A Dream Deferred

All men dream, but notequally.
Those who dream by night, in the dusty recesses of their minds,
wake in the day to find that it was vanity.
But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.
– T.E. Lawrence

My dad and stepmom bought a new catamaran, a Sunsail 384.  Their current boat, a Prout 31, is about as old as I amand lacks systems and amenities for comfortable cruising.  It probably also requires a bit moremaintenance than my dad cares for anymore. 
And lastly, the boat is located about 1,200 miles from where theyultimately want it.

The news is exciting to us on a number of levels.  They have been looking at new catamarans forabout 19 years by my count.  Since I wasa teenager.  They were regulars at theboat shows and there were always magazines and brochures around the house. 

It is tough for a kid to accurately gauge the seriousness ofan adult’s dreams, a child’s view of the world being much simpler than an adult’s.  So I spent a portion of my formative years withthe notion that buying a large catamaran was actually possible.  And it stuck with me.

The first boat I recall them dreaming about with apparentseriousness was a Privilege 48.  Thisimaginary boat even had a name.  Thatwould have been about 1991.  As I writethis aboard my own 48-foot catamaran, built in 1991, it is impossible not to thinkof that boat, and those dreams, as our beginning.

But as we were developing the Five Year Plan that led to thepurchase of our boat, we came to the realization that they would probably neverbuy theirs.  They didn’t have a plan, orwhat plan they did have started and ended with winning the lottery.  They went on to develop property interests inPanama, which I assumed was a replacement for the boat dream.  So I was surprised a couple months ago when Iheard they were making a trip to Ft Lauderdale to look at a boat, even moresowhen I learned they had a plan.

They are buying the boat through the Sunsail Yacht PartnershipProgram.  Many charter companies haveprograms like this whereby the company will take care of the boat, paying allexpenses and performing all maintenance, while it is used by charter guests.  The program guarantees a certain amount of monthlyincome for the owner which is expected to cover any loan payments.  At the end of the program period, owners takepossession of the boat or the charter company will help them sell it throughtheir brokerage.

During the term of the program, owners have rights to usetheir boat for a certain number of weeks a year.  They can also trade the usage of their own boatfor boats in other locations.  This is oneof the benefits of using a larger company. 
Sunsail has bases in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, theMediterranean, and the Indian Ocean. 
Pretty much anywhere you’d want to go sailing.  My parents’ boat will be based in Belize,which is very close to where they will ultimately keep it in Panama when itcomes out of charter.

I think we’re all hoping that they’ll use some of those built-inchartering vacations to visit us at various points along our way.  Conveniently, there is a Sunsail base right wherewe’re headed in the Bahamas.

I often wonder: if our lives were influenced by seeing myfather dream, even when the dream seemed out of reach, what will be the effecton my children when our dreams are lived daily?