So, My Husband Finally Got His Boat… And I Have Concerns!


We are now boat owners.

I should say, my husband Mark is now a boat owner.

I want nothing to do with boats. Why?

Because when Mark hears the word “boat,” he thinks of sun, fishing and adventure on the high seas.

When I hear the word “boat,” I think of skin cancer, fish guts and pirates on the high seas.

And money. I think a lot about money. There is nothing cheap about a boat, which is probably why men want them. They must be some kind of status symbol, like handbags, but with rudders.

But now we have a 40-foot ship looming on the horizon of our future. Despite making a significant down payment last Thursday ($), it isn’t technically ours until it is pulled from the water ($$) for a hull inspection ($$$) and a sea trial by a certified sea trial person ($$$$).

If it passes, a deliriously happy Mark will take possession of this floating invoice — and its accompanying dock fees of (get this!) $880 per month! Why couldn’t he just have taken a lover? Put some young girl through college?

I’ve been fighting this fight for two years, but ultimately, I lost to his sister, whose dying wish was that Mark have his boat. He’d been sitting by her bedside for months, evidently entertaining her with tales of the golden isles and, when she went on to that big Margaritaville in the sky, we discovered that she’d left him a little money to help make his dream come true.

Nonetheless, while this loving and kind-hearted woman was doing that, I was countering with photographs of boats tossed into the middle of the street by the recent hurricane. (“Look at that, Mark! That could be our boat!” No response.)

Oh, there are things about the boat that I like. I like the style of it, the color of it, the fact that it has two staterooms and two bathrooms (two “heads” are better than one, haha).

But mostly I like that I did the price negotiations myself, saving us 10 percent of purchase price and getting a free paint job for the deck thrown in. I even came up with a name for the boat — “Marrilee,” his sister’s name. (My first choice of “Money Pit” was, understandably, taken.)

Mark calls this boat a “live-aboard.” I call this boat a “see-ya-when-you-get-back.”

He argues that having a boat can be healthy. There’s a lot of crawling around to be done, lots of ladders, swimming, etc.

I argue that there’s also a lot of pulling things off the deck when the squall hits, running from pirates and jumping overboard when smoke starts pouring from the engine.

It’s safe to say that my husband and I see the boat experience differently.

But everyone deserves to at least try to live their dream, and to that I say, “Bon voyage, hearty sailor!”


  1. You are funny….
    I can relate to your description of wanting a boat, buying a boat and all that comes with it.

    I’m talking about a much (much) smaller boat, but the issues are the same regardless of the boat size. My wife could’ve written your column. However, I got the boat and soon learned how expensive it was going to be. Insurance, registration, repairs and forever buying new gadgets. Whoever heard of a life jacket for a Yorkie? Damn dog had a better life jacket than I did.

    Well, the thrill of boat ownership lasted several years. I loved It, my kids loved it and surprisingly so did my wife. But like many things it soon became a burden. My family and wife’s family loved it as well, but they didn’t have to work as hard as I did preparing for a fun filled weekend at the lake. I can still hear it ‘Uncle Bobby …can we go to the lake this weekend and ski? It became as difficult as having to drive to work on Monday.

    After many years and two different boats later I was done with boat ownership.

    I leave you with this thought. The happiest day of my life was when I bought my first boat….the 2nd happiest day of my life was when I sold the damn thing….but I loved all the years in between.

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