat that will take us to Mexico and beyond in the future. This is only logical, people. It must have been that logic that caused me to fall completely in love with an Oyster39 center cockpit for sale up in Sydney BC. I had looked at the boat on line couple of times before and thought it looked very nice, not to mention that Oyster yachts have a fine reputation as blue water cruisers. And the price was right, too. Unbelievable.

So here is where the teeth gnashing comes in. I contacted the broker, only to be told that an offer had been written on the boat THE DAY BEFORE! Oh my dear GOD in Heaven!! Teeth gnashing doesn’t even begin to cover it. There was wailing and carrying on and tearing of hair, at least inside my head. There were visions of me prostrate on the ground, praying to whatever little gods are in charge of boat-buying to save that boat for us. I believe wheedling and deal-making may have been involved. There began to be actual praying that the sale would fall through for whatever poor soul is buying our boat. How unworthy of me! I had to pull myself up short. And believe me when I say it was HARD! I still have my moments. Sniff.

So I fear I have willingly bought a ticket for the worst kind of roller coaster. Last time I rode a roller coaster I had vertigo for a week. I had trouble telling where the ground was. I’d wake up in the night and clutch the bed, thinking I was falling.  Let’s hope this experience is not more of the same. I’d like to keep my sanity intact. Meanwhile, Mike is holding onto his wallet for dear life.

I tell you, this is important research!

11 thoughts on “Boat Lust and Teeth Gnashing

  1. Oh dear! Last night (before I read this blog post) I was thinking it would be fun to buy you a book that talks about the best types of sailboats/accessories for your type of adventure…but I don’t want to be an enabler! LOL

  2. I really really feel your pain on this one. I tell ya. Before we found Sundowner, I was a total hound on yachtworld. Days and nights agonizing over all the details.

    In the end I came to the conclusion that you’ll have to spend a ton of money upfront on a well fitted out boat, or you’re going to have to replace almost everything. Obviously we took the “replace everything” path since we’re poor. But hey, at least we’re gaining experience doing it. 😉

    My addiction subsided some once I had our boat. Well… No it didn’t. It just transformed. Instead of yachtworld, now my obsession is defender and westmarine.

    I’m really hoping one day my addiction changes to guide books about sandy clean beaches with island girls/guys that serve you colorful drinks that have little umbrellas in them.

    1 (boats) -> 2 (boat stuff) -> 3 (sandy beaches) Tate’s three step program.

    • Well, I’m in good company, then. It’s just a sickness, I tell you. Then I got an email from the broker of that sweet Oyster 39 (DAMN! It’s still killing me.) asking if we’d like to put in a back up offer, even though he already has one back up offer. I just don’t think I can play that game on a boat I haven’t even seen, even though I would probably buy it sight unseen if money was no object.
      Yes, we’ll be going the ‘replace everything and do it ourselves’ route too. We might be old, but we’re poor. We spent all our money on our kids. Oh wait, we’re still doing it!

  3. I know your pain and have empathy. I have been looking at the S-2C. A nice center cockpit easily single handed etc.etc. etc. 🙂 Then I go back to my tradional cutter and dream about simplicity and boats designed by Lyle Hess. One thing I do know is that my last sailboat was nothing more than a hole in the water, into which I threw money. 🙂 Thats when you know you are addicted you come back for more. 🙂

  4. Oh man, that’s the worst kind of hole: the kind the sucks up your money. We, too, go back and forth about the kind of boat. This latest Oyster 39 is the only one I’ve seen so far that I can say I would likely be able to keep happily for at least 10 years. I know I cannot tell the future, but it has enough creature comforts that I could see that happening. Right now my favorite designers are Bob Perry and Holman and Pye, the designers of that Oyster.
    I guess as long as I’m just looking but not buying, this isn’t such a bad addiction. But we’re supposed to meet a broker tomorrow to look at a Swanson, and possibly an Islander. I’ll probably write about it to help me organize my thoughts.

  5. Ah, those long winter nights filled with trolling Yachtworld. For me, the payoff was getting a Cal 36 for less than 20k, upgrading her myself for another 10k or so, and sailing off into the wild blue yonder. When I finally sold her, the surveyor kept raving about the wonderful condition of the boat that I, a mere ‘girl’, rebuilt. Yes, it can be done for not a lot of money, but I do believe it depends on a certain alliance of stars, planets, dumb luck, and timing. Not to mention wonderfully helpful friends.

    Your site is great, and I hope that serendipity finds you soon in the shape of a perfect boat at a perfect price!

  6. Hi Kit, and welcome! With encouragement like that, please stop by often! We do think about a larger Cal as our ocean going vessel. We feel like we ‘know’ those boats. I know you get it having owned two of them. After the sticker shock I experienced yesterday, I’ve been scouring Craigslist as well. Oh well. I’m going to find that boat!
    However you found us, glad to have you around!

  7. The teeth gnashing can be fierce, I warn you. I must learn to see that boat that is actually in front of me, not the boat I ‘know it CAN be’. I had the same trouble with houses. That’s how we ended up with two huge remodels.

  8. You wouldn’t regret it! Plus, looking at boats is pretty fun, in spite of the gnashing of teeth about the ‘ones that got away’.

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