Our family is at a bit of a crossroads. We seem to be in a holding pattern while we wait for our sailboat to sell and then as we decide what to do and where to go as we move forward.
We were told that the Fort Lauderdale area is “the place to be” if we want to sell our boat so we moved up from Marathon in the Florida Keys to be close to the action. Here we are paying more dockage fees, we lost our pool access and we are feeling an itch to move on. Kinda been there, done that. And yet, we are anxious to be in the thick of things for selling Viatori and finding something else that will better suit our needs. Don’t get me wrong, Viatori, is a great boat and we have made peace with the fact that she may not sell and then we will continue cruising with her, plus some upgrades to make her even better.
But to be honest, I have already envisioned us on a catamaran. A little more breathing room for our family. We could have a kid’s hull where all the wrestling occurs and where the toys stay! Richard could have some space for tools instead of piling them on top of each other and digging for everything. A larger outdoor space to eat and play and entertain. A place for company to stay if or when they might want to visit. Imagine the possibilities!
So we went back to the Venezia for another look, with camera and tape measure in hand and with eyes wide open. I think there may have been stars in them the last time we looked at her! So upon further inspection, we found some disturbing things. I think we could move on to her now and live comfortably on the interior. Some parts aren’t pretty. The old stove crapped out so they took a reciprocating saw and cut the countertops up and put in an ill fitting retro fit stove and never really put things back together. The sink fixtures in both of the bathrooms are green with corrosion? saltwater? ??? Most of the wood veneer is looking tired, but I think a coat of white paint would do wonders for the interior. I can hear some of you shudder! Paint the wood? Yes, she is a modern boat and white paint would look amazing in the all of the bedrooms. She is dirty, like really dirty, like piles of sand in the one bedroom, where they obviously kept an animal. We found ants inside too.
But that doesn’t even begin to cover the deficiencies in the other parts of the boat. Batteries floating in water, some kind of oil slick floating behind the boat, engine compartments with leaking lids and saturated with oil. Mechanically, this boat is not as sound as Viatori and it will require work to get her up to snuff. At this point, we don’t think she would pass the sea trial and the broker isn’t even willing to try one. So, the catamaran that we thought only needed some interior cosmetic work, is looking scarier by the minute. Now, Richard and I are not afraid of work and getting our hands dirty, but our budget won’t allow for much wiggle room right now.
At this point, we have even considered returning to the Island Gypsy trawler with the old tanks! Maybe a lowball offer?
So now, what to do, what to do? Enter an email from a co-worker of Richard’s from Shell that is currently working in Brunei. Bru-where? Yeah, that is what I said. Brunei is on an island smack in the middle of Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia on the island of Borneo. They desperately need engineers, they pay a lot of money, they also have a pretty great setup for ex-pat workers and their families, which includes a recreational center and a school. Intriguing to say the least. Well, that certainly got the wheels turning in Richard’s head.
And now, we have some decisions to make. Big ones, that will affect our family’s future in the next year and possibly, years to come. They are all great options! Living on a catamaran for another year? Richard has always imagined us on a catamaran and they are so great for families with children! Staying on Viatori? She is a great sailboat and we are happy to stay with her. Living and working in a foreign country like Brunei? Could be an exciting adventure and a great way to see another part of the world.