It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. The main reason for that is that I didn’t feel there was much to write about. At least not on a regular basis. But there’s been a recent development that will hopefully bring more regular posts. In the meanwhile, let’s catch you up.
Changing Plans, slightly
As previously mentioned, I have a goal to travel the world in retirement, with the current plan involving a sailboat as my method of travel and home. I had planned to not buy a sailboat until much closer to retirement, maybe about 1-2 years before retiring. I simply didn’t want the expense. Purchasing a sailboat earlier meant taking a bunch of money out of my investments, a growth medium, into something that depreciates in value. I’d rather have that money grow for a few more years, as long as possible. In addition, there are variable costs that you incur every year. And with a sailboat, those costs are relatively high.
One day, I overheard a co-worker talking about buying a sailboat with another partner. That got me thinking. If they would allow a third person in on their partnership, I could get all the experiences of sailboat ownership and a lot of sailing experience with only one-third of the cost. One-third of the purchase cost, one-third of the ongoing annual costs. But I could still get 100% of the experience. This would leave most of my investments intact. I thought this was an interesting trade-off in order to get this experience before I went all-in on a boat of my own. I could learn much more about sailing, sailboat maintenance as well as understand if I could really live on a sailboat long term.
I bought a sailboat
They had already looked at several boats locally, but didn’t find anything nice enough to consider purchasing. Long story short, we ended up buying a boat from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Which is about a thousand miles away from Lake Michigan. Buying a boat from a different country also presented some customs concerns. We could have sailed the boat all the way back to Lake Michigan, but it would have taken a couple weeks of sailing and none of us had the vacation time available to do so. Also there would be concerns about purchasing a new-to-us boat, and then taking off on a 600 mile trip. Undoubtedly, there would be some issues along the way that would only delay getting it back home. In the end, we hired a a trucking company that specializes in shipping sailboats. We were not present when the semi truck picked up the boat for shipping but we’re present at home when it arrived. It was a very special day for the 3 owners taking delivery of their new/used boat.
This was two years ago already. I’ve now enjoyed two seasons of sailing on Lake Michigan on our new boat. The partnership is working great, as intended. It’s one-third of the work and one-third of the expense. Sailing is not an easy thing to do completely by yourself. Most of the time, you need a crew to help. What better crew than having two co-owners with you? Sure, there could be a problem of “too many chiefs”, or “too many cooks in the kitchen”, but that hasn’t been the case. During the summer, I sail at least three times per week in “beer can races”, which are the club-based, short course (2-5 miles) buoy races in the evenings (and Sunday mornings). On other days, we’ll go out just for a fun sail. And my favorite times on the water are the distance races. These are races that are 10-300 miles and last hours to days. The longest race I’ve done is the Hook Race which is 190nm (218 miles, 352 km) and takes around two full days to get there.
I particularly like doing the distance races with only two people on board, “double-handed”. Most racing boats have crews of 5 to 10 people.
While not racing, it’s very relaxing and enjoyable to just out out for a sail. Very peaceful way to unwind after work.