Buying it for the 90% use

Cindy and I often discuss purchases with a view toward “the 90% use”.

What we mean by this is to ask ourselves “how will we be using this purchase 90% of the time?”  For example, when purchasing our current motorhome we recognized from previous experience that we did not need to limit ourselves to 31′ length in order to fit into some state & national park camping spots.  While we would like to have that as an option, we wanted to be comfortable during the 90% use of traveling, staying at our places of business (storage) etc.  To that end we wound up buying a very comfortable used 2010 43′ Tiffin Allegro Bus.  With 4 slides and 2 bathrooms, 3 axels etc. it has been a very nice and solidly built home for this gypsy period of our lives.


Our 2010 Tiffin Allegro Bus parked next to the Alta Mesa home in Redding CA.

So the same “thinking filter” applies to our search for a cruising sailboat.  Even if we sailed a ton, we would still be in a marina or at anchor 90% of the time.  With this in mind, we are trying to balance the decision around interior amenities, and not as much sail performance.  For example, catamarans with daggerboards seem to have better upwind performance, but the trade off is less interior hull space.  I think we would value the additional interior hull space more for the 90% use, than the better upwind performance for the 10% of less use.

I’ve been reading a sailing blog about a guy who was also shopping for a used Cat & decided to purchase a Lagoon 38.

Not known for their sailing qualities, the Lagoons seem to have spacious interiors.  Would it be wiser to enjoy our time at anchor with more space & comfort in a Lagoon than to choose slightly better performance (and higher cost) with a Fountaine Pajot?  Or does the Leopard line of catamarans strike a good balance between performance and comfort?

Here is a good honest analysis from a Lagoon 38 owner who cruised 15,500 miles with his wife.  They felt it was a great value, enjoyed the space, but had no illusions about its performance or fit & finish.

All of these considerations go spinning through our heads as we look at various boats.  Trying to get as much wisdom & advice as we can, while recognizing that each couples needs can vary widely.

One of the nice things about looking at economically priced used catamarans is that if for some reason we find we don’t have the “right” boat, we should be able to sell and move up without loosing too much time and money (right?).

Great couple of days progress on the bungalow remodeling.  Replacing exterior doors, kitchen and bath plumbing, baseboards, appliances.  Trying to get it ready to Air B&B by the middle of September.  Has continued to be great time with Ben and I’m enjoying watching him learn new skills.  Has also been great for Cindy as she has always wanted to run a bed and breakfast.  She is especially enjoying the decorating and choosing colors, fixtures, appliances…etc.  All in all a good family experience.

IMG_3243My son Ben taking care of the bathroom sink plumbing like a boss.


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