Join Date: Jul 2001
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keep it simple
My first boat is a 35' race boat built in 1980, and I paid $18500 for it. It was a fixer upper, but that worked out well because I learned a lot in a short period of time. Because it is a race boat, it is very simple down below, and this is also good because it minimizes expenses and work. You don't need all that stuff until you figure out if you are going to be doing that kind of sailing. It also has a complicated rig, and that is good because I am learning a lot about the intricacies of sailing. For these reasons, and another I'll come to in a minute, expenses are minimal, by boating standards: $2200 per year slip fees (military base),$425 per year insurance, and $50 per month in supplies. I'll haul this winter, and that will be a fee, plus a bottom painting.
The other reason expenses stay down: I am happy with the basic boat, and my sailing is limited. If having all modern stuff is important to you, then great, but that will be your fault when the expenses mount. I have ten winches, none of them self tailing, but they all work great. Why replace them? I don't have a chart plotter, radar, depth sounder, AC, refrigeration, showers, or hot running water. Don't need any of it, and I'm perfectly comfortable navigating all over the Potomac and the Chesapeake without any of it.
I'm not denigrating all the niceties of boat owning, merely pointing out that if expenses are a major concern, there are ways to minimize them. A lot of the stuff that gets bought for boats is nice, but not necessary, to have.