Join Date: Jun 2013
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Re: Beware new sailor on lake ontario
My experience has been that I met a lot more sailors after I bought a small sailboat and started storing it at a sailboat-only marina. My investment has been so small that I don't see it as taking away from my retirement fund. Instead, I'm very much further along on my process of becoming a sailor and a sailboat owner. I'm glad I'm doing it on a small boat now rather than waiting for years and starting out on a larger boat.
On owning vs. renting: My philosophy is rent big and own small. Run your own numbers. Mine are: $1000 purchase for a boat that works great for learning and enjoying; $300 annual mast-up, on trailer storage; $120 per year for insurance and tax. Let's say I sail just 50 times in 5 years, then sell the boat for $750. My total cost of ownership is $2350, or $47 per sailing day. I can't rent a boat for that and the lessons of learned sailing my own boat would cost at least 5 times as much if I paid for a sailing class, and I still would learn less I do by getting out there on my own.
There may be some maintenance expenses, but on my old boat with no systems beyond propulsion, my upkeep expenses are negligible, so I have enjoyed spending on some purely optional rigging upgrades.