I know that many times
couples attend a pre-marriage “Encounter,” a
weekend before the big day. The purpose of this
session is to really get to know each other with
the help of a clergyman, a psychologist or some
type of marriage counselor.
During the weekend the
counselor asks each person the same questions,
but separately. That way they can see if the
couple is compatible or heading for disaster.
For example, “what is your fiancée’s favorite
color?’ When he answers “green,” she turns to
him with eyes wide open saying, “Green? I hate
green!” Good thing there is no Pass or Fail
grade given at the end of the weekend.
You could say I’m a
bit like those Encounter counselors when it
comes to boats. I talk with all of my
boat-buying clients and ask them a series of
questions about the size, type and price range
of the vessel they want to purchase.
By the end of our time
together, I usually know if this “marriage” will
So, Mr. and Mrs.
Trawler Buyer, what is your boating experience?
Oh, you have paddled a canoe?
Ok now, have you
thought about taking a trawler training course
prior to buying a Grand Banks 42? What’s that
you say? You don’t have the time and you can’t
afford the class. Now you realize that you are
looking at a $200,000 boat, right? You might
actually save yourselves a lot of trouble and
thousands of dollars if you get some hands-on
Now, Mr. and Mrs.
Motor Yacht I see that you want a yacht with all
the whistles and bells, the best of the best.
What kind of mechanical or technology skills do
you have? Oh, you just got a cell phone? I hope
you have a large check book. You see, the more
equipment you have on a boat, the more
maintenance it will need. So if you aren’t
qualified to do the work then you will have to
pay someone else to do it.
Sure Mr. Sailor, I can
assist you in finding a 40-foot sailboat to
purchase. What do you and your wife prefer in
the way of accommodations and equipment? She
doesn’t like to sail. Really?
Well, then what are
your long term plans? When you say, “She’ll come
around,” what exactly does that mean? Is there
another yacht that would suit both of your needs
like a sailing catamaran? Perhaps a compromise
would lead to many years of happy cruising –
As with all
relationships, the true test comes after the
honeymoon. We often hear people say, “We used to
spend more time together. What happened?” The
same goes for your yacht. The longer you own
your boat, the more care it will need while your
time to enjoy boating dwindles due to the
demands of family and work.
So my job as Counselor
doesn’t necessarily stop with the boat purchase.
Like any marriage, it takes work to keep the
relationship between you and your yacht happy
When we bought our
boats we didn't recite "until death do us part,”
but there was an implied commitment to make the
relationship work. If we're no longer able to
make that commitment, then maybe a separation is
But my advice is, keep
the relationship going. Boating is good for you
and your family’s mental, emotional and physical
heath. Fresh air and sunshine are good for the
soul. Watching sea birds, dolphins or manatees
bring us closer to this beautiful world we live
Even working on your boat and making it shine
gives you a good feeling. Show your yacht how
much you love her. Oh, and tell your spouse,