Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 138 Old 09-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

At 72 and after a somewhat botched spine surgery I am facing increasing mobility difficulties which impact on my ability to do maintenance mostly, but sailing somewhat. This means I will do less maintenance... letting things go that I normally would do right away... things like wax, varnish replacing running rigging and so forth. Sure if I find someone I can pay for the help, but that can be expensive... and I still have to supervise.

I could simply list the boat for sale. I know most buyers will want to renew some things at least... once they take ownership... new electronics is one. My electronics work fine but are not state of the art N2K stuff. As much as I would like to do that upgrade now... it hardly seems to make sense.

A new coat of varnish might give more eye appeal... lubed winches... new running rigging, new anchor chain + anchor and so forth... But I doubt I would make this money back in the sale. Don 't know.

I would like to actually find the future owner sooner than later... and over a few years transfer ownership. In those few years we would share the use and all the projects... New owner would be the ultimate decider of what those projects are and whether I pay full or partially. I could of course school them on the boat which I have owned since new in 85... and done all the modifications and installs. No one could possibly understand this boat as I do. And I need to pass as much as that knowledge to the new owner. I haven't thought through the economics of the transaction yet.

I see this long transition one of mutual benefit. I can continue to sail and have help with maintenance... and new owner gets to have my help and knowledge so he is completely confident in operating and all systems.

But I think this would be almost impossible to find. I don't think any brokers would take the listing.

A actual partnership is complex too... as compatibility is an issue. Plus the notion that I am letting go of sole ownership... But I think consensus on decisions should not be difficult.

++++

Any thoughts and suggestions about how I exit ownership aside from the old model of listing with a broker?

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post #2 of 138 Old 09-23-2019
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

That would be a great plan....if you could find someone to do it.

I think you may find it hard to find someone who wants to share decision making/ opinions on making the boat
theirs. They may not appreciate. All you have put into it. Especially if they are from the throw away generation.

I know when its time for me to exit ( and we have discussed this) , I will need to make a clean break. Ive owned Haleakula nearly as long as you, so the memories and part of the family aspect of our boats will not be shared by a new owner who wants to make her his/ her own boat. Not sure I could watch someone else undo what I have done. Plus I would want to give space to them making their own memories/ fixes.

For my own head I think a complete break is what I would do. Sell her to hopefully the right person...yes....control it through gradual ownership would not work for me. There are certainly significant chapters in my life I have had already. Both family, career, and personally. These chapters have last pages. That doesnt mean they are dead over, just that I wanted to start a new chapter. Plus I am in it with my partner for life, she has an equal decision in this.

There are many other things I want to do, such as world traveling, RV ing in the US and Canada, so I will just have to close that chapter of my life and get my sailing fix by going out with friends I have made , or chartering. ( I meant to tell you when we met this summer you are always welcome to spend time in Maryland with us on Haleakula.) our lives are full and I hope I continue to keep learn and active by pursuing other interests I have. Our sailing has taken up a majority of our time and my wife has been a partner and loved it, and a good sport to boot. She has embraced it, makes all our canvas for years , and enjoys our time together on Haleakula..

I owe it to her to also do the same things while we are still relatively young at 65 by traveling. We never considered subjecting ourselves to permanent life on a boat ( no value judgement here) , as it was to narrow for us and we have many other accomplishable interests. I still have a large bucket list ( Antarctica, Peru, Greenland, and the National Parks in the US and Canada which I would like. To check off some of them in a new chapter of exploration for me, would keep me young and challenged , while I am able to physically do it.

I too had major back surgery a year ago. Mine was successful and it really made me think about things. I am scheduled for a total knee replacement in a month. Retirement is here for both of us. While I will greatly miss owning my own boat and sailing when I want , I have other interests which can replace it.
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post #3 of 138 Old 09-23-2019
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

First off, say it isnt so SanderO. I value and enjoy your comments here on SN. And somehow it saddens me to think of you without your good old boat.

I have no real wisdom to offer, except to say I think it is an interesting idea. It feels like something that could only work with a very good friend though. It seems like a lot to ask of an unknown buyer, and indeed of you, to have this kind of prolonged transfer.

But for the right person, it could be reciprocally great.

BTW, what is it with cruisers and bad backs. I broke mine when I was younger. Have never had surgery, but it gives me constant pain something that is getting worse with age.

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post #4 of 138 Old 09-23-2019
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

I hope you can find this transitional new owner.

Of course, the problem is that no two human beings see everything the same. This new owner should appreciate the information, but there is no way they will accept everything as firmly as the old owner insists. That's just life.

The PO of my boat was and still is an incredible resource. I changed a ton of what he did. Indeed I found mistakes he made that I never mentioned. If he was still around, this would no doubt have a been a source of conflict.


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post #5 of 138 Old 09-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

I am well aware of all the problems with this sort of hand off. I think one can think of a boat... like a house or an apartment... you move out and the new owner moves in to blank walls and floors. When you show it they will see all your interiors and "decorating" making it personal and attractive. I will of course remove the art and so forth on board...

I have been on sisterships and they do not feel like home to me. Things like running rigging, rope clutches, windlass and even sails will change the boat... as will upholstery and "decoration". My dodger is on fine shape.. but a new owner could pick a different color or make the a new higher frame. That's fine. Once Shiva goes to someone new... I would hope they would make it theirs.

I think once one commits to exit. the ego has to let go and help the new owner to find the joy in the boat... I am not the only one who can find (and create) this. New owner will have the benefit of my choices and hard work. I have planned a new B&G electronics package. I can give them the design.

I sail with AP 99% of the time. I hand steer on and off a dock... and when conditions call for it... difficult for the AP or just plain fun! So an instrument pod at the helm makes no sense for me. A friend with a sister ship has the pod and works the boat from behind the helm where his AP controls were mounted by the previous owner. Another sailor may prefer to hand steer or maybe they want to do racing. I think my steering approach may be a rarity. I also don't have/need a bimino because I am not out there under the sun. I have a design for a bimini but never executed.

I do love the 35 and she's a great boat and I learned so much about sailing on that boat. But there comes a time when sailing demands more than you can give... no matter how small those demands are.

I brought Shiva to a dock in CT for the balance of summer. And she'll remain there for winter storage. I hand steered the boat into the slip... but could not jump off and tie the lines... something I like to do lickity split. The deck is about 30" or so above the dock. I feel my knees would collapse or hurt like crazy if I attempted to jump from deck to dock. Tying up at a fuel dock is not a problem as the dock person will handle my lines. And if you are coming in to a dock with other sailors around... you can call for a little help and most will do it gladly. But you can't count on them being there. I can board from the stern with my ladder... and use the pushpit for hand holds/help. I have come to realize that I need decent leg strength and knees to get on and off my boat. My damaged nerve may recover. It may not. I am going on 18 months with this deficit. In fact the hardest part of sailing for me has become getting from my parked car to the boat or launch! Dinghy access is certainly easier for me than a launch or a self tie at a dock.

I have the winter to see if there is more progress in the recovery of my nerve. Knees don't recover... they get worse and then perhaps replaced. YUCK.

I don't think I can pull off the long slower transition... so if next season is as challenging as this one.. the boat will be on the market next fall.

I purchased 6 - 12'x2"x3" planks of teak several years ago to be made into a new rub rail. It seems like a crazy project to do now. I may sell the teak separately or sell it to the next owner.

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post #6 of 138 Old 09-23-2019
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

Today I turned 73. Since I began my boating at around 12, that's 61 years of mostly ”messing about in boats.” professionally and privately. I haven't had a home ashore since 1969, just spent time visiting friends and family in their dirt dwellings. So, the thought of being boatless is a bit intimidating. What would I do?
Fortunately, my wife is considerably younger than I and she is adamant that we remain aboard as long as I can and is willing [/B]and able[/B] to do most of the maintenance, including repairing or replacing pretty much anything from masthead to keel, inside or out, engineering or marlinespike. Not only all that, but she's become a highly praised charter cook!
We have discussed sliding across the aisle to a smaller power boat where I can laze in my $1000.00 helm chair on the climate controlled bridge with a cup of Joe on the dash and my '60s rock playing, as we venture to places I wouldn't visit in a cockpit boat (Canadian Maritimes, Hudson's Bay, Northern passage to AK, etc). Or possibly trading down to a traditional cat or gaff day sailor and living in a small home somewhere warm enough to get a reasonable amount of use from it.
I feel for you and hope you can find a way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.
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post #7 of 138 Old 09-23-2019
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

I would make the actual title transfer / financial stuff as clean as possible, easier insurance etc.

If they need to pay over time, you finance hold a lien whatever, but no partnership legally.

The knowledge transfer in exchange for your continued sharing-time on the boat can be informal, if either party want to scale it back does not affect the legal / financial arrangements.

Maybe have a side agreement that you get first dibs on X days per season even if it's without them, as long as the boat's not fully paid off, call that your interest.
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post #8 of 138 Old 09-23-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

There are plenty of lawyers including one of my close friends to make it complicated . ;-)

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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

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Originally Posted by capta View Post
Today I turned 73. Since I began my boating at around 12, that's 61 years of mostly messing about in boats. professionally and privately. I haven't had a home ashore since 1969, just spent time visiting friends and family in their dirt dwellings. So, the thought of being boatless is a bit intimidating. What would I do?
Fortunately, my wife is considerably younger than I and she is adamant that we remain aboard as long as I can and is willing [/B]and able[/B] to do most of the maintenance, including repairing or replacing pretty much anything from masthead to keel, inside or out, engineering or marlinespike. Not only all that, but she's become a highly praised charter cook!
We have discussed sliding across the aisle to a smaller power boat where I can laze in my $1000.00 helm chair on the climate controlled bridge with a cup of Joe on the dash and my '60s rock playing, as we venture to places I wouldn't visit in a cockpit boat (Canadian Maritimes, Hudson's Bay, Northern passage to AK, etc). Or possibly trading down to a traditional cat or gaff day sailor and living in a small home somewhere warm enough to get a reasonable amount of use from it.
I feel for you and hope you can find a way to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.
Happy Birthday! Go for as more as you can!

Cap your situation is different of course... as your life is aboard and you have a sailing partner who can do much of what you were doing if I understand your post. Unfortunately my wifey is great company on board... a fine cook but the only sailing duties she will do is watch and help flake the mainsail at the mast. She has no interest in anything mechanical except watering and potting plants! However her on board is always a great help it seems.

I am ok in moving more of my focus to attending performances and so on... of which there are many in NYC. If invited as a guest to sail... I would accept of course.

I am honored to have learned about sailing and to have cared for Shiva for 35 years and sailed her many tens of thousands of miles. I am also gratified that she was my only boat and she took care of me all those years at sea.

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post #10 of 138 Old 09-23-2019
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Re: Exiting Strategies for Boat Ownership

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I would like to actually find the future owner sooner than later... and over a few years transfer ownership. In those few years we would share the use and all the projects... New owner would be the ultimate decider of what those projects are and whether I pay full or partially. I could of course school them on the boat which I have owned since new in 85... and done all the modifications and installs. No one could possibly understand this boat as I do. And I need to pass as much as that knowledge to the new owner. I haven't thought through the economics of the transaction yet.
I looked up an 85 Contest. It shows a rudder on a skeg, and it looks like there was a wing keel and fin keel version. SailboatData says that they were originally powered by a Volvo Penta?
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