To trail it or second job to pay slip fee? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-06-2012
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To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

For the last year I've been saving to buy first sailboat. Now the time has come, lots of great boats to choose from for really great prices. I have started to look around (treasure coast Florida) and yet another crushing blow to my dream, wet slip fees. The cheapest I have seen is about 8.00 a foot to 20.00 ft. high end. It could really be tight if I had to pay another 200 a month bill since I am just a working class Joe. Also most places have minimum length requirements which are longer than the boats are that i'm looking to start on. Looked into mooring a little bit (more research to do there).Info on mooring from locals here would be great. So other option is trailing the boat to use it. This is really the last thing I wanted to get involved in. Any advice from anyone?
I've been told having to set up and break down a sailboat can really ruin your motivation for next sail if you wanna go frequently (weekends) and not a few times a year. Also would trailing change my choices of boats to buy in terms of taking down the mast each weekend? In other words will certain boats not handle the constant removal and setup of a mast?:
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

I use to slip my larger boat, but lost it and bought a trailer sailor. Trailer boats are designed for rigging many times over, and most are fairly easy. My advise, only as good as what it cost, is buy a small sailboat with a good trailer, get one that is easy to set up or you'll lose many sailing days because of the drudgery of rigging. The other beauty of a smaller boat is it will make you a good sailor as trimming will be vital to performance and a tiller will give you the "feel". Another nice thing about having your boat at home is you and tinker and become very competent with its systems and repairs, which btw are considerable cheaper than a larger non trailer boat. It will also give you a wide variety of sailing destinations. Find one that is easy to launch, easy to tow, and easy to maintain--then use it!

Biggest loss will be space and comfort, but you will learn to cope with that.

I will go back to a larger boat to cruise full-time, but until then my little 19 ft'r is all I need. Cheers!
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

Thank You zeta. Many good points here. I really like the one of the boat being home and ready to be worked on. Also I live in a neighborhood where we can keep boats ,rv's etc. right in the driveway. It would be nice to have the boat at home while I learn about her and make those personal changes.
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Old 05-06-2012
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

If you get a trailer sailer you could possibly find a marina or club where you can dry sail your boat. (keep it rigged and ready on it's trailer and ready to go when you need it.) It can be substantially cheaper.
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

Another great reply. Thank you deniseO30. Lots of research to do
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Old 05-07-2012
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

Even up here in the north east slips will cost you more per year then you want to spend on a boat. Moorings are cheaper but can still start at around $1K per year for us bottom feeders.
If you happen to know someone with mooring 'rights' or even a private dock you might find a way to own a boat on the cheap but mostly it will cost you.
Denise is right that the 'dry sailing' option on a trailer is usually the cheapest option. It becomes quite easy to launch and retrieve your boat IF you don't have to set up and take down the rigging. Using a trailer also limits you, to some extent, as to what boats are easily trailered. Deep keeled boats are the least easy to launch and take out making a center board boat an attractive option.
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To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

We have a Catalina 22 swing keel that we keep in dry storage at the lake. Rigging our sails, hitching, and launching takes no time at all. Rates are reasonable - we pay about $70/month for dry storage. More than I would like to pay; but to play you've got to pay.
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

Buy a Catalina 22
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

We have a Catalina 25 wing keel and a trailer. It takes me about two hours to get boat in the water and rig it. A little less time to load & de-rig. I would not go through that for less than a week of sailing every day. There are smaller swing keel boats that are much quicker and easier to get in and out of the water. Some of them will not require a tongue extension on the trailer, if the ramp is steep enough. Finding a dry storage that you can keep the boat rigged and launch quickly is probably your best bet. A ramp without a dock close will require at least two to handle the truck trailer & boat. For us the hard part was deciding what we wanted out of the boat. Just go sailing or one we could spend a few days on.
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Old 05-07-2012
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Re: To trail it or second job to pay slip fee?

I trailer sail a Capri 22 (faster than a cat 22, and slightly more complicated to rig). I've trailer sailed it and I also slip it.

Denise is SPOT on, for cheaper than wet storage. If you have a decent tow vehicle, and want a larger trailer sailor (18-25 foot), dry storage is an "easy/cheaper" option.

My capri 22 has full height shrouds, and a single set of lowers, is fractional headstay, and split backstay adjustable. Total rig/launch time is about 1 hour. Total derig/and pull is about the same hour. That's with motor/fuel tank rudder, sails bent on, running the lines aft to the cockpit, etc.

I've even rigged it all up so I can raise the mast myself (which is astonishingly hard to do without some kind of "mast upper").

So I won't say day sailing a 22-24 footer is impossible (as I just did it 2 weeks ago)... but it really makes for a long day on the water... an overnight would make it more palatable.

I will also offer yet ANOTHER option. Trailer sail for longer weekends. You can get a "transient" slip, meaning a slip for a couple days. Then trailer launch your boat, slip the boat for a few days at a time, and pay only for those days you use! However, keep in mind if sailing is 4-6 times a month, at 2-3 days at a shot, it'd likely be cheaper to have the permanent slip.

As yet a final option, have you looked into private docks? Not knowing where you sail, I'd say most water has private residences with dockage (which are hard to vet out sometimes, Craigslist can be a friend here). Keep in mind parking and access (odd hours might offend) might curtail usage to some extent. But it also can offer great opportunity to get simple upgrades (like WIFI, or electric) for those times you really need it.

I've considered all the above. I pay the ridiculous fees for my boat for dockage. In fact in 2 years slip fees I've paid half what I've paid for my boat (it was a cheap boat)! The convenience is nice though I must admit. Having sailing dockmates is also a benny (sometimes an extra hand is good to get and to give for learning).

I like to be able to just hitch up and grab the boat though.. We'll see if the jones for larger water overcomes my inherent laziness of the quick sail.

Good luck and let us know what you wind up getting.

If you go the trailer sailor route, don't forget to check the board that lives for that stuff, not that I would send anyone other than this board for sailing stuff
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