What's a young man to do????? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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Old 08-18-2008
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What's a young man to do?????

So, here I am, a 27 year old male trying to make his way in the world. I have many fond memories on Prairie Creek Reservoir with my father and grandfather on their Gale Force 20 (The Nauti-Lust), and want to get back to sailing. My wife also shares the hunger, driven by a couple of quick ventures onto the small lake.

So, I enroll us both in sailing school, Edison Sailing Club in Fort Myers, FL. Good club, we enjoy it a lot! It has only reinforced my love of being on the water. My wife of course loves it, especially when the first 3 lessons are in 20-30 kt. winds!! Learned that a Santana 20 will round up when things get hairy.

But what next? In the short term, we are planning to join the club, annual membership is pretty reasonable. However, that's not quite the same as having your own baby in the slip. At some point, I'd really like to have my own boat, in a slip so it's ready to go when I am! Since we're living in SWFL now, the area is very conducive to this.

However, prices are not!!! From what I've seen, a decent used boat can be had for not too much green (looking in the 18 to 23 foot range), don't need or want something brand new, not really interested in dinghies, either. But slip prices are INSANE!! $10-$12 a foot just seems a little ridiculous to me for a piece of water to keep your boat in.

$200 a month to keep a boat in the water just won't fit in our budget, and won't for quite a while at this economy's rate. And from what I've found, there aren't any viable dry-slip options around either, so at least I could leave the mast/rigging up and just launch/retrieve as necessary. Plenty of dockaminiums for the well-to-do powerboat crowd, though.

How do you all make this work? My wife is getting her masters in accounting, once that is complete, the household income should go up. After a false start in music education (didn't like the job, or working 70 hours whilst getting paid for 35 1/2), I now have a good job performing OSP engineering for phone companies (small contractor firm), if we can get business up and stable, I think my income will raise as well.

Even then, though, owning a boat will be an expensive proposition. Any advice to a young man on making this idea a reality? Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-18-2008
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keep it on a mooring
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Old 08-18-2008
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I feel your pain. Haha. I'm 25 and just got my first boat. I guess the most important thing I've learned is don't let people call you crazy. If you really want this (and you have to know that) then do what it takes to make it happen. I searched high and low and eventually jumped on a really good deal I found on craigs list. And by really good deal I mean a well used but solid old boat that needs some work (the phrase "keel bolt replacement" is lurking in the back of my mind) for not that much cash. I guess what I'm being long winded about saying is, if you can afford the time and effort and hours, get the best thing you can afford and be prepared to throw some dollars and mostly sweat equity in it.

Or, you and the missus save up, and get somthing that requires a bit less attention other than regular maintenece. Do obsessive resarch...

Good Luck!
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Old 08-18-2008
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It seems that for now, your best option is to start off with an affordable, trailerable boat and deal with all the associated downsides of trailering . . . and there are many. But, this approach works for many young families, including ours - a few years back.

When a stronger and steady income frees up some "disposable" income for a cruising size boat, you can decide if leasing an outrageously expensive hole in the water is worth it. If it's any consolation, we were paying over $8,000 per 5 month season, for a 36 foot slip (including winter dry storage).
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Old 08-18-2008
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As your question is how do people do it i will give you my story. I am 30 and have had a challenger 7.4 (24.5 feet) for one summer as i bought it over the winter. I live in New Brunswick, Canada. I am a member of what is called a working yacht club. You have to be willing to give up a few hours a season to help out. But for a mooring line and membership it is 375 for the year for any size boat. It is 200 for winter storage and about 50 to launch and 50 for hall out. It is a very affordable way to be a sailor.
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Old 08-18-2008
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Have to agree with TB on this one...Get a trailer sailor...or partner up with 2 or 3 other couples and share everything equally ( expense wise dosent mean equal boat time necessarily ) ...I did this with my first boat. ( I used it WAY more then all others put togather ) ..there were 4, 17 year old partners and it worked out very well...friends then...friends now. I did put more money into it as well just because I wanted some gadgets others didnt care about...so what?
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Old 08-18-2008
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I am another trailer sailor advocate. It's family, home and priorities that limit my boating funds these days. But I go sailing. Yeah, I wish I had a bigger boat that overnighted better, but I am way at the small end; just a few feet longer and a few dollars more will get you into 20'-22' trailer sailors that have reasonable interiors and can handle a bit more wind and waves. Shop smart and it won't cost you much in the long run (you will get your purchase price back out of it).
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Old 08-20-2008
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Any advice to a young man on making this idea a reality? Thanks in advance!
Don't - whatever you do - go into debt or spend anymore money on a boat than you can truly afford to. Buy a small trailer sailer and enjoy the heck out of her.

Get to know people who race or own boats. There is always a need for willing crew who are pleasant company and don't talk too much. Realise that you're going through what 99% of the rest of us went through.

When you finally do get the boat that you wanted, it will be that much sweeter.

It's never going to be a cheap way to spend time, but if you are sensible with your money now, you'll be able to do things you dream about much sooner than if you fritter it away paying interest to some banker.

Good Luck ! Hope everything works out well
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