Owning two boats at the same time

Granted, most of us cruisers own two boats simultaneously—a cruising boat and a dinghy. But I’m talking about buying a cruising boat while still owning a weekender—a real mistake, in our experience.

When we bought Caloosa Spirit and put her in charter service in the BVI, we wanted to continue our weekend sailing/cruising on our local lake for the next five years before we could move aboard Caloosa Spirit. In the first year or so we happily continued to spend weekends aboard Phantasie II, our Catalina 25, even as we yearned for the space, amenities, and performance of Caloosa Spirit, our Catalina 42. As the yearnings grew stronger over subsequent years, our time on and devotion to Phantasie II waned significantly. In our last year in the midst of selling our house, retiring from our jobs, disposing of our possessions, and bidding good-bye to our family and friends, time and attention for Phantasie II became virtually non-existent. Surprisingly (to us, but probably to no one else), no one wanted to buy her in her…let’s say “well-used” condition. Over the next three years we would periodically advertise her, and when we were back in Indianapolis, we’d drive down to Bloomington to look her over, shake our heads, and drive back to Indy, still frustrated that she hadn’t sold. When the last couple of potential buyers indicated that she needed too much TLC for their tastes, we decided it was time to get serious about her condition. Although the clean-up and fix-up project seemed to take on a life of its own (time when we could have been cruising on Caloosa Spirit), today Phantasie II and her tilt-roller trailer have been restored to their former glory. She once again looks as though she is loved and cared for, and we’re sure that anyone wanting a family weekend/vacation cruiser would be proud to own her.

But the moral to the story is that we should have taken these steps years ago, especially when we were still sailing the boat regularly. Also, we should have put Phantasie II up for sale at least a couple of years before we were ready to make our move to Caloosa Spirit. Presumably, we would now be free from the burden of her care, as well as from the storage and insurance costs. As it is, because we want to keep Caloosa Spirit looking loved and cared for, we now have to put the same time and effort into her condition over the next few weeks. We’d rather be cruising.

Posted Friday September 30, 2005

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