Time Saver: Outsource the Upkeep (Part I)

I listed this as a time-saving tip, but I’ve been told by friends who own boats that it also is a money-saver.  I’ve always loved boat rides, and for several summers now I’ve broached the subject of buying one.  Last summer, we inched forward from “are you kidding me?” to “maybe kayaks” – it was progress, but not quite what I had in mind.

Last fall, after we returned from a wonderful trip with friends to Martha’s Vineyard, I set my mind to solving this little problem.  I did some internet research and discovered something ingenious:  Carefree Boat Club.  We’re members of the Southern Connecticut branch.

It’s essentially Zipcars, but for power boats.  You reserve a boat online, show up and go, and hand back the keys when you return to the dock, without having to clean or fuel the boat when you’re done.  Although we’d never operated boats before, the club took care of that too—“Boater’s-ed” was included.  And we can use boats all over the country when we travel.  We took a boat out of Fort Pierce, Florida this spring, and I can’t wait to try the Seattle location in August.

This summer, I’ve tried to go boating at least once a week.  Some days it’s my “me time,” other days we go as a family to explore new places.  When the Long Island Sound is calm, it is serene; when there are waves, it’s an endorphin-rush of a roller coaster ride. Because they get you in and out fast, I’ve managed to go boating even on days when I’ve had only two to three hours to spare.  That’s the same amount of time it takes to see a movie, and I’ve wasted longer amounts of time on social media/the internet (including on blogs like this one- but, seriously, thank you for reading this).  I’ll post more outsourcing tips later, but this one definitely is a keeper.