Owning a sailboat is not the choice of the sane. From a pure logic and economic perspective, a sailboat is packaged insanity. It will cost you more than you can possibly imagine, it will never give back any value close to what you put into it and it will demand more from you than the worst spouse imaginable.
But treated well she will be your most loyal friend and take you to places where dreams are made of and stories are told from. And where others will long with envy at the tales that trail in the water leaves behind.
If I was sane and rational, and I usually am, I wouldn’t own a sailboat. The pure financial aspect doesn’t make sense. It would be cheaper for me to charter a boat for the times I’ve sailed on my boat and even then, the costs of doing so work out to the hundreds of dollars per hour. Why do I do it?
For the convenience of having my boat when I want it, where I want and on my schedule. And for the fact that she is “mine”. Sharing a boat with someone else or using the one bought and paid for by others is like having a turn with the town prostitute. Eventually everyone will know her good points and bad points and the locals know who’s been out dallying with her.
Boats are best when they are monogamous. Just you and them. It’s ok to bring friends out with them to play and socialize but she goes home with you.
I love watching starry-eyed people at the sailboat show, giddy about the dream and talking about all the things they will do with a boat. Good boat brokers don’t sell boats; they sell dreams. They are weavers of fantasy, beguiling liars telling tales of faraway lands. And it works! I’m on my fourth boat. But I shake my head and smile at the dreamers. They’ll learn soon enough…
…that there are worse things to do with your money than buy a sailboat. In the end you may come to regret the purchase and may eventually get rid of her. We all eventually do. The two best days of a sailor’s life are the day you buy her and the day you sell her.
But the days in between count too. And those are the ones you will remember fondly long after the money is gone and the boat has found a new home. And you won’t begrudge them a bit. Years and memories will fade but the brightest will always be those days among the waves.
Don’t allow a sailboat into your life! Because once that bug bites hard enough it won’t let you go. You’ll be a slave to wind and the water. Addicted, entranced, enraptured. And you will be taken as far as you’ll allow your soul to wander and your dreams will carry you.
It is most definitely not worth it to own a sailboat!
You have been warned.
–Reprinted from Quora Digest, Dec. 5, 2019
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