The second-hand yacht

Racing in Grand BahamaJust how much does it take, in terms of liquid assets, to turn dreams into reality, to convert flickering mental images of swaying fronds into real living and growing palms on a South Seas beach? And how much of the rewards of life’s labours can safely be devoted to sailing without leaving the kids in rags and risking a terminal loss of enthusiasm for the water (or worse, for a life together full stop – with potentially painful and expensive consequences) on the other side of the marital bed? Note to catamaran sailors: yes, you can have a hull each if you fall out, but the two hulls need each other if you want to go sailing.

Fateful questions are these no matter how expansive your dreams and, indeed, your resources. People considering a self-build project need to be especially meticulous in their cost-assessment: underestimate the cost – in material, time and/or relationship terms – and the consequences could hardly be more grave. Let me make it clear that I speak from extensive experience on this subject, in fact I spend a significant portion of my time taking confession from sailors, listening attentively to what they have to say and then, should I happen to be asked, doing my best, quite forcefully where necessary (even when it hurts), to help them avoid repeating the mistakes others have made before them. >continue reading

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