Sometimes I write to journal our wonderful experiences try and other times I write to work out a problem I am having. This time I am writing because we are facing a dilemma. It started a year ago…
One night joking around my hubby and I tossed out the idea of buying a sailboat. Turns out he had looked into getting one years back before we met and the same was for me. I was 23 in the Caribbean’s when the dream of owning a sailboat was so close, yet so so far. I was standing on a dock before a beautiful wooden boat that reminded me of the boat in one of my favorite movies Captain Ron. I talked to the man who owned the boat. He told me he was from Canada and sailed all over the world. That’s what he did. Oh it sounded wonderful to me, but my dream stopped there. My first husband (who I was married to at that time wanted nothing to do with sailboats). Enough about that, back to a year ago. So what started as a joke soon became serious and the research began. We found a Cheoy Lee for sale on Craigslist in California.
After talking to the seller about arranging to see the boat hubby and I prayed about it. Is this really what God wants us to do? We prayed about our property in Oregon before we had purchased it and God practically handed it over to us. That’s a whole other story for another day. God had put us on the property in Oregon so why would we even think of getting a sailboat? Well, we had taken off for five months the winter before to escape the harsh winters on the mountain. In our travels we met so many people and learned so much. We learned we want to be missionaries. So our plan is to take off every winter and do mission work heading for warmer weather. So that night hubby and I prayed about the sailboat and God’s will for us. The very next day a friend of ours came over and handed us, in cash, the exact amount of the price of the sailboat. No strings attached or repayment. He said that he loves what we do and thinks we are awesome people so he felt strongly he should give us the money. Wow! If that isn’t a sign I don’t know what is.
So off to California we went. The sailboat needed A LOT of work, but it wasn’t anything we felt we couldn’t handle. We bought the Cheoy Lee. That summer we spent 3 weeks putting a new deck on then buckled the boat up and headed back to Oregon. We had a lot to do in Oregon. Animals, garden, and a cabin to build.
In December we buckled up the property in Oregon to head out for the winter. A little late getting out of there because we were helping a friend build his cabin. It was nice to be back on the Cheoy Lee again. And the work began. We have spent the past 6 months working everyday on restoring the Cheoy Lee. We fixed all the fiberglass patches on the cabin top, painted the whole boat with 3 layers of paint, sanded (lots and lots of sanding) all the exterior wood work, varnished the cock pit, teak oiled all the teak, painted the dinghy, painted part of the interior, days and days of fixing the electrical nightmare, working on the engine, and starting to re-varnish the masts.
In the mist of all this my hubby happens to find his dream boat at the next marina over for sale. Oh boy.
After hubby talking non-stop about the boat and researching it he finally convinces me to go look at the boat. We look at the boat and wow another project boat that needs a ton of work, but luckily this one has 90% of what we need to finish it. The asking price was too much for us though. So that night we prayed about it and God’s will for us. I told hubby the only way we could pay for that boat is if we cash out one of my small investments that I made when I was 21, but that would still be a lot lower than the asking price. I highly doubt the owner (which is the harbor master of the marina) will go for it. Hubby suggests we offer that and tell him that we will move the Cheoy Lee over to that marina and keep both boats there for a year as part of the deal. Well it’s worth a shot. The next day we went and talked to the harbor master and before we opened our mouths he told us exactly what hubby and I were gonna offer! We couldn’t believe it. Another fingerprint of God on our lives. Now we are the proud owner of the Westsail 32.
So here is the dilemma… Which boat do we keep?
Initially we bought the Cheoy Lee because it is known as a great blue water boat and we planned to be on it for at least the next 10 years. Well now we have bought another awesome blue water boat that is a lot bigger. Here are my thoughts…
We have two kids all year and the Cheoy Lee is a perfect size for us. Not sure about when they become teenagers. And we plan to circumnavigate in 10 years. We have four other kids part of the year and the Cheoy Lee is just way too small for all of us. In the summer when we have all six kids we stay at the marina and it is cramped! Of course we could always go back to our cabin in Oregon for the summer. The Cheoy Lee has earned its name and reputation. It still needs some cosmetic work done (no big deal) and the head gasket went out so we have engine work to do, but otherwise it is ready to sail. And we love sailing on it! We sail it no problem. It is easy to get out of a “crisis”, at least in the Delta, because it is lighter and has a shallow draft. The shallow draft also allows us to go a lot of places the Westsail won’t be able to. It is great in the ocean and going up rivers.
The Westsail was the boat we were hoping for 10 years from now, but it came early. The downfall is it needs a ton of work and several thousand dollars just to get it sailing. It needs the mast put up, the shrouds done, spreaders, the bow sprit, wenches installed (we have them), the running rigging, and sails just to get it sailing. That doesn’t include all the interior work that needs to be done and some of the other exterior work. It is bigger and fits all 8 of us no problem. It is pretty much like a 40’ boat inside. When we circumnavigate we want to offer to all our kids that whomever wants to go with us for all of the journey or just part of it there would be room for them to come. That isn’t possible on the Cheoy Lee. If more than two wanted to come. One thing we really like is that it has high gunnels which help protect the cabin top in case a rogue wave decides to try and punch a hole in it. The other thing is that it is twice the displacement of the Cheoy Lee. It can hold way more cargo and supplies. It is heavier and is known to be more stable in the ocean. But because it is heavier and a longer draft it is not as forgiving in some “crisis” situations. It is an ocean boat and not good in rivers. Also because it is bigger the expenses are higher, such as slip fees, bottom paint, haul out, and so forth. It has an almost brand new engine in it. It was installed in the 80’s brand new, but the owner never took the boat out. He just started the engine once a month for a few minutes to make sure it worked and stayed working. Hubby thinks overall the Westsail is safer.
I am not a very sentimental person, but I think I am attached to my first boat. I love that boat. We put a lot of hard work into it, it’s familiar, I love sailing it, and it’s an awesome boat. The Cheoy Lee is more maneuverable in my opinion, but that only really matters when coming into marinas and in the Delta. I know the Westsail is an awesome boat. Maybe I am being too sentimental. Maybe I am thinking too much about sailing in rivers when we want to be out on the ocean. We have been putting all our time in the Cheoy Lee and every time we say we are going to start working on the Westsail something happens on the Cheoy Lee that needs our immediate attention. Is it a sign? We posted the Cheoy Lee on Craigslist (we haven’t got a broker yet) and have had a lot of hits. Have had several people come look at it, even have someone coming tonight at 6:20. They all look at the boat and say it is beautiful and we have done a wonderful job, but then that’s it. Never hear from them again. Are we not supposed to sell it? Are we supposed to be on the Cheoy Lee this winter and then sell it next spring? Or are we supposed to fix up the Westsail and take our voyage on it this winter? We didn’t think we were going to have all the funds to fix up the Westsail unless we sold the Cheoy Lee, but as of this past Monday it looks like one of our other small investments might pay off and then we will have just about the exact amount we need to fix the Westsail. Is it a sign? God gave us two awesome boats.
Which one do we keep?