Saturday, August 29, 2015
Reply to a reader
Posted by TJ
Many of the people who read "How NOT to Buy a Cruising Boat" touch bases with us afterward. Since it is a modest number we are able to keep up with the correspondence which, it turns out, it one of the coolest things about having written a book.
A recent reply to someone who has wandered in the higher offices of a boat manufacturer (and who agreed with our take on the industry) took off in directions unexpected and turned itself into a blog post. So I figured I would post it.
(No permission asked so Name not Included),
I am glad you enjoyed the book and thank you for the kind words. Virtually everyone we know, and who lives full time on a sailboat, has horror stories of dealing with the marine industry. Stories that go far beyond those of dealing with any other industry. It is a shame really, and I often wish that our story of "How NOT to Buy a Cruising Boat" was one that didn't need to be written. The cruising life, though not for everyone, is one that respects the realities everyone on the planet is learning to face. A cruising boat can be, and many are, nearly energy independent. Power is point produced and consumption is balanced carefully against that production. There are waste water treatment systems that allow the cruiser to leave the water behind them cleaner than it was. Water makers are common and getting ever better, allowing the cruiser to produce fresh water rather than lining up to consume the rapidly depleting store found on land. Both waste treatment and fresh water making are onsite capabilities that do not rely on complicated, expensive infrastructures vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters.
Cruising boats, at least the ones most of us can afford, are extremely efficient living spaces. We estimate Kintala has about 400 square feet in which to fit our lives. Yet it is all that we need to live well whereever we want to be. The "bigger is better" mentality of America will soon be passé, if it isn't already. Downsizing is a step forward in the quality of one's life, not a step back. Greed is not good, and "mine is bigger than yours" is the most childish of empty boasts. It is an illness of the heart that Mother Earth will cure one way or the other, and future generations will be better for it.
Cruising boats are, by their very definition, mobile. Rising sea levels may impact the marinas we visit, but they will not be flooding our basements and reducing our boats' "property value" to zero. Boats can, and many of us do, simply move with the seasons to avoid the worst of the storms and weather. This isn't to say that everyone should be a nomad, but nomads do ease the burden on the earth. When it is hot we move to places that don't need air conditioning. When it is cold we move to places that don't need heat. Those rooted to one place are, in no manor, inferior to those of us who wander. But the reverse is true as well.
Which is the long way of saying that the marine industry could be, and should be, on the leading edge, the proving ground, of designing, manufacturing, delivering, and supporting, the kinds of efficient, infrastructure independent, yet comfortable and safe housing that the world needs to face the future. Instead it has become the playground for knaves and thieves of all sorts, profiteers and hustlers.
"How NOT to buy a Cruising Boat" is our story, but it is also a story of an industry that is missing a huge opportunity to do good things in the world.
Thanks again, maybe we will see you somewhere along the way. Kintala will turn her bow south in the next week or so. With any luck she will be in No Name Harbor again, long before the year runs out.