Friday, September 24, 2010

The 10 Step Plan

We had watched the movie "What the Bleep do We Know" and read the book "The Secret" so sometimes during early 2008 I found myself with a few moments and wrote out a 10 Step Plan. I posted this Plan on the bulletin board at my desk in the teachers office area along with a picture of a 40' sailboat in a beautiful island setting. This was my vision board that I thought about every day as I set about focusing on the things I needed to accomplish if I was ever going to really retire and buy the getaway boat. I included a date that I wanted to achieve the step as well. This is an important part of writing goals, you need to have the end date up front in the vision.
Step 1: Sell The Boat Target date 6/08 completed 4/30/08

Just a little over 3 years of owning our Catalina 30 "Hey You" I put her up for sale using every free site on the web my little search engine could find. After about 8 months of showing the boat to many who just wanted to come out for a free boat tour I finally got 2 serious lookers. A 30 something tech guy from Dallas bought her and took her to Lake Texhoma.

Step 2: Earn Captains License Target date 4/15/08, completed 10/15/08
Fortunately for me a Captains License course was coming to Lake Travis so I would not have to drive to the Houston area for 3 long weekends + a testing date. I thought I would be able to make my 4/15/08 target date but I really did not understand all the hoops you have to get through to get the license. One of the requirements of earning a USCG Captains License is Sea Time, and plenty of it. I needed to find a way to be on the water more & I felt if I could get a job driving boats, any kind of boat that would be even better to have some type of commercial experience.

Step 3 Acquire job as boat Captain:Target Date 4/15/08 completed 5/15/08
Well, in the Austin Area the only game in town is at Lake Travis at "Just For Fun". They rented all types of power boats, Party Barges, Houseboats, wave runners, pontoon boats and 14'-16' runabouts. So they hired me to drive the Party Barges and and occasionally the houseboats that ranged from 40 to 80 feet. I also did some SeaTow work as well. I spent all of summer 08 into September driving and logging lots of commercial sea time. This was not the best summer for the Admiral since I was working a lot during the week days and all day on weekends

Step 4 Retire from Teaching Target Date 6/30/08 met.
This would be the easiest step since I had retired 4 years earlier and went back to work at the same school while I waited for Lynn to retire. I finally threw in the towel and retired for a second time but Lynn decided to work 1 more year so this would give me the free time to work on all the other steps.

Step 5 July 19th Daughters Wedding Target date 7/19/08 met
Well This was an incredibly important and exciting step. As you might remember from a previous post we had the great fun of taking Lia & Russell along with us on a San Juan Island Charter the summer of 07'. Everything else was on hold till we passed through this moment, well, almost everything. One of the boats we were interested came up for sale in the Seattle area. I made arrangements to take the Ferry over to Paulsbo where I met a surveyor on a free afternoon. I thought what a stroke of luck I could combine a serious look at a boat while I just happened to be in the area for my daughters wedding. The survey went well and the wedding was PERFECT.

Step 6 Prepare house for Lease or Sell Target date 10/08 met 6/10.
Holly Cow! Who would have guessed the almost Depression would happen right at this moment? We talked about our disappearing retirement investments and decided that Lynn would keep her job 1 more year & I would find work. Fortunately for me I found a job as a CLASS Case Manager at the ultimate non profit in Travis County, The Arc of The Capital Area. I loved the job, I fit in like a glove with all my High School special education experience. The house we lived in for over 30 years needed bit more remodeling than we thought to get it ready to lease or sell. About $12,000 later where I did most of the labor (except for the roof part) the house was good to go. We decided to lease it and even though we wanted to stay till August of 2010, we had to get out June 30, 2010. So we rented a condo in Austin for July to ease the transition to Corpus.

Step 7 Buy Boat Target Date 12/08 met early 7/08
Buying used boats is a major game event. You have to try your hardest to outsmart the Brokers and everyone else who will profit from the sell of the boat. The boat owner is almost completely out of the picture. The only thing the buyer has going for them is the marine surveyor and usually these guys are great friends with the brokers trying to sell you the boat so you have to watch out for them as well. I got lucky and found the one surveyor in the entire Pacific northwest area in a 300 mile radius of Seattle that all the brokers disliked. He did a great job for us and helped to get the price down several thousand dollars. He pointed out lots of things that would need repair or replaced. Most if the items I could do myself, and with the money he saved me I figured I could pay to have the rest done by a yard once I got the boat back to Texas.

Step 8 Prepare boat for Departure Target date 6/09 We hope to have it done by 10/2011
Well of course our lovely recession delayed this step but the fact is you could work on a boat forever getting it ready to go anywhere in the world safely. There are tons of articles of people who have positioned themselves in Florida and working on their boats to get ready to go but never throwing off the lines. We got some really good advice from Captain Bill from the Kemah area. He said to cruise the US East Coast the 1st year to make sure all systems all working properly and get to know your boat. that way it is easy to get repair or parts and test everything out where is is still relatively inexpensive to get things done. Then after that if your still encouraged, then take off.

Step 9 Lease/Sell home Target date 8/09 met 6/10
No more mowing etc. This was a huge part of the transition since we had to shed over 30 years of stuff. Thank you Salvation Army for bringing your truck! We still filled a 5x10 storage shed in Corpus. You just never know what you may need?

Step 10 Depart Target date 8/10 & with luck we will be outta here by 11/11.
The transition to Corpus was a way bigger deal than we thought it would be. We are now living aboard part time and part time at our rental condo that we share with our son in Port Aransas. It is up for sale and hopefully it will sell before 11/11. We will spend this next year stretching our cruising legs around the South Texas Coastal Bend and continue the outfit the boat for cruising and full time live aboard. Just living aboard an old boat exposes some unforeseen problems. Best to have these corrected before ever leaving the dock for distant destinations.

Words to the wise: If you follow such ideas of the Secret or a vision board, Watch out what you envision because you will get what you want. So far I have put in over 372 hours working on maintainence issues and about 95 hours installing upgrades...I haven't logged all of Lynn's hours of cleaning , searching for leaks, and all the other stuff she alerts my attention to. It took me 3 years to get a 30 foot boat back to new condition with modern electronics etc. when I was working full time. This boat will easily take that but with many more hours per year.

The link is to my daughters first book " Dream It, List It, Do It." Must be genetic