Monday, June 15, 2015

Not ever perfect...

When my grandfather was a very young man he was a Teamster. He was a Teamster when that meant driving teams of horses as the primary way of getting heavy things moved. He followed the “horse power” as it became a description of the amount of force an engine could apply to the same task of moving heavy things. Though he spent some years driving those new “teams” his real talent lie in keeping the new engines running. That made him a member of the very first generation of people who could rightly be called “mechanics”. One of the things he taught me was, “Getting it perfect will always be in the way of getting it done.” Words of wisdom for anyone who pays the bills by pushing completed jobs out the shop door.

It is a bit of wisdom that applies equally well to airplanes, motorcycles, boats, houses, and books.

Among the projects we have worked on while being back on land for a while has been the final edit and revision of our book, How NOT to Buy a Cruising Boat. It was a different kind of project for us, not nearly as much pure physical effort as most of our projects, more fun in a way, and more frustrating as well. No matter how many times the written page gets reviewed, no matter how many talented people are doing the reviewing, at each new reading another imperfection will stand out, demanding to be fixed. The same word used too often, some awkward phrasing, and spelling and punctuation errors. Those, I was surprised to find out, are often open to debate among experts in English and writing. It turns out some of the "codes" are more like suggestions. But one still needs to work on getting it as correct as possible. But not perfect. Not ever perfect.

But we did get it done.

And so my bone-headed, often misguided, bumbling path from living in a house to living on a boat is out there for everyone to see, laugh at and, hopefully, learn from. There are surely other ways to do it wrong as even I can't make all of the mistakes myself. How NOT to Buy a Cruising Boat is my story of getting here in spite of myself. For any who are working at their own "Retirement Project" we offer it as a red flag set along roads we found rutted, potholed, and barely survivable; with hopes the reader will find an easier one that leads to the dream of cruising.

Along with being as honest as I can be about my own stumbling, there are some very harsh assessments of much of the boating industry. To my friends who are members of that industry who, in no way, deserve to be in the line of fire, all I can say is, "Sorry". Your dedication and help was fundamental to us making it "out here" but, in my experience, you are in the minority. Without you the cruising world would have collapsed into a playground exclusive to the very rich long, long ago.

Ed Note: The book is available on At the moment, only the printed paperback is available but the Kindle version will be released soon.


Robert Sapp said...

Congratulations on your latest publication. I definitely know what a labor of love it is. I'm looking forward to reading it once it's available on Kindle!

Robert & Rhonda
S/V Eagle Too

Mike Boyd said...

Congratulations guys! are very correct as best I can tell...good people in the boating industry are extremely rare.


RoyC said...

We've been enjoying your blog for a long time as we are slowly working our way towards our final "retirement project". Having just recently purchased a Van de Stadt 34, the dream is in sight albeit still a few years off.
Will certainly purchase the Kindle book.
Roy Clarke
Cape Town, South Africa

Deb said...

The Kindle version is coming. Unfortunately, Amazon's formatting in the Kindle version is terrible and requires a ton of manual editing so it may be a while, but I'm working as fast as I can!

Thanks for the kind words.

Zeb said...

Long time follower. Bought the book, received it yesterday and read it in one sitting. Putting up a review on Amazon for you. Thought it was great!

- Zeb

Deb said...

Zeb thank youso much for the very kind review. It's very nice to have two years of work validated.