When your funds are limited, you will make every effort to stretch out how far your money can go. Maddie and I have a few major items to purchase to finish outfitting Wisdom for our trip, and we have found ways to make minimize the expense of these items.
I worked at the Annapolis Sailboat Show in October and took great advantage of the discounts involved. Boat shows are excellent places to make large purchases as the vendors are all trying to get you to buy their product and the prices can become negotiable. Add to this that the prices start off at a discounted level and you have a recipe for savings!
We picked up the Monitor Windvane at the 2016 Sailboat Show for a significant discount. I purchased the unit over the phone while I was in Maryland and the company was in California. This purchase happened across state lines so no sales taxes were needed. Then, my unit was used as the display model which I picked up at the end of the show, saving me the cost of shipping! Since I technically purchased the unit at the boat show, they extended the boat show discount to me as well!
Aside from this much anticipated purchase, we also picked up some other needed items. On the shopping list was a 65 pound Mantus anchor, four person life raft, a sea anchor, a very small inflatable raft, and a 2.5hp propane outboard.
While I personally don't want the inflatable or outboard, Maddie does. Almost everyone we encounter has told us that we need to have an inflatable raft and outboard if we want to go to the Caribbean. Then they begin to tell us about all the issues they have had with their inflatable and outboard.
I think this is the worst idea for the tropics where the sun is strong and the sand is abrasive on the inflatable. The salt air will also wreck havoc on any engine parts made of cheap pot metals. We have agreed that the engine and inflatable will remain in the lazarette unless absolutely needed, out of sight of thrives and the sun.
The reason we are going with a propane outboard is it runs on the same fuel source we use for our grill. I don't want to carry gasoline on Wisdom because I feel that is an absolute hazard. If we had a small gas outboard, we would then need to carry a can of gas. By using a propane outboard, we we can carry cans of propane as our cooking fuel knowing that it can also be used to power our outboard if we so desire.
Cruising and marriage are a series of compromise, and if having an inflatable and outboard makes Maddie happy, we will carry just that and go cruising!