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  #1  
Old 05-25-2012
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First boat now.... or later?

Hello everyone,

Starting the ASA101 class next week and was starting to think of my next step after the class. My immediate options are to either find a reasonable/cheap 22’-28’ to start off or go with a “fractional ownership”. The fractional ownership is $1500 a season (Apr-Nov) and allows me to take a 22” Catalina out 7 times a month.

The fractional membership seems to be the cheapest way to go but I think I would rather buy something. I really want to learn how to take care of a boat and the fractional membership would be no different than renting a boat for the day.

I am pretty sure I want to eventually get a mid 80’s Hunter 34 or Catalina 36 so that would be my next step in about 2 years. I was thinking of making the leap and just getting the Hunter 34 now but I am trying to talk myself down.

It just seems like a waste to put money into something you know you don’t want. Any thoughts or lessons learned from past experiences? Thanks in advance!

James
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Old 05-25-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

Buy the boat go sailing! ..Dale
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Old 05-25-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

How certain are you that you really want to get into this? If 100%, then maybe buy a boat. If not absolutely sure, the $1500 invested in a half season trial of the C22 will confirm this... or not. If not, then you've avoided the cost of ownership, quick resell and all that goes with that.

That said, daysailing a C22 is quite a different thing than owning a Cat 34 or 36, in terms of responsibilities, upkeep costs, moorage (all of that on your own hook rather than part of a co-op or fractional arrangement) It also opens up a lot more territory and cruising possibilities, along with the ability to decide to go for a sail just because it's a nice day, and not worry about it being 'your' weekend or time slot.

So I guess I'm saying examine your priorities, your financial realities and try to make the right decision for you.. I know what I'd do, but we're in a very different place from you at this time.. Good luck.
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Old 05-25-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

Fractional ownership is great if you can't afford to own outright. If you CAN, then ownership is the way to go. Especially if you want the whole experience, and it sounds like you do.

Some advice that was given to me by a trusted and old gray sailor and served me well was this: don't try to build your way up to the boat you want. Every step will cost you, and set you back. Decide on the boat you realistically want and can afford, and go for it in the first place.
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Old 05-26-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

Nin,

While I am a huge believer in the fact that fractional ownership is pretty much a rip off, in your case I would hesitate. $1,500 for a years worth of sailing is pretty cheap by most standards, and to be fair you really don't know how you are going to like it. Lessons are great, and a good introduction, but they really don't give you a very good feel for what owning a boat will be like.

My thoughts are to spend the money on the fractional ownership and see how you like it. Be sure to tell the company that you want to be invited to come and help work on the boat every time something needs to be done. This will do two things, 1 teach you how to work on a boat, and 2 give you some experience on how much time and effort it takes to keep a boat up.

At the end of the year if you do make the decision to buy, then go for the bigger boat. You will have a better idea of what you are buying, and taking incremental steps just don't add anything to the experience. Plus all the work and money you will spend to keep the intermediate boat going will be just lost when you sell it. And if it takes forever to sell, so you can't get the boat you want (average brokerage boat sales are taking over a year right now), then you spend months or a year upset at the boat you have because you really eat something else.

Finally boat prices drop in the fall, since people in your area know no one will be using it for months, and so there isn't uh interest. This means you can hopefully buy a boat at a steal in the fall, before the economy has picked up too much more, and will have a few months to play and work on it to get it ready for next season. All good things in my eyes. Consider the $1,500 on the fractional thingy additional classes.
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

Thanks to everyone that responded! I am 100% sure that I want to get into sailing. The fractional membership is not a bad deal for what I get, so that is what made me even consider it. I would look at it more as training than anything else but like Faster said a C-22 is a lot different than a 34 or 36'.

I have made several leaps into new hobbies and spent thousands, more like tens of thousands before I realized it wasn't for me. I usually stick to things for a while and then either reduce my involvement or cut my losses. This search for a new hobby was brought on by leaving an old hobby/life... comicbooks. I had spent over 30K in the past 8 years building a very nice collection until I realized I had not read anything in 2 years just buying so I have started unloading them. It is probably going to be at least a 15k "loss" but i had fun while it lasted. Another hobby was shooting, had over 15 firearms... down to 5. I sold others at a loss but still shoot regularly.

Sailing will be the same. If I continue to love it as much as I already do, great! I can keep tweaking to get things how I want them. If it doesn't work out for me... sell it and move on. The experience of owning it and maintaining will be an experience one way or the other... Looks like i need to start shopping for a marina and boat!

Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 05-26-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

For Some, sailing is more of a disease than a hobby. A disease that effects ones ability to make rational decisions. There was a period when I was very busy with work and the detritus minutia of life and went 4 months without taking my boat out. When I was headed back to the Marina I thought to myself wow this daysail cost me 1500 bucks. Was it worth it? at the time I didn't think that it was but now when I look back on it I think I just needed a bigger boat.
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Old 05-26-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

Quote:
Originally Posted by contrarian View Post
For Some, sailing is more of a disease than a hobby. A disease that effects ones ability to make rational decisions. There was a period when I was very busy with work and the detritus minutia of life and went 4 months without taking my boat out. When I was headed back to the Marina I thought to myself wow this daysail cost me 1500 bucks. Was it worth it? at the time I didn't think that it was but now when I look back on it I think I just needed a bigger boat.
Wisdom.
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Old 05-27-2012
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First boat now.... or later?

I'd hold off buying something untill I had a little more experience and might crystallize the type of boat you might want to own. In addition to the boat sharing you might want to try a charter now and then on different boats. Get another couple or two to share in the cost. I did that for twenty years. Only had time for two or three trips per year but I sailed a lot of different boats and had a good idea about what I was getting when I finally bought a boat.
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Old 05-28-2012
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Re: First boat now.... or later?

Get the Catalina 36. It is a fantasic boat, beautiful and well designed. There is also a market for these boats and they are easy to sell.

I've met a few of these owners and they all love their boats. After seeing one inside and out, I agree.

I also think you should sail as many boats as possible just for the experience. If you own a boat, that doesn't mean you can't crew for someone else in a race, and help deliver a boat somewhere. Do as many different things as possible.
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