Poisson d’avril…

I generally refrain from doing posts on April 1st as I worry that everyone will assume whatever I’ve written is some sort of joke or gag. Then again, a lot of folks seem to consider the whole idea of affordable, sustainable, and simple cruising boats something of a joke, so why not?

The other day, a well-meaning reader suggested that VolksCruiser would be a lot more popular if I wrote more about boats like the Garcia 60, an Amel, or a condomaran costing a million bucks.

You know, REAL cruising boats for REAL cruisers!

While he was offering advice, he also suggested that I spend more time focusing on what gear to buy and testing said gear as a means of pimping affiliate links to make VolksCruiser a profitable enterprise.

The fact that he’s right is somewhat sobering. VolksCruiser does not make money and just seeing the words “VolksCruiser” and “profit” in the same sentence is funny on a level that verges into some seriously depressing territory.

The fact is I do know just what would make the site profitable but also know that promoting a non-consumerist cruising agenda is not the way to do it. As my dad used to point out: I may be foolish but I’m not stupid.

Sure, I’d love to test some gear. But do you really think companies would be willing to provide theirs for real honest testing? Look at the various YouTube sailing channels and you’ll see a lot of effusive praise for the products concerned but very little in the way of critical examination and nada regarding cost/affordability. Throw in the affiliate link and any fair coverage of said products flies right out the window.

If I were to do tests, I’d have to buy the gear, abuse it to the max (which takes time), and write up how it all goes. Which, I’m sure you all understand would require funds that VolksCruiser is not generating. Sure, I do have a Coffee account, but it has not covered the coffee I actually drink while writing the blog. Not complaining and the 14 folks who have paid money to keep me caffeinated are greatly appreciated but hardly provide the sort of budget that would allow me to do a gear test worth doing.

Now, what I’d really like to do is a series of VolksCruiser boat refits where I buy a cheap plastic classic and document the refit into what I think a VolksCruiser should be. Obviously not going to happen but it does have the possibility of being a sustainable project series because I could sell the boat when finished for enough profit to buy the next candidate.

This brings us around to the somewhat depressing fact that VolksCruiser is a labor of love/beau geste at best, and an irritated voice ranting from the wilderness at worst. I suspect you’ll just have to live with it or find some other blog to read.

Oh, and yeah, beware of small kids with paper fish…

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4 thoughts on “Poisson d’avril…”

  1. Hi. Long time reader of Boat Bits and Volkscruiser here. I do hope you continue to offer a realistic alternative view of how to go boating without a million bucks.

    Apropos of nothing very much, I’d be very interested in your thoughts on this recent design by Paul Gartside. A bit small at 25′, and the interior would need a fair bit of rework for longer term living, but there seems a lot to like. Shoal draft, scow volume, decent displacement, simple, low-stress rig, and simple construction.


    1. Hey Pat,
      Being a huge fan of shoal draft plywood boats as well as scows this design hits all my buttons in a good way. So my short answer is it looks like a very viable project.

      Expect a more detailed post on small (under 30′) cruising scows in the not too distant future.

  2. Keep doing it as you are doing it please! There are those of us who prefer to leave as small a footprint as possible while having fun, and to do so on a blue collar (or less) income. It’s nice to read ideas from others who share that mindset so we don’t feel alone. In a world obsessed with luxury and profit I find your contrary takes refreshing, useful, and inspiring.

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