Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Boat

We are, realistically, 6-10 years from retirement. The reasons behind this are money, money, and money. In order to pay cash for the boat (we don't want a loan on it) we have to have enough equity in the house to sell the house and buy the boat. We are 4 years into a 15 year mortgage on the house, so (assuming the housing market doesn't do a total dive) by the end of 10 years we would have enough to buy a decent boat and enough in savings to live on it. So we have decided on a range of prices based on what we think the housing market will do in that time period.

We started out looking at houseboats, only because I was worried about so many small spaces and felt I could live on a houseboat that we saw that actually had more square footage than the duplex we currently live in. We could take nearly all of our stuff, including my husband's rather obscenely large toolbox, and would actually be able to take our motorcycles onto the boar's deck. The only problem with this boat choice is that we would not be able to take it in the ocean, and while a good bit of our family lives accessible by rivers, some of it is only accessible by ocean. Nix the houseboat, on to an ocean-going power boat.

The ocean-going power boat still has big rooms and a spacious deck. Not big enough for the toolbox or the motorcycles, but plenty big enough to avoid issues with the small spaces. The ocean-going boat has the advantage of traveling to all family members in good time but has one very distinct disadvantage. Unless we win the lottery, we can't afford to put fuel in it. Nix the ocean-going power boat. Enter the sailboat.

While the idea of sailing is something that appeals greatly to me, and I have enjoyed the times I have sailed (I can count them on one hand by the way), the idea of my house tilting at a 45 angle seemed a bit much like living on my motorcycle in a perpetual corner. Nix the sailboat. Enter the catamaran.

Ahhhhhh. After much looking and talking and internet searching and book reading and talking to boat owners, we may have finally found our boat type. Sails well. No expensive fuel required except for docking and generating power. Stays upright while sailing. Has a spacious, open, airy salon. The more we look at these boats the more we like them. We have plans to take a week-long, liveaboard sailing class on a catamaran next year. This class will be the telling point. It may be, after living on a catamaran with 4 other people for a week, we may smile at each other and say what a nice vacation we had, and go on to other retirement plans. Then again, we may get off the cat and decide we need to find some way to make it work a lot sooner than 10 years.

Stay tuned...

The Dream Boat?
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