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always a resale problem. Blisters reduce the value of a
boat, regardless of whether or not they weaken it.
Armed with this information, return to the decision
tree and working down from the top, answer each
question until you arrive at a repair decision.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Here are our four categories again:
Group A: Coastal cruisers with a high tolerance for
Participants in workshops on this topic have been
divided into the four groups and presented with
a list of survey findings. The results are consistent
and instructive. When comparing two groups with
comparable tolerance for imperfection, the offshore
cruisers (C) spend almost double the amount of
money spent by the coastal cruisers (A)—a difference
that should not be surprising to anyone. More
surprisingly, within the two groups of coastal cruisers
(A & B), the amount spent on repairs more than
doubles based on personality preference alone. Despite the
substantial variation in dollars spent, using the tools
provided above, no one made an incorrect choice.
Instead, they made appropriate choices for their
Cruising inherently involves taking some risks. By
identifying and eliminating flaws on your boat, you
can reduce the risks, but not eradicate them. But there
is another risk at play here—the risk that by feeling
the need to correct every problem found, you will
spend your way out of cruising, or limit your cruising
time. We have seen that you do not have to be an
expert to make smart decisions, but you do have to be
good at asking the right questions. Facts are friendly.
Welcome them, gather them, and use them. If you
follow the process outlined above, you can reason
your way through almost any list of findings or
recommendations. It has been said that “life is not
measured by the number of breaths you take, but by
the number of moments that take your breath away.”
As that family cruising in Nova Scotia reminded me,
you don’t need a perfect boat to experience some of
those perfect moments.
An interactive online decision tree tool is available
online by visiting the Zimmerman Marine website at www.