Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bigger, Faster, Stronger

A lot of people ask us if we'd like a bigger boat.

While our boat is by far not the smallest boat we've seen on our trip, it is by no means the largest either.  When guests come aboard for the first time they often say with a cocked head, "It's... cozy".  "Cozy" being a really cute word for "small".  We don't begrudge this term - because it's true.  Our boat is cozy.  It's packed neatly and tightly, it's tidy and homey, and there is nary a space unused.  To use a phrase made famous by my British mum - you could not, quite literally, "swing a cat" in our boat.  A kitten, perhaps.  But definitely not a cat.

Despite this fact, we have actually never lamented that we want a bigger boat.  We've talked about how we would like to add another solar panel, maybe install a wind generator, and -in general - dreamt up ways to make her work better (and more efficiently) for us - but we've never wished for bigger.  The bottom line is the simple fact that she works for us.  We have no need for more space.  Could we use it?  Sure.  Would another locker be helpful?  Of course.  But, as cruisers, we are not living in a world where more is better.  We live in a world where less is more.  A bigger boat, to us means more expenses, more potential problems, and - more importantly - more space to put more stuff (i.e. "crap").

We've met a lot of cruisers who are always on the hunt for their next boat, forever dreaming of something bigger, something better.  Maybe we just got lucky with our Rasmus?  Maybe, like Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, we chose wisely?  It's no secret that our boat has served us incredibly well.  The work we put into her, her sailing performance, her beauty, her bones, her pedigree and heritage all combine to make her exactly what we need.  A bigger boat just isn't in the budget for us (at least not in the foreseeable future) - so we remain happy with what we have.

After all, don't they say happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have?

If that is the case, we're right where we need to be.

Brittany & Scott

PS.  Any would-be cruisers looking for a boat like ours - you are in luck!  There is a sister ship to Rasmus for sale in Traverse City, MI.  Check her out!


Mid-Life Cruising! said...

We couldn't agree more! We want to keep maintenance and expenses to a minimum so it's a 30-footer for us (a very well laid out one). We've got a lot of stuff (crap) to sell this next year to fit on the boat! BTW, the interior of your boat is beautiful, and I love a "cozy" place.

Bill said...

Love the obscure Indiana Jones reference :)

A lot of folks could learn from your decisions to stick with the boat that is right for your needs. Whether it be houses, cars, or boats, people are too often on the lookout for the next "great" or bigger thing, when what they have is often perfectly adequate. No need to compromise your financial security just trying to "keep up with the jones's", even if they're first name is Indiana.

Jill, Tim and Toby Dog said...

This is such a great post! I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking about this societal adherence to the "bigger is better" attitude when it's so unsustainable and harmful to our planet. The best thing about the recent "economic downturn" is that it has challenged that norm and people are downsizing and realizing that stuff does not equal happiness. This is a great article about this shift: http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/in-the-built-environment-the-tyranny-of-the-big-and-the-beauty-of-the-small

I just graduated with my Masters in Environmental Conservation and learned overwhelmingly that the human footprint on the planet and our depletion and pollution of our natural resources is staggering. In trying to reduce my husband and my footprint on the planet we have realized that more and more our goal of becoming cruisers is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyles we have found. Fall 2014 is our departure plan and we are going to be buying an older boat and doing a similar restoration to what y'all did with Rasmus.

I wanted to ask if you or any of your readers knew of some good resources/blogs/forums that focus on this "eco-frendly" cruising concept that might help direct us towards retrofits that we can begin to research for our future craft. I'm especially interested in water use and reuse and potentially a gray-water recycling system of some sort.

THANKS SO MUCH! and way to go on escaping the "stuff" and finding the true "assets" of life.

Windtraveler said...

@ MLC -Craigslist is your friend! :) Good luck and keep up all the good work - you're getting there!

@ Bill - so true...there are so many 'lessons' learned cruising that can apply to life both at sea or shore - I think that's why a large number of our readers aren't even cruisers! Life is life! :)

@ Jill - that's awesome...congrats on all you have accomplished thus far!! So true about this economic downturn...hooray for the death of the McMansion!! Sometimes it's torture to know as much (as I am sure) you do...it can be downright depressing if you think to much about it all!! As for eco-friendly cruising...I think every blog has a little bit of eco-friendly advice...I would suggest you start a thread on Cruisers Forum or something similar - there is a WEALTH of info and resources there...I have a link on my right side bar. Hope that helps!!

Oh - and any books by Lin and Larry Pardey are often focused on eco-friendliness and simplicity! Good luck!

Brett said...

While I love Liberty, I find myself often wishing I had bought a SMALLER boat. I think 35-40' would have been perfect. Liberty is a lot of boat when I am single-handing her and I worry about the upkeep expenses once I am jobless and cruising full-time. Having said that, I remember how much I wanted her before I bought her and I do love how comfy and secure I feel when aboard her. I think I might do some simplifying of systems at any rate... Anyone want to buy a Nextgen 5kw AC genset?

Whisperboat said...

The size you have is fine. Just remind those asking that you have only been at this a few months and its way too early to tell what you would really be happy with. Who knows in a year or two you may realize that extra solar panel or wind generator is really not necessary. Just more to break and maintain. As they say ... its not about the boat.

Paul Ouellette said...

Brit/Scott...Have a look at this website http://boatwrights.org/TheBoat.html it's very detailed about all the concerns you've touched on. Cheers, P.

Drew and Melanie said...

Thanks for the additional info! I called to make an offer on the IP 31 and the lady said someone just gave her a contract! All of the boats we looked at so far it was the first one to say Home. The search continues with a hint of dissapointment, "another day Scarlet". For now we will follow you guys. Happy traveling.

chels-pup said...

look at all those potatoes hanging over Scott's head! te he!

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