Author Topic: I'm thinking of getting a boat.  (Read 2283 times)

kingrat

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I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« on: August 03, 2018, 01:49:07 PM »
So I've started to think I want to get into sailing, which would eventually mean buying a boat. It's a skill, you get to enjoy (and contend with) nature, and you can eventually learn enough to actually travel via sailboat. It all seems fun and romantic to me.

All this being said, a rich guy once told me: "the two happiest days in a man's life are the day he buys his boat and the day he sells his boat". The first because you feel excited for the future ahead, and the second because you're finally getting rid of that horrible liability that hemorrhages cash flows.

My basic math on the thing: a reasonable 20-30 foot sailboat from the 1980s costs $20,000 or so. And my estimate of local docking fees, winter storage, boat maintenance, etc., amounts to $10,000 a year.

The reason this is even remotely feasible for my FI journey is because I have a high income and fairly low life expenses. This would only cut my annual after-tax savings by 5-10%, which is still significant. I'm well aware of how it would set me back $100,000 in a decade... it's just so much money. But that said, I'm well on the path to FI before I'm 50, and this seems interesting to me. (note I'd obviously do months of lessons and maybe rent a boat a bit first to see if this is something I really want to do).

The main thing I'm hoping to discuss is the idea of "the expensive things we do in the name of having some fun". And discover some mustachians who have done this - there must be some! Was it worth it? For the record, I live in an affordable apartment, walk and cycle everywhere and don't own a car.

So there it is. Am I crazy?
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 01:56:56 PM by kingrat »

wordnerd

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2018, 02:12:00 PM »
Join a sailing club. I love sailing, but buying a boat is pretty much always financially ugly. When you're just "thinking about getting into it?" Good God no.

ETA: in my experience, maintenance is where things can really add up (way beyond any reasonable budget) especially if you're buying an old boat and don't have experience in spotting issues on boats. I recommend a club if you can find one to avoid maintenance and slip fees and you can often use different boats.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2018, 02:23:54 PM by wordnerd »

kingrat

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2018, 02:18:03 PM »
Join a sailing club. I love sailing, but buying a boat is pretty much always financially ugly. When you're just "thinking about getting into it?" Good God no.

Well that's the idea. i don't mean buying off the bat, i mean in a few years.

Telecaster

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2018, 02:22:04 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

StarBright

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2018, 02:27:44 PM »
This is on our to-do list for retirement and we've had a sailboat fund since we got married.

We are still not sure if we are going to buy or just rent longish term when we get older.

I'm not sure where you are that boats are 20k. In my area (Great Lakes) you can get a mid 20 foot Catalina or Precision for 10k or less.

I'd say it is worth it if it is what you love to do more than anything. If you are just dabbling stick with renting for several years. My husband comes from a family that is really into sailing. My FIL built his own boat and sailed to Hawaii more than once.  Even my FIL just rents boats now.

Papa bear

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2018, 02:51:57 PM »
Boat is an acronym for "Break Out Another Thousand."

And yeah a little crazy. But who's not just a little crazy here. Right? Right!?

I have a couple of cheap boats, less than 3k total for kayaks, 14' hobie cat, and a used jet ski. Do the work on them yourself and save some $$.


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TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2018, 11:11:52 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

tralfamadorian

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2018, 07:37:03 AM »
So I've started to think I want to get into sailing, which would eventually mean buying a boat. It's a skill, you get to enjoy (and contend with) nature, and you can eventually learn enough to actually travel via sailboat. It all seems fun and romantic to me.

If you are serious about wanting to learn to sail, you should do so with a small boat, not a money eating large boat where mistakes can be serious and costly. You can pick up a used laser and trailer for a couple grand then sell them for the same in a few years if you decide that you like sailing enough to upgrade. If you have a longer car or suv, you can skip the trailer and carry it on top your vehicle.

Pros:
-ubiquitous (replacement bits are cheap and easy to find)
-forgiving (you can right a turtle yourself)
-forgiving (if you don't duck in time on a jive, you'll get a headache, not a cracked skull)
-forgiving (you can repair that hole you made in it with a patch kit in a few minutes)
-skills (you're be a much better sailor if you start on a laser)
-fun! (they're fast, responsive little boats)

marty998

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2018, 05:03:41 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

You guys are simply renting your spouses?

PoutineLover

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2018, 02:52:46 PM »
I started getting into sailing last year, and so far I've been crewing with someone for free and I get to go race every week. I am thinking of joining the club so I can borrow their boats and go out on my own too, they have a few available for reservation and memberships are a lot cheaper than owning your own boat. But from your post, you are just getting started so I'd say take it slow and try out different boats to see what works best for you before you commit to the costs of ownership.

boarder42

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2018, 03:09:14 PM »
One of my good friends sails. The local sailing club is 500 a year he became a captain of a new to the club boat they bought after one year which just means he's in charge of scheduling maintenance but also he is suppose to sail it at least 2x a month. All for 500 bucks. Much better price.

Barbaebigode

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2018, 06:54:35 AM »
+1 sail club. Or buy a small, towable (in a normal car), sail boat. The type that you can store at home and fix it yourself.

GuitarBrian

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2018, 11:42:25 AM »
We've owned a sailboat for 25 years this April. If you have a place to keep it for free... And take the time to fix everything yourself... It can be more frugal than most expect.
Plus it will take you places you can't experience any other way.
Our 35' sloop costs 2,000-5,000 in maintenance and storage ($60 a month for a locker, with a free anchorage) a year and provides as many months of accomodation as we want. We spend about 5-6 months a year living on the boat. Most of the time at an island that the only accomodation is $1000 a night per person...

FrugalOliphant

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2018, 01:41:46 PM »
Around my club, owners are DESPERATE for someone to crew with them during races.  Even if you're not looking to race yourself, racing teaches you to be a more competent sailor faster than just going out and putting around on your own.  And many clubs have "club boats" which members can reserve and take out for when you want some independence.  Try that for a while, because sailboats (particularly older boats the size you're looking at) can be bought easily, but not always sold easily (fiberglass boats last so long there are tons of them around).   That said... I made an impulse decision to buy a small one person sailboat about a year ago after a breakup.  And even though I would (deservedly) get face punched if people around here knew the details, I don't regret it.  I love having and racing it and want to one day do some adventuring myself on a larger vessel.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2018, 02:13:57 PM by FrugalOliphant »

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2018, 03:01:20 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

You guys are simply renting your spouses?

I never married. The way married people treat each other is unconscionable, and marriage has so little to recommend it as an institution that it has to be heavily subsidized by the government and by all levels of society.

Sailor Sam

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2018, 03:15:44 PM »
I love boats. The physical objects themselves. The ugliest and most obstinate pig of a ship is still the best ship ever. I've made an entire life out of serving aboard boats, both man and boy. Believe me when I say that I love boats, and believe me when I say that the very best style of hull is the hull that someone else pays for. The only boats that get a free pass in my mind are the ones you can pick up and tote by yourself.

Some additional unasked for advice; wear your goddamn flotation. I've pulled a few corpses from the water, but ain't none of them were wearing a personal flotation device.

AccountingForLife

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2018, 05:59:53 PM »
Do as much research as possible and know exactly what you're getting into financially before actually committing.

Do not under any circumstances finance a boat. Ever.

The fact of the matter is, a lot of people are desperate to get rid of their boat and will often sell them for thousands less than what they're actually worth. Cash talks. If you can get one surveyed in time or at least inspected by a reputable marina, you could enjoy it for a few years and then sell the thing for at least what you paid for it.

Where people get into trouble is when they buy brand new, on credit, and finance for 5-15 years at 5-9% interest. New boats depreciate twice as fast as cars do, if not faster. All of their money is gone before the boat is even turned on or placed into the water.

Docking fees are astronomical, so I hope you have a way to trailer the boat and store it INSIDE when it's not being used. Don't let it sit outside and weather away because not only will you be spending your free time cleaning it, but reseale will suffer as well. If you can't trailer then look into dry dock storage, which is usually cheaper than a wet slip.

If you keep it at a marina, you'll be on the hook for buying gas there as well. Obviously not as big of an expense for a sailboat, but that's at least 1-2 dollars more per gallon than at the gas station you fill your car up at. Also be prepared to bottom paint regularly and incur extra maintenance because your boat is sitting in the water 24/7. Marinas can get busy very quickly in the summertime, and they charge accordingly for their services.

Good luck. I grew up boating and love owning one. I used to live by the "If it flies, floats or f*cks..." rule, but I also live less than 10 miles from a large lake and would have spent over 3 grand already this year if I had rented every time I went out. That's before you bring the boat back and they try to charge you extra because "that scratch wasn't there when it left the dock." I'd also recommend an app like Fuelly where you can track every expense involved with your boat so you can see exactly what it costs you over time. Just remember that it's a toy, not an investment, and an expensive one at that. Insure it accordingly.

Hargrove

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2018, 06:38:40 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

You guys are simply renting your spouses?

Thank you, I laughed out loud. Marriage amplifies whatever we bring to it.

Boating is not a romantic still-life, OP. There are two major sets of sailing classes - fun time on a boat, and remember this shit or we are going to give you the most expensive tow of your life (on a boat).

Take the first, then also take the second, and if you totally love both - if taking the classes repeatedly is the joy equivalent of the amount of money it costs to own a boat - well, first, is it the joy equivalent of that?

jlcnuke

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2018, 10:58:11 AM »
We've owned a sailboat for 25 years this April. If you have a place to keep it for free... And take the time to fix everything yourself... It can be more frugal than most expect.
Plus it will take you places you can't experience any other way.
Our 35' sloop costs 2,000-5,000 in maintenance and storage ($60 a month for a locker, with a free anchorage) a year and provides as many months of accomodation as we want. We spend about 5-6 months a year living on the boat. Most of the time at an island that the only accomodation is $1000 a night per person...

To put things in perspective, to join any of the local sailing clubs here that have boats available (for their actual fleet, not a choice of their 3 smallest sailboats anyway), membership alone runs ~$2,500/year, plus the initiation fee (about another grand there).  For $2,500/year you could pay for an uncovered slip year round at some of the marinas for a <30ft'er. For the initiation fee you could buy a fairly decent 2x ft used sailboat too... if it comes with a trailer, save some marina costs too...

GuitarStv

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #19 on: August 08, 2018, 11:02:25 AM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

Where do you find sheep for rent???

Askel

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #20 on: August 08, 2018, 11:25:50 AM »


There's a couple pieces of information missing, but the premise seems solid:





Fishingmn

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2018, 11:39:22 AM »
I'll play devil's advocate to other posters - if it fits into your overall financial plan go for it.

It doesn't matter that every single purchase has to align with mustachianism. If it brings you joy and won't hamper your plans then I see no reason why you can't buy a boat (or take a nice vacation, or give money to charity or buy a huge TV you'll watch a lot).

jlcnuke

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2018, 11:43:08 AM »
I'll play devil's advocate to other posters - if it fits into your overall financial plan go for it.

It doesn't matter that every single purchase has to align with mustachianism. If it brings you joy and won't hamper your plans then I see no reason why you can't buy a boat (or take a nice vacation, or give money to charity or buy a huge TV you'll watch a lot).

It can align with mustachianism imo. MMM's philosophy isn't to "not spend money", it's more to get value for the money you spend. If you value the spending and find it worth it, then I think that's perfectly mustachian. At least that's my take on it. I realize a bunch of people have taken the examples of ways to cut spending and still enjoy life and extrapolated that nothing else can be worth spending money on, but I don't think that's really the case or the point MMM was trying to make.

wordnerd

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2018, 03:09:49 PM »
I'll play devil's advocate to other posters - if it fits into your overall financial plan go for it.

It doesn't matter that every single purchase has to align with mustachianism. If it brings you joy and won't hamper your plans then I see no reason why you can't buy a boat (or take a nice vacation, or give money to charity or buy a huge TV you'll watch a lot).

It can align with mustachianism imo. MMM's philosophy isn't to "not spend money", it's more to get value for the money you spend. If you value the spending and find it worth it, then I think that's perfectly mustachian. At least that's my take on it. I realize a bunch of people have taken the examples of ways to cut spending and still enjoy life and extrapolated that nothing else can be worth spending money on, but I don't think that's really the case or the point MMM was trying to make.

I agree with this. But with boats specifically, I think people are often surprised by the costs. If you don't end using the boat that often, it can fall into disrepair and your main interaction with the boats becomes the marina calling to tell you it's taking on water again...

If you assess the cost and benefits and it's right for you, have at it. But with boats, I've seen a lot of people overestimate the benefits (because it's romantic) and underestimate the costs. This is particularly true of people with limited experience with boats (which it sounds like includes op).

BTDretire

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2018, 08:06:49 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

Where do you find sheep for rent???
First, I'm assuming since you thinking about a sheep, your not real picky.
 Maybe a goat would do?
 http://rentagoat.com/
Their motto: "Goats are simply a better way to get a tough job done"
See the benefits:
Our goats are given full health care and are registered with the Department of Agriculture.
Call us or schedule online.
We’re always available to help our customers, providing the best customer support in the industry.  :-)

GuitarStv

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #25 on: August 09, 2018, 07:46:48 AM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

Where do you find sheep for rent???
First, I'm assuming since you thinking about a sheep, your not real picky.
 Maybe a goat would do?
 http://rentagoat.com/
Their motto: "Goats are simply a better way to get a tough job done"
See the benefits:
Our goats are given full health care and are registered with the Department of Agriculture.
Call us or schedule online.
We’re always available to help our customers, providing the best customer support in the industry.  :-)

:P

kingrat

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #26 on: August 10, 2018, 01:14:32 PM »
These are awesome replies! Sounds like a lot of people answered from experience.

I didn't know people at sailing clubs are in such desperate need of extra hands. Clearly there's no need to buy a boat early on even though I can afford it.

Hold Fast looks good, I'll watch it this weekend.

That Laser boat looks really cool...

FrugalOliphant

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2018, 01:42:35 PM »
If you're thinking about a Laser, may I suggest an RS Aero ;)  Similar in size, but more modern technology and the hull weighs about half what the Laser does.  It makes it very easy for one person to transport.  I'm biased as this is what I have, but it's a fun boat with a friendly group of sailors sailing it.

They are harder to find used (as they are newer boats) and the fleet is smaller (but growing fast) than the long established Laser.

https://www.rsaerosailing.org/


ANewLeaf

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2018, 11:40:25 PM »
If you're new to sailing, I think the above suggestions are awesome.  Just wanted to add our perspective to round things out.
We live in a HCOL area on the west coast of Canada--boats can be bought in the US MUCH more cheaply, especially on the East coast. 

We bought our first sailboat, an Alberg 23, for $6500 and moored it locally at a run down marina (cheapest we could find in our area) for about $230/mo.  We spent probably $1000 in maintenance for the  3 years we owned it, and spent $2000 on a new outboard motor.  DH did all the maintenance and upgrades and kept it in excellent condition.  When we were ready to move on, we sold it to a friend (after months of trying to sell--echo that it is hard to sell and easy to buy) for $5500.  So total, about $4000/year. 

We moved on to a larger boat, a 30' Alberg, which we bought as an estate sale WAY under book value for $7500.  We have had the boat about 5 years now, and pay $275/mo for moorage.  Hauling/maintenance her costs about $1000-1500 year, and we probably put $2000 into her in the first couple of years to bring her out of her neglect after her owner passed.  So lets say she has cost us about $5000/year.

It's a lot in some ways.  But the key for us is that we LOVE to sail; it's DH's major hobby.  So we consider this our travel/holiday budget, DH's entertainment budget (we never go to movies, rarely to concerts, etc), and it's a major social outlet too--a way that we build friendships and community.  It's SUPER cheap weekend trips, as the sailboat burns hardly any gas, and it has a kitchenette.  We don't usually stay at marinas when we go on trips, so all we pay for is groceries.  It a major stress reliever, esp for DH, and in our area we can sail almost all year round.  Old boat owners are also generally penny pinchers, so there's a natural mustachian peer group built in, which is fun.

So we figure, *many* people spend $5000/year on travel and entertainment; we feel like this is a very reasonable hobby that we get a lot of reward out of.  We are also clear with ourselves that this is a luxury.  We carry some liability insurance (which the marina requires), but if the boat sinks, we are clear that it is not a necessity that needs to be replaced immediately.  It will need a new motor at some point, which could run us around $10K, but we're going to run the current one until it dies and if we need to slap a $2000 outboard on her after that, we will for a while. 

BUT! We are not typical.  Marinas are FULL of boats that never get sailed, or get sailed once a year.  Boats are also exponentially more expensive to moor, maintain, and repair according to length.  Even the difference between parts for the 23' vs the 30' was noticeable.  Once you have some experience, get the smallest boat that suits your needs.  As with cars, buy boats whose value is already depreciated and you'll get out more or less what you bought the boat for, if well maintained.  Maintain a DIY, desire to learn attitude; having other people do the work for you is expensive, but there are a million youtube videos that will tell you everything you need to know, and old timey boat owners love to share knowledge.

Lastly, once you're ready to own your own boat, consider sharing ownership with a few other like-minded people. There are a lot of boatshare arrangements that are possible, where the initial purchase price is shared, moorage and repair costs are shared, and then there's ample time to rotate use through the various owners.

We love being sailboat owners!  But it's important to go in with your eyes open.  And don't blow all your cash at the marina pub! (easier said than done, lol). 

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: I'm thinking of getting a boat.
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2018, 07:14:59 PM »
"if it flies, floats, or f***s, it is cheaper to rent."

That's one of the rules I live by.

Where do you find sheep for rent???

I was in rural Arkansas the other day and this reminded me of you. This vendor does not mention rentals but as you can see they cater to more than one taste.