It seems so sudden. We moved to Norfolk at the end of September. We're closing a deal on a boat in December. We're doing wire transfers of large piles of money.
First, this took us several years. We'll look at that first. Also, this will involve an alarming amount of money. We'll get to that later.
This is really a story about goal-setting. Making progress -- taking a step every day -- is what worked for us. It's a lot of delayed gratification.
Your personal quest may vary. Ours started slowly and built in speed until the dizzying events of December.
In 2006, we saw the Etap 37 at the Annapolis Boat Show and totally loved the idea of that hard-charging, high-tech boat.
More importantly, 2006 was when we saw a presentation by Beth Leonard on how to read and interpret weather maps. We saw some panel discussions by folks who've circumnavigated our planet. It made things more tangible to see these folks in person. We'd read their books and magazine articles. But seeing them and hearing them raised the bar.
In 2004, 2002, and maybe even 2001, we'd also gone to Annapolis to hang around, look at boats, and be tourists for a long weekend.
I'm not sure, but I think that in 2000 (perhaps) we went to our first boat show, on Kent Island. It's smaller and lower-key, but still a chance to talk boats for a weekend. That was before we'd done any serious chartering.
So, our timeline is -- actually -- pretty leisurely. I think that's one of the reasons for the current level of giddy elation on our part. No rush. No pressure. Just steady progress through the college years.
The Money Side
The money side is a bit heavier going. There's a lot of skill building -- classes, charters, and boat ownership. Who knows how much we spent on that. We had fun. We like traveling and we like learning.
Similarly, there are a lot of trips to Annapolis and Norfolk. We'd have travelled anyway. The Chesapeake started out as just an excuse to go somewhere.
Let's leave the fun stuff out it. We would have spent that money on similar things. Let's talk about the boat stuff.
Steps of Commitment
The final commitment is the agreed-upon price. You know you'll be writing a massive check -- or wiring a big pile of money. That's the final step. But there's a series of steps leading up to it.
The first big step is the down payment. For boats, it's generally 10%. Unless you're dying for a specific boat, you probably don't have that kind of money laying around in a checking account. You may have it laying around in an account with check-writing privileges. A good broker is tolerant of your need to move funds around. Ours was willing to work from a scanned image of the check until the real check arrived in the mail.
The next step is the surveyor's fees. This, too, is pretty clear. You need a marine survey to identify what you're really buying. Think of amounts like \(15-\)20 per foot for an entire day of crawling through every system and piece of equipment. 42 foot boat costs six to eight hundred for a day of insight and a formal report. A personal check works well.
The next to last step are the yard fees. This feels shady to a first-time owner of a boat that requires professional yard services. There always seem to be mystery add-ons.
Part of the yard services are subtle, too. It turns out that you usually pay for haul-out, storage and launch as a kind of package deal. The previous owner has paid for the haul-out and storage during the sale process. When you ask for a sea trial, it's their launch. After that someone pays for the next haul-out, storage and launch cycle.
In this case, it's me that's paying for the haul-out and storage while I decide what to do. My haul-out and eventual re-launch are something like $250. My yard storage may amount to $160 per month. Probably January, February and some of March.
Apparently, the usual approach is to run a tab with the boatyard. I guess we'll set that up sometime around the closing.
The nearby Marina is a separate, but related business entity. For $125 a month, we have access to the marina facilities while we're at the boatyard fixing things. Come Spring, a dock will be nice, so we'll have to pay for that. But that's what we were looking forward to -- dock fees and other marina fees.
And the repair fees. We have a number of those anticipated, also.