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tanksalot 06-27-2012 03:03 PM

Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
I've had a 27 ft. Ericson with an Atomic 4 for 7 years or so. Thought I'd like bigger, so started looking. Finally (after looking at a LOT of junk) found one that my wife and I REALLY like.....Bristol 34 in very clean shape. Now the "problem".....should I just stay with what I know or move up? Here's the issues:

Get the Bristol 34:
1. A classic; all the work any sailboat requires will increase its' value (somewhat). Now, all the work I put into the Ericson is like making a snazzy Chevette snazzier.
2. Better sailing capability....Bristol is built like a tank, brightwork like "golden glass", lots more room, diesel (good for resale, but I KNOW the Atomic 4). More stable and better handling.
3. Intimidating (to me). I stand behind the wheel and get the sense I'll be piloting the Queen Mary. I am very good at sailing, and recognize that the feeling will dissipate,'s there now.
4. Time...I can sail the E-27 today, tommorrow etc. Getting the Bristol "ready to go" will take time and stress; time that could be spent sailing the Ericson. It'll eat into a fair amount of my summer.
5. Wife likes the Bristol. Lots of storage, and she's happy. I keep thinking "am I stupid? Go for it!".
6. "Newness fear". As I get older, things that never used to bother me somehow seem intimidating. NO IDEA why. I know I'm not getting stupider. Maybe now I'm more aware of how much I never knew but did it anyway.
7. Original shape and condition: The Ericson has had repaired port-side damage, a replacement mast and extra lead (400 lbs of lead shot) was added to the keel. The "perfectionist purist" in me doesn't like the modifications. But.....the sun is just as bright and the breeze is just as pleasant.

Keep Ericson 27:

1. Very familiar to (anxious) wife and me. I can fix (and probably have fixed) everything. There's that familiar pride of accomplishment.
2. Cheap....we own it outright; But, we're paying $3500/yr. for a slip, so why not have a much nicer "home" on the water?
3. Problems (leaks, head issues) are known. Is the devil you know better than the devil you don't know?
4. Bristol will cost $25K plus bottom paint and solving unforeseen problems. We could spend the same amount of money on trips and eating out. A LOT more relaxing than a new boat, but not nearly as exciting.

I know this is very much a personal decision, but I suspect I'm not the first to be in this position. If you've been there, what did you decide and are you glad you did?

Thanks in advance!

Tim R. 06-27-2012 03:13 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
Buy the Bristol and you can say you did your part improving the economy...and make your wife happy. Win, win.

Oaksail 06-27-2012 03:22 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
"5. Wife likes the Bristol. Lots of storage, and she's happy."

enough said, get the check book out and get the bigger boat.

GMC 06-27-2012 03:36 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
Great question. I've had an E-25 + for past 3-4 years and often lust for something larger, but I do love my boat. Just keeps chugging along, gets us where we want to go. Is paid for. If something breaks, I'm not bent out of shape as I don't have much into it. If I paid 25K for another boat, I'd have a totally different attitude about things, I think. I'd feel guilty if I weren't out on it getting my money's worth and/or I'd be spending money to protect my investment. Tough choice. Easier for me because I do not have the flight clearance from wife to consider more boat. Good luck.

Jeff_H 06-27-2012 03:51 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
Did you find a Bristol 34 in good shape?
If so I would suggest that you buy her. Those are very nice boats all around.

SVCarolena 06-27-2012 04:01 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
Going through a similar thought process now. I replaced just about everything on our P303, know it inside out, and really love the boat. But . . . I know we will move up at some point, and now is a great time to buy. If you can do it with no additional debt and don't think you will have trouble getting rid of the old one (and don't mind the fact that you won't make back what you put into her), then I say do it. If the market for used boats gets better, and eventually it will, you will wish you made the upgrade now. One issue we are dealing with that you apparently don't have to worry about is that if we move up we will need to move to a bigger slip, which means more cost per month, plus we really like the spot we are in now.. .

tanksalot 06-27-2012 04:18 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?

We're going to "cheat" regarding the slip. We're supposedly limited to 32 ft., but there are other, larger boats at our dock. What I don't look forward to is the anxiety of bringing in a larger boat to the dock. I FAR prefer a mooring, but, I'm only the mechanic/captain.

A year ago I had read a book called "Get Her On Board", regarding involving wives in the sailing world. The essential philosophy was letting HER make decisions, having her feel a part of the boat, not just a passenger.

My wife picked out material for sailboat curtains, and when we went into the store and she showed me the material, the first thing I started to say was "that's nice, but how about......". Then, thanks to the book, my lips got glued together (fortunately my tongue didn't need stitches), and we have HER material for curtains. They look real nice.

Sometimes my stupidity surprises me.


Paddyd 06-27-2012 04:42 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
Follow your wifes lead if she likes the boat , you will over come everything
and you get a bigger boat

misfits 06-27-2012 05:52 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
We've all been there when it comes to larger boats. For me, thank God I went down that road with powerboats & had a good idea of what I wanted when I started looking at sail.

Bottom line if you can afford the boat along with the additional increase in maintainence? & dock/storage fees, go for it. A Bristol 34 is a really nice boat.

Cruiser2B 06-27-2012 06:08 PM

Re: Buy bigger or keep "old faithful"?
I am going against the grain here, keep what you know and what you know you can afford. 25K will go along way towards other things including a few upgrades to a boat you know well. Yes a Bristol 34 is nice boat but so is the boat you have. You can bet that almost everything for the bristol will cost at least 2x as much for it than the Ericson. Ultimately buy what makes you happy, but my experience is that things only seem new, exciting and different for a short time. then you are back to wishing you had something bigger, nicer!

I have an Alberg 30 that is just a good ole boat, but always look at the highly maintained Hans Christanian 37 in my marina for a few minutes and imagine sailing it....then I come to my senses and look at the standing rigging and say holy sh!t!, i wonder how much that cost if mine was $2,000 to replace......Then I wonder how in the world would I get it out of the slip on a windy day by myself. After a few minutes of that i look back over at my good ole Alberg and am happy to just have what I have.

Good Luck either way.

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