The Stewart family buy a boat, jack it all in and go sailing!

Warts and all

Our boat is not flash.  Words you could use to describe Iron Will: sturdy, seaworthy, solid.  We bought her because a) she has great lines, b) she’s built to last and c) she was the right price.

She’s also distinctive looking – in a marina of white plastic, her navy steel stands out.  Her raked stem and stern pull the eye in, in a way that the ubiquitous plumb bows and sugar scoops aft do not.

When we went to view a couple of boats back in May (see here for more), Matt and I knew pretty much straight away, and without giving any sign to each other, that we’d found what we were looking for.  She needed a few bits sorting out (and what boat doesn’t?); but basically we could move aboard.  No project boat here.

She did need hauling out, to be surveyed.  And while she was out, we wanted to antifoul as it had been a few years.  The haulout  took some time to organise as there was, and still is, a massive queue for for the boatyard here.  Yeah thanks, Cyclone Debbie.  We also wanted to replace the standing rigging as it was getting old and tired.

One of the reasons I’m keen to get out of the marina is that we DO stand out.  We look so different.  When we stop and chat to other marina-users (some of whom are retirees who fly in from Melbourne or Sydney for the week), they express their admiration for Iron Will’s lines, and then add quite a bit of teeth-sucking and head-shaking at all the cosmetic work to be done.

She does need a bit of paint, but really, that’s about it.  There are an infinite number of bits that could be polished, sanded, varnished, whipped and spliced, but there are on any boat.

I am so profoundly grateful that we have her and that we’re living on board.  Yes, it has been tedious few weeks, waiting for our haulout spot and getting the stays replaced, but we know we’ll be safer and sail better for these jobs being done.  And on the upside, it’s given us all a chance to get used to living aboard before our home starts moving and tipping!

I feel like saying to these head-shakers; we’re so lucky! We have this gorgeous boat and we are actually living on her! We have managed to jiggle our lives around so that we can buy this boat! take a year off work! spend time as a family! while the kids are still young! PLUS we still have our lovely home that we can go back to! (if we want to, which I secretly doubt …)

I am breathless sometimes, with the audacity of this idea that we’ve conceived and executed.  I don’t think we deserve anyone’s pity for all the possible work we could do to bring her up to boatshow condition, I think we deserve congratulations and a slap on the back.

I think that sometimes we’re all so focussed on striving to be the best and have the best, that we miss what we already have.  Even if we don’t follow the Kardashians or outwardly strive to be zillionaires, our society does worship the new, the flashy, the expensive.  New cars: to be strived for.  Bigger house: buy now and pay off for the next 30 years.

But really, what if we were happy with just “good enough”? with “perfect for now”?

What do you think?