Get to Know Us – Kristin Guibord

To Boat or Not To Boat


While Kristin Guibord has been passionate about helping BerryDunn Wealth Management clients build solid financial plans for 12 years, read about what happens when she has to apply those same strategies to her own family’s financial decision making.

Maine summers bring out the best in my family. Mother Nature finally warms us and Maine’s natural treasures provide boundless opportunity to spend time outside. We are most in sync when we are swept up in an adventure together.  Adventures for my family are a blend of team retreat and meditative practice. They are singular in focus yet unite us in movement. They still our minds yet fill us with intention. Our best adventures build a confidence in our individual selves and reinforce a dedication to each other.


For the last few summers, our adventures have focused on learning to navigate Casco Bay in our small (relatively speaking) family-friendly fishing boat. My husband, Michael, and I did not grow up boating, especially not on the ocean. Consequently, the learning curve was steep – and there have been many lessons.  

We have learned to tie up the boat so the hull doesn’t smash on the dock or, even worse, damage a neighboring (mind-blowingly expensive) boat.  Over time, we have learned how to avoid the numerous underwater ledges and sandbars, which threaten unsuspecting boaters in Casco Bay.  Through experience together, we have learned that places that offer safe passage at high tide often become impassable, or even treacherous, at slack or low tide. A misstep in this regard, at best, means sitting for hours until the tide reverses and lifts you off or a slow embarrassing tug and tow from a gracious boater.  Even more puzzling at times are the navigational hazards.  The island in Casco Bay are stunningly beautiful with their rugged rock skirted coastlines, but they all do look alike when you gaze at them along a hazy horizon while rolling over gigantic swells and knocking about in the blustery wind.   Avoiding these pitfalls requires focus and intention (and GPS!) Every family member has a job on the boat and we rely on each other to work together.

Thanks to our boat, we enjoy family adventures and a bonding that we never would have experienced without it. We never would have been able to access the huge portion of Maine that awaits just off the coast. There are countless islands to hike and camp. Anchorages in beautiful pine and rock lined coves provide shelter from the winds. Casco Bay’s sand beaches are perfect to comb for sea glass with family and friends. Orion (14) and Jonah (12) catch countless mackerel to use as bait while fishing for stripers in our not so secret fishing spots. And, of course, we can’t forget the lobster bakes and the bonfires, all with spectacular views.  


Having a boat, as any boat owner will tell you, is the equivalent of sticking a vacuum cleaner hose into your bank account and letting it rip. Putting my financial planner hat on, owning a boat is a “life-style choice,” definitely not an investment. In fact, it took us ten years to develop the financial and psychological fortitude to make the dream of boat ownership a reality. Truth be told, when I pay the annual bill for the boat slip while snow and ice still cover my driveway, I definitely cringe. I wonder what my financial planner would say.

Is it really worth the money, you ask? Well, you tell me:

As you pull away from the slip, tending to the lines and bumpers, the hustle and bustle of daily life, the current state of our political and economic reality, and the shenanigans and drama of middle school, simply, fall away. All these, we happily leave at the dock, perhaps to pick up again at a later date. It is with an awareness of the tasks at hand that we put our backs to the mainland and dedicate the day to the natural beauty of our surroundings and to each other. It is just the four of us and our journey.

As a mom and wife, these adventures fill my heart until it overflows. During each adventure, I will undoubtedly hear one of the boys say, “Oh there she goes, mom is having another “I love my family moment.” It’s true, it is in these small moments, floating captive with my family on the water, that I feel optimistic about the future and content with today. Those moments fill me with overwhelming gratitude and love.

Yes, it is worth every penny and then some!