Friday, July 13, 2012

Can You Love Your Second Boat as Much as Your First?

One of my most favorite pictures of Rasmus, taken on the Erie Canal.
As it becomes more and more real that Scott and I might own a new boat in the near future, I find myself thinking a lot about our Rasmus and getting very, very nostalgic.  I feel like we're cheating on her.  She's sitting there, all bundled up in Trinidad, awaiting our return.  She's getting her monthly wash downs and bi-monthly check-ups, looking naked and out of place on some jack stands, ready at any moment to get back into the water and do what she does best, and here we are - looking at other boats to buy.  Thinking of all this makes me, well, kind of sad.

I think of how much blood, sweat and tears we put into her.  How excited we were when we bought her, of all the good times we've had on her.  Our first delivery to Chicago, our first storm, our first time anchoring out...a million "firsts".  I mean, we got engaged on that boat!  I think of all the late nights and early mornings spent making her perfect, all the laughter that filled her cockpit, the countless sunsets and sunrises viewed from her deck.  Adventures that never ceased and spanned the 5,000+ nautical miles we sailed from Chicago to Trinidad.  She's a mighty boat.  She's a beauty.  She has taken very, very good care of us.  I think back on when we bought her, how we knew she was "the one" the minute we set foot on her. There was no analyzing, there was no doubt.  The excitement bubbled up inside me the second I took her in with my eyes.  She was it.  She was the one.  It was as simple as that.

She was our first true love.

Which makes me wonder; is it possible to love subsequent boats as much as your first?

I honestly do not know the answer and I'm actually trying to work it out in my head.  As most of you know, this time around the boat buying process was so different.  Our ignorance (or shall I say, naiveté?) when we bought Rasmus made the whole procedure so much simpler - falling in love was easy and innocent.  This time around, however, we are so much pickier, less emotional, more calculating - we know what we want, what we don't - and no boat fits the bill "exactly".  We are going to have to make compromises, "love" hasn't really factored into the equation this time around.  This time around, there is no such thing as the "perfect" boat.  When we bought Rasmus, however, she was.  Is this a sign of maturity?  A sign that we have grown wiser and know now that mature love takes effort, work and - most importantly - time?

They say there is no love like your first.  Does the same ring true for boats?

“Something about first love defies duplication. Before it, your heart is blank. Unwritten. After, the walls are left inscribed and graffitied. When it ends, no amount of scrubbing will purge the scrawled oaths and sketched images, but sooner or later, you find that there’s space for someone else, between the words and in the margins.” 
- Tammara Webber, Where You Are

Have you owned more than one boat?  What are your thoughts?


NatGeoWannaBe said...

What you love most are the memories on, of and with Rasmus. The new boat will quickly accumulate new memories which you will love just as much (Isla's first time at the helm, Cruising into a new port for the first time with Isla, etc...).

Looking forward to reading about them!

NatGeoWannaBe said...

What you love are all the memories on, of and with Rasmus. The new boat will quickly accumulate new ones that you will love just as much (Isla's first time taking the helm, The first time you sail into a new port with Isla, etc...)

Looking forward to reading about them!

Robert Salnick said...

The analogy is often made between boats and women. And in this too, it holds. You can love several, each differently. Eolian is our fourth boat, and we love her just as much as we loved our first.


Windtraveler said...

@Natgeo - thanks for that! So true!! And it is definitely the memories I cling to for sure - and if and when we buy this new boat, new memories will be made. Love the idea of "Isla firsts" :)
@Bob - yes, I believe that. My dad has owned four boats, and he went through all of them and why he loved because it was his first, one because it was what he cruised with us on the most, the other because it was his first racer/cruiser and the last because he designed it!! So yes, I think we can love another and another still, each just represents something a little different.

Captain Rizzo said...

We are on our fourth sailboat and I assure you that there is a lot of room in one's heart for new boats. Our current boat is by far the best one yet, but there will always be a special place in my heart for the previous three! Each one of our boats were special and each is a chapter in our book of life. Owning two boats at once...well, I haven't written that chapter yet! Good luck with that!

Deb said...

I thought I would have trouble when we bought the new boat, but it wasn't hard at all. It did help that our old boat was going to a great new home to somebody who would take just as good care of her as we did. Now I rarely even think of her at all and the new boat is now our home.

S/V Kintala

Albert said...

As everyone else says - no problem. Each boat one owns serves a purpose, as did Rasmus, and it is the memories and the "firsts" that you will always remember. My second boat served a different purpose and became loved for doing what we got it for - and it was beautiful. Just as Scott had a "first boat" it was not suited for what Rasmus did, and now with Isla and a wider horizon on cruising destinations, the new boat, whichever one you buy, will meet those needs far better - and you will definitely come to love it quickly!

Latitude 43 said...

Eh, you get over it. :)

Dave said...

Boats and Love... sounds expensive. You love each of your own boats for their own reason. We're on our second boat and we didn't buy it because we fell in love, but we definitely love our boat now.

Paul A said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and soul. That’s why we love this site. You painted a great picture of all the emotions that go with a change in one’s life of this magnitude.
Can’t say that I can relate to your feelings with regards to dealing with boats however I can tell you how your post relates to my life. The entire time I was reading your blog I heard myself speaking about changes in my own life. After being married for thirty years to a woman who, although was not my first love, was the mother of my children who ARE life’s first love. I am a fairly patient man but I had to draw the line when my former wife thought it was ok to DATE while still being married to me! Well, I never thought life would be same. How could I love someone as I had this woman (boat)? How could I put in the time and effort to make a new relationship (boat) worth (seaworthy) having? I felt there was no way I would feel the same about a woman (boat) again. This feeling has rang true but to my surprise and joy, I have found someone (new boat) who has rekindled emotions I thought were long gone and brought out emotions I didn’t know I had. Like you and Scott, I was more selective this time. Wiser in what I was looking for and had standards and requirements that were not negotiable. As in boating, nothing can replace real life experience. In short, I have memories of the old boat (ex-wife) which will always be there but the new memoires I am creating with the new boat (girlfriend) are better and just as, if not more, exciting. Nothing can replace the old boat and that life, but as it turns out, the new boat has its own chapter to be written plus I get a do over, and it’s the do overs in life that makes the journey the most enjoyable.
Never forget but never look back. Life needs to move forward in order to be worth living! Go forward knowing that your first love needs to be set free so Ramus can be someone else’s first love as well.
Take care of each other,
Paul and Terri

Windtraveler said...

@Rizzo!! (God I love your name!!) Good to know the love GROWS :) I think yes, we will end up with a boat that is better for our family so perhaps we could even love it more? As for owning two boats, well...we don't want to "give" Rasmus away because we're desperate, but yes - we don't want to own two boats for TOO long ;)
@Deb - Good to know, thanks for sharing!
@Al - thanks for the thoughtful words...always love and value your perspective :)
@Latitude - 'nough said -I like it!
@Paul - thank you so much for your kind words and sharing your touching story...I actually do try to write so that everyone can relate to my posts, boat owners or not, and I'm glad you were able to draw parallels with your own life. I am REALLY happy to hear you were able to let go of the woman that didn't value you and your marriage as much as you did, however, and found a wonderful girlfriend to dream well into the future with!! Love the love!! Thanks again, your comment was so heartfelt and much appreciated.

Scott said...

I fell in love with my first boat at first sight. She was tired and the DPO (demented previous owner) had made many ill-advised modifications, but I could see that she was beautiful underneath the grime and goofy "improvements".

I did a stem to stern refit, including the first suite of bespoke sails she'd ever had. When I was done, she was fast and beautiful and sea kindly. She turned heads in every anchorage we touched. I loved that boat.

After six years, I sold her because I could no longer keep her in the style to which she had become accustomed.

When the time came to buy my next boat, I did the same thing you are doing. I made a list of the qualities that I wanted: three cabins, decent maintenance, shallow draft (air and water) and good pedigree. I bought a boat on that basis. I would say that I'm fond of her.

Moral to the story? Next time I'll look with my heart first.


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