No Tow Vehicle - Stupid to get a trailerable? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-14-2006
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No Tow Vehicle - Stupid to get a trailerable?

I've been thinking about getting a cruiser for some time now, and I've recently gotten into looking very heavily. I'm in Los Angeles, and a slip at Marina Del Ray would be more expensive than the boat itself, so I'm looking to cut costs.

Right now I'm thinking about a trailerable boat that I can keep in mast-up storage, which would only be about $80/month. This seems like a huge savings over the $300/month that I understand a slip would cost. (Maintenance costs should be reduced without the boat sitting in water all year, too.)

This all seems great execept that I drive a tiny 2-door that won't be doing any towing, and that I'm unwilling to get rid of. My thought here is that anybody with a truck could launch my boat and that there's bound to be a service available, but I'm not finding a lot of information on who does this or how much they charge. I could be looking in the wrong places. I asked around at the marina and got vague answers.

So can anyone shed some light on whether I'm on the right track? I'm also interested in knowing the benefits and drawbacks of what I'm proposing over having my own slip.

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2006
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Most marinas have a vehicle that can move a boat trailer and do launchs and haulouts using the trailer. There is usually a fee for each haulout/launch, but it depends on the marina's policies.

Some marina have "rack-storage" for boats, and it is cheaper than having the boat in the water and the customers get a certain number of launches and haulouts as part of their storage fee. However, there is usually a certain window for doing launches and haulouts.

However, this means you can't just go down to the marina and go out for a sail when you feel like it...and it also means that if you've called to have your boat put in the water, and then decide the weather isn't good for sailing, that you have to wait to have it hauled back out, and may be charged for it if you cancel or change your plans.

Also, your prep time for the boat is generally a bit longer than if she is just tied up to a dock. So is your after-sail things to do list...
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Old 08-14-2006
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Hutta,

Have you ever been to a camping trailer show? Or a boat show where they primarily sell fishing boats? People go in there with the dreams of, "Yeah, me and the family are going to be on this thing every weekend, seeing all these places, go fishing all the time... all I have to do is hook it up to the truck and we are off every Friday!"

Where am I going with this? Well, almost without exception, these boats/campers are worn out for the first three months and then sit unused forever after that until they finally get sold. Why? It is a major pain just to use them.

My opinion is buy a boat without the trailer. It is a pain to stowe anyway. With the money you save, drop it into a marina. You will use the boat vastly more. You can meet neighbors and have coctails out in your slip. Sometiumes after a bad day, you can just go out to the boat and sit there and relax.

A marina is more than a place that you just park your boat. It is part of a way of life and a pathway to really enjoy boating. My bet: Especially not having a vehicle that can tow that boat, you will get sick and tired of it three months later and finally sell it with the opinion boating is not any fun or too much work. Drop it in a marina, you will use it all the time and in three months might be setting your sights on an even bigger boat to sit on!!

Fair winds...
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Old 08-14-2006
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I'd agree that having a boat in a slip is much more enjoyable, and makes it far more likely that you'll actually spend time on the boat and sail the boat. But YMMV.
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Old 08-14-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad
Hutta,
A marina is more than a place that you just park your boat. It is part of a way of life and a pathway to really enjoy boating. My bet: Especially not having a vehicle that can tow that boat, you will get sick and tired of it three months later and finally sell it with the opinion boating is not any fun or too much work. Drop it in a marina, you will use it all the time and in three months might be setting your sights on an even bigger boat to sit on!!

Fair winds...
Indeed, CruisingDad is dead-on course here. Besides the socializing, by hanging around the slip and with good judgement it will be easier to find mentors to help you manage the maintenance with good on-site advice on how or who to do repairs, and local knowledge on boat parts suppliers and deals.

As CruisingDad suggests, you may also find that "four feet longer" rule kicking in too.
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Old 08-15-2006
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Thanks everyone. Good advice. Sounds like the slip is the way to go.
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