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  • Adam Morris

Boat Dollars... and an Introduction

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Early on in our boating career, we were flabbergasted by just how much things that had the word "marine" attached would cost. Definitely a cliche now, for sure. So my wife and I invented the "Boat Dollar."

The concept is simple. Just take the price tag, and divide it by 5. Simple!

When that tiny plastic clip we just broke is only made by one company in France, and look, it's 110 [bleep]in' dollars, I can turn to Angie and say, "Hey, it's only 22 Boat Dollars, no big deal."

On a day of particular despair when yet another way-more-expensive-than-it-should-be problem presented itself, the launch driver at our local yacht club had this piece of advice, "If you're worried about money, you're in the wrong hobby." Angie and gave each other a quick nod in resignation, and I mumbled some agreement.

And yet, I am never satisfied with that answer. Yes, boat projects and upgrades can become very expensive. Yes, we face many options at different price points and yet often without enough mass market reviews to make decisions easy for us. But, if we're clever, we as the boat community can sort through it together, and find the right quality/value/price point for our applications.

I'm what my wife likes to call an "over-researcher." And what I think she means is that I have a habit of trying to learn everything I can about a project before I start it.

What are the options people are having success with? What's the best value? What is going to last. What is the best way to do it? How does it work anyway. How was it made? What's the physics/chemistry behind it? Hopefully we are avoiding paying way too much or, possibly worse, making the wrong choice and having to start all over.

I'm sure that's exactly how she would put it as well.

Speaking of my wife, she is the other 50% proud owner of Confianza, our Privilege 435 catamaran. She just finished installing the new trampolines, and she did a fantastic job finding a great quality manufacturer at a very reasonable price. Will be sure to share what we learned in future post.

Over the years I have compiled a hefty amount of information about the various upgrades and maintenance projects that we have completed. I learned a ton from some great personalities of the online boating and RV communities on the net, and I've made some equally informative blunders myself in the real world along the way.

And for some time now, I've thought to myself "Hey, I wonder if any of this would be useful to others. Someday I will get this all down on a website." That someday took about 7 years, but here we are.

The past couple of years have been a rather large refit undertaking for Confianza, and I have lots of notes and learnings to share. We tackled replacing most of the electronics, the sanitation systems, new rigging, new sails, mobile internet solutions, conversion to lithium phosphate, dyneema lifelines, lots of engine work, and a bunch more. I will try to get new posts up as soon as I can organize all of the resources and pictures.

So, where's the name Clever Mariner from?

If it's not already clear, I'm a huge nerd. I also happen to be a founding member of the ecommerce consulting and system integration agency, Redstage, but that's another story entirely. If my tech skills are sometimes stronger than the building skills, apologies in advance.

Back to the name. The "clever" part is inspired by the Doctor (Doctor Who). And the "mariner" was... a second relevant word, sounded good ... and the domain was available.

And what I hope Clever Mariner will represent is that sweet spot of value to cost that is so elusive in boating. I hope to make sure my posts contemplate solutions to our boating needs from different price point perspectives.

Looking forward to contributing back to the amazing boaters of the internets that have helped me so for many years! And I hope we can all learn to use our boat dollars wisely.




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