The Launching of a Dream

It was a year and three months ago when my husband and I sat down to enjoy a child-free anniversary lunch in a boutique hotel in Manhattan.  There were probably 5 tables in the small restaurant.  It was time for us to reconnect and to discuss ‘us’.  We felt that our 10 years in New York had been remarkable, giving us our incredible son, meaningful jobs as educators, numerous teaching awards, unimaginable experiences, our brick home and a rich community of likeminded humans. However, we felt it did not seem the same as it had been many years before.  We wanted more time as a family, more time traveling, more time appreciating the world, and more time getting to know our son.  So, we pondered how we could make all these goals come true.  We came to the realization that the only way to make this possible was to have a home that moved.  Being that we love international travel, we thought a boat would be best suited.  Since we would not have income, we determined sailing would be the most economical means of realizing our dream.  Who cared if neither of us could sail, or navigate, or dock a gigantic boat, or anchor for that matter?  We decided it was our 5-year plan and left it at that.

The idea continued to weave its way into our thoughts.  Six months later, Rafael started reaching out to catamaran dealers, which I thought was preposterously out of the question. But as a good husband, I humored him. My husband dreams large, real large, but what he decides to do he does with precision, 1000% dedication, and unbridled passion.  How would we ever afford such a boat that we had never set foot on? We dragged Gabriel to Westbrook, CT and got our first look at a catamaran.  We talked with Ted from Sound Yachting and were assured that we were not the only couple who had purchased a catamaran without having any idea of what we were doing.  The curtain dropped, price revealed, and we thought that in five years we may be able to have enough money to put the down payment for the boat and eventually get a mortgage.  It would take around two years for a boat to go from deposit to completion.  Who were we fooling? I knew the only boat we could ever afford was one that had been abused for 5 years and someone was trying to get rid of…quick!

Ted, the catamaran dealer, convinced us to go to the Miami Boat Show. It just so happened to land on our Department of Education Mid-Winter Recess. He wanted us to come down, check out the Lagoon catamarans and drench ourselves possibilities.  February in Miami was sounding good; being able to stay with Rafael’s family and a free ticket to the world’s largest sailboat show sounded great.  We flew down, we dined with family and visited the sailboat section of the show.  There were hundreds of boats, beautiful boats, ridiculous boats.  We were overwhelmed by the number, intoxicated by the beauty of these ‘mansions on water.’  Near the beginning, we ventured on to the fly onto the bridge of a Bavaria Nautitech, took pictures, and spent a good hour just unwinding there on the couch.  It felt good. We liked the deck up top, the consolidation of four showers to two, and the sleek German design.  We continued to look at countless boats, but none that quite stuck with us as did the Bavaria.  At the end of the show, I sneaked off and took one more look; knowing good and well that having a boat like this was at best a pipe dream.

It was summer and I wanted to get a boat, leave NYC and make my husband a happy man.  I had the solution.  My dad had purchased an older 40 foot sailboat for $2,500.  My husband being the high-quality man he is said “Go for it, find out how much and report back.”  Gabriel and I would fly to Charleston during summer break, hire someone to fix up the boat and we off we sail in 6 months.  I called a guy who worked on sailboats and he agreed to meet at the marina.  When we arrived at the boat, we were both shocked at how much work the boat needed.  Although, I remained optimistic.  This was going to save us a fortune.  Unfortunately, the boat was going to need to be gutted and there was no telling how much the engine repair was going to cost.  Jason said “You are going to have to invest over $100,000 and that is not a guarantee that the boat will be ocean ready.”  My favorite line of the conversation was, “You can burry a diamond in a pig’s ass, but in the end of the day it is just a pig.”  My dreams were crushed.

Months later, we continued to talk about the catamaran, the dream, and eventually broke down and called a Bavaria dealer on Long Island.  He was excited for us and told us that we should expect a 2 year wait for the boat we wanted.  However, he just had a client who backed out on the exact boat we wanted two weeks prior.  If we wanted to buy his slot in the assembly line, he would give us a 5% discount on top of the 12% less in cost due to being in the construction cue for 2 years.  “The boat will be ready the beginning of November. You have until Monday to decide.”  This was a Thursday, we freaked out!  What are the odds?  How could we pass on this offer?  Did we want to start as early as next year?  Where in the hell would we get the money?  We immediately called the real estate agent who sold us the house and setup an appointment to determine the resale value of our home.  We never thought that in five years our home would have increased almost 90% in value.  We decided, called the dealer and put the down payment on our dream.