Is paying for a slip worth it? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 66 Old 02-02-2020 Thread Starter
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Is paying for a slip worth it?

Mental exercise here.

I have been happily trailer sailing for the last several years, but some changes at work that might impact the way I travel.

So, i am thinking about getting a dock. I think we have ruled out local yacht clubs because of initiation fees. Marinas are much more reasonable around here, aside from the diy clubs.

But the hassles even with marinas are extreme. About $2k for the dock itself. Fine. Then we need insurance, say $400/ year. Have to hire a surveyor. Give me a break, it's a 21 foot boat that I have owned for several years. No engine, no electrical system. Huge waste of money.

I guess on the plus side we will have a nice little floating cottage on the water, no hassles with trailering, mast stepping etc .

Basically costs will go from about $400 per year to a couple thousand but an increase in convenience.

Thoughts?

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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

I would say yes for a few reasons.

One you mentioned a cottage on the water.

Also working on boat projects means you go get to hang out in a marina.

Depending on how far away the marina is, you can go sailing with a 2 hour window.

Part of my calculation is a boat 25 feet or bigger so the effort to put up the mast is significant and the space below gives you some "cottage" features to make it worth spending the night aboard.
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post #3 of 66 Old 02-02-2020 Thread Starter
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post

Depending on how far away the marina is, you can go sailing with a 2 hour window.
This is also hurting my brain. I have marinas I am considering ranging from 24 minutes away to 1 hour and 17 minutes.

24 minutes away is the Ottawa River= ridiculous currents.

57 Minutes away I have the 1000 Islands= ridiculous currents, but pretty nice cruising grounds.

1 hour 6-17 minutes away, I have the Rideau Lakes= Paradise.
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

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This is also hurting my brain. I have marinas I am considering ranging from 24 minutes away to 1 hour and 17 minutes.

24 minutes away is the Ottawa River= ridiculous currents.

57 Minutes away I have the 1000 Islands= ridiculous currents, but pretty nice cruising grounds.

1 hour 6-17 minutes away, I have the Rideau Lakes= Paradise.
Where you moor / slip your boat is an interesting calculus with a bunch of variables and their importance/weight may change for any number of reasons.

We balanced, close with attractiveness, with cost and of decent sailing. The last was a compromised for the recent past. For our residence the close the less interesting the sailing cruising. So we ended up in a lovely place that was a 1hr 20 min drive. This almost acceptable for day use in summer.

Years ago when I was single I would drive 2+ hrs and it was gorgeous, affordable and fabulous sailing grounds. Note in NY Metro area traffic can really kick up travel times.

I've decided to change mooring with the knowledge of what is most important - good sailing grounds. And that meant further away from where we live. For a mooring it gets complicated by the need to get from your parked car to the boat.... options are dink or launch.... both represent costs... dinghy dock or launch service (limitations of operation schedule and cost). For me not being in a marina and a developed setting was important because I will spend weekends aboard and not sail for any number of reasons.

Slips were too spendy in any case. But moorings were hard to find especially in a pleasant setting. After searching and searching I found a location out east on the CT shore which was actually less the deal I had for the recent past. The computed travel time is 1 1/2 hrs. Something I finally realized after driving half a century.... is that traffic ALWAYS slows at "nodes"... such as toll plazes, merges and highway intersections, and bridges. If the route has fewer of these the delays are few and shorter. So... for me driving east on the CT side of the LI Sound is much faster then on the LI side... since I have to do a bridge just to get to LI. I don't mind traffic but detest traffic not only for the usual reasons... but it leads to more accidents and more slow downs.... a self fulfilling nightmare.

Finally.... if you are spending multiple days on the boat... the travel time becomes less a factor though no less annoying. So this argues for better sailing and longer travel times. My change will see the R/T time increase from 2.5hrs to 3+ hrs... not a big deal really. The mooring rates end up pretty much in the same ball park price-wise.

Other considerations for cruisers' mooring location is access to stuff.... fuel, water, food, marine services.

++++

I am looking forward this coming season to what appears to be a great location to moor the boat - Old Lyme on the east shore of the CT river.
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

Id lean towards mast up trailer storage
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post #6 of 66 Old 02-02-2020
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

RU has a good suggestion that could save on slip free costs and still give you the added convenience....if there are marinas that offer that option in the places youd want to keep the boat.

Also, on the insurance survey aspect - are the marinas requiring something other than liability coverage? Ive carried liability only on my boat since I owned it and the carrier has never required a survey.
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

Mast up lot storage may be the best compromise. However, I still think a slip is worth the price of admission. We've done both and really struggled with our first seasonal slip fee many years back. It took one season to realize we could never go back. Access, provisioning, maintenance, are all exponentially better. Yes, better out of proportion to the higher cost. Our slip must be 4 times more expensive than a mooring. It's 5 times better.

I don't know about Canada, but there are insurers in the US that will allow smaller vessels to be added to their homeowners policies, without surveys. The coverages are likely not as good, but if your only mission is to obtain a policy to be compliant, I have to believe there is a way to avoid a survey on a 21 foot boat. On the other hand, when you're in close proximity to others, you could be accidental cause of lots of damage to others, so being properly insured is really in your own best interest.
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

Mast up trailer storage is on my list of ideas for sure, about 1/5th the cost. Then I lose the convenience of having a boat in the water to chillax on though.

Bigdog, the marinas require insurance, insurance requires a survey. Insurance surveys are the biggest scam going in the marine industry, especially on boats this size.

Maybe I will try shopping fot insurance companies that don't require surveys.
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Last edited by Arcb; 02-02-2020 at 10:52 AM.
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Mast up lot storage may be the best compromise. However, I still think a slip is worth the price of admission. We've done both and really struggled with our first seasonal slip fee many years back. It took one season to realize we could never go back. Access, provisioning, maintenance, are all exponentially better. Yes, better out of proportion to the higher cost. Our slip must be 4 times more expensive than a mooring. It's 5 times better.

I don't know about Canada, but there are insurers in the US that will allow smaller vessels to be added to their homeowners policies, without surveys. The coverages are likely not as good, but if your only mission is to obtain a policy to be compliant, I have to believe there is a way to avoid a survey on a 21 foot boat. On the other hand, when you're in close proximity to others, you could be accidental cause of lots of damage to others, so being properly insured is really in your own best interest.
OK some valid points here. Getting things including people and pets is easier dockside.

I've not spent seasons in a slip so I can't put a mulitplier on the convenience/cost ratio.

Having a good dink at a dinghy dock allows me to get to the boat.... and then motor over to the town dock to "load up". Wifey etc. dog do towny things and are at the dock when I arrive. Really no problem at all.

I mentioned this many times and it may not apply to the OP... but I often spend weekends on the mooring... because the location is so pleasant and that isa many many times more pleasant than staying in a marina slip... or even over night at the town dock were people are constantly strolling by and looking at the boats as if they are displays in a museum. So the mooring location is important to me... not just a mooring in the middle of the harbor madness will do.

As I wrote there are many factors informing the choice of where to moor or slip your boat.
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Last edited by SanderO; 02-02-2020 at 11:10 AM.
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Re: Is paying for a slip worth it?

If the marina has a mast up concierge type service at a reduced price vs. a slip that would be great. You call ahead, tell em to launch your boat, go sailing and leave it tied to the dock and they haul it, while you're driving home. Even if you launch it yourself, you save the time and effort of hauling. If you decide you prefer a slip, I imagine you can always change your mind for the extra fee.
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