1) Sailing is supposed to be fun: when it gets to be too much work,
it is time to get out of the engine room and go for a ride on a surf board.
2) No one knows your boat as well as you do: when a high priced expert tells you something about your boat that you don't think is correct, it probably isn't, no matter how much that expert is charging you.
3) 75% of new gear doesn't work: three out of four new pieces of major gear had to go back to the factory at least once (and in the case of our windlass, three times) before they worked aboard our boat. If at all possible, buy a boat with the gear you want already installed and broken in.
4) Boat Integrity, or pick the right boat for the job: the characteristics that make a boat great for living aboard are not the same characteristics that make it a great dive platform or passage maker, and often they are conflicting. No boat can be all things to all people, so you must first decide what you want to use the boat for, then get a boat that meets those needs.
5) The best cruising boat is the one that the captain believes is the best boat. Despite many heated debates in anchorages around the world, the "best" cruising boat is different for every person.
6) Your parents job isn't to make your dreams come true, it's to teach you how to make your dreams come true. (courtesy Captain Doug, Puna, HI).
7) Never trust anyone who doesn't say "I don't know". No one knows everything, so if a person always has an answer for everything, you know they are making up most of it.
8) Never trust anyone who can't say "It was my fault". There are too many people who do not take responsibility for themselves today, and a boat in the middle of the ocean is the worst place to have to depend on someone like that.
9) Before spending any large amount of money, take one hour out of your life to go to the county courthouse and check the computer for that person's civil and criminal history. I wish I had done this on more than one occasion as it would have saved me countless dollars and grief.
10) ???: This space is open so that I will always be learning.