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post #1 of 16 Old 01-12-2016 Thread Starter
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Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

Hello,

I'm wondering about the logistics of affordably dry-docking a 29' boat on the US west coast for a year or so, in an attempt to keep the boat without going through the expense of keeping it in a wet slip. I was hoping some members here have experience with dry-docking and could offer any advice.

So far, the best lead I have is in Marina del Rey (where the boat is currently docked), where they allow dry storage for a boat my size for around $150/month. That would be perfect... except... you need a trailer. Trailers cost around $6K (almost as much as I paid for the boat), and I can't find any used ones. I suppose I could invest in one if I thought it had resale value... which, as of now, I'm unconvinced is true (maybe someone here could shed some light?).

I've called a ton of boat yards, most seem geared toward maintenance rather than long term storage... there was one place in LA willing to take the whole thing on a trailer a couple miles away (what do they do about traffic lights??) to their storage facility... for practically more than what I'd pay for a wet slip.

Alternatively... if there are any anchorages in reasonable sailing distance where I could store it for, say, $200 a month, that might be an option... though it'd be exposed to the ravages of saltwater corrosion without me being there to maintain it.

Maybe this is an impossible dream? My reason for wanting to do this: both my girlfriend and I are very fond of this '76 Ericson 29, my first sailboat, which I've lived on for two years. But we're both sick of LA, and due to her recent leg injury, we can't just sail away. I've saved up money for a long road trip on a travel trailer (taking the land lubber route) but want to hold onto the boat a little longer in case we want to come back to LA. I would sooner deal with the regret of having wasted a couple grand, than the regret of parting with this boat (which we've worked hard on) before we're ready. Unfortunately if I can't figure this out, I'll probably just have to sell it, as a year's worth of wet slip storage in MDR is definitely more than a couple grand.

Any help is much appreciated!

1976 Ericson 29
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-12-2016
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

Find someone with land away from the coast. Offer them $500 year to store it on their property withe promise that if you don't pay for the next year before the first year is up the boat is theirs. Title held in escrow. Buy six boat stands and hire a boat transport company to get it there. Once you get into agricultural areas away from the coast you can always find a farmer with an unused corner of land. Helps if he is also a sailor.


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post #3 of 16 Old 01-12-2016
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

1

No wife, no kids, no debt.

Last edited by sharkbait; 02-01-2016 at 02:11 PM.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-12-2016
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

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Originally Posted by Bleemus View Post
Find someone with land away from the coast. Offer them $500 year to store it on their property withe promise that if you don't pay for the next year before the first year is up the boat is theirs. Title held in escrow. Buy six boat stands and hire a boat transport company to get it there. Once you get into agricultural areas away from the coast you can always find a farmer with an unused corner of land.
One problem with this- to get the boat from Trailer to stands, one needs a Crane, or around 100 really good and strong Friends. Supply beer.
This may actually become a Topical Subject here; that Real Estate Scum Bill Poland is already evicting the hundreds of boats Dry Sailed at the Alameda Marina, two months after announcing his Condo Creep Plan. (I have it on very good authority that Sean, those who are interested know who Sean is, feels ashamed and betrayed.)
Those boats have to be transported elsewhere, or dumpstered in place. Soon.

There are two types of Trailers for sailboats- Launching Trailers, and Transport Trailers; those last ones are the ones that need the Crane.
There weren't many, if any, Trailers for the Ericson, so one must be fabricated or altered. Boat stands are actually cheap; figure ~$50 each, used.

Why bother? Leave it on the Trailer. Splash the Ericson later, in a more congenial place, and then sell the Trailer.
As Condo Creep occurs, there will be a ready market for used sailboat Trailers. Possibly even a profitable one.

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-12-2016
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

There are boat movers with hydraulic trailers and if there's a steep enough ramp around they can pluck you out of the water and transport you to wherever you can find a lot.

Any storage yard that stores RVs during winter should be able to provide that kind of service, if you can find a boat mover with the above equipment and it's not too far away I'd think the move might be $5-600. Off-water storage fees are likely to be lower. However you'll still need at least a small crane to drop the mast, unless your marina has a mast tower.

Ron

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".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

I think the sad truth is if you are not going to be there for the whole year, you may be better off selling it now, and buy something else when you can get back to boating. There are lots of things in life that take priority, and they often don't last just a year. If you sell the boat, and put that money in a savings account you may be able to find something bigger/better/nicer/different what ever suits you when the time comes. What I don't see is spending 2200 a year (if you can find a $200 month storage) on a less than $6000 boat just in case in a year things are different. OK things don't change in that year, or the next and now the boat is in shambles after sitting on a mooring (if not sunk) for three years and you have spent $6,600 on storage and a few thousand on miscellaneous stuff and you have to give the boat away, or even worse pay to have it pulled from the harbor and disposed of, so now you are out say $6000 for the boat, $6600 for storage, $2000 in basic maintenance at a minimum and likely another $10,000-30,000 in salvage and disposal. That would have bought a nice boat three years later!

I see it all the time. Nice at one time boat I looked at (I think a C&C 29) that was on Craigslist for a very low price and I talked to him on the phone, he said go ahead and look at the boat it is not locked. He admitted he had not even been to see the boat in over 2 years (and hurricane Sandy had visited in that time). I went to look at the boat and the companion way had blown open (or had been left open by someone) for a couple of years. The outside of the boat looked pretty good but the entire interior was destroyed by two years of weather exposure. A shame because the exterior would have taken just a bit of polish and perhaps a bit of running rigging, but the interior was completely gone, new bulkheads and electric would have cost more than the boat was worth. Just a cautionary tail. There are lots of boats out there when you want one.

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-13-2016
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

Agree with miatapaul. Unless you can find cheap storage (not likely) the cost of storage vs the value of the boat...it just doesn't add up.
Glad I don't live in the high rent district. For about $1100, my yard hauls my 34' boat in the fall, cleans the bottom, blocks the boat and stores it for the winter. In the spring, they bottom paint and put the boat back in the water.
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

@Bleemus : That might just be crazy enough to work :] Maybe I'll put out a craigslist ad for it. For some reason it hasn't been consciously occurring to me that there are companies equipped to take this boat and move it wherever there is space to put it. (I still don't get what they do about traffic lights, though. Would my boat need to be de-masted??)

@sharkbait : Thanks for the links! I'll definitely check them out... I'm willing to journey out to a cheaper place if necessary.
@Erindipity : If I find a boat moving company, I'll definitely have to ask them how exactly they plan on getting it from the trailer onto stands. But if trailers really do have resale value, I could consider going with one. I just don't see any used ones online which is a little confusing (maybe it's because they all get bought up immediately?? Who knows). Dropping $6K on something so specific gives me a weird pit-of-the-stomach feeling, but if I can get like $5K back for it later I guess it could be worth it...

@Faster : What do you mean drop the mast? As far as I know my mast is a solid piece of metal going all the way to the bottom of the keel.

@miatapaul & @chuck53 : Now that I think about it I'd definitely rather sell the boat than leave it at the mercy of floating in saltwater unattended. It's dry dock or bust... It's just that selling this boat would leave us both a bit heartbroken, so I'm trying to exhaust every option. Every time I go against my gut instinct in life it comes back to bite me... and I think my gut is telling me to keep the boat. We worked hard to get it cozy, and it has everything we need --- with a new boat we'd have to do it all over again. I'd rather deal with the regret of wasting money than the regret of selling this really great boat we're so attached to.

Granted... my long-term plan is to sell this boat eventually and get a bigger one in the Caribbean. But I decided it would be fine to wait a little while seeing as they haven't quite worked out a vaccine for the Chikungunya virus they have down there now.


Thanks everyone for posting, this community is really helpful!

Last edited by UltimateWalrus; 01-13-2016 at 08:24 PM. Reason: tag Erindipity correctly
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

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Originally Posted by UltimateWalrus View Post
@Bleemus : That might just be crazy enough to work :] Maybe I'll put out a craigslist ad for it. For some reason it hasn't been consciously occurring to me that there are companies equipped to take this boat and move it wherever there is space to put it. (I still don't get what they do about traffic lights, though. Would my boat need to be de-masted??)

@sharkbait : Thanks for the links! I'll definitely check them out... I'm willing to journey out to a cheaper place if necessary.

@Erendipity: If I find a boat moving company, I'll definitely have to ask them how exactly they plan on getting it from the trailer onto stands. But if trailers really do have resale value, I could consider going with one. I just don't see any used ones online which is a little confusing (maybe it's because they all get bought up immediately?? Who knows). Dropping $6K on something so specific gives me a weird pit-of-the-stomach feeling, but if I can get like $5K back for it later I guess it could be worth it...

@Faster : What do you mean drop the mast? As far as I know my mast is a solid piece of metal going all the way to the bottom of the keel.

@miatapaul & chuck53: Now that I think about it I'd definitely rather sell the boat than leave it at the mercy of floating in saltwater unattended. It's dry dock or bust... It's just that selling this boat would leave us both a bit heartbroken, so I'm trying to exhaust every option. Every time I go against my gut instinct in life it comes back to bite me... and I think my gut is telling me to keep the boat. We worked hard to get it cozy, and it has everything we need --- with a new boat we'd have to do it all over again. I'd rather deal with the regret of wasting money than the regret of selling this really great boat we're so attached to.

Granted... my long-term plan is to sell this boat eventually and get a bigger one in the Caribbean. But I decided it would be fine to wait a little while seeing as they haven't quite worked out a vaccine for the Chikungunya virus they have down there now.


Thanks everyone for posting, this community is really helpful!
It is hard, but likely the best thing for both you and the boat. The boat may well get someone to use her and that helps keep her in top shape, and it gives you the opportunity to get something different. Those things you felt were just wrong on your boat, you find something that will fill those needs. No boat is perfect but there is always a better one! Kind of like money, there is always someone richer!

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post #10 of 16 Old 01-13-2016
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Re: Dry docking a 29' boat (impossible dream?)

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Originally Posted by UltimateWalrus View Post

@Faster : What do you mean drop the mast? As far as I know my mast is a solid piece of metal going all the way to the bottom of the keel.
Your mast IS one piece - and yes, probably 'keel stepped' meaning it goes through the deck and down to the keel plate. However the only thing holding all that there is the rigging.. loosen all that off, connect crane to the mast, disconnect the rigging and she'll come out like pulling a toothpick from a loaf.

This is a necessary step for any overland transport.. as you say, what about the traffic lights and the overhead wires? This is one of those hydraulic trailers I spoke of earlier.


Ron

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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