It was fun putting together the series of posts about things you to think about sourcing in advance for your future cruising life. No question, there are some great economies when you can take the time to wait for sales or have the patience to troll for deals online.
Most important: getting OUT THERE! CraigsList kayak a bonus.
We have a tendency to want to solve our problems, or seek to actualize our future, by going out and buying things to fix them. Take a look at the market of all things environmental. Does buying something you don't need make you an environmentalist? Mostly, it just makes you a consumer influenced by marketing. Spending money on “stuff” doesn't make you the person you want to be. Planning and acting on your plans go a lot further than discretionary dollars when it comes to realizing your dreams.
So before you buy something that tastes and smells and feels like your cruising dream, consider if it will really help- if it can really bring your dream closer to reality. Sometimes, yes. But I think of the kind of boat a friend referred to as a Dock Queen. All dressed up, but not going anywhere. And the friends with lots of things, but little time to enjoy them.
The truth is, most of the path of acquisition really does feel like a distraction.
So think about it this way. Cruising is a few years away. Is there something you need to replace in your daily life, that can be replaced with something that will later make the transition to your boat? Put the "marine" filter onto the things you do need, and make smarter choices.
Or maybe- maybe, it's not the Stuff at all. Probably the best pre-cruising preparation I had was a couple of weeks of training with Nancy Earley.
Hands-on learning with the patient and knowledgeable Nancy
Nancy leads on-board ISPA certification experiences from her boat, Tethys, on which she has completed two circumnavigations. The time I spent with her was invaluable. I couldn't dock our boat, so we spent hours (and hours, and hours) one day while I made pass after pass until I had it nailed. In my head, in my muscles, and in my heart. She answered all questions, from the inane (I am sure I had them) to those based in fear of the unknown and helped point down the path.
You can have all the right gear, all the right books, but knowledge and confidence are more important than all the Stuff you can buy put together. What are the gaps you need to fill?