We do farily well but as I wrote with 2 kids in college its tough.
The story of our sailboat goes like this -having had boats all my life, but through several twist of fate I found myself boatless in 2010 for the first time in 20 years and an ache started in my gut, but had no funds for boats as we were paying college tuition for the kids. I had a dream but no dollars.
Then a couple years ago a buddy of mine headed off overseas for active duty in Afghanistan and he gave me his beautiful old cedar canoe as a present. Didn't want it anymore he said. I kept telling him I would sell it for him and mail him the money and he finally said " Just shut up and take your damn gift" and that was that. Well I never really liked that canoe and it had to be stored inside so the varnish would stay good. What a pain. And I still wanted a boat. Fate took a hand.
I brought the cedar canoe down to the river with my son one day for a paddle. The owner of the waterfront resteraunt was there and he saw the canoe and took a liking to it. He wanted it for an interior decoration and offered to buy it. I said it was a gift and I didn't feel right selling it. He offered to trade me for his old sailboat. I thought this must be my lucky break so I called my wife and then said okay and he took the canoe and he immediately hung it the in the rafters as a chandelier where it remains today. You can just see my canoe on the ceiling -
The following week I went to find his sad looking Catalina completely trashed, mildewed and disassembled in a storage yard in new jersey on a trailer with flat tires. Bulkheads unbolted, cushions everywhere, rigging all over. Boat was almost black and covered with algae on the outside but dry inside. I almost left her there as a wreck. Then I rubbed a little bit of the black and underneath was a beautiful white hull. Besides he had said the boat was all complete with no rot and I had the title, so I put air in the tires and set off the three hours for home. On the way the tires blew apart in the dark and and I had to leave her the first night in a farmers hayfield. But I finallly got her up to Poughkeepsie and with a pressure washer and some elbow grease I began to realize that here was the exact boat we had been wanting. Got her rigged up in my yard to check everything and then again at the boat yard.
My wife cleaned the interior and sails and we reassembled everthing from pictures on the internet. Everything was good, just need a little TLC!! The engine stalled only about 100 times and each time I cleaned the carburetor and eventually she started running good. Boat sailed like a dream, the complete interior all the rigging, incredibly everything was there and worked.
The owner of the bar was so happy to see the boat back and looking great that he offered me the slip next to the tiki bar at a discount. Here she is looking pretty in the restaurant website...I'm not totally crazy about the place, the owner or the occasional drunks but no one ever bothers us and the price is right and its less than a mile from my house. So really the whole thing is sort of a miracle.