One of the nice things about retiring from work is having more time to do the things you like to do. So if your retirement plans include living aboard a boat, a boat you already have, then soon your boat will be getting more use than ever before. Suddenly all the equipment that you may have managed with for years is being used every day, every week, for maybe months at a time. On reflection it may not be surprising if things start to go wrong or to break.

It also makes more sense, if you can, to spend money on a boat whilst you are still working and earning a wage rather than waiting until the pension is the only income stream. In the months leading up to our retirement we took a long hard look at our boat and asked ourselves (a) is she the right boat for us to live aboard? (b) is she up to the job? and (c) what needs changing or replacing? If you don’t do all this type of thinking in advance then the decisions become even more difficult decisions as post retirement your income is likely to be much more limited. We decided not to replace our boat because although she is not perfect (and no single boat is) she is up to the job. So it really became a question of investing in necessary equipment and replacing where this was needed, all the re-fitting being done in the last year or so before retirement.

Fortunately for us the list wasn’t endless. The largest single item was a new diesel engine and the most expensive was a hull re-paint and window replacement, either of which would have broken the back of our cruising budget surplus post retirement. This gave us a reliable power plant, a boat we could be proud to look at and strong, leak-free windows. Since starting our lives aboard the breakages and replacements have so far all been relatively minor and predictable so we have been able to manage within our budget.

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