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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DOWNSIZING

Most boat owners get "two foot itis” and over the years, the boats get bigger and bigger. We decided it’s time to downsize from a 52’ LOA Sea Ray to a 36’ LOA Boston Whaler Conquest. Twin Cummins 450’s out, triple Merc 300’s outboards in. We miss the space of the Sea Ray already. We keep bringing stuff to the new boat and taking it back with other stuff that won’t fit. It is a major adjustment in our cruising lifestyle. We did it for a number of reasons:

- the big boat could be difficult to dock in windy weather

- most of our friends had been entertained on the boat more than a few times and our adult kids were not that interested in boating with Mom & Dad

- too much boat for just the two of us

- reduced running cost

- reduced mechanical maintenance and docking costs

- offshore capability in any nasty weather

- longer range between fuel stops

- nice and cozy in the helm area with air/heat and windshield wipers rather than bridge with isinglass

- shorter duration getaways (but with less live aboard comfort) and quicker passages when required

- less washing & cleaning the boat

- 2’ draft vs. 4’ draft (water levels are dropping on Georgian Bay don’t you know)

Value wise, the boats were about the same ... so there were no capital savings - and like all boats purchased there is the initial costly wave of accessory purchases to get the vessel set up the way you want it. We moved from a 50’ dock to a 40’ dock. I feel a little bit like I got demoted from hanging with the elite of the marina to relegation to the middle class. On smaller boats there is no space margin of error and things like dock cords don’t fit into the relegated space unless you trained for hours to get them rolled up just right. Yes manually rolled up cables, not just a push of the remote to roll it in by Cablemaster. Gone are the extensive collection of pots and pans and dinner service for eight. My on board wine cellar is capped and 8 bottles rather than case lots.

So now I guess we’ll have to run with a different crowd. Introductions at social gatherings will be different. Most are suitably impressed with a 52’ yacht and take notice but a misally 36’ won’t make many take notice. Like a rock star who once filled coliseums, who can’t fill a small town arena ... we must make our humble adjustments and lick our wounds.

So now there’s just the two of us ... cozy in our new boat and still cruising. No more excess and silliness

Posted by at 2:37 PM
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