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  #71  
Old 01-02-2012
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It's all about not being in debt: governments or individuals. It's a concept that is very easy to understand. They used to call it "living within one's means," or "personal responsibility," or "fiscal responsibility," or "self sufficiency," all terms that have been forgotten, replaced by terms like "consumerism," and "second mortgage (to buy all that unneeded crap)," and "8 bedrooms, four full baths."
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  #72  
Old 01-02-2012
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There is nothing wrong with debt per se. My accountant has an expression - "there's good debt and bad debt". Good debt is incurred to purchase assets and investments and it's cost is essentially tax deductible. Bad debt is used to purchase toys and fun.

Few people could save enough to buy a house - mortgages are essential. The same is true for government - there is nothing wrong with taking on debt to build a hydro dam or a major bridge or highway - capital projects.

The problem arises when debt is used for expenses - vacations on the card, welfare programs financed with debt etc.

My wife and I have nearly always been way in debt and still are - we have used it judiciously to acquire assets, kept a mortgage on a paid for house to buy investments and so forth. It works very well as long as you are PRUDENT with it - that's a word that few people even know these days.
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  #73  
Old 01-03-2012
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I agree with James Wilson, don't just go with cosmetics. In the case on my Contest 27 cosmetics were sadly lacking. Like "Collecting Classic Cars" It was a "barn find" (sort of). My two companions, who inspected the boat combine fifty years professional boating experience. We all agreed it was stupid to buy a boat with a keel for occasional afternoons sailing around, Look at the boats that never leave the dock. "Get one that goes on a trailer!!! "But if I you must buy a boat that needs a slip, dummy, this is the boat." So I'll spend the winter reading Hiscock, Roth, Graham Moirtesseier and others from decades ago, do some cosmetics when I can and let someone else spend 500 K on a "64 Shelby Cobra. I'll put my trailer boat up for sail this sping. Life is good
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  #74  
Old 01-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junkrig View Post

Smithville Lake in Missouri near Kansas City has exactly this: a utility-type pole with a yard and a block and tackle right near the gate. Hoist your mast, pay your ten bucks ($35.00 annual) and go sailing. 8,000 acres, too many big powerboats, but a lot of young people sail it anyway.
I've been out on Smithville lake 3 - 4 times. Twice in a '66 Sea Snark. And twice in a square - rigged Norse Knarr!

They quarter just fine. Don't let anyone tell you different. I've DONE it.
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"It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of sailing is? Love. You take a boat in to sea that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her afloat when she oughtta founder... tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens… makes her a home." Captain Malcom Reynolds, Paraphrased
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  #75  
Old 01-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
There is nothing wrong with debt per se. My accountant has an expression - "there's good debt and bad debt". Good debt is incurred to purchase assets and investments and it's cost is essentially tax deductible. Bad debt is used to purchase toys and fun.

Few people could save enough to buy a house - mortgages are essential. The same is true for government - there is nothing wrong with taking on debt to build a hydro dam or a major bridge or highway - capital projects.

The problem arises when debt is used for expenses - vacations on the card, welfare programs financed with debt etc.

My wife and I have nearly always been way in debt and still are - we have used it judiciously to acquire assets, kept a mortgage on a paid for house to buy investments and so forth. It works very well as long as you are PRUDENT with it - that's a word that few people even know these days.
While there may be some acceptable asset value percentage levels of debt for certain things, the scope of the entire idea of debt is totally out of control. The non-productive, blood-sucking industries of the non-working classes, the invention of derivative "assets", the casino nature of what used to be the stock market, and the abandonment of fiscal responsibility have all been fueled by the debt industry. Our entire cultural idea of debt has been twisted into a destructive monster. Debt should be viewed as a utilitarian function, not the all-encompassing, bloated, fictitious wealth creator it has become. There is no good debt, only varying levels of bad.

This is entirely off the original topic and should probably move to the off-topic forum.
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  #76  
Old 01-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
When that inflation hits (and I've been saying since '08 that it's coming) boat will be GOOD to own. When inflation is high, physical assets are what you want, not paper. Back in the late 70's - early 80's many boatbuilders went under because they took fixed price contracts on future boats and then resin went up along with everything else. My first mortgage was for 13.5% and I knew people who were at 19%. We all survived with our assets intact.

Back then, people couldn't buy boats fast enough - if they waited a couple of months the price would be up 5% - 10%. If I owned acreage or a warehouse I'd be buying GOB's dirt cheap or picking them up for free right now and storing them against that day.
Which brings me to WHY I bought the boat for cash, while out of work.

My home (which I still have a mortgage on) lost 35% of it's value when the housing bubble burst, and I lost my job. While I was still above water on the house, and I figured that I could pay the mortgage off from savings, I thought that I should take a longer view.

However, dealing with house maintenance, increasing taxes (of all sorts), increasing utilities, etc. made me think; "if the worst comes, would I rather be stuck here, or would I rather be able to get the heck out of Dodge on a boat?" It can be a lot cheaper to live on a boat, and I may never get the chance again.
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  #77  
Old 01-03-2012
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JonB makes some interesting points. He is one of my favorite posters. However, I am going to disagree with my friend here. I respect his experience and know he is accurate in what he says about the 70's. I was there too. We are experiencing inflation right now. You only have to look at your grocery bill to see this. Bear with me here, this is about sailboat prices. You just have to read a bit to get there...
Gasoline is up 80% or so over the last five years and shows no sign of going back down. It never will. At the same time, property and the possessions one normally collects, have devalued over this same time. What the heck is going on here ?? If we have inflation, everything goes up, right ? Well, the collapse of a stable middle class is causing this.
Since the 70's, this country has lost over 8 million stable jobs in manufacturing. The kind of job where you could count on many consistent years of employment, at three times minimum wage or better. Stable jobs allow people to make long term borrowing commitments. The planners who think that the service industries can make up for this loss just don't get it. You cannot sell each other pizza and do each other's laundry to have an economy. One only has to look at all the empty chain restaurants coast to coast to see this is true. These are not long term jobs. The rush to buy farmland last year, doubling the per acre cost, indicates the strategic planning of folks who have a dozen or so millions to preserve and spend more on financial planning than we can imagine. They bought farmland because there is nothing else secure to invest in, for the long term.
OK, so what has this got to do with sailboat prices??? I'm getting there. In the time from '96 to 2006, things were good and credit was easy. The calm before the storm. People used tactical, i.e. short term planning. There was little effort spent looking at the strategic, i.e. long term situation. I think we all knew it wasn't going to last, and we all got what we could while we still could. What the heck. We survived the Dot Com bubble, and before that, the savings and loan crisis. How bad could the housing bubble be ? People bought expensive boats, houses, and whatever else they saw as having long term value. They expected inflation, so they got it now.
The end of the middle class brought this ability to service credit, to an end. In an environment of fear, people hoard and do not lend. House loans are at an all time low interest rate. Try to qualify for one working at a chain restaurant. Can't be done. So the people who normally would get a loan for a used boat, for various reasons, will not be getting that loan. If you cannot say with certainty that you can pay the loan, you can't get it. All of a sudden, we have a cash economy. Nobody keeps cash, just as JonB has said. Cash shrinks if you don't buy stuff with it. But now, the stuff you buy with cash shrinks too ! Because we are all cash short. We are used to walking down to the bank and getting the cash to purchase this next item, whatever it is. Now we have to do this with what's in our pockets and that, my friends, is almost nothing. We have been conditioned by years of experience not to have cash and to leverage our credit to get ahead. That is a model that is no longer valid. This is exactly why the sailboat market has "sunk" if you pardon the metaphor.
There are other factors as well. Demographics, fewer sailors and such. The actual value of a dollar in terms of how much oil/gold/cheese, whatever, that you can buy with it. Fear, and the fear is justified ! The Universe is 14 billion years old, the debt is 14 trillion. The government has borrowed $1000/year, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. If that doesn't scare you, you are a rock !
Those factors and more, can nuance the causation but cannot change the results. If it weren't for girls, I think I'd crawl into a hole and stay there. What sells boats, is the belief that there is something better to come, that life is worth living, and is most certainly is ! The girls, the children, and that next sunrise over the water, are all worth whatever we can do to make it all happen. So we all collect the deposit cans, work a little overtime, and turn down the thermostat, to make it all happen.
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Last edited by TomandKarens34; 01-03-2012 at 10:25 AM. Reason: wording incorrect
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  #78  
Old 01-03-2012
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I think there is a bit of an over abundance of doom and gloom in this thread. There are plenty of bright spots in the economy, they just aren't the parts of our economy we are accustomed to seeing do well. The good jobs are not working at fast food joints, but they are not in manufacturing either. The good jobs now are at Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and they are not paying 3 times minimum wage, they are paying 6-8 times minimum wage. not to mention that the world itself is a far better place to live in now than in 1970. For women the glass ceiling has largely been broken, for minorities the effects of racism have been dramatically reduced, gay people can actually live their lives without fear of being discovered, and we can all access vast amounts of information with a few clicks of a mouse. In 1970, you would have had to overpay an encyclopedia salesman for a room full of books that represent a fraction of what is freely available on wikipedia, and as if that is not bad enough, the books would be totally outdated in a few short years.

90% of the issues with the boat market can be traced to two things:

1) demographics
2) durability

Our natural born population has been stagnant for some time now, with much of our population growth coming from immigration. New immigrants may not be huge buyers of boats, that should not be surprising. As our population levels stabilize, we should see a leveling out of the "decline" of sailing. Will sailing ever be a major sport or recreational activity? Probably not, it is time consuming and expensive, but that has always been true. Sailing was always a niche sport/activity and in the US is likely to always be that.

The other issue is durability. My primary ride now is a J24 built in 1978, and it is every bit as functional now as it was in 1978, maybe a bit better with the new laminate headsails. I can not think of a single other consumer good you could say that about. Cars, televisions, skis, computers, and stereos that are 30+ years old are all pretty useless except maybe as collectibles. Now while they are extremely durable, they are not indestructible and as more of them get chainsawed up, the supply/demand ratio should even out and a semblance of sanity will be restored to the market. Just don't expect it to happen overnight.

Really people, if you all think things are so bad now, I would say it is more a reflection of yourself and your own mindset, than a realistic assessment of the world and nation we live in.
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  #79  
Old 01-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ur_other_port View Post
Can anyone point me in the direction to one of these auctions in the South Florida area? My wife and I are looking to get a starter boat. Or better yet one of those free boats!!

Me TOO. I would really like a trailer sailer on the Texas coast.
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  #80  
Old 01-03-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomandKarens34 View Post
The Universe is 14 billion years old, the debt is 14 trillion. The government has borrowed $1000/year, SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME.
Love the metaphor - reminds of one Reagan had about the difference between a million and a billion - can't remember it exactly but it was along the lines of "a $million is a stack of bills 50 feet high, a $billion is a stack 10 miles high".

I think your post is pretty defeatist though - things aren't THAT bad. If you stop looking at the reports, newscasts and numbers and look around you empirically, you get a very different picture. How many people do you know personally that are chronically unemployed or have lost everything? They are definitely out there but the middle class is still around in great numbers.

The boat market IMHO is a typical, temporary response to bad economic times - I expect vacations are down, cottage sales etc. - all toys and expensive luxuries. It WILL come back - for the simple reason there will be another revolution if it doesn't.

P.S. thanks for the kind words.
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