Friday, April 25, 2014

Why is the Money Always Gone?

Money just flies out of our savings account (image from here)
Some days it really does feel like this.  Two years ago when we came through Oriental with a broken V-drive, the mechanics who fixed it advised that we really should address the fact that our engine was installed without proper mounts to cushion the vibration.  Over time this would create excess wear on the engine, meaning ultimately it would wear out sooner.  And in the meantime it made motoring noisier and less smooth than it needed to be.

But the job was expensive and at the time we were already over budget and behind schedule.  The engine work was important, but not urgent, so we decided to schedule it for autumn 2013 and started saving money to complete the work.  And the inevitable add-ons: "You know, while we're doing this, and the boat is out of the water anyway and the engine is out, it would be an excellent opportunity to re-route the air conditioning.  And add a cleanout tank to the diesel heater.  And then rework the companionway stairs."  And so it goes.

Well, life happened, and autumn 2013 came, but we hadn't quite accumulated all the money we'd need, so we postponed the project for this spring/summer.  By March, we had everything we'd need, both for the job itself and to rent a place to stay while the boat was uninhabitable during the process.

Or I should say, we had had everything we'd need.  For about two days.  Then we got the call from the property manager that our rental house needed a new air conditioning system, and another tenant gave notice, and our account looked exactly like the picture above.

The good news, of course, was that we had the money to do the fix.  The bad news was that we were probably going to be forced to postpone our project yet again.  And I was pretty down about that.  Down enough to start looking at other boats online.  In fact, it was even worse than that.  I was so down, I even began to wonder if we should trade in the boat for a cabin in Montana.

Thank goodness for online friends, who listened to me vent, reminded me that having had the money in savings in the first place really was good news, and best of all, made some suggestions to cobble together a solution.  The add-ons won't happen until some unspecified future date, but a combination of an unexpected tax refund, some lean living for the next two months, more anchoring than marinas on our way north, and a zero-interest credit card will get the job done.  And another unexpected benefit: I didn't find a single boat online in our price range that I liked better than, or nearly as much as, our present one.  Reminded me all over again how much I like our life afloat!

This gorgeous photo of our beloved boat by Joe McCary 

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