Cutting Costs and Saving Money While Cruising – Inspired by Lin Pardey

As I mentioned in our previous post about the Strictly Sail show in Chicago last weekend, Lin Pardey’s seminar on Cutting Costs While Cruising (derived from the fabulous book Cost Conscious Cruiser) was the most informative and well presented seminar I attended. I took some very thorough notes which I will share, along with some of my own ideas, in a two part series about how to save and cut costs along the way.
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Pulling at the heart strings…and potentially the purse strings – Emily Luna, A Cabo Rico 38

After coming down off Caper, we chatted with Wally and Joe for a bit before getting back in the car. From there, we followed Wally across to Harbortown Marina in Fort Pierce, where we had seen Suwendejen and So Bella. This time around we were set to look at Emily Luna, a Cabo Rico 38, and Equinox, a Valiant 40.

Just walking up to Emily Luna was a real treat. To my eyes, the Cabo Rico 38, with its sweeping, relatively low sheer, is an incredibly beautiful boat. She looks salty and seaworthy, but also fast and entirely comfortable. After taking her in from the dock and stepping aboard, I was excited; it would only take me a few more minutes to start imaging our future life together.
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My Pre-Purchase Inspection Routine

While I think we have always done a good job of inspecting the boats we are looking at, our technique has definitely improved with practice over the past month. More than one broker has commented that we look like we have done this a few times. So, we thought we would walk you through our process in case you are setting out to examine a boat you might want to make an offer on or just want to know exactly how we go about inspecting the boats we are reviewing.
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Holy Jesus! Equinox – A Valiant 40

As a visual artist who has traveled the world visiting galleries and museum I often feel like I have ‘seen it all’. It takes a lot to impress, intrigue, and/or shock me. But when I stepped off of the rickety ladder onto the deck of Equinox in the Harbour Marina Boat Yard I could not hold back from shouting “Holy Jesus!”
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Caper – Another Cabot 36

While we climbed down the ladder from Cottonwood II – and presumably the whole time we had been on the boat – Joe and Wally were engaged in conversation about boats. I can only imagine the stories they were swapping about yachts they have owned, ones that they lusted after, and others that still cause them nightmares in the middle of the night. As they continued talking, all four of us crossed the parking lot to Caper, the other Cabot 36 we had come to look at.
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On Our Way Home from Strictly Sail

We are on I-55 heading south from Chicago, and it is snowing and slushy, and we already stopped to buy a gallon of wiper fluid because we ran out. Yes, we are on our way home from Strictly Sail, where sailors of the Midwest go to get a moment of respite, refresh their memories of summers past, and rekindle their dreams. In the midst of our boat search, we did not need much help dreaming this winter, even though the weather in Illinois has been horribly atrocious. But we did have a fabulous time at the show. These are our immediate impressions, jointly composed in the car.
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Provisioning In Marsh Harbor and Untying the Dock Lines – Bahamas Charter Day 2

Eager to get on the boat, I rise early, without an alarm, to find Jeff missing from the room. I imagine he is off wandering the docks, watching the sunrise, or milling around anxious to get moving. I decide to take a long, hot shower, as I know this will be the last one that I will be able to take for a week. When I got out of the shower, Jeff was back, and raring to go.
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Chicago Strictly Sail 2014

Academics frequently go to conferences, and we are no different in that regard. At them, we present papers and listen to others give them, interview for jobs or interview others, and spend time at the book exhibit, browsing through the new releases in our field, talking to editors, and looking for cheap finds. At some conferences, like that of the American Society of Environmental Historians annual meeting, we also go on field trips, which are pretty awesome. But the best part of any conference is connecting with colleagues and hanging out with old friends, usually at the bar. Occasionally, if we are lucky, we also get out to a local restaurant, check out a microbrew, or even end up at the Lincoln Memorial at 3am in zero degrees as I did a few years ago at the American Historical Association conference. Of course, in bringing together a lot of academics you often end up with rooms filled with pompous blowhards, nervous new PhDs, and the most boring panels you can imagine. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy academic conferences, but I cannot remember ever being truly excited to attend one, even the environmental history conferences where I feel at home. But I do get really excited for the cruising equivalent of a conference, a sailboat show.
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On our way to the Bahamas!

We left Peoria mid-December to head to the Southeast for a couple of weeks of visiting friends and family, looking at boats, and going to the Bahamas for our charter in the Abacos. On the way to Jeff’s parents we stopped in Georgia to look at a Southern Cross 31 and in Ft. Pierce to look at a Passport 42 and a Valiant 40 (click to see our reviews).
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An Update on Our Search and Plans

I thought I would break up our recent string of boat reports by trying to explain a little about where we are at in our search process.

We had started looking at yachts in earnest during the fall, when we began monitoring about 15 different types of boats on Yachtworld, ranging from the Baba 30 all the way up to the Mason 43. We created a spreadsheet that listed every boat for sale within our price range along with pertinent details about the yachts, especially their equipment list, condition, and price. Every couple weeks we would revisit the spreadsheet, updating it with new listings, adjusted prices, and the occasional pending sale. It did not take long before we could spot a good deal and, often, see that boat sell soon after we identified it as such.
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