Monday Reflections

Uhmmm…

I seemed to have missed Saturday. Speaking of missing things…

Writing progress

Uhmmmmm…

Not so much?

I have a friend who sets out every once in a while to do some sort of challenge… an illustration a day, a painting a week. She inevitably trails off and eventually stops.

A failure?

I think not. Because there are always some lovely drawings left behind to commemorate the attempt. Trying is never a failure. Not trying isn’t either. The idea of failure is an external force… at least that’s my excuse.

And I have some great outlines and background info now so that’s a positive. I am sure I will get back to it. Eventually. Maybe. No drama though…

Old and unfinished

I started this back in 2014. Theres about 2500 words more and then it just trails off. But I kinda like it.

Morning was definitely broken. Henry ‘Hank’ Hagar Jacobs slammed his index finger unerringly down on the cancel button of his alarm clock and buried his face in the remains of his pillow. It had been a life-long dream to hunt down the sonofabitch who’d invented mornings and show him the real meaning of life.

He kicked off the faded purple comforter and rolled his feet to the floor. From the scratched and dented blue and brass trunk at the foot of the futon he dug out a new pair of black cheenos, tags still hanging from the waist. He had a client to see this morning and you never get a second chance to not give a crap about making a good first impression.

Rubbing his eyes with the back of his knuckles, he staggered across the room to the small kitchen, plugged in the dingy electric kettle and sat on the edge of his table while he surveyed the jars and cans piled haphazardly on the counter. Spotting the nearly empty jar of instant coffee, he grabbed his mug from the pile in the sink and opened up 5 sugar packets from his stash, courtesy of corporate coffee, and poured them in. He dumped the last of the coffee in the mug, banging on the bottom of the jar, hoping it would be enough for a caffeine fix. The hot water went into the coffee jar and a few swishes ensured that he’d gotten all he could out of the efforts of Juan and his hardworking ass, before it joined the spoonfuls of sugar in the mug. Just the medicine I need. he thought as the sweet, syrupy liquid flowed down his throat.

As life started to seep back into his brain Hank stared sightlessly at the garishly stained red doors of the wooden cabinets. What in god’s name was that lunatic of a landlord thinking when he did that? For the forty-millionth time he resisted the urge to buy a can of black enamel spraypaint and rectify the situation. But I don’t want to start down that road, do I.

Mug empty, it went back into the sink and he gathered up a chipped but clean Denby bowl acquired recently from the local discount store and a bright yellow box of generic cereal and turned to the single chrome and vinyl chair at the table.

Jacobs brushed the pile of magazines and unopened mail to one side, a couple of them sliding to the already littered linoleum floor. The box of generic toasty Oaty O’s yielded most of a bowl of disgusting circles of dirt-flavoured breakfast before dumping the obligatory hated pile of cereal dust and chunks on top of his breakfast. He blew as much of it away as possible, gave up and glanced around the table.

“Fuck. I knew it. There is no spoon.”

Saturday Reflection: Examine your source

Someone was trying to promote a Youtuber [Dr. John Campbell, RN, PhD] (https://www.youtube.com/c/Campbellteaching) as giving the expert advice on Covid. I poo-poo’d him and he took umbrance, accusing me of not even looking at his credentials:

Originally Posted by Midnight Son
He teaches Nursing in a Northern England University and is interviewed quite often on DW the German Television Network, about Covid issues.

So look before you bark please.

I told him I did look… And I had, I’d dismissed the guy months before because…well…


Seriously you actively want people to turn to YouTube for the “truth” on a subject as broad and deep as this pandemic? If I want to find out what’s the deal with Log4J or why the latest Space X blew up I totally go to YouTube and watch a synopsis. But I don’t walk away thinking I know anything more than a supposed SME can dumb down and squeeze into the 20 minute video format. And who know just how educated the presenter is or what his agenda is? All I have is a briefest whiff of the issue.

But our egos always make fools of us don’t they? There is a humorous trope in Universities that involves the undergraduate — having taken 40 hours of any given subject — spouting off like he was going to solve the world’s ill in one brilliant stroke (see Good Will Hunting for a fictionalization of this — I’ve see it in real life). Sometime they grow out of it, sometimes they don’t.

This stuff is complex. 80% of the people on these forums (and in the “real” world) just can’t/won’t wrap their head around that and so are just looking for the quick fix. They are like the supplicant going to the parish priest looking for the meaning of life…if that priest actually knew it I highly doubt he would be a lowly parish priest. Instead the priest does what he is good at and explains it some way the poor sod is capable of grasping and sends him away to contemplate his own ignorance.

But what of the other 20% (he says liberally making up statistics)? Some give facts as they see them and leave it up to us to recognize the depth of our cluelessness and some valiantly try to impart the, admittedly greater, knowledge they hold—of course they too often express that understanding as “fact” thus adding to the level of general misinformation. But a few accurate units of knowledge doesn’t mean they—or any youtube/twitter/self-proclaimed virologist/generic expert — can correctly interpret what’s going on out there any more than the parish priest. It’s complex. Thousands and thousands of scientists from many, many disciplines complex.

I’ve got 6 years of studying renaissance drama under my belt, some of that at the graduate level, and I tell you it is with profound humility that I approach the topic of Shakespeare and Marlowe. The depths of what I don’t know astound me and just catching up on the scholarship I have missed over the last 20 years would probably break me.

Dr. Campbell is not a virologist. He is not a sociologist. He is not an expert in international relations, internal medicine, supply-chain management, economics, city management or even bio-chemistry. He doesn’t know how to make a vaccine, distribute it, budget it, or figure out how to get a scared and/or ignorant population to take it. He doesn’t know the social and psychological factors that differentiate Canada from the US, or Britain from Australia and the unique political systems that each follows, and he sure as h*ll doesn’t know what backwoods Africa or India is making of all this.

What he is, is a teacher. So he is trying. Unfortunately — unlike the ill-educated high school English teacher I had that harmlessly tried to convince us that Shakespeare thought all nuns were whores — he has a world wide audience and is frankly, to me, so far from harmless as to be an active danger to the public weal.

So ya. I do comprehend…at least that little bit. The rest I am, like the rest of us, desperately struggling with. Rant over.

Saturday Reflections

I know, I know 2 posts in a day…if you are looking for the annual book post scroll down.

But I think, once again, I will try to write “every day” in 2022. I did it back in 2012 (see link above) to bizarre effect and since have had sporadicly poor success at writing anything consistently.

The 2022 Rules

  • I will try and write something coherent e.g. fiction of some sort.
  • I believe I will take the weekends off from that stream and instead try to continue “Saturday Reflections” and maybe something like Sunday Poem-Day
  • At this point (I have two days to decide) I think I will keep the weekday writing offline — or perhaps start a new blog/subdomain. I will update later.
  • I will start with just tagging them writing and decided later if I want to move these maundering into a category (spoiler: I expect I will)

The point

Preventing brain fog? A curiosity to see if I can actually be more productive? An attempt to create a sense of order? A desire to be independently solvent (rich seems a bit much to ask for)? Ongoing Earl jealousy?

Today’s thoughts

Netflix, Youtube et al.

I mentioned on Earl’s blog that I had watched very few movies this past year. But what we have watched is a lot of sitcom-ish stuff like Modern Family, The Muppets, Letterkenney, Rick and Morty and a ton of British panel/comedy shows. It turns out I am increasing enjoying European (is British European anymore?) stuff.

Australia

Not really but the producers and original movie was Australian. What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary about vampires living in Staten Island. It also stars Matt Berry who is one of those sneaks-up-on-you-from-behind funny guys that I first encountered as a boss on The IT Crowd. Only 3 seasons but well worth a watch if you can find it!

L reminds me we also watched Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun. Very, very… err…pythonesque? Aunty Donna is a comedy trio from Australia and they are pretty darn funny in that bizarro way…

France

I highly recommend Lupin. Two series of 5 parts with a third promised. Very clever and suspenseful and with that perfect gentleman-thief vibe. If you know French at all you have the added enjoyment of arguing with the subtitle translator’s choices. Quite bizarre sometimes.

We also watched and enjoyed Dix pour cent which was strangely and, in my opinion, detrimentally translated to Call my Agent!. It has 4 seasons and a promised movie reunion coming soon. Very soap-opera but the French take keeps it from seeming inane like Dallas et al. We really enjoyed it.

Britain

We worked our way through Stephen Fry’s (and now Sandi Toksvig) QI. Funny and smart. And you learn (and relearn) so much…

8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown is a must see. Countdown is a Jeopardy-type show involving solving anagrams and math problems and has been on the air forever. 8 out of 10 Cats was/is a comedy panel show hosted by Jimmy Carr with Sean Lock and Jon Richardson as team captains. Back in 2012 Channel 4 had a Mashup event where they mashed up a bunch of different shows from their channel into a special. 8 out of 10 Cats Does Countdown was a huge success and now is produced (alongside the originals) with 5–8 episodes every year.

We also started in on Mock the Week hosted by Dara Ó Briain and are slowly making our way to the present. There are currently 20 seasons starting way back in 2005 and we are somewhere in Season 10. Funny, irreverent and you learn a lot about Britain’s political and social scenes. We are still in the Obama era and I am looking forward to the Trump period…

TaskMaster has also been a highlight. Greg Davies and Alex Horne have made a fantastic series where celebrities are challenged to do ridiculous things. Another one we are all caught up in (12 series so far) and looking forward to the next season.


Suffice it say we have had our share of belly laughs this long dismal year. Thank god for British humour. And Youtube. And friends with Hulu.

The Enneagram Personality Test

Never heard of it before, but I gave it a shot…

Your primary type is

Seven.

98% MATCH
Type 7 is described as The Enthusiast. Sevens want to have as much fun and adventure as possible and are easily bored.

Nine

97% MATCH

Type 9 is also called The Peacemaker. Nines like to keep a low profile and let the people around them set the agenda.

https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test

Sevens are defined by their desire to experience everything good and pleasurable that the world has to offer, while avoiding pain, boredom, and limitations. Although Sevens appear enthusiastic and fun-loving, deep down, they have a fear of getting stuck in negative emotions. Thus, they tend to disconnect from their deeper feelings, instead focusing on their imagination and zest for life to keep them moving forward and gathering new, pleasurable experiences.

Sevens aim to fill every minute with an activity. They approach life as an endless rollercoaster of fun, joyous experiences—and if not fun, at least not sad, bored, anxious, depressed or painful. Sevens use their charm, enthusiasm, imagination, and positive attitude to get as much enjoyment as possible out of every moment of life. Ideally, a Seven aspires to ride a continuous high, avoiding the drearier aspects of reality.

Super power:

Optimism. Your dedication to a glass-half-full mentality keeps you going when others might give up, and gives you the courage to try things that many might see as too risky. You genuinely believe that things usually work out for the best, and with your determination to make things go your way, this is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have a tendency to be optimistic even when things are dire, and sometimes this means that you gloss over the negative and are taken by surprise when problems arise. When it comes to important plans, be sure to take time to think about how things could go wrong, even if it feels unnatural and overly pessimistic. Once your due diligence is done, you can move forward with even more confidence that things will work out in your favor.

Two

61% MATCH
Type 2 can be described as The Giver. Twos want to be liked and find ways that they can be helpful to others so that they can be loved and belong.

Three

56% MATCH
Type 3 is also known as The Achiever. Threes want to be successful and admired by other people, and are very conscious of their public image.

Four

68% MATCH
Type 4 is known as The Individualist. Fours want to be unique and to live life authentically, and are highly attuned to their emotional experience.

Five

92% MATCH
Type 5 is described as The Investigator. Fives seek understanding and knowledge, and are more comfortable with data than people.

Six

48% MATCH
Type 6 is also known as The Skeptic. Sixes are preoccupied with security, seek safety, and like to be prepared for problems.

Seven

98% MATCH
Type 7 is described as The Enthusiast. Sevens want to have as much fun and adventure as possible and are easily bored.

Eight

63% MATCH
Type 8 is also known as The Challenger. Eights see themselves as strong and powerful and seek to stand up for what they believe in.

Nine

97% MATCH
Type 9 is also called The Peacemaker. Nines like to keep a low profile and let the people around them set the agenda.

One

43% MATCH
Type 1 can be thought of as The Perfectionist. Ones place a lot of emphasis on following the rules and doing things correctly.

Dinghy Blues

“Laughing Baby, she am no more…”

Not completely, but nevertheless it’s a sad day for us. The West Marine 310 RIB we lovingly called Laughing Baby has reached the end of her working life and it’s time to put her out to pasture. (What’s the marine equivalent of pasture…lagoon?) She still floats and as of today doesn’t leak at all. But the wood transom is starting to go and it makes us nervous to put the big 8hp on her these days and worse, the dinghy guys say the vinyl is nearing end-of-life. And since we charter her and the Never for Ever as a team… well she just isn’t up to snuff anymore.

We’ve been keeping an eye out for a good used RIB but haven’t seen anything come on the market that was suitable. Oddly enough there are lots of inflatable bottomed tenders, but the sharp rocks and oyster-filled shallows of the PNW make that just a bit contra-indicated.

A lucky find?

I was  checking out kijiji in BC the other day and came across a Highfield 290 UL for under $3000. That was way more than I had in the budget, but the more I looked at it the more intriguing it was. The UL stands for ultralight which means it had an aluminum bottom which was both tougher and lighter the fiberglass of the current boat. At 9’7″, the 290 is about 7 inches shorter that the current RIB and comes in at 86 lbs vs the  113 lbs. But it will still handle the 8HP and fit 4 people comfortably.

I figured if buying new might now be on the table, then I should do my due diligence and call around. At the time I assumed the 2021 Vancouver Boat Show was off (turns out it now is being held virtually in late February) so it thought waiting for a show deal was off the table. I checked out a bunch of dealers and talked to Nanaimo Chandlery — which is run by the same people as Nanaimo Yacht Charters — to see if they could get me a deal but it seemed this Highfield’s price was as good as it first appeared.

So I called SG Power in Victoria to get the scoop. Turns out it was a 2020 floor model and yes, it was still available. So I bought it.

A Small Problem

So now I had a problem. Actually a couple of them.  I was in Alberta, the marina was in Nanaimo and the new tender was in Victoria. And we weren’t going to be on the coast before May at the earliest — and even that was up-in-the-air with the Covid situation. The fellow at SG Power was, rightly so,  reluctant to commit it to commercial shipping as it was out of the box and it would be hard to ensure it made the trip intact. He did however volunteer to store it for me, even after I told him worst case was us not making it out until spring. Great service and a pleasure to deal with these guys.

The other problem was I really didn’t think Laughing Baby deserved to be unceremoniously discarded as she still had a lot of life left, albeit perhaps not zooming around at high speeds. So now we had two dinghies.

I talked to a few friends on the island but none of them had the facilities or vehicles to help with the problem and the people at NYCSS didn’t have any trips to Victoria planned—although they did generously offer us use of the truck when we finally made it out. So we had a fallback plan but I was hoping to get it dealt with earlier. Then I sent a note off to Matt from Gudgeon to see if he knew anyone. Matt is back in Victoria after he left his boat in Mexico Sadly she is now for sale). He said he would ask around and actually sounded semi-hopeful. I offered a trade of transportation in exchange for Laughing Baby just in case someone with a truck was looking for a cheap dinghy. Fingers crossed.

In the meantime I am talking to a few other contacts/friends and if I have to, I will pay for a rental truck—although that solution still leaves me trying to find a home for the old dinghy.

What’s in a Name

First world problems: another conundrum is what we name the new tender? The original was a compromise, because we thought Laughing Baby wouldn’t play as well on the VHF as Never for Ever, so the I suggested we assign that name to the tender. And that deal still stands. But do we keep the name as is? Add a “Two” or “II” to the end (or “Too” as some people go for.)

I guess we will wait and see—these boating rituals are sometimes a puzzle.

Happier Days

So that’s that. Hopefully we have some fun oaring ahead of us and maybe even a bit of zooming. Finally here are few final images of the adventures we’ve had with the original Laughing Baby over the years—and if you know anyone who will give her a good home, let me know.

 
—Bruce #Equipment

Covid times…

I wrote this back in 2013 as part of my write-something-everyday project (It’s Novel).

7 years later it most certainly applies to my current thinking of the state of the world.

It changed everything and changed nothing. The mere existence, the actuality of it, the overwhelmingly realness meant that nothing could ever be the same. The reality shift had occurred and could never, ever be erased.

And yet nothing had changed. Planets orbited, children starved needlessly in wastelands while their neighbours nodded their heads. Young girls discovered love and old men counted their regrets like a miser counts his gold. The season slowly shifted, the morning was alive with sound and sun, and the birds started to get restless, eager to move on but not knowing why.

There were tasks to be performed and jobs to be done, just like yesterday; yet it was all so … different. And that difference was what it was all about. Or rather, the difference that the difference made. Everyone reacts differently to change and everyone is afraid of the unknown. Some revel in their fear and drink in the elixir from their adrenal glands, but many, even most, see it as a bizarre illness or an uncontrollable affliction that shreds their sanity simply by the fact of its existence.

Knowing things have irrevocable changed is often the reward for curiosity. And knowing it existed, changed it again.

Updating a digital log

Years ago when we first started chartering I created a Filemaker database to track our voyages and sea miles. A lot of charter companies want a “resume” and I had heard if I ever wanted to get some really advance certification that one needed minimum numbers of recorded miles as crew and captain. So I used the database to track miles etc. At the end of each trip I would diligently add in all the days, miles, notes and lat/long if I had happened to note them.

Fast forward a bunch of years and my version Filemaker now no longer runs reliably on my updated OS. And since I no longer have any need for it, buying a new license doesn’t seem like a reasonable expense. Luckily I had both a printout of the contents and was able to export the data from the files between crashes. But it was time to acquire a new database tool.

MySql/php

A bit of  sniffing around the internet and it became clear that building a MySql database was going to be the likely successor. But unlike Filemaker, it has no graphical interface—so that meant if I wanted it to be at all user friendly I would need to build a custom php website to add, view and edit the data. Since my knowledge of both MySql and php was cursory to say the least, it looked like an impossible task. But nothing ventured, nothing gained…

MySql text interface

To cut a very long story short (or at least shorter) I managed to find a nice tutorial for building a CMS (content management system) and then began the painful task of hacking it into my new Cruising Log. Along the way I have learned tons and tons and have thoroughly enjoyed the exercise. As a work in progress it probably took me around a year to get it to the state it’s in now—although a lot of that was back-tracking to do things over so future changes would also work. I am a very dangerous coder.

Entering Data

The original design was based on the idea that I would get home after a cruise, grab info from the official ship’s log and then type it all in manually. But I use Farkwar.com to post updates on a daily basis while I am cruising which updates our position by means of an email formatted in particular way:

Enter text and/or notes here.
-----
At 04/24/2020 10:40 (pdt) our position was 49°50.1068?N,124°31.6473’W
Destination: Nanaimo

It occurred to me that my site could also parse the email and potentially update the database automatically. So I rejigged the email in a way that allows Farkwar to ignore the extra information and leaving me able to enter what I wanted to. Next I wrote a python script to parse the email, extract the relevant data and output in a format that MySql will understand. Then when I send it to my secret Farkwar email, I cc it to a personal secret email—Farkwar will post the position and update its map, and my python script will parse and post it to the database. So now the email looks like this:

Log Entry
We decided to go. It will be an arduous journey but I have faith we will survive it mostly unscathed.

Whales will be looking forward to our visit
-----
At 05/21/2020 10:40 (pdt) our position was 49°50.1068?N,124°31.6473’W
Destination: Nanaimo
From: Edmonton
To: Nanaimo
Distance: 0

…and this results in a posted entry that looks like this:

Back to the site

But before I could really get going I had to build the website, connect it to the MySql database in a more or less secure way and start formatting various pages. Another long , hijinx-filled story I won’t bore you with. So after a few farcical fits and starts, the site now consists of a front end with two pages (an overall view and a detail page for each cruise):

…and an admin backend that allows me to add/delete/edit  boat lists, crew lists, and the cruises themselves.

Of course it is never that simple, and a lot of extra things needed to be built along the way—like a login screen, a database table to hold users and some truly convoluted MYSQL statements to  be able to display and edit the information I wanted in the way I wanted it. (And, as I just discovered, a way to delete an entire voyage.) But in the end I got it done.

I also realized that since I had the latitude and longitude nicely formatted it wouldn’t be hard to build a link to google maps: https://www.google.com/maps/place/49%C2%B0%2030.8916%20N+123%C2%B0%2057.8196%20W so I could visually see the various locations each entry was made. So I did.

Printing

The last piece of the puzzle was the ability to print a nicely formatted pdf version of the log as a whole. I started off experimenting with some php to pdf utilities but in the end decided to design a nicely formatted webpage and then print direct to pdf.

Conclusion

After all that, I decided not to schedule the updating script and rather I will just run it when I get home —at least for the first few trips to ensure everything works in real world conditions. That is if we ever get to go cruising again 😉

The very last thing I did was port a copy from my personal server to the server where NeverforEver.ca is situated and try and set it up as a sample. Which, after a long battle, you can now find here: Cruising Log. If anyone is interested in the back end, let me know and I might send you a temp admin password.

It’s been a great learning experience and makes me want to do more development. Apparently Swift is pretty close to Python, and Swift is the official language of iOS development. Maybe I could make it into an iphone app next? If this COVID thing goes on long enough, well, who knows…

P.S. As a side note, according to my fancy new cruising log, not including inland water trips, I am officially at 6218 nm total cruising.

P.P.S. I will likely post at least the python code over at macblaze.ca, but probably not for a few days as it will take a bit of cleaning up.
—Bruce #Posts

5 Years!

Its time for a 5 year update

We’ve owned Never for Ever for almost exactly 5 years now. And its been a pretty damn pleasant experience so far. Will our luck hold? Time for an update…

A Little Background

If you’ve haven’t gone through the whole blog, here is a little bit of how we came to own our trusty 2003 Hunter 386.

When we started this process 2014 we wanted a boat to own for one year while L had her sabbatical. The intent was to sail the PNW, overwinter in Victoria while living aboard and then sell her after we had to come back to real life in July 2016. Which is what we did. Except for the selling part. In the end we just couldn’t part with the lifestyle and we decided to keep her and put her in charter with Nanaimo Yacht Charters to provide guardianship and help defray ownership costs.

The year-long sabbatical meant we wanted a turnkey boat that we could board and sail away without any extra major investment, or worse, time delays. A lot of searching  ensued and as luck would have it we landed on what has been the perfect boat, at first for the living aboard, and then for putting her into charter.

The initial survey

What’s it cost?

Other than the initial purchase price, we’ve done well. There was a bunch of cash we spent right off the bat before we even set off, but the largest costs of ownership since then have been fixing leaks. And that high number mostly stems from paying people to do it as we are 1000+ kilometres away from her 80% of the time.

Initial expenses:

  • new Rocna anchor
  • new galvanic isolator
  • new graphic decals
  • new batteries
  • new hot water heater

Major things we spent money on since then:

  • 120′ new anchor chain
  • Webasto heater repairs
  • BMS (battery monitoring system)
  • new stove thermocouples
  • 2 head rebuild kits
  • chasing down leaks and repairs
  • 2 macerator pumps
  • new head hoses
  • new fender
  • replacing the motor mounts
  • a new hatch
  • new (used) e80 chartplotter
  • a new shower faucet
  • and a new windlass

Shiny new chain!

Ongoing ownership costs include:

  • zincs
  • cleaning materials
  • bottom paint
  • polish & cleaning
  • winterization
  • outboard maintenance
  • oil changes
  • fire extinguisher recertifications
  • propane tank recertifications

I’m not going to  dig up all the figures but none of these items (except for the %^&$# motor mounts and associated costs) were more than several of hundreds of dollars—and it has been divided over 5 years.

Oh and the windlass. The windlass was just replaced and I don’t have the final bills yet although the estimates had that pretty price—close to a couple of boat bucks (~$2000).  What sucks about that is it worked perfectly fine but since Simpson Lawrence has gone out of business, we couldn’t source any seals (we tried for almost 2 years) and it was leaking a ton of water into the forward compartment. So we bit the bullet and replaced it.

All in all, a pretty short list considering the tropes of boat ownership are BOAT: bust out another thousand (dollars) or Cruising: the experience of fixing your boat in exotic places. We definitely lucked out in our choice of vessels—especially considering our naiveté in boat buying matters.

Up on the hard while the motor mounts are repaired

Summary

We’ve spent a lot…a lot… less than I had anticipated over the last 5 years.

The charter option has worked out for us. Being a 2003, the boat already had its maiden dings and dents far in the past and no charterer has inflicted any damage that wouldn’t be accounted for under the heading of normal wear and tear. NYCSS has done an outstanding job in the guardianship department with annual (or more frequent) haul outs, polishing and even a bit of varnishing here and there and making sure everything worked in tip top shape.

With this arrangement we’ve done darn good — even made ~$100 last year — and, excepting the year I backed over the tender’s painter and broke the motor mounts, our annual cost of ownership has been around one to two thousand dollars. That includes moorage, repairs, maintenance, guardianship and insurance. And we’ve been able to sail anywhere from 27–67 days a year. It may not be for everyone and certainly you can’t have the same kind of pride-of-ownership, but having Never for Ever in charter was the right decision for us. I doubt we would have sailed even a quarter as much if we’d sold her and had to charter ourselves.

As much as we love her, Laughing Baby’s days are numbered.

So as it stands, after 5 years, Never for Ever  is pretty good condition still—excellent even. According to periodic checks of Yachtworld, she would likely sell for near what we paid for her. There is a bunch more wear on the sails and we are currently in the market for a new tender so there are still a few things to keep our eyes on. The enclosure canvas is still good but the side panels might need new clears soon, although as they are taken up and down so often they would just get scratched again. Other than that she is still a fairly turn-key vessel with no other major expenses in the foreseeable future—which is a good thing because with Covid-19 and decreased charter revenue, our ownership costs this year are likely to skyrocket, and, what is much worse in my eyes, with potential zero usage by us.

So It’s been a grand 5 years. And I look forward to a whole bunch more and maybe, hopefully, we can get back out and live aboard again for another year — or maybe even longer.

(Disclaimer: as previously noted somewhere in this blog, I am a notorious rounder of figures. The above was just meant to say that overall the cost of owning this particular boat has been pretty affordable. Your milage is definitely going to vary.)
—Bruce #Purchasing