Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Danger: Two (or more)-Foot-Itis

The roving eye always seems to be looking for a bigger boat.

Monday night, I arrived home early and caught Pat surfing some decidedly unsavory sites on the Web. In particular, he was ogling a For Sale ad for a 32-foot Kirié Elite sailboat that is available in the Clear Lake, Texas area. The really scary thing was the asking price – about what we’d likely pay for a slightly-used car to replace El Caballero when the time comes. And for that money, instead of convenient, reliable transportation, we could get a boat with a full galley and marine head and oodles of creature comforts – it’s made in France, so the wine rack is a given – and all of the expenses of keeping a big boat operational.

Oh, and of course, there would also be the expense of getting a trailer for the boat, and transporting it (it’s oversize, so there are state permits involved), and getting a tougher towing vehicle, and who knows what other expenses.

There’s a disease that’s been documented among sailors, called Two-Foot-Itis. It’s the compulsion to seek out a boat that’s just a little bigger than the current one, with just a few more features, or better performance, or whatever. Pat seems to have been hit by a particularly severe case. With our current finances, it’s really not a good idea to move up from our existing boats – the 26-foot MacGregor, Syzygy, which is our main boat, plus three Sunfish, a couple of kayaks, and a very pretty but klutzy Classic Marine dinghy. For the sort of sailing that we do, I think Syzygy does just fine.

Yes, I will admit, the sleeping, toilet, and cooking accommodations on Syzygy are less than ideal. Yes, in a more comfortable boat, I might actually be willing to stay overnight, saving on motel costs when we go to the lake. However, those savings will be tiny compared to the costs of keeping up a big boat.

There’s a saying: “A boat is a hole in the water into which you pour money.” And the amount of money to pour in doesn’t simply increase in proportion with the size of the boat; it’s more typically exponential.

So those of you out there who like small boats (like my newest fan, Tillerman – that’s his blog, Proper Course, in the Links to the left), how does one convince a guy that bigger isn’t necessarily better?


Blogger Pat said...


"How does one convince a guy __ who grew up in Texas __ that a bigger boat isn't such a great idea?"

Fri Nov 04, 12:24:00 PM MST  
Blogger Ed Herndon said...

I suffered from Rampant Three Foot Itis

1969 14' Dolphin Senior
1972 16' Hobie Cat
1977 30' Ericson
1993 34.5 Hunter
1996 41 Morgan Out Island Ketch
1999 48" MY Seamaster for Great Loop
2002 45" Hunter Passage

Would like to move down to a 38' Catalina

Visit me in Texas...

Sat Nov 05, 09:34:00 AM MST  
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Anonymous xanax said...

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Mon Aug 01, 04:55:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a 26' Columbia Mk 2. To be honest, I dont want a bigger boat. It has just enough creature comforts to be comfortable to sleep in, cook, and eat aboard, and just not enough so when we land somewhere we want to get off the boat and walk around.

With smaller/midsize boats, it's all about how you organize your stuff in them. Our 26 footer has an amazing amount of room when everything is properly stowed and its not hard to get at anything when we need it.

Fri Aug 31, 02:50:00 PM MDT  

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