Wendy Hinman knows about cruising on the cheap.
Hinman and her husband, Garth Wilcox, cruised the Pacific for seven years on their 31-foot boat on a budget of just $33 a day from the $1,000 monthly rental income on their Seattle home.
They cruised 34,000 miles without refrigeration, a hot water heater, a generator or radar, and took a two-year detour to a remote U.S. army base in the Marshall Islands to work and make money after experiencing a catastrophic electronics meltdown onboard.
Hinman chronicled the couple’s adventures in her lively memoir “Tightwads on the Loose: A Seven-Year Pacific Odyssey,” published last year. She will be sharing stories and photos from the journey at The Center for Wooden Boats this Friday night as part of CWB’s Third Friday speaker series, sponsored by Three Sheets Northwest.
During their trip the couple visited 19 countries, lived in oppressive heat in Hong Kong, dodged corrupt officials and battled 15-foot seas. Despite the downsides, Hinman would have been happy to continue cruising indefinitely, and her insatiable taste for new experience was sometimes at odds with her husband’s desire to return home and take on new professional challenges.
Ultimately, the couple returned to Seattle not because they ran out of cash, but because Wilcox, a naval architect, is so tall he couldn’t fully stand up in the boat and wanted to build their own for future cruising. They returned in 2007 and now live on Bainbridge Island in a house with an adjoining workshop, where they plan to build the boat of their dreams.
Wendy Hinman will be speaking from 7 to 9 p.m. this Friday, May 17 at The Center for Wooden Boats, 1010 Valley St., Seattle. Admission is free, though donations are welcome.