But what to do? After a brief stint sub-leasing a boat shed from a friend whose boat was in Seattle for repairs, we spent about 6 months in covered moorage at Salmon Bay Marina along the Seattle Ship Canal, just inside the locks. It was inconvenient, but we enjoyed having a "vacation" home in Seattle. But it was also much more expensive than we could justify over the long term. We simply had to find a less expensive alternative.
Fortunately some good friends at Bremerton Yacht Club told us that boat sheds were coming available there because many long-time members were moving on to other activities. The economics were surprisingly attractive, even considering yacht club dues and initiation fee. Before long we were members and eligible to purchase a shed if and when one became available. There was, if fact, a shed available immediately. The price was right, but there was one problem -- it was barely wide enough for Compadre to squeeze in without fenders and it was 12 ft too short. What to do? We could continue paying top dollar in Seattle and hope that a better shed came along, but how long would that take? We might burn through a lot of moorage money waiting for a shed that fit. And we knew there was keen competition for larger sheds, and with no seniority we knew we might wait a long time before we were the successful bidders. So we decided to go ahead with the small shed (a "bird in the hand...").
But how could we us a shed both too narrow and too short? Expansion was the answer. During the course of Compadre's travels searching for the right marina, I met some fellows who were experienced in building and repairing boat sheds. As my good friend Ken Meyer of the Classic Yacht Association says, "It's amazing what you can do with a telephone call and a check book." Before long they were at work adding 2 ft to the width and 12 ft to the length.
Work began with splitting the shed right down the middle. The old decking and framing in the front were cut, and temporary framing put in place. Then the front was gradually pried apart.
|Spitting front of the shed.|
|New ridge truss in place|
|Right half of new frame is moved into place|
|Left half in place|
|Home at last!|
Although we spent far more to expand the shed than we will ever recover when we sell, we feel it was the right decision given the alternatives. Even though we own the shed, we still have to rent the slip from the club. But with the cost of moorage at the club being less than a third of what we were paying in Seattle, our improvements will pay for themselves in just a few years.