Mar 19, 2017

Renting house, getting rid of stuff, shipping mast

Renting Out The House

We've been going back and forth on how we want to rent out our house. Initially we thought we would rent to a friend or family member. More of a "house sitter" type situation, and just ask for enough money to cover the property taxes and insurance.

Renting to friend/family would take the pressure off getting rid of all our things - which is more challenging than I thought it would be!

However, I've been keeping an eye on the rental market and noticed two things:

1. Rents in Muskegon have been going up a lot. My friend owns several rentals and was just telling me she rented out a house in Lakeside (our old neighborhood) for $1,200 which is really high for that neighborhood. Our neighborhood is considered "nicer" and we plan to rent our house with some furniture so I'm hoping we can get between $1,200-$1,500/month.

2. There are very, very few houses for rent in our school district. As of today ours is actually the only one on the market. I just put up a "test listing" of our house to see what kind of hits we get on it. I started with a really high price and will continue to lower it until I start getting contacted about it. For anyone who contacts me, I will simply say it has already been rented.

I since listing the house earlier today, I've received two inquiries... which I'm going to take as a very good sign.

Getting Rid Of Our Stuff

We have slowly been getting rid of stuff. It's REALLY hard. Today we tackled books. We have several "cool" books from college that we have been hanging onto for the "someday" when we might read them, or want to reference them. Considering it's been over 10 years since college... I think it's safe to let these books go. But then... what if we end up regretting it? We would need to buy the book all over again!

I think it helped that today we had a friend over and she didn't want any of the books we decided to get rid of. These books we place so much value on... we can't even GIVE them away.

We are letting go of a bunch of novels that we don't mind having on the shelf, but admitted to ourselves that we didn't imagine ever reading them again.

Getting rid of our possessions is a hard, slow process.

Shipping The Mast

We've transited the Erie Canal twice, and each time we carried our mast on the boat. It doesn't sound bad in theory, but the reality sucks. The mast on our catamaran is 49 feet, which leaves an extra 5.5 feet hanging off the bow and stern of our 38 foot boat. Not impossible, but it doesn't make docking fun.

Nor is it fun to to have the additional ropes and straps running around the deck to keep the mast secured. I worry about the possible damage being done to the deck. "did that powerboat wake cause the fiberglass under the supports to crack? No way to tell until we get to the end of the canal...."

I also continuously worry that something will come lose and the mast will be lost over the side. The overall theme here is "worry" which to me defeats the purpose of going cruising.

On this trip, we are heading south down the inland rivers that run from Chicago to Mobile, and I want to be able to take our time and enjoy the trip. For the first time, I want to ship the mast.

I started searching for shipping, and it ending up being a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I was searching for things like "mast shipping" "mast transportation" and searching several pages deep on google, not finding anything. Finally I searched for "Great Loop mast shipping" and I found exactly what I was looking for towards the bottom of the page. specializes in shipping "normal" sized sailboat masts. I say "normal" because I found many shippers in previous searches who specialize in mega-yacht masts.

Albert Logistics has a few pick up locations, two in Chicago and one in Kentucky. They group the masts together to reduce the overall cost, and deliver the masts to Mobile, AL. The cost is $850 to ship the mast. It's probably going to cost about $500 to have the mast stepped and packed for shipping in Chicago. Then I'm not sure how much money to get the mast stepped in Mobile.

I'm guessing it will come to about $1,500 total, a fair amount higher than the $1,000 I was hoping to spend. I could get back within my budget by carrying the mast on deck, but based on my past experiences, I think shipping is well worth it.

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