It was this time last year that I arrived in Hampton and began this whole liveaboard phase. I was pretty sure it would only take 6 months to a year to get the boat ready and save up enough money to head South. Obviously that ain’t happening… I’ve made a lot of progress on a personal level, and I’ve made at least a little progress on the boat. But, neither me or the boat is ready to leave just yet.
I know I complained about the winter and the fact that I despise cold weather (and quite a few other things). And now I’m hating the paralyzing mid-summer heat, punctuated by a gloriously climate controlled cabin. But, all-in-all, it’s a good place to stay for a while. And lets be honest here, I really have no choice in the matter. I simply can’t afford to leave yet.
It’s not so bad though. I do have a job, and I’m still moving forward with the boat. I’ve read a lot of other blogs over the years, and it seems 2 years is just about the minimum for a normal refit process. Some people take upwards of 5 years after buying their boat before they’re ready to cruise. I think my one year plan was just a little too optimistic… I can deal with that.
I almost had myself convinced that I’d be able to take off in February when I get my taxes back. And I’m going to hold that open as an option… But, the reality is that money would be better served either going into savings or into the boat, or a little of both. I’m gonna have to haul this thing out eventually and do a better job on the bottom work. So maybe that’s where that money will go. I don’t know yet, but the fact is, the boat needs about another $5k into her before she’ll be officially cruise ready. I think I’ve only put around $2k into it so far. If you know boats, you know that’s not very much at all… And when I say ‘cruise ready’, I mean pretty bare-bones cruising, but with good gear and low-maintenance systems.
I was hoping I’d be a little more adventurous and just take the boat south before it was actually ready. But, I’ve learned enough this year to realize that’s not very smart. Being minimalistic is one thing, being un-seaworthy is completely different. I want my boat strong and sustainable, and that’s all there is to it. I’m also finding that total minimalism is not really what I want. My boat is a home, and I want a decent, comfortable, home that I might be able to share with someone else in the near-future. Although, it might be a bit too small for that, but at least if I have her fixed up, I’ll have a much better chance of selling it and upgrading to a bigger boat.
One thing is sure, I’m happy where I’m at right now. I mean, I hate that money is so tight and I can’t always do the things I want. But at the end of day, I’m pretty comfortable with this lifestyle. The old me is long gone and I love looking forward these days. I feel like for the first time in my life, I actually have a future. And I even feel like I have some level of success already. Of course, it’s easier when you don’t measure success with material wealth, but it’s success none the less.
So, another year it is…
Another year of work. Another year of pleasant happiness. Another year of progress.
I can deal with that.