Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New Orleans Louisiana
Thanked 115 Times in 109 Posts
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Re: First boat now.... or later?
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.