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The Fulla Bulla™ Effect
Boats make ripples
May 2022

n Friday the 29th of April, the sailing vessel “Fulla Bulla™” was sold.

The vessel is a 1980 Cape Dory 30. She was owned by Mr. Charles Bulla. Fulla Bulla™ gets my vote for the best sail boat name of the year. Her name is trademarked with Mr. Bulla possessing legal rights to the name.

john rahm
Captain John Rahm
Anyway, my very talented, Triton yacht broker wife was able to close the deal. The boat has a new owner and an impending name change. During this sale, Mr. Bulla hired me to captain the boat for the sea trial and survey. Fulla Bulla™ was short-hauled at Sailcraft Service for her bottom inspection. The boat hung in the travel lift straps as the marine surveyor inspected the bottom for blisters and cracks. My job was to captain the boat and patiently wait in the shade.

Captain John Rahm and a prospective captain aboard Fulla Bulla™.

But as I waited, my schooling in Economics 101 returned from my distant past. At the end of the week, I collected these thoughts:

• Prior to the survey and sea trial, Fulla Bulla’s™ raw water pump was leaking. It was repaired by Triton Yachts Service Department. The owner of Triton Yachts, Blair Cooper got paid. His employees got paid.

• My wife Julie sold the boat. Her brokerage, again Triton Yachts, got paid. Julie got paid.

• I captained the sea trial/survey and got paid. I took my captain earnings and had a late lunch at the Silos. Silos owners and employees got paid.

• For the bottom inspection, the boat was short-hauled at Sailcraft Services, Owners Mike and Jennifer Pawlikowski and their employees got paid. Nugget, the Sailcraft mascot (Norfolk Terrier) probably got dog food or treats.

• The marine surveyor, John Hughes, got paid.

• Charles Bulla, the seller, got paid.

• The boat buyer ate meals at M&Ms, Brantley’s and probably others. The restaurateurs got paid along with their staff. Purveyors truck more food to the local restaurants, etc.

• Fulla Bulla™ was trucked to Mississippi. It was hauled and prepped by the employee owners of Zimmerman boatyard in Oriental. Yard Manager David Cronin and the team at Zimmerman’s got paid.

• Triton Specialized Logistics and driver Danny Jones got paid for hauling the boat overland to Mississippi. The buyer treated driver Danny to a Mississippi lunch. A restaurant in Mississippi got paid.

I am sure (by now) you understand. As I pulled all these financial threads, I re-realized the impact of recreational boating.

Boats – and boat sales in particular – are a huge economic engine here in Oriental. Fulla Bulla™ was not an expensive boat. But, even these small dollars circulated around. Many businesses contributed and got a little piece. The real positives come to light when this small Fulla Bulla™ effect is multiplied by the 100+ boats sold in Oriental in 2021. Not mentioned are the taxes that assist the town and county government.

Fulla Bulla™ in her slip.

Anyway, to further amplify my point, boats that harbor in Oriental create long financial bunny trails. There are slip rentals, dock masters, rigging, sails, electronics, engine repairs, painting, personal property tax, etc. All of those people who get paid spend money on food, shelter, clothing, school supplies and life.

We all know boats make a wake. But like a pebble dropped in a pond, boats make economic ripples too.

Fair Winds,
Captain John Rahm
Boating Advocate

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Captain's Blog on TownDock.net is all about making your time on the water enjoyable. Captain John Rahm teaches sailing and boat handling at Third Wave Sailing.