Should I do it, or should I wait? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum
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  #1  
Old 01-20-2009
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Should I do it, or should I wait?

Hi all,

I'm bareboat certified, and have chartered probably 10 times over the last 5 years. I've had a blast, and always thought I wanted to own a boat... at *some* point.

I'm just not sure this is the point. But I'm being forced to make a decision because the very prime harbor has offered me a 34' berth, after waiting 5 years (5!!!) on their waiting list. (For those familiar with SF, this is South Beach Harbor, and I own a condo right across the street.)

I have two young children (5 months and 20 months), and I don't forsee taking them on the water until they're much, much older and excellent swimmers. And because of that... frankly, I don't see myself getting on the water much for the next 4-5 years. And with family/professional responsibilities, not sure how I can find time to even maintain the boat.

Should I just .. rent the berth and leave it empty? Should I go pick out a boat, even if I'll only be able to take it out 1-2 times a year (special holidays) for the next 4-5 years? ... or should I just wait, even if there's another 5 year waiting period ahead of me?
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Old 01-20-2009
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Can you sub-lease the slip? Take it now, rent it out for the next few years, and when you are ready, it would be there for you.
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Old 01-20-2009
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I will tell you that if you even just keep the boat good and clean on a DIY basis it sounds like you will use up your free time

I dont know how long the charters lasted BUT it sure seems like you enjoyed them
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Old 01-20-2009
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Can you sub-let it??
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Old 01-20-2009
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Good thought, re: sub-letting. I'll get in touch with the harbor and find out if that's an option. I don't need to get all of my money back, but just enough so I don't feel like it's a burden on me.

If I do buy a boat... I'd probably get a newer (1995+) fiberglass hull, easy on the eyes, not really high performance family cruiser (and occasional weekend racer). As far as maintenance, definitely don't have time for DIY. What are my options? How hard is it to be really hands-off, just hand someone the keys and say... keep it in ready-to-run shape?
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Old 01-20-2009
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A lot of people sail with kids provided you take precautions to make it as safe as possible. Another possibility is a simple day sailor. Not much maintenance and you can get out for a couple of hours whenever you can steal them.

Jim McGee
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Old 01-20-2009
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Not sure why the young children should deter you in sailing.
I know many, including myself that had or have children on board at a young age. We started sailing with our daughters at Eighteen months.

The time to buy is now. What will it be like in five years?
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Old 01-20-2009
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I've only sailed with other adults, so don't have a clue how to child-proof a boat. In the SF Bay Area, 25+ knot winds are pretty much standard... not too mention quite a bit of boat traffic, so I wasn't sure how you keep a 2 year old from getting in trouble.

Any references out there on what "precautions" I would need to take, in order to be reasonably safe? There must be child tethers out there that *guarantees* they will never fall out of the cockpit...?

But do kids that age really enjoy a few hours of sailing? I can't even get her to sit quietly in the minivan without a DVD playing.
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Old 01-20-2009
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Our son has been sailing since he was 18 days old,(we lived in an area with regular 20+ knots of breeze too) he was determined to beat us and had is daughter out sailing at 1 week old, and she is already, at 1 year old, a veteran of a local fall racing series.

Sailing with children is very do-able, and I see no need to wait until they're "much much older". We have 3 basic rules: 1: stay on the boat, 2: stay on the boat, and 3: stay on the %$#@! boat. Swimming is good and important but adhering to rules 1 thru 3 make it to a point irrelevant. Tethers, vigilance and good practise will make keeping to those rules fairly simple.

You have a golden opportunity to get into a good situation - think how many have bought the boat and then realized they can't find a place to moor it.... If you have the wherewithal, do it now.. sail when you can and get your family into it sooner rather than later.

Do a little searching around this site.. there are several threads addressing sailing/cruising with youngsters of all ages.
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Old 01-20-2009
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Do it, but a catalina 27 or something like that for cheap in reasonable shape, take the kids out (many many people sail with young children) see if they like it, and go from there.
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