SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: First boat now.... or later? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-01-2012 10:25 PM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

Originally Posted by Nindark View Post
Hello everyone,

Starting the ASA101 class next week and was starting to think of my next step after the class. My immediate options are to either find a reasonable/cheap 22’-28’ to start off or go with a “fractional ownership”. The fractional ownership is $1500 a season (Apr-Nov) and allows me to take a 22” Catalina out 7 times a month.

The fractional membership seems to be the cheapest way to go but I think I would rather buy something. I really want to learn how to take care of a boat and the fractional membership would be no different than renting a boat for the day.

I am pretty sure I want to eventually get a mid 80’s Hunter 34 or Catalina 36 so that would be my next step in about 2 years. I was thinking of making the leap and just getting the Hunter 34 now but I am trying to talk myself down.

It just seems like a waste to put money into something you know you don’t want. Any thoughts or lessons learned from past experiences? Thanks in advance!

If you just want to sail either have a lot of money or don't but a boat. If you want the maintenance (I did), then buy the boat.
05-28-2012 10:25 AM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

Lots of new ideas in my head! At least until the year, I think I am going to go the fractional membership route and look at doing charters to try out different boats. I will also look to see if I can crew on different boats as the opportunities pop up.

I will be keeping an eye out for a great deal and be ready to jump on it. The benefit of waiting until next year will give me more time to build up my “boat/boat maintenance fund”. Right now I could afford to buy a “cheap” Hunter 34 and then repairs/upgrades would have to be done on a month to month basis as funds would allow. Waiting until next year I will have enough cash set aside to do repairs/upgrades as needed or wanted.

As much as I would love to go buy something now, I think the smarter thing to do for now is to wait. Thanks to everyone for the advice!

James aka Nindark
05-28-2012 03:30 AM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

Get the Catalina 36. It is a fantasic boat, beautiful and well designed. There is also a market for these boats and they are easy to sell.

I've met a few of these owners and they all love their boats. After seeing one inside and out, I agree.

I also think you should sail as many boats as possible just for the experience. If you own a boat, that doesn't mean you can't crew for someone else in a race, and help deliver a boat somewhere. Do as many different things as possible.
05-27-2012 07:26 AM
First boat now.... or later?

I'd hold off buying something untill I had a little more experience and might crystallize the type of boat you might want to own. In addition to the boat sharing you might want to try a charter now and then on different boats. Get another couple or two to share in the cost. I did that for twenty years. Only had time for two or three trips per year but I sailed a lot of different boats and had a good idea about what I was getting when I finally bought a boat.
05-26-2012 10:20 AM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

Originally Posted by contrarian View Post
For Some, sailing is more of a disease than a hobby. A disease that effects ones ability to make rational decisions. There was a period when I was very busy with work and the detritus minutia of life and went 4 months without taking my boat out. When I was headed back to the Marina I thought to myself wow this daysail cost me 1500 bucks. Was it worth it? at the time I didn't think that it was but now when I look back on it I think I just needed a bigger boat.
05-26-2012 07:39 AM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

For Some, sailing is more of a disease than a hobby. A disease that effects ones ability to make rational decisions. There was a period when I was very busy with work and the detritus minutia of life and went 4 months without taking my boat out. When I was headed back to the Marina I thought to myself wow this daysail cost me 1500 bucks. Was it worth it? at the time I didn't think that it was but now when I look back on it I think I just needed a bigger boat.
05-26-2012 06:30 AM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

Thanks to everyone that responded! I am 100% sure that I want to get into sailing. The fractional membership is not a bad deal for what I get, so that is what made me even consider it. I would look at it more as training than anything else but like Faster said a C-22 is a lot different than a 34 or 36'.

I have made several leaps into new hobbies and spent thousands, more like tens of thousands before I realized it wasn't for me. I usually stick to things for a while and then either reduce my involvement or cut my losses. This search for a new hobby was brought on by leaving an old hobby/life... comicbooks. I had spent over 30K in the past 8 years building a very nice collection until I realized I had not read anything in 2 years just buying so I have started unloading them. It is probably going to be at least a 15k "loss" but i had fun while it lasted. Another hobby was shooting, had over 15 firearms... down to 5. I sold others at a loss but still shoot regularly.

Sailing will be the same. If I continue to love it as much as I already do, great! I can keep tweaking to get things how I want them. If it doesn't work out for me... sell it and move on. The experience of owning it and maintaining will be an experience one way or the other... Looks like i need to start shopping for a marina and boat!

Thanks again for all the input!
05-26-2012 12:32 AM
Re: First boat now.... or later?


While I am a huge believer in the fact that fractional ownership is pretty much a rip off, in your case I would hesitate. $1,500 for a years worth of sailing is pretty cheap by most standards, and to be fair you really don't know how you are going to like it. Lessons are great, and a good introduction, but they really don't give you a very good feel for what owning a boat will be like.

My thoughts are to spend the money on the fractional ownership and see how you like it. Be sure to tell the company that you want to be invited to come and help work on the boat every time something needs to be done. This will do two things, 1 teach you how to work on a boat, and 2 give you some experience on how much time and effort it takes to keep a boat up.

At the end of the year if you do make the decision to buy, then go for the bigger boat. You will have a better idea of what you are buying, and taking incremental steps just don't add anything to the experience. Plus all the work and money you will spend to keep the intermediate boat going will be just lost when you sell it. And if it takes forever to sell, so you can't get the boat you want (average brokerage boat sales are taking over a year right now), then you spend months or a year upset at the boat you have because you really eat something else.

Finally boat prices drop in the fall, since people in your area know no one will be using it for months, and so there isn't uh interest. This means you can hopefully buy a boat at a steal in the fall, before the economy has picked up too much more, and will have a few months to play and work on it to get it ready for next season. All good things in my eyes. Consider the $1,500 on the fractional thingy additional classes.
05-25-2012 10:15 PM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

Fractional ownership is great if you can't afford to own outright. If you CAN, then ownership is the way to go. Especially if you want the whole experience, and it sounds like you do.

Some advice that was given to me by a trusted and old gray sailor and served me well was this: don't try to build your way up to the boat you want. Every step will cost you, and set you back. Decide on the boat you realistically want and can afford, and go for it in the first place.
05-25-2012 10:12 PM
Re: First boat now.... or later?

How certain are you that you really want to get into this? If 100%, then maybe buy a boat. If not absolutely sure, the $1500 invested in a half season trial of the C22 will confirm this... or not. If not, then you've avoided the cost of ownership, quick resell and all that goes with that.

That said, daysailing a C22 is quite a different thing than owning a Cat 34 or 36, in terms of responsibilities, upkeep costs, moorage (all of that on your own hook rather than part of a co-op or fractional arrangement) It also opens up a lot more territory and cruising possibilities, along with the ability to decide to go for a sail just because it's a nice day, and not worry about it being 'your' weekend or time slot.

So I guess I'm saying examine your priorities, your financial realities and try to make the right decision for you.. I know what I'd do, but we're in a very different place from you at this time.. Good luck.
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome