Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

If you had asked me five years ago my opinion on power boats I would have given you some line about the romance of the sea. I would have told you how sailboats are much more connected to nature than powerboats. That power boaters just don't get it. Well, I could have been wrong. 

There are so many things about sailing that sailors like to believe. Sitting in the cockpit reading Bernard Moitessier speak about the beauty and nature and simplicity of solo sailing really can make you believe that he's right. And maybe he is right for him. I'm sure he is speaking honestly about his experience, but let's be honest, he was a loner. His wife lived in France most of the time and he lived by his own rules. He probably wouldn't like the Jimmy Buffett listening, Croc wearing, cruisers that occupy most of the established cruising world today either. 

The truth is, we convince ourselves that sailboats are cheaper, less maintenance, and more authentic. But they aren't. Not really. Everything in life is a compromise (especially on boats) and expectations rarely meet up to reality. After many years living aboard, not so many years of cruising, and lots and lots and lots of hours working on boats I have decided that sailboats are not the only way to live a happy life on the water.

So, are powerboats really as bad as sailors would have you believe? Don't get me wrong, I still love the idea of sailing around the world, but seriously, a lot of coastal cruising is motor-sailing from one port to the next. Anyone saying otherwise is probably selling something. (Most likely in the modern world of influencers they are trying to sell you on the awesomeness of their own lives via social media.) Could it be that space and convenance and square beds could be the answer to successful, long-term, live aboard cruising? Possibly. We will see...

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