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The best day of a boat owner’s life?

Vol. II, No. 76

Cruising is a great way to see more sunrises and sunsets than the majority of the population. Photo by Allen Clark /

They say the two best days in the life of a boat owner are the day you buy the boat and the day you sell the boat. I just signed the contract for the sale of our 1979 Gulfstar 37; now I’ve been through the full cycle.  So, is it true?  Well, it is nice to know I will no longer be paying semi-annual yard storage bills, which before long would have added up to more than the value of the boat. It’s nice to know I no longer have to worry about maintaining a boat that’s a year older than I am. I’m happy to have unloaded those responsibilities, but to me, calling this the best day of my life simply because I no longer have to throw money into that proverbial hole in the ground would be a travesty.  If you’re a true sea lover, the best days of your boat-owning life are the ones you spent aboard, and when you sell the boat, you yearn for the next opportunity to be a boat owner.  That’s how I feel, and to help me keep the eye on the prize, I’m taking some time to remember all of the experiences.

I’m remembering the six months my husband and I spent sailing “South at 7 knots” from Westport to Key West and back.  I’m remembering the impression Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas made on me as it popped into view from the middle of nowhere, and the Goliath Grouper hanging out near our boat when we got there. I’m remembering a handful of extra special, serene, isolated anchorages we wandered into, like on the Little Alligator River in North Carolina.  I’m remembering the overnighters we did together, just the two of us: 2 hours on, 2 hours off, from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral, Norwalk to Nantucket, or the 48-hour stretch up the Delmarva.  I’m remembering a week on anchor in Nantucket Harbor, living the good life at the cost of $0/night.  And I’m remembering all of the sunsets, sunrises, and shooting stars–liveaboard boaters get to see more of them than most of the population.

There are so many experiences to remember, and they’re much more valuable than the check I’ll be putting in the bank, or all of the money that we put into the boat along the way.  It’s a great reminder not to just keep your boat on the dock and use it a few times a year.  Boat owners: Make time to get out on the water as often as you can.  When it comes time to sell the boat, you should have had a number of best days of your life already.