I don’t need my things new, bright or shiny...
This is not about boats... well, yes it is. I’m thinking back decades to stuff bought or owned. Even before my first boat, I enjoyed cooking and, woodworking. As an amateur cook I remember wanting all my gear to match: you know a nicely organized array of shiny pots, pans, and other utensils. As a fledgling woodworker building a guitar and other stuff, my passion was for the best tools. Of course I was not always able to afford them, but I was drawn to the expensive ones from the best companies. Without deep pockets, however, my collection on both fronts ended up... well some new, some handme-down, and some cheap knockoffs.
In decades since many of those sensibilities have shifted. Maybe they have for you too. Some of those old miss-matched cooking utensils now seem like old friends. My ragtag collection of woodworking tools now looks, well “vintage”. Slowly I’ve come to realize the work you do does not require pristine or remarkable tools it just requires a remarkable effort. With recently completed work on our home, our contractor / friend reminded me of a local hobbyist-woodworker with a truly outstanding workshop. It’s a beautiful building with all the best tools, sharpened, organized and perfectly in place. I’m not sure what, if anything he builds... It seems like the shop itself is the thing.... Focus!
Now this part IS about boats. You can go through life expecting, demanding or regretting finding or not finding your perfect dream boat. You can hold your breath, or abstain if you can’t locate or afford it. But better, you can embrace the boat you can enjoy with all its frailties. Put your effort into doing so. I suspect you will soon be reminded that cruising is not really about the boat at all.... It’s about your experiences.
But then that’s just my opinion.