Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems

Our beautiful Brewer 44.  More boat, more money, more problems.
The late philosopher poet Notorious B.I.G once said, "Mo money, mo problems". I've been thinking about that line a lot lately, not because I'm a fan of classic rap, but because it's a refrain I have been hearing in my head over and over the last couple weeks, although mine has been slightly modified.  My little mantra these days is: "Mo boat, mo problems".

Lin and Larry Pardey, arguably the greatest and most prolific cruising couple of our time, are famous for saying "Go small, go simple, go now".  It's really great advice because, really, the three go hand in hand.  It's much easier to go "now" if you go "simple" and it's a heck of a lot easier to go "simple" when you go "small".  I'm not saying there are large boats that aren't simple or small boats that aren't complex, but they seem to be the exception and not the rule.

Take us for example.  We're still at the dock largely because we got ten more feet of boat and with that extra real estate came more work.  I'm not complaining - this was a calculated choice we made - but it is a fact.  When you get more boat, you get more problems.  There's probably even a law of physics to prove it.  Asante has about two or three times the systems that Rasmus had.  We've now got refrigeration, air conditioning, and even a freezer (crazy, right?).  We have a breaker panel with twice the number of switches on it and a honking generator.  We even have a bow thruster for crying out loud (yeah, we think it's cheating too).  We've got more lights, winches, lines, deck hardware, sail area, sail options...more EVERYTHING.  With all that comes more opportunity for stuff to fail, service, repair, maintain...and more opportunity to get dock-locked.
Rasmus, our 1975 Hallberg Rassy Rasmus.  A smaller, simpler boat.
The big question that I know a lot of you are wondering is:  would we do this again knowing what we know now?  Well, I would be lying to you if I didn't say I haven't cursed this boat a couple of times (like, 'F' bomb curse).  I would also be lying if I told you I haven't cried for our beloved Rasmus and her ready-to-go status.  Have we considered the fact that if we didn't buy a bigger boat we could be cruising right now?  Have we thought about the fact that Rasmus was about as close to perfection as we needed?  Of course.  But you know what?  Rasmus was not the right boat for a family with a small baby.  It just wasn't (in our opinion).  There are many reasons for this, but suffice it to say we would not have been comfortable.  We would have longed for more space.  We would have craved an easier single-handed setup.  For two, Rasmus was perfect.  But we're no longer two.  We now have a bright eyed, smiley little deck swab to think about and her safety is numero uno.

We should, however, be a cautionary tale to any people in a similar situation.  If you already own a boat and want a bigger boat, really consider why.  Consider the time it will take to shop for and purchase a new boat.  Consider how much work you will need to put into the new boat (it will be much more than you think) and how much money that work will cost (it, too, will be much more than you think).  Can you learn to be happy with what you have?  Adjust your expectations to make your current situation work?  We are very pleased with our new boat, but could we have made do with Rasmus?  Sure.  It was after careful consideration we decided not to.  We have no doubt Asante, in the long run, will serve us better than Rasmus would have.  There will be hiccups, curve balls and unforeseen problems, we know that for certain.  We'll learn as we go, just as we did with Rasmus.   There might be mo problems, but we'll deal with them in the relative comfort of mo boat.

11 comments:

Jessica said...

Could you PLEASE tell that to my husband? All I keep hearing is, "We need more space!! This would be so much easier if we had 6-8-10 more feet".

Felicity MotorBoat said...

Starting over always sucks! We went from 36' and no refrigeration, no air condition, no generator, to 50' with not 1 engine but 2, a generator, refrigerator, air conditioner, not 1 toilet but 3 and the list goes on! Hence the fact we've done little but work and save and work. Great point for those contemplating a new boat, Italy sounds like so much more fun than it is! The fun is in cruising to heck with the size of the boat you got all that nature around you that counts as your home! we need to have second thoughts about making the switch from small and simple to big and complex but in good time will have every system under control just like we did with our last boat and will be ready to cruise and ready to play! All in good time! Can't wait to see you out there!

Junaid said...

As a new parent I am still not sure how you are going to pull it off. I think of the mountains of baby wipes, diapers, formula, not to mention spit-ups, puking and the attendant laundry requirements that I have observed. I wonder if anything short of a 50 footer with a washer dryer and a full-time nanny would work ? All this child-care and then standing regular watches and helping sail the boat? I guess people have done it but I just have a hard time figuring out how I could manage it. Needless to say I will be reading your blog with great interest to see how the next chapter unfolds.

Brittany Meyers said...

@Jessica - :)
@FMB- Love you guys, can't wait to see you 'out there' too...more room, more parties! ;)
@Junaid - The good thing is we know no better. There are PLENTY of people who live on boats with kids. Standing watches? Well...it's a HUGE reason why we bought this boat - it is VERY easy to single hand and standing watched means one person will always be below and ready to help the baby. All lines lead aft and each sail is furling. We are also very minimalist parents. Isla has a few toys, and minimal "gear" (compared to most "land based" babies) and we are both "at home" parents right now so she has our full attention. We will be cruising the Bahamas so there are no overnight sails necessary, and when we do "deliver" to the Southern Caribbean, Scott will assemble a small team and Isla and i will fly (for now). It might seem insane/hard to imagine/impossible to you - but it doesn't seem any of those things to us! I also don't feed her formula, she is breastfed - so that takes care of that. She is also eating solids now and is more or less eating what we eat, only in small amounts. Messes are easy to clean and not something that deter us. We have a high-output watermaker so I will be doing laundry by hand every couple of days. Oh - and diapers and wipes can be bought all throughout the islands - and we'll be potty training her ASAP :) There will be challenges, for sure, but it is certainly not impossible.

SailFarLiveFree said...

Excellent advice! So far we've had the will power to heed said advice, but I gotta tell ya, even coastal cruising on weekends is tight on a 28-footer with three kids! Strictly Sail is coming this weekend and scrambling through all the big new BeneCataNeaus wears on the will power.

Peter R. Webster said...

I think your move to a larger boat will turn out to be a real great solution. We went from 36 to 42 and it has made all the difference in the world to us. I think a good case can be made for all the items that you now have, especially the thruster. Of all the items that I though initially was a bit of a luxury, the thruster has turned out to be invaluable on our 42. We can handle most situations without it, but honestly those 6 or 7 times in the last 2 years that we have relied on it in major "save-the-boat-from crashing" scenarios caused by unexpected wind or a power boater cutting us off that meant the world to us. I feel certain that over time you will feel the same.

Tasha Hacker said...

Expect me to dinghy up to your boat for some advice when it's time for us to upgrade to a bluewater boat. I know you guys are dealing with it all, but in all honesty, the refit this time around sounds like a nightmare! So cautionary tale you are... I'll be hitting you up for some caution when we leap aboard another boat. I wish you guys the best... please tell me you'll be joining us soon! xx - Tasha

Scott Robinson said...

Brittany,

I think you make some great points, but you are also speaking from the midst of the monster of getting the boat ready. This would have been the case with any new to you boat that you bought. I think that once you do get away from the dock, your perspective will change and you will see all of the advantages of Asante. Hang in there, you konw what they say... "If you are going for a goal and you run into a brick wall... hug that wall beceause success it just on the other side of it".

Scott

catherine and Dan said...

We also made the jump from a 22 footer to a 42 footer sailboat and it made the world of difference but it also emptied the bank account. More boat, more expenses is in fact true but the benefits outweigh the inconveniences. I never looked back. I am only hoping that once she is all refitted properly she will give back to us! Good luck.

Tillerman said...

I started with a 14 footer and over 30 years later I still sail a 14 footer. Never really seen the need for more refrigerators and air-conditioners.

Sarah said...

I dream of a bigger boat all the time, and that's without a baby! And when I dream of a bigger boat I feel disloyal to our current boat. I dream of a bigger galley, of having a proper double berth to sleep in, of having comfy couches, of bigger cupboards! You'll love your new bigger boat, it just sucks moving in and setting up.

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