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Monday, July 8, 2019

We acquire a new boat

So, only about two weeks ago one of our slip mates stopped by and, in the course of conversation, says "Hey, you guys want a boat?"

A what?

Turns our that yet another of our area marinas was closing--yet another victim of condo development--and all the boats have to go.  Some were taken by their owners to other places, but for some folks, that just wasn't either temporally or financially possible.  Either they basically gave the boats away or the marina would crush them up with a back hoe.

I'm not exaggerating.  I've probably seen twenty crushed up and disposed of at our marina alone.  Some weren't functioning and the owners simply couldn't afford to get them fixed, others fell far behind on slip rental, some owners became ill or died.  Every marina winds up with a stock of vaguely functional abandoned boats.  But back to the story.

"It's a Pearson" says our slipmate.  "The motor works and it's got sails, and they just redid the upholstery." 
Marinas wind up with all manner of vessels, some of which can be  yours for the taking.

So we go and have a look.  It's a '70's Pearson 30, racing rigged.  The interior was newly painted and re-upholstered.  The motor, one of the ubiquitous Atomic 4's, fired up instantly, the main appeared good, the jib iffy, and the whole thing too good a deal to pass up.

So we said yes.  We spent a few days painting the hull with a new coat of anti-fouling, rebuilding the tiller which had delaminated, and the like.  We met the owner at the soon-to-be-gone marina (WHERE, parenthetically, are we supposed to do our boating when all of the marinas have been turned into doomed particle board townhomes, I ask you?), splashed the boat (making sure it was floating and floating upright, the two basic boat requirements), transferred the title for the princely sum of $1, and,  after a wait of a couple of days for the freaking weather to settle down, we brought her home under her own power.  So in the midst of some of the most miserably hot weather we've had here on the Middle River and in the middle of trying to get ready for a major art show at the Liriodendron Mansion (more at Hawkwelldesigns.com if  you're interested.  Strong show) we've been transferring stuff from Tesla's Revenge onto the new boat.  We're exhausted, but a lot more comfey

It got me to thinking.

One of the major arguments I hear against living aboard is "I could never afford to do that."  The rather daunting idea of the average, non 1%er American being able to afford a boat AND a home while making that transition is what seems to scare off a lot of people.

Yet from where I'm sitting here aboard Constellation, I'm looking at the bows of at least six boats up on the hard in the boatyard that anyone could have for--pretty much literally--a song, just to get them out of the marina's hair.  Some are cabin cruisers, mostly with one functioning and one dead engine.  Some are sailboats that haven't seen water for three years.  At least one I know of had the owner die and the family wants nothing to do with it.  All could be made into rather nice floating homes while  you got them functional and mobile, and the price, as I said, is right.
We've watched our marina go from 2 liveaboads to something like 20.  It's not an accident.

As the seas warm and rise, more and more of us will be going to the water for living space.  I just look on us as ahead of the curve.

We've had seven days in a row here on the Chesapeake with heat indexes above 100F, which was perhaps not the brightest time to be moving things over, but we're settling in to the SV Constellation as our new home and should be done within the next several weeks.  I'm waiting for a few parts for our rather massive electrical and solar system to get it all wired in. 

Dammit, somebody make me a catnip and tonic.  It's too freaking hot in here.

Stay tuned.  And, while you're doing that, contact your local Marina and go get a boat.

M


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