Living vs. Sailing

One of the things we’ve learned while cruising is what a small percentage of time is spent underway.  I may have to turn in my man card for this, but I think men often lose sight of this when choosing and outfitting a boat.

Every boat is a compromise, and we have always liked the choices made when Take Two was drawn.  We are still happy in that regard, but if we were ever to buy another boat we might reconsider many of the designs that were summarily rejected before.  Beyond basic seaworthiness, bridgedeck clearances, displacements, and weight distribution just don’t seem as important now as they once did.  Admittedly, they would be more important if we were crossing oceans, underway for days on end, and unable to choose our weather as we now do.

Now don’t get me wrong: I love a sweet sailing boat.  And when we’re underway I’m usually trying to squeeze out every knot.  Realistically, though, much more time is spent at anchor where stability, a light airy interior, ventilation, and other creature comforts are more appreciated features overall.  Besides, I think we sail fast enough as it is.  I would not trade my big dinghy, generator, or watermaker for any amount of additional speed.

This perspective helps us prioritize the summer project list.  While the boat must remain functional, we’ve decided that sailing-related improvements are less important than those that pertain to our day-to-day comfort.  Should we buy new sails, new engines, and new navigation electronics?  That’s all on the list – but at the bottom.  No, our highest priorities are those that we’ll appreciate every day no matter where we are: a galley renovation, reupholstered cushions, shade-giving window covers and awnings, a second bathroom, a clothes washer.  Next priority is our bi-annual haulout to refresh the anti-fouling paint, which keeps us mobile and prevents a reef from growing under the boat.  Then, if we have any money left, I want to add dual wind turbines to reduce our dependence on the generator and extend our supply of diesel fuel.

Replacing the air conditioners will quickly go to the top of this list if they should happen to die while we’re in Florida this summer.  We’ve been waiting for it to happen.  We thought it had happened last summer until I realized the problem was just a $20 capacitor.  If we can’t escape from Florida at the end of the summer, then we’ll install a heating system to help us survive the winter.

Some readers may notice that the projects receiving priority are decidedly “pink” and suspect that Tanya has me at some disadvantage.  But I assure you that is not the case.  I came to these conclusions without (much) assistance, and maintain full control.  So keep your hands off my man card.  Thank you.