'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

And then there was the mortgage


Well, maybe.

Step two of this gradual discovery of our path has begun – I’ve applied for a mortgage.


I know, what’s the big deal, right? All normal people have mortgages, some have more than one. It’s just life, right?

I suppose it is, but it isn’t for me. Nicki and I have been nearly debt-free (except for a small, private note for Sionna) for the last 4 years. That’s why we were able to close up our home maintenance business 3 years ago, get rid of most of our stuff, and go live on a boat for a large portion of the year. Debt owns you, controls your movements, limits your options, sets your schedule.

But debt can also be said to expand your options, if it’s applied properly, and hopefully we’re applying it right. We’re going to find out, anyway.

Home ownership isn’t something I ever aspired to again. I’ve been there twice in my life, and I’ve assisted in the process many times when I was a real estate agent. Yet even I feel the pull of “Home Ground” these days. I want to be sailing, yes. I want to go adventuring again, and again…

But I also am drawn towards identifying “home” as a physical, stationary, nearly-permanent feature. It must have something to do with my Capricorn nature.

Since Nicki has now embarked on her next business adventure by forming “Encore Ventures, LLC”, and I’m a carpenter who has considerable experience in rehabilitating and upgrading older houses, it seems to make sense that we, well, buy a house. For us.

And interestingly, once I had that epiphany, I became much more accepting of this whole change in direction that’s happening. Eager, even.

Eager, as in “Let’s get on with it!”

Mind you, I’ve not had a mortgage of my own in over 12 years, and we’re not high rollers. Property values in Maine have been pushing up steadily for several years now, even for the not-so-perfect places that are within our financial reach. It’s going to require some creativity.

But if we can come up with something similar to the one in the picture above, something that’s basically sound but in need of a lot of work, we might be able to swing it. We’re going to try, anyway.

And what about cruising, and Sionna? Well might you ask.

Sionna, of course, is in storage in Florida – hurricane central – and that makes us both pretty nervous. Since we’re clearly not going to be sailing her this winter, I had the thought that we might pay to have her trucked back home, here to Maine. Sadly that thought was quickly quashed – $6000 is a pretty good down payment on a house.

We could hire a captain to deliver her north, but first there’s a bunch of pre-launch work I need to complete – she still has a half-completed rudder post repair, and a couple other things need attention as part of recommissioning before she’d be ready for that trip. Too, delivery skippers take on a lot of responsibility, and are paid appropriately. That’s not happening either.

And then of course, we could go sail her home ourselves. That’s attractive financially, and it would be another on-the-water adventure, but how to find the time to do that, while we’re building Nicki’s new business?

For the moment, we’re stymied. Sionna is as safe as we can make her in the yard in Florida, so for now I have to be content with that. Once we’ve found some sort of winter shelter for ourselves, I can turn my attention to the problem of having one third of our family stuck in the sand, 1600 miles away.

But lest you think our summer has been nothing but angst and worry, we do have friends with boats, and a couple of them have been most gracious, inviting us aboard and – in the case of Sid, turning the boat over to us with a “there you go, take me for a sail”.

It was a thoroughly lovely day on the water, and a good reminder of what we’re working toward with all these changes and re-directions.

Thank you Sid!

Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. After spending the summer in Maine, working to replenish the cruising kitty, and rehabilitating an old house, we’re headed back on the boat, bringing Sionna back home to northern waters. Follow our blog here!

5 thoughts on “And then there was the mortgage

  1. I had a similar situation in my life once upon a time. My personal opinion is unless you see a future of being able to break away 3 months a year Jan, Feb. March a boat in a distant yard just does not work. This happened to me. I kept my previous boat in the Bahamas and at some point I was only able to get there for 3 weeks a year. Not worth it. I sold it and moved on. If you “like” your boat and plan to stay in Maine I do not think trucking it up is a bad idea. Yeah it is 6k but even if you sail it up it is going to cost a significant amount of money and time. Subtract that cost from the trucking cost and trucking looks like a better option. The way it is now all you have to do is fly down drop the mast and ready her for the road. You could be sailing next summer. Otherwise I say just sell ASAP. Boats sitting in yards unattended for years just cost you money and every month drop in resale value.. Best of Luck


  2. If Sionna weren’t such a unique boat selling it in Florida and picking up a new-to-you boat in Maine would make economic sense … but it is, so a different path is warranted. Best of luck on your new path, and when Maine is cold come take a mini break and visit us for some Cinderella sailing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahhh, a new adventure. Life is to be lived, and you and Nicki certainly do that. Best of luck. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah yes, life’s little changes. In your case, it’s just a slight detour – an adventure of another kind. Before you know it, you will be back onboard again. As you know, we too have changed plans. We’ve enjoyed our time and don’t regret it at all, but life without a home base wasn’t working for us. We will start a new adventure soon and plan to stop in and see you then. Don’t be afraid of the change; embrace change and keep moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

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