The Year It Took Over Our Lives, Part 1

It sounds dreamy, right? Buying a boat in the Caribbean and outfitting and updating it to prepare for her departure voyage back to the US. Well, yes, but it’s also A LOT.

When we first saw pictures of Marionette, we fell for her. So much so that husband took a trip down to St. Maarten to see her in person. She was a mess, but she was worth it. We were both high on the potential of getting our hands on a CSY 44 after she had been the standard for 5+ years. The inspection revealed that she needed a lot of love. The previous owner had hopes of sailing the world, so he had the boat pulled out of the water in Bobby’s Airport Mega Yard in St. Maarten and had the original 45 hp Perkins pulled out as well as all of the plumbing and all of the wiring and electrical. A brand new 75 hp Yanmar diesal was installed. Then Irma hit. Thankfully, she survived with very little damage and we found out later that a couple of people sought refuge in Marionette to weather the storm. Nearly 2 years after Irma, there is still a ton of lasting damage on the otherwise beautiful island.

Marionette needed new seacocks, the wood on the dinghy davits needed to be replaced, the engine installation was not complete and was missing the shaft connector, needed a new holding tank, new bilge pumps, new plumbing, new wiring, new batteries, and has a broken hatch. Nevermind that it had literally NOTHING on board.

Husband got back from St. Maarten and we had a more realistic set of conversations about what this meant if we bought her. We had to get really honest about what it would take to restore Marionette from 1700 miles away with no one we knew or trusted in St. Maarten. Not only regaring the money it would take, but the time. Our vacation and holiday time and budget. The timing worked, we were going to see husband’s daughter and new grandbaby and family the next month. His daughter is also one of my best friends, so I was grumpy about the idea of not seeing her again for the rest of the year. We were waiting for 2020 for his son to graduate high school. We could only speculate on the mental resources required. We did what we do – we examined from all angles. We talked and talked some more. And we committed.

On May 3, 2019, we committed our efforts, time, money, resources, patience, and thoughts on our dream. As I read back over what I have written, I am surely not doing the gravity of the committment justice. This was HUGE. This was our plan. The plan that we had made dramatic lifestyle changes for, that we had defended to friends and family that just couldn’t understand. THE plan. And it was happening. It was terrifying and exciting and somehow felt right. Like a step in the right direction. Like the first day of something big. We were doing a service to ourselves and our future.

One thought on “The Year It Took Over Our Lives, Part 1

  1. The morning I woke to hear, “Honey, we have neighbors! A couple just sailed in from St. Maarten on their CSY”, was a really good day. Marionette is well deserving of a couple to love her for the blue water cruiser that she is! Congrats on finding her…and she finding the two of you.

    Liked by 1 person

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