So, I'm fairly new to the forum and some of you may have seen my previous post about the Catalina 27 I was looking at...I can't help but get frustrated and I suppose a bit jealous of all the folks that have nicer boats than me...Although, all I really want is a moderate boat that gets me out on the water...sometimes I feel like I'll never make quite enough money to do this...even if I find the boat I want there are still mooring fees, storage, insurance, maintenance...it really adds up...
I'm only 28...currently working in IT project management and I feel like I'll never find a job that pays more and can afford me the boat I'm looking for...anybody hiring :-)
Seriously though, I am curious as to the best ways to make this happen, financially...
I started at 22 years old and with less income than you probably make, and things are looking good now from a boat and financial perspective. It can be done, but I believe it requires creativity.
Buying small undoubtedly decreases costs. Going as small as you can is REALLY going to help. We bought much bigger than we needed, and while we got a really good deal on the boat, we're paying for it's size every time we turn around.
Living aboard is really what made it possible for me. I wasn't paying rent AND moorage, AND boat payment. Once rent (and all the utilities) went away, it was really quite affordable.
Another idea to look into is buying your slip. We did this, and while it was difficult to come up with the down payment, and there are very few banks willing to lend on a slip, we made it work. We pay slightly more (maybe 15-20%) than we would if we were renting but in 10 years we'll have a slip that we own. With 15 year terms we'd be paying less than if we were renting.
We consider our slip to be the majority of our cruising kitty. It's always difficult to save money each month for sailing years down the road, but even on the months when we don't put any extra away, our slip payment DOES contribute equity to our cruising kitty. When we get ready to leave we'll sell the slip and have a good sized pile of cash to cruise with, and the money will have all come from money that would have been vaporized as moorage payments. I wish I'd done this 11 years ago when I got started. I would own the slip now and wouldn't be looking back on so many years of $$$ per month checks that I wrote to the marina.