Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

A Yacht Purchase - a Life Style Investment

by Des Ryan on 5 Nov 2008
Could this be you? Ley and Neil Langford, Australians in Asia, loving every minute .. .
With all the talk of recession, liquidity crises, credit crunches, stock market big dipper rides, job layoffs, dismal financial forecasts, it's no wonder our hands are staying in our pockets. But are we missing out on LIFE?

As Ron Lieber pointed out this month in Money Column of the New York Times, the vast majority of people will not lose their jobs, and most of us work not merely for subsistence, but so we can spend money on things and experiences that fulfill some of our dreams.

There ARE some people who are taking off to sail around the world, chartering to go on that dreamed-of holiday in the South Pacific or the Mediterranean, or even buying their first yacht.

Lieber tells a story about Ron Stefanski, who has just splurged on a 38-foot sailboat and lowered the 20-year-old vessel into their home waters in Michigan. The question his message raised was whether spending money on a boat was actually wise, and if so, why?

Money was part of what kept the family from buying a boat for years, even though Ron had long wanted one. Until four years ago, Ron’s wife, Kay, had been home raising their two boys, Dan, now 15 and Will, 17.

'We don’t have trust funds for our kids or oodles of discretionary income,' Ron said. 'So I was the one who kept saying, ‘Do we really need to be spending money like this when we need to get money in the bank for college?’ '

Instead, the Stefanskis came to realize, the boat was an investment in something much more valuable than money.

'When you look at life from that perspective, it’s about creating memories,' he said. 'Because the good moments can be fleeting and they can be peppered with other experiences that you don’t want to be as memorable.'

A boat is also an investment in relationships, something that isn’t readily apparent until you’re on one a lot. Kay, who is 46 and works in textbook sales, helped talked Ron into buying the boat.

'We’re getting ready to be empty-nesters, learning how to navigate the space of being alone together, and that’s something that’s been a little bit sobering,' Ron said. 'What she helped me to see is that having the boat is an opportunity to connect, to spend time together when the boys are off doing their own thing.'

In fact, Dan and Will have been on the boat a fair bit, too.

'As a teenager, I look forward to doing things that teenagers do, going to parties and hanging out with my friends,' fifteen year old Dan says. 'But the boat is something I really learned to love.'

That has been an added bonus, given that the boys will soon be in college or away for the summers. 'This was a window of opportunity,' Ron says.

The Stefanskis financed the purchase with a home equity line of credit.

For people who find themselves frightened by the possibility of a long, deep recession, well, the Stefanskis know how you feel. Since they bought the boat, the balance in their retirement accounts has fallen by about a quarter. The investments in the college savings accounts for the two teenage boys have hit the skids, and the troubled economy means their house is worth a lot less as well.

'If you value family and friendships and experiences, the things that you might lose don’t mean quite as much,' Kay said. 'It puts it all in perspective.'

Ron added, 'Your job as a parent, a friend or life partner is to create memories with each other. That’s what we’re here for. And I think in that respect, the decision to purchase the boat was a good decision.'

Ron Lieber normally writes about 'money'. This time he has also illuminated something worthwhile about the issues of why we live and work the way we do.

Naiad/Oracle SupplierBarz Optics - Melanin LensesWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Groupama Team France's AC50 sailing in Bermuda - Video
Groupama Team France has had her first sail in Bermuda with the AC50 looking impressive in the video shot by the team. Groupama Team France has had her first sail in Bermuda with the AC50 looking impressive in the video shot by the team.
Posted today at 4:34 am
America's Cup - Images of Emirates Team NZ flypast Devonport
Image gallery shot as Emirates Team New Zealand returned in the late afternoon from another four hour race session Image gallery shot as Emirates Team New Zealand returned in the late afternoon from another four hour race training session on the Waitemata harbour. Our cameras were on Devonport Wharf to catch the sequence - and for the first time a wide angle lens had to be used.
Posted on 23 Mar
America's Cup – Get to know Iain Murray and the ACRM
He has enjoyed a long and illustrious career since he first started sailing at the age of nine in his native Sydney. Throughout its 166 year history the rivalries between owners, skippers, crews, yacht clubs, fans and nations have been some of the most intriguing facets of the competition for the world’s oldest sporting trophy.
Posted on 23 Mar
America's Cup - Images of Emirates Team NZ two-up on the Waitemata
Emirates Team NZ were sailing on the Waitemata yesterday with just a couple of weeks left Emirates Team NZ were sailing on the Waitemata yesterday with just a couple of weeks left before they head for Bermuda and the 35th America's Cup. The cycle-grinders were two per side for the trip down the harbour making the transitions from gybe to gybe very interesting - and almost imperceptible.
Posted on 23 Mar
America's Cup - Late Protocol change further stacks deck against Kiwis
Five America's Cup teams have dealt themselves a new hand with a new Protocol Change published three days ago. Five America's Cup teams have dealt themselves a new hand with a new Protocol Change published three days ago. On the face of it, the change - to allow 23 days training against each other repairs an omission by the Commissioner for the America's Cup. But it is the timing of the move that is surprising
Posted on 22 Mar
Vestas 11th Hour Racing launch Volvo Ocean Race campaign
Vestas are returning for a second edition, after launching their 2017-18 campaign in partnership with 11th Hour Racing Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. The team are the fourth to announce for the upcoming edition, which begins on 22 October, and they will use the race to promote a sustainability message around the world.
Posted on 21 Mar
America's Cup - Ben and Barry on Bermuda docking technique
Another in the series from the Bangin' The Corner, this time offering some pointers on docking technique Another in the series from the Bangin' The Corner, this time offering some pointers on docking technique, after the British America's Cup team had a close encounter with their mobile dock in Bermuda. Here's a few tips on how to dock the easy way.
Posted on 21 Mar
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng has an offshore hit-out - Video
In this video Dongfeng go offshore in a big breeze for the first real work-out of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. After a one million euro re-fiit procedure in Lisbon, the Dongfeng Race Team crew gave their boat its first real test ahead of 2017-18 – and it looks better than ever! In this video Dongfeng go offshore in a big breeze for the first real work-out of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
Posted on 20 Mar
America's Cup - Ouch ... AC50 style - Video
Land Rover BAR's re-entry to their marina in the Royal Dockyard in Bermuda does not appear to have gone has planned Land Rover BAR's re-entry to their marina in the Royal Dockyard in Bermuda does not appear to have gone has planned on Friday. In this clip the British America's Cup team appear to cop a gust a the wrong moment from the wrong direction and accelerate as they should be slowing down. Turn your audio to hear the crunch.
Posted on 18 Mar
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ say they have learned 2013 lessons
Time is the enemy of Team New Zealand as much as the prying eyes of five America's Cup rivals Time is the enemy of Team New Zealand as much as the prying eyes of five America's Cup rivals as they countdown to what they expect to be 'brutal' racing in Bermuda. The Kiwi syndicate are adamant they have learned from the painful lessons of the 2013 regatta in San Francisco where they pioneered foiling but ran out of development
Posted on 18 Mar