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  #1  
Old 08-06-2010
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Condo Moorage aka buying a slip

Hey Folks-

I'm researching the benefits of buying a slip in a condominium marina. The purpose is not to live aboard. It is to control my otherwise non-recoverable moorage expenses as I move up in size. I currently have a C&C 30 Mk II. Moorage in Seattle currently runs roughly $300/mo for something this size.

Eventually, I want something in the 40(ish) ft range. As we all know, moorage becomes exponentially more expensive as you move up in size.

I would appreciate any comments on plusses, minuses, and things to watch out for.

Interestingly, I did a forum search and nothing on the subject came up. I'm kind of surprised at that.

Thanks,
Doug Powers
S/V Totoro
Seattle, WA
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Old 08-06-2010
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Old 08-06-2010
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I looked into buying a slip versus seasonal contracts and could not justify the expense over a 10 year period. Our season is only May to October if stretched, so it depends on many factors.

Are you permanent or may you possibly relocate? Companies are still helping with the selling of homes if you are a valued employee, but boat slips are another issue. The market is much more limited and even more dependent on the economy.

Taxes are a given as it is property....most likely valued at what you pay for it and not what the previous owner paid for it 5-10-or 20 years ago.

Assessments can be a big surprise. The association decides to put in a new breakwall or new docks...you all split the cost.

However, if you are staying in the area with no chance of moving, and know you like the location and people, there will probably not be a better time to buy then now. I would not do it as an investment any more than buy a boat for an investment.
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Old 08-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hangupndrive View Post
II would appreciate any comments on plusses, minuses, and things to watch out for.
I just started renting a slip in Gig Harbor for a 40 foot boat that I hope to own and have delivered this month. I started renting it now because there are not many slips in the area for a boat this size.

I'm renting a slip from a guy who bought a condo slip maybe 10 years ago. He now lives in Texas, but is collecting 378/month from me now. At the time, I'm sure he felt it was a huge expense, but at this point, he is probably very happy to have it.

With the economy the way it is, you can probably buy a slip for less than you can for a long time. Moorage in Puget Sound is more readily available right now, but it is still a limited commodity.

Dave
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Old 08-07-2010
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Dave-

I have not made it to Gig Harbor. We have never been south of Vashon. I hear it's wonderful.

Since you're local..... I'm looking at the Semiahmoo resort in Blaine. We live in Seattle now and have been leaning to an eventual relo to Bellingham 10 - 15 yrs in the future. Yes, we're a bit anal about plannning! Our professional situations don't make a relo possible now.

right now you can get a 44 ft slip for less than $30k. That's the asking price so, obviously, negotiable. There are several slips ranging from 34 ft ($19k) to 50 ft ($80ish). I think one could get some great deals right now as some slips have been listed for quite some time. I'm not clear on the condo fees. That could be a deal-breaker. I have owned sailboats consistently for over 20 years and, barring circumstances beyond my control, that's not likely to change.

Much like the decision to buy or rent a home, it all comes down to cashflow. We're headed to Vancouver for a wedding at the end of August. I'm going to stop by and check it out. I like the idea of 32 NM to Ganges or Friday Harbor!

I think, also a big consideration will be the popularity of the Marina. I wouldn't move our boat there immediately. We have a pretty good deal here. Rather, I would rent it out for now.

Thanks to everyone for their points so far.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hangupndrive View Post
Since you're local..... I'm looking at the Semiahmoo resort in Blaine. We live in Seattle now and have been leaning to an eventual relo to Bellingham 10 - 15 yrs in the future. Yes, we're a bit anal about plannning! Our professional situations don't make a relo possible now.
My wife and I have considered buying a condo in Bellingham just because we like it so much up there. Blaine would be a great place to have a boat since it is so close to some very nice cruising grounds. I do like the Sound Sound though as it is close to me and there are lots of places for weekend trips.

I'd pencil out the costs and see. Initially, it will more expensive to purchase, but over time you may find that it is cheaper to own. Down here, it is about $9.00 a foot for moorage (slips for those not in the PNW). A lot on whether you can pay cash for the slip or have to borrow for it and what the condo fees are. However, $30k for a 45ft slip sounds pretty reasonable to me.

Dave
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Old 08-07-2010
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I only wish I could buy a slip, in So. Cal. there are no slips for sale and I have watched my slip fees raised almost every year. I am now paying $14.00 a foot and was paying $9.00 a foot in 2000. There are morings but it is hard to beat a slip after a rough sail as the sun sets on you. Buy Buy Buy. I wish I could.
Brad
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Old 08-07-2010
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Watch out for property taxes...
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Old 08-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by night0wl View Post
Watch out for property taxes...
And maintenance and capital repair/replacement assessments! Sometimes these are quite sizable. Ensure you read the CC&R's carefully and that you do understand what you are reading.

If rentals are permitted, in theory one could buy an overlarge slip that might be needed at a future time and then lease it and use the lease proceeds to cover the monthly carrying costs of the larger slip and some of the costs of renting a smaller slip. Since the "rental" would be a business, you would be able to deduct the operating expenses (i.e. maintnenance and capital assessments), taxes; and, interest on any financing you might use and come out roughly even or even slightly ahead.

FWIW...
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Old 09-01-2010
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at first i thought you were crazy, i looked at a 30' slip on lake union and they wanted 250k. i figured i'd have to stay there something like 70 years before it made sense over renting at shilshole marina. but 20-30k in belingham? that sounds awesome!
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