I’m Frugal and Sensible… Wait! Maybe I’m not!

We have been actively looking for our boat.  Our Perfect Boat.  The boat to make our “Great Loop” dream possible.  Let me tell you it is exhausting.  And let me tell you everyone has their opinions/thoughts about the perfect boat.  And let me tell you – there are a few problems with this search.

  • Problem 1: We have a budget.
  • Problem 2: Douglas is a point of purchase / spur of the moment / spontaneous kind of shopper.  He sees it – he buys it.
  • Problem 3: I am a “I’m gonna barf” when I actually think about putting my name on a sales agreement for anything that costs a lot of money kind of shopper so – I tend to try to talk myself out of things at the last minute.

So obviously, problem 3 helps to control problem 2 because Douglas knows I have to give a final okay, BUT…

  • Problem 4; Douglas knows I am easily convinced into making purchases which I originally have the sense to say no to.  Case in point – That man can talk me into anything.  He pretends and complains that I am so difficult and that I never ever say yes to a “toy” purchase, but if you ask anyone – they will agree – obviously I am not that much of a “kill joy” seeing he has (or has had) every toy imaginable.

So, truth be told, Back to Problem 3 – maybe I’m not really the kind of shopper I think I am.  Maybe my fear of spending a lot of money – or my belief I am frugal does not apply to all purchases.  Maybe I’m a bit of a “getting sucked into the sales pitch – seeing the shiny object kind of shopper”.  It doesn’t help when the excitement of Douglas and kids begins to penetrate me as the Sales Rep show us one of those RICH PEOPLE fabulous NEW yachts which you can finance over 100 yrs so really they don’t cost any more then that 30 year old cruiser with the 1980’s décor and slight smell of, of, of – well – smell of an old tent.   Yuck.  So really – this makes sense – right?  I can either get a 30 year old “OK: boat and pay X amount over a couple of years or I can get a brand new super, duper, cool boat for X amount over a whole bunch more years.

It is times like this that my inner Princess rises to the surface as I envision my super, cool family of five lounging on the deck of one of these gems, cruising to the Bahamas, and I think  %&^* yeah!  We need that boat!  I WANT that boat!  I could maybe sell a kid (or two) and GET THAT BOAT!

No – No – No.  I wouldn’t really sell a kid.  That would be “very” wrong! But hey – if I did sell a kid I could get a smaller boat – so really it would help twice!

Anyways, as you can see, shopping for a boat has the potential of going BAD – well good I guess – it depends how you look at it!

So here is our Boat Shopping experience so far.

Sales rep 1 at Marina 1 – very informative, very charismatic, very technical.  Doug immediately likes him – teaches us lots – has the perfect 1996 Carver Aft (gas engine) thinks we should buy it then if we decide a diesel is what we want we can trade it in the spring.  Wait a Minute!  Thats just dumb!!!  Isn’t it funny he wants to sell us the perfect boat for our adventure only to follow-it-up with “besides, just trade it in this spring for the boat you really want.”

Sales rep 2 at Marina 2 – a fatherly figure – very caring – very interested in our adventure – very conscious and respectful of our budget.  I immediately like him and trust him.  Assures us we do not need a fancy new boat or a diesel to make our trip.  Wants to sell us a 1980’s Chris Craft.  Layout, options, everything seems reasonable, price is good – but it’s OLD.  My inner princess doesn’t get excited, but my responsible frugal self knows it would be a “responsible” purchase.

Sales rep 3 at Marina 3 – “Doug went without me.” But I did eventually meet him.    He was nice, but I got the feeling his age may be impairing his memory and ability to sell.  He showed Doug some boats – I didn’t see them – but Doug’s words – “I found the perfect boat – our boat.”   It is a great price too.  We returned (the sales rep knew we were coming) because Doug wanted to show his lovely wife OUR boat.  But when we got there we found out it had been sold.  SOLD without us even getting a chance.  What the….

Sales rep 4 at Marina 4 –  He had a boat we went to look at which is off site.  Not really a boat like any of the others we had looked at.  It is a Diesel, can accommodate all of us.  It does not waste space having 2 heads (heads are bathrooms) really do you need 2 on a little boat?  That seems excessive.  It is a 1993 but looks much newer.  very modern.  Much shinier then the 1980s boat.  It does seem more like a weekend boat, as opposed to a living on boat but its Diesel, smallish (36ft) and a good price.

That is what we have experienced so far with our boat shopping.

What we have learned:  1. diesel is the most practical as less cost to run and easier to maintain (less parts).  But the problem with diesel is they cost way more – so you have to take that into account.  Another plus with diesel is they tend to have a better re-sale.  2.  layout is important as seeing we will be living on the water we want to be able to see the kids from all locations of the boat.  Therefore multi-level isn’t great.  3. Age isn’t all that important as long as the boat is maintained.  A solid boat with a good engine is the most important thing.

So – Will my inner diva give in and let Douglas talk me into the newer, fabulous boat or will will it be a 30 year old gem?   … only time will tell.

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