When we purchased our 2000 Mainship 43, my husband, Dave, looked at it as a boat. He was interested in things like the motor configuration, access to the engine room, the generator, blah, blah, blah…. After losing our home in a fire, I viewed the boat as my new home and set about to make it our own. The first order of business was to get a new mattress, something thick and soft, but of course it had to hinge in the middle so we could access the storage area underneath. With that taken care of, next came the business of bedding. Before taking that step, I studied lots of beautifully decorated boats at Trawler Fest in Solomons, Maryland, and online. I noticed that most seemed to have a common color theme running throughout the boat. I love pink, but I didn't think that would fly with the captain, and blue seemed too obvious for a boat. So I opted for green.
I purchased tropical bedding for the master stateroom and palm-tree-adorned bedding for the guest room, each with a hint of green. Our big purchase was our green throw rugs in the saloon with lighthouses in the corners. The captain even helped me look for green nautical china. Yes, china. This was to be my home, and I wanted real dishes. We discovered a lovely pattern from Lenox and an outlet to ease our pocketbook. Lastly, we purchased green towels for the heads and kitchen. Everything looked great, and we headed out to Solomons Trawler Fest on our way down the ICW for our first trip to Florida.
While at Trawler Fest, we both took PassageMaker University courses and as a result made many new friends. After the University came the seminars. My new friend, Deanna, and I were looking forward to heading to the interior decorating seminar given by Bridgett Welton of Compass Décor as our husbands attended some class about how to crawl around in small places and come out with dirty hands smelling like diesel. Deanna and I both planned to have our boats open for Trawler Crawl, one of the highlights of Trawler Fest where owners hop aboard each other's boats. No salesmen, just neighbors visiting neighbors. It is great to see how other boats are decorated and hear stories of trips taken and what gadgets people can't live without. I suppose the guys compare engine sizes and GPSs and such.
At the decorating seminar, Bridget showed us pictures of boat interiors and pointed out how small changes can make a big difference in the decor. Deanna and I sat in the audience with our notepads. Yes, I had that. Yes, I'd done that. That's a good idea. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until Bridget came to the topic of "manufacturer's blinds." Curtains would give the boat a homier feel. Hmmmm…I didn't have ugly blinds in my old house. Why hadn't I thought to change the blinds on the boat? For some reason I had just assumed they were part of the boat. And then the thought came to my mind and directly out of my mouth at the same time. "Oh, my. My boat is open for Trawler Crawl, and every woman in this auditorium is going to come aboard my boat and say, 'Look at those ugly manufacturer blinds!'" They did come, and they were very kind to me and my ugly blinds, but more importantly, Bridget came too and brought fabric and pictures and ideas for the final element that would transform my boat into my home.
Bridget immediately noticed my "green theme," and she incorporated it in the choices she offered me for shades, curtains, tiebacks, placemats, and an assortment of throw pillows. She did all the measuring and sent me sample pictures over the Internet. When Dave and I took Sweetness II to Trawler Fest in Stuart, Florida, Bridget and her husband came aboard and installed what I call the pièce de résistance. And it didn't cost nearly as much as that new Garmin system the captain had to have! Our home is now complete, and we couldn't be happier—unless someone could come up with lemon-scented diesel.