Inspired by that dude who started out with a paperclip and ended up with a 2 story house, I decided to embark on a similar journey. Follow along for bartering shenanigans.

Mission: Starting with my original Nintendo, make a series of trades, ending at a mini-yacht. Realistically I’m after a cruiser in the 21’+ range – preferably a model year that’s not in the 80s! Nothing that needs major mechanical work. My timeline goal is one year (September 2017) but realistically it may take two.

Rules: I’ll primarily be using Craigslist and eBay. Cash transactions are fair game, in which case I’ll use the $ to invest in the next trade item. I will be doing my best to not put in extra cash out of pocket.

The '88 Bayliner. God rest her soul.

Summer 2012, the ’88 Bayliner. God rest her soul.

Ever since I moved my life/job into a little lake house in central Maine, I’ve had a gravitation toward boats. It started when an old roommate couldn’t take his 14′ aluminum with him when he moved out. He sold it to me on the cheap.

Eventually, the rickety aluminum with 8 horse outboard wasn’t doing it for me, so I “upgraded” (I use that term lightly) to an ugly 15′ glass Bayliner. It was probably a decent boat in 1988, but it left a lot to be desired after a couple decades of its life. I ended up getting into a nice Four Winns runabout, and at one point a 1969 Corson that did a good job of turning heads around the lake.

Summer 2013 on the '04 Horizon

Summer 2014 on the ’04 Horizon

In 2016 I was boatless, having sold off the Corson at the end of the 2015 season. I was content at first, but on a warm Saturday in September, the sputtering of an inboard seeping in through my open windows as I sat at my desk was just too much. I needed a boat. And this time I wanted to go big. And I don’t want to put up 40K to get it – at least not out of pocket.


Spring 2015 – ’69 Corson

I always loved the story about the guy in Canada who started with a paperclip and traded his way up to a 2 story house. While I’m not looking to go quite that extravagant, I do think I have the drive to pull off a fun and ridiculous series of trades – slowly working my way up to the end goal.

I looked around my house for something to start the mission, and my original NES from 1985 seemed like a logical starting point. Not only does it never get used, but vintage video games seem to be drawing in the nostalgia crowd, so it should help set things off in the right direction.

Wish me luck! …or better yet, offer me a trade!


Update #7: The Yacht Has Landed! Final Update??

Using the proceeds from the Sunbird sale, I managed to find a smokin' deal on a cabin cruiser! I could hardly believe the price tag, so I was assuming that it was going to be either: a) a typical Craigslist scam, or b) ready for the boat graveyard aka recycling ...
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Update #6: Getting rid of the Sunbird

Woah, things moved quickly since the last update. I put the Sunbird up for trade to see what would happen. I emphasized in my ad that a bigger boat is what would catch my interest the most: Several decent trade offers came in: And some not so decent: This actually ...
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Update #5: Movin’ along, boat fun

The fifth update is here and it's a big one... figuratively and literally. I traded the ATV from the last update locally as part of a package for two boats. This trade involved me breaking my cash rule (of not wanting to put in cash, trades only), but I'm allowed ...
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Update #4: New ATV, plus: Scuba Gear, Stolen iPhones, and Vintage Tractors

I had been checking Craigslist several times a week for over a month to see if a decent vehicle or ATV would pop up in the $400 range. Not that I really know anything about either, but I do know that if they're not falling apart, they're easy to trade or ...
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Update #3: Up 185%

I ended up in Florida for most of November and half of December so I had to put things on hold, but I'm back to plugging away on this and have made some solid progress. The saltwater equipment was sold in two separate transactions. The first to go was the ...
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Update #2: Swords, Buicks, and Saltwater Equipment

Welp, the Nintendo is gone and I've moved onto round 2. I was hoping to do a straight trade, but I ended up selling for cash and using the proceeds to purchase the next item. There just wasn't the right opportunity to trade up, although someone did offer me this: The ...
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Update #1: Pepsi Machine, Farm Tools, and David Hasselhoff

Well it's been a couple of weeks since I first had this nutty idea, and while I was hoping to have already moved onto trade #2 by now, I'm still at the starting line. That doesn't mean their hasn't been any offers. Boy, has their been some interesting phone calls, texts, ...
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