Join Date: Mar 2014
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Re: Don't have to be rich to sail
Not rich. And you don't have to be.
Sold an old off-road motorcycle from the 1980s and spent the money (no more, no less) on a 1970s sailboat (23.75' LOA) in good condition with an outboard. Bought a trailer for it too, found it in a yard for $900, like new condition, tandem axle large powerboat trailer with hydraulic brakes. Modified it to fit a keeled sailboat for about $300. Now I keep the boat on the trailer mast-up at a lake boat ramp for about $15/month, plus membership in the marina club ($500/year).
We sail it very often (maybe 20 times this year already and including a club racing series). We overnight on it from time to time (a bit like camping, but OK for one night). We regularly get 15-mile day sails in on her. Big enough to take out friends and their kids.
We keep the boat in good repair, and clean it regularly. We spend $ on the things we need (new battery this year, plus $60 in blocks to replace a broken boomvang), and don't spend the money on things we don't need (slip -- since we can launch the boat in less than 30 minutes).
Honestly, we have considered going to a bigger boat in a slip, but we keep coming back to whether we would have more fun or not, and so far it has not gone that way, and we have elected to spend that extra money on our mortgage or saving for retirement.
Our annual investment is probably $1,000/year after the initial boat cost. Yes, that's discretionary income that most people don't have, but it's not a rich activity. I hope the myth about sailing being a rich man's sport is dispelled, but myths don't die easily.