So we’ve run into a snag. An obstacle. A speed bump in that long winding road to boat ownership. This dramatic turn of events is likely somewhat common in the marine industry but it has, nonetheless, caused some rather unsettling feelings that have spawned massive reflection in my actions and motivations while attempting to purchase this boat. As vulnerable as writing them out for the world to see might make me feel, I would not be doing anyone a bit of good by not sharing my experience. So here we go.
The order of events as they happened:
I look for pings from the SPOT almost constantly. We’re super excited and each ping seems to take ages 🙂 Then I get the call. Three to four hours into the trip, the captain calls with “first major issue.” The [sewer] holding tank is full, the macerator pump is failing and the toilet is overflowing into the boat. This means no head (bathroom) access for captain and crew.
- Mobile pump out service never showed up.
- He says he’ll see what he can do.
- Texts around 11pm to see if I’m awake. Of course I am! I’m glued to the pings.
- Captain relays that he can not fix the problem and is thinking the best solution is to turn back as there appear to be a few more issues with our boat.
- He suggests the option of a truck delivery.
To me this is where things get a bit dark. Truck delivery equals 4,000 to 5,000 more dollars, plus what I’ve already spent on this attempt, to get a crappy boat delivered. We would have to pay to get the boat hauled out of the water, the mast and rig disassembled, the truck and trailer cost, the boatyard north to re-commission the boat, then drop it back in the water for another fee.
I am standing on the far side of our little cabin to try to keep from waking Ruby and Jen. I feel my eyesight become a bit shaky, vision blurring and my head absolutely spinning. This is the biggest financial decision I’ve made in my life and it was a bad one. I feel like a bad father almost instantly which is an emotion that took me by surprise. Never felt that one before.
- Why didn’t I make sure that surveyor did a more thorough check of the boats systems? It felt too rushed.
- Why did I let the sea trial consist of a mere loop around the marina with the surveyor and then a leisurely sail with a friend and the boat owner?
- I should have gone with a broker rather than a private seller.
- Why did I believe the current owner when he said all the systems worked and the boat had no problems and no leaks? We already saw that was untrue when it rained the first weekend we were in MdR.
- How can I get that check back?
- Why didn’t I just buy the more expensive boat that was already in SF and was obviously better cared for and in better shape?
This all went through my head in seconds. I tell the captain that I understand his decision. He says he’ll call me in the morning.
- Not excited any more.
- Jen doesn’t hear. I don’t wake her.
- I don’t sleep.
- I look at the ceiling contemplating bad decisions I’ve made in my life.
- I beat the shit out of myself for about 20-40 minutes and question how I am ever going to be a good enough dad.
Then… I realize I’ll never get anywhere thinking this way and fall back on advice from my father, advice from his father and advice that I have read in motivational book after motivational book; Move on. Focus on the next move rather than the past. It is done. Learn what you can improve next time and move forward. I smile a force a fake smile and chant in my head that money comes and goes. I have an amazing family and great friends. I will learn a lot from owning a boat I have to work on. This experience will strengthen me.
I still don’t sleep. I lay there wishing Jen was awake to talk but I’m glad she isn’t. I finally fall asleep. My alarm goes off about one hour later.