In preparation for a 2020 sailing trip around the island of Antigua, my wife Samantha and I inspected some sailing vessels that were available for us to rent. These were 44-foot catamarans and were truly tricked out for luxury. While there are advantages to hiring a captain, we like the fact that I have certification as a captain of mono- and multihull sailboats so we can go where we want, when we want. And trust me, there is nothing like anchoring in a secluded cove, going for a swim or snorkel, and then having snacks and adult beverages on the stern while you watch the sunset. It is spectacular!

So we were looking at several sailboats, and they were all fully loaded. One in particular had a full-sized refrigerator in the galley. Now, if you have ever been on a sailboat, you know that the icebox or fridge is usually very small. So a full-sized refrigerator would be amazing to have for a week’s sail. After further inspecting the sailboat, though, we discovered that the dinghy (a small boat with an outboard motor used to ferry people back and forth from the sailboat to the beach or dock) was not on davits, but instead was affixed to the back railing. For you non-sailors, this is a problem.

A davit system is where a dinghy is attached at the bow (front) and stern (back) and raised up out of the water. When you need to use the dinghy, you simply lower it to the water and you’re ready to go. For this super cool sailboat with the full-sized fridge, the dinghy was strapped to the back railing and the motor was not attached. So every time you would want to use it, you would have a major process to get it into the water and reattach the motor. Since Samantha and I knew how often that would be, we decided that the inconvenience of the dinghy not being on davits was far greater than the convenience of having a full-sized refrigerator. So we eliminated that sailboat from our rental choices.

How do you go about assessing the relative pros and cons of a decision? Can you effectively gauge the relative convenience and inconvenience of multiple choices? If you determine a way to do that, it will make your future decisions infinitely easier.

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