m i a o w


Tag: boat (Page 1 of 2)

Girls day out

Small Z and I went down to Loch for the day to hang with Man-With-Beard. We went to the Loch Market on the way – in the cold weather it’s held in the Loch Hall and is usually fairly crap. There is too much uninspired craft, too much new crud, and not enough potentially treasury junk.

Small Z was thrilled to see Thomas the Tank Engine jeans, windcheaters and boys undies. And starfished for a minute or two as I dragged her back to the car.

Once we reached the house she and I wandered around the tractor, the boat and ran up and down the slope of the back paddock. Small Z patted Splodge-the-Cat – getting more and more confident with each visit.

On the good boat Hoo-Ray!
On Man-With-Beard's Tractor
On the good boat Hoo-Ray!

Winding me up

Two weeks ago M tried to break it to me gently. “Those winches? The ones I was going to sell on eBay to top up our rent money?”


“I think I left them on the nature strip when I got home from the boat one night. I’m so buggered after a day there that I’m totally vague by the time I get home.”

“You’re totally buggered? As in ‘tired’. Should we even go there? To that place where I am the high priestess? Do you want to risk the journey…?


“Let me just say that I have no ‘lost’ feeling on this one. They are not lost. They are somewhere. Somewhere here. They will turn [sorry] up.”

They did.

Then this morning…

“I had both winches on the floor down here. Now there’s only one. Did you move one?”

“Nooooo. I saw Small Z playing with them yesterday though.”

“Small Z?” said M. “Have you seen the other winch that was here?”

“Toot! I am a TWAIN!”

“M,” I said, “She can’t lift one of those things. They’re too heavy.”

He looked stricken. “Has anybody been in here? Come into the house? They’re worth a lot of money you know. They’d be the first things someone would take…”

I looked at him. He was serious. I realised that he is so immersed in boat-land that he honestly thinks that the person who burgles our house will walk in the back door, take one look at the winches, and go… “A-ha! Two winches! My lucky day!! They’re exactly what I came here for, and yet, I feel a pang of compassion… I will only take one with me. One winch should be enough for any burglar. To take more than one would be pushing the limits on my karma quota….”

And with that, the burglar would disappear back out on to the street, weighted down on one side by an astonishingly heavy piece of yachting hardware, and yet curiously ebullient about such a find.

Small Z and I found the stray winch this afternoon, where she had rolled it. Under the desk.

Two hulls and the truth

It’s been a long time since I posted about what is going on as far as the Big Plan that hinges on our attempts to complete the Very Large Catamaran. To briefly recap – after M and I did up our lovely Queenslander in Hervey Bay we put the profit we made into buying a kit to build a 35 foot catamaran. (See pictures of a similar one here.) We intended to spend about two and a half years building it, and then live aboard it, and then? Sell it.

M’s mother was dubious about our plan. She told me several times that we should stick to houses. I was resolute. This was the best idea we’d had. So we went ahead with it. Even as we did so I factored in ‘boat time’ – a concept that recognises that everything to do with a building a boat takes double the forecasted time. I was thinking maybe four years.

I wasn’t thinking about a baby. And that meant lost building time, and lost income for me and more incurred debt. I wasn’t really thinking about another baby – to the point where I’d got rid of most of our baby stuff. But, yunno…

And that meant more lost income, more lost boat building time. Of course, totally worth it. But back in about September 2006 when we finished putting up the shed in which we would build the boat, (a shed that M and I dismantled together on the other side of the city) if you had told me that M would still be working on it in 2011 and that we would have two kids, I would have just laughed disbelievingly…and then gone grey overnight.

I do not hesitate to say that we were both blisteringly naive. Of course, there was not a better time for us to have babies – with me working a flexible job and M able to take heaps of time out… But all that time out has prolonged the project to the point where we are very much almost sick to death of it. And our expected profits and hopes to live aboard are very much in doubt.

We have decided, after several fraught discussions, that it needs to be painted and ready to be fitted out with boat bling by the time our lease is up on this house. The end of January 2012 – less than a year away. By that time we will have a FOUR year old and a one year old. (Is there any more devastating yardstick of time passing than growing children? I think not.)

This deadline is good (we can see an endpoint) and bad. M is working most nights until 8.30pm – I am wrangling the two little ones on my own. I go to bed at around 8pm in order to stay sane. M staggers home, exhausted and covered in fibreglass dust, in the dark to a sleeping house, knowing that he has to get up in the morning and do it all again. He’s working Saturdays, as I need him for childminding on Thursdays.

So our one ‘family’ day is Sunday. But we barely see each other. It’s really hard. We’re sick of being skint, are kicking ourselves for not just sticking with renovating houses and at the same time trying to console ourselves that it will be alright – as long as we can just make it to the end. Make it to the end intact.

Luckily our meltdowns don’t tend to occur in stereo, so one of us can try and jolly the other up and out of the occasional ditch of despair. Sometimes it all seems just too hard. A constant financial juggle of ever-increasing debt. Other times, it’s easier to embrace the choices that brought us to this point and to be happy that we have two beautiful girls in a house we like, an egg shaped caravan, a trimaran and good friends. There are things more important than profit and debt.

And another thing…

Soooo, M described my previous post as somewhat ‘woebegone’ – a word I have always mispronounced as woe-g-bone (with the ‘g’ sound like in ‘george’). It used to be unintentional, and now I can’t let it go. Obviously life is not so hard. But just recently it has felt that way.

M suggested I point out that while he might come home bone weary and dustcovered at around 8pm every night, he does hang out in the mornings with the Smalls for an hour while I go to the pool and do my thing. So there are upsides to the downsides. And this is occurring on a larger scale as well…

We have attained some financial clarity as well as coming up with a gameplan and deadline. And with THAT kind of positive action has come brand new discussions of what to and what NOT to do next. Which is refreshing and provides some light at the end of the tunnel.

Now I just have to get on with submitting a form to the tax office for a ‘private ruling‘ to find out what happens if we are unable to live aboard and sell the Very Large Catamaran without going to sea… This will tell me whether we will get slugged with capital gains tax if we have to sell the the Very Large Catamaran without it being our primary residence. Yikes.

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