Thursday, July 25, 2013

Project overload

In my demented little brain The Retirement Project has morphed into Project Overload. Deb is completely buried under the house, trying to get it emptied and readied for the rental market, with something like 10 days left for her to get it done. It doesn't help that she is essentially doing it alone, but I am as buried trying to get the boat ready for the truck. So jammed is the schedule that the workbench project was being used as a workbench to finish the workbench project. And though finished just a day or so ago it is already cluttered with the tools being used to get the self-steering gear installed.

That project is, as expected, going slow. For all of my complaints about the shoddy way the boating industry goes about its business, the butt end of a Tartan 42 turns out to be a serious chunk of fiberglass. Boring the 3.5 inch hole that is the heart of the project has already chewed up two days of effort, two hole saws, and a couple of other bits. And it isn't done yet. It turns out the transom is thicker than your average hole saw is deep; not a problem if I had access to both sides from which to drill. But, so far, I haven't figured out how to access the transom from inside the boat. Once upon a time crawling into the outboard wing bays of B-52s to pound rivets and insert systems was just another day of work. That was once upon was a long time ago. I fear that level of flexibility may be beyond my battered and bruised self, to say nothing of not being nearly as calloused about squeezing into small places as I used to be. But I'll figure out something. I just haven't figured out what that something is, yet.

I'm told this is normal, that everyone who has ever moved from the land to the sea has had to climb this mountain. The accent involves getting rid of stuff while the descent is mostly getting a boat into the water. I wonder if I should be worried since, as any climber will tell you, most fatalities occur while getting down, not going up. Anyway...

... I am going to offer a bit of advice to any who might be following this blog with hopes of joining the sea-living community some day. Though I have been critical of setting a "go" date I think I've changed my mind. Go ahead, set a date because it really doesn't matter. What matters is pulling the trigger on actually going one year ahead of said date. Yep, one year. Put the house on the market, get it emptied out. Sell all the stuff you have accumulated over the decades. That stuff may actually be worth quite a bit IF you have the time to spend selling it. Deb and I don't have the time so thousands of dollars are being left behind, left in the hands of people who are getting some very good deals. If your nice car actually sells while you still need wheels, go out and get a "junker". It will get the job done and give you practice driving "loner" cars. (At least if marina loner cars are anything like airport loner cars.) The house goes? Same thing, get a small (all your stuff is gone or going, right) cheap apartment ... or go ahead and move onto the boat if you can.

All the spare time you have not taking care of the stuff you have unloaded will be sucked up (I promise you) by getting the boat ready. If you don't have a boat yet then all of that time can be spent finding just the right one at just the right price. Which puts you way ahead of the game.

Had I known then what I know now I would have kept little Nomad on the lake, sailing and living aboard as much as possible. I would take the year and get rid of everything methodically, banking as much money as I could as we went along. When it was all done Nomad would have been shipped east at a fraction of the coast of moving the Tartan. (If the house had sold quickly we would have just spent some more time living on a 27 foot Compac. There are worse things ... trust me.) She would splash in salt water with a "FOR SALE" sign on her bow and we would go find the right boat at the right price. Sure we would move onto a "new" boat needing work ... which would be about what we are doing anyway.

Of course I didn't now then the things I know now, and we started all of this living about as far away from an ocean as is possible to be. Those already living near the sea may have a slightly different mountain to climb.

But start a year early ... I promise it will make things a lot easier.


Sabrina and Tom said...

We found it was just the nature of the fact that we were changing absolutely everything in our life.

S/v Honey Ryder Caliber 40 LRC

Latitude 43 said...

I don't think it matters how far ahead you prepare. You still go bananas trying to get it all done in time, until you get to a point and just say screw it, we're outta here.

Mike M. said...

It'll all be worth it in the end. You'll probably look back on this and be laughing one day...while you're sitting in the cockpit on a beautiful tropical evening!