It’s the last weekend of my much-needed three week break from work. The menfolk are up in Bellingham doing projects on Danger Kitten and getting Andrew settled in for the second quarter of the academic year, so I have the house all to myself. I know what you are thinking: “She is going to lay around in her pajamas all day, eating bonbons, playing games on the Wii,  maybe have a spa day, sleep in the middle of the bed, and in general, act like a sloth. She probably won’t even make the bed or shower.”  But you would be wrong. Oh, so very, very wrong.

Yes, that is what I would LIKE to be doing, but that’s not how things actually work when we’ve just re-listed our sailboat with the broker just down the waterway from us, and when we are now getting to understand what it is to experience ‘seriousness’ in the little matter of selling said beloved boat. When those things begin to happen, there is no rest for the wicked.

Thus I have spent this afternoon taking everything ‘personal’ off the boat. And except for the engine parts and sails that are staying, that means pretty much everything on the boat had to go. And I am the only one available to move it.

There is so much stuff on this boat!

There is so much stuff on this boat! We’re talking 8 trips to the car with a loaded cart.

As I began taking things out of storage spaces, cabinets, out from under bunks, I began to realize that until now, we really had made no serious effort to make this boat attractive to another person. Maybe even though we were serious about selling her, we weren’t serious about letting someone else have her, you know? Sure, we cleaned her up, finished some projects Mike wanted to complete, had taken a lot of things home already and all that, but even so, anyone looking at Moonrise must surely have felt like they were looking at a boat that still ‘belonged’ to someone else, not a boat that could be theirs. It’s a little hard to put into words, and I certainly know nothing about the psychology of selling anything, but I’m imagining that anyone looking at this boat would have had trouble seeing past the fact that we were still really actively using it! Maybe it felt like the boat wasn’t really ‘available’, like she was still going steady with us; we hadn’t quite broken it off with her.  I mean, we still had her outfitted where we could take off at a moment’s notice. How could potential buyers picture themselves in that boat when it was not a blank canvas waiting for them to fill in the details? 20130104_4

When we originally listed Moonrise with Lee, the broker we know up in Seattle, he had told us to take ‘everything personal’ off the boat, and we thought we understood him. But I don’t think we really did. It’s not that he didn’t say it right, it’s just that probably we weren’t ready to hear it, and at that point we were sailing her all the time because it was summer. This time, we’re listing with a broker in the same waterway as us, because she is local and can show the boat and work the selling of it actively. It makes sense, and we’re in a different place in our plan. If we don’t get this show on the road, we won’t have enough time to get the new boat paid for and outfitted before we want to leave. We’re not exactly trust fund babies, after all. So when Sue said, “You may as well get everything you want off the boat.”, we heard it differently. “Everything?”, I asked, a little stunned. She nodded. And this time, we understood.

So everything’s off the boat. It was more than a little bittersweet making all those trips from the boat to the car. But the process helped me clear my mind and helped me begin to let go of this boat we love, knowing we will love the next one just as much. Having all of our sailing gear on the boat only made us more involved with her, and it took 8 trips to the car with a loaded cart for me to come to terms with that.

I have another day to myself tomorrow. I’ll be spending that day cleaning the boat top to bottom, doing my best to create that blank canvas for someone else’s dream. Maybe they’ll be able to sense the excitement, the adventure, the joy that is surely part of the soul of this boat now. Those things, after all, can never be erased.


At the marina.

At the marina.

12 thoughts on “Seriousness

  1. I have always heard that it’s easier to sell things when they are devoid of personal touches. I imagine even more so on a boat where you can’t see the depth of cabinets or the space of the vberth if it has stuff about.

    Must be scaring getting serious about selling her, but you want to move forward and get a different boat. Have been trying to for a while now.

    good luck, I really hope the right buyer comes along. Hopefully right in time for summer sailing.

  2. I figure it gives us a good opportunity to really go through all the things we had on the boat, anyhow. Actually, the boat doesn’t look much different unless you look inside the lockers. I’m not too worried about whether or not she sells because there are good arguments for keeping her, and good arguments for selling her. Kind of like your recent post, it’s all about perception in some ways, even though there are some physical aspects of a boat like Moonrise that would make sailing to Mexico more daunting. If she sells, fine, but if not, then we’ll go as far as she can take us. Lots of people have sailed Cal 34’s over the ocean. It just isn’t our first choice, so we have to make sure we’ve really been serious about trying.

  3. I am sure that now that you have made the psychological adjustment that Moonrise needs to find her next owner it will happen. You have put so much work into her and have made so many memories on her it is bound to be a little bittersweet when she sells. Hopefully the new owners will keep you updated on her adventures. I am sort of feeling the same way about getting our house ready to sell and I don’t even like the house!

    • I think it was you who said we needed to get ‘serious’ about selling Moonrise, and that word has resonated with me. Oh my, I can totally relate to your feelings about the house! I love my house, but we’ve never liked the area where we live and have thought about moving many times. The market has driven only part of our decision to stay put. Plus, I worry that if we sell it, we’ll never be in a position to buy another one. That’s probably not true, but it might be, so I fear I will want to hold on. My military upbringing, where I moved almost every year, makes me loathe to pull up roots I’ve put down. I’m always thinking about how much to tell of the ‘back story’ of our lives on this blog, but then I figure the blog is not all about the sailing, it’s about the transition of this time of our lives, and about the ups and downs of that transition. I guess it’s not all going to be sunshine and roses. I hope you will blog about your process of getting ready to let go of your house.

  4. Finally able to start catching up on your blog! I’ve got to go back and read your other posts, but I can relate to what you’re going through somewhat. As you know, we’re trying to sell our house. While we can’t remove everything yet, I imagine the process of preparing to “let go” is similar. Like a house, your boat was sometimes your home and it stores a lot of memories.

    Good luck, and like you said …. whatever happens will work out!

    • Yes, that is exactly the attitude I’m trying to keep! I know you guys have had more than your share of problems getting that house ready to sell, and in a tough market, too. I imagine you are more than ready to have a buyer take it off your hands. I’m really hoping that we can rent our house out for a couple of years while we see how long we will want to live on a boat and travel. If the dream doesn’t quite live up to the reality, or if something else happens, it would be nice to still have the property at home. But we shall see. We may have to sell.

  5. I can truly understand your sense of getting ready to let go of your boat. We are in the process of deciding to rent the beach house or not. If we do it means taking all the personal stuff out of there that we have accumulated over the last 16 years. It would be for weekend/weekly renters which means we need someone to keep an eye on them and someone to clean the house when they leave. We just don’t get to use it much anymore with the alpacas taking so much of our free time. When we finally get a weekend to go down we have no alpaca care person. Otherwise they seem to be available & wanting to work, just not always when we want them. It is interesting to me how life changes. I never in my life thought I’d be raising alpacas and NEVER thought I’d be giving up any time at the beach.

    • I can’t believe you aren’t using the beach house as much anymore, although i can certainly see why. You never knew when you decided to raise alpacas how they would change your life!

  6. Packing up is such a move in finality. But until you sign the sale papers she is still under your flag. The move you just made is like the steps we go thru letting go of our kids and sending them out into the world on their own. Some day you WILL send Moonrise out into another family and as with our children you will always have a tie and be proud of what others think of her. That day IS coming in its own time.

    • You are so right, Betty, it does feel a bit like that. If she doesn’t sell by summer, we’ll probably need to rethink selling her. I think we have her priced about as low as we can go at this point. It’s brutal for sellers out there, but hopefully what we lose on our boat, we’ll make up with a decent deal on the next one.

Leave a Reply to Melissa Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.