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Discussion Starter #1
Instead of waiting until the Mrs. and I retire to buy the big boat and cruise, would this plan work?

She is a school teacher. I will also be a teacher within two years (yes, career change). That would give us the Summers off-work. We live in Louisiana and the Summers here are unbearable.

Is it feasible to buy a boat on one of the Great Lakes and cruise for two months out of the year (June and July), have it hauled at the end of those two months, and stored for ten months out of the year?

Will haul-out, storage, and haul-in fees eat me alive? If something breaks, I won't be there most of the year - how would I get stuff repaired? Is two months enough time for me to even bother with this train of thought?
 

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Sure that's possible. Pay the marina to take care of maintenance when you aren't there.

With enough money you can do whatever you want to. At some point you may decide that it isn't worth it, or you can't afford it, or whatever, but you would have at least tried and made the decision based on your circumstances.
 

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One of None
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Looks like you answered your own questions! I had a 10 year (12 years ago) plan to flip my house buy a bigger boat and be a snow bird. I'm still in the house and 65 now. At least I get to see the sunset from my YC! lol
 

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cruising all I can
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that will work.
I'm familiar with the upstate NY areas.
the sailboat prices seem higher than say Florida, where they're almost giving them away.
The slip fees and haul out are cheap.
if you go inland on the NYS canal system, the marinas get even for a cheaper. I've hauled,blocked and stored a 32' sailboat for as little as $1000 for a year. plenty of people to hire if work is needed.
a summer season dock at a state park can be had for $1500-2000
if you're only planning on 2-3 months dockage it wouldn't be much.
real nice area,in the summer.
 

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There's also insurance costs, Registration, winterizing, commissioning, bottom paint cost etc. + depreciation

Were it me, I wouldn't spend that kind of money for 2 months of use. That far from home.

I'm semi-retired but still working some ( teaching ) and I'm not happy about getting only 6 or 7 months use.

You could possibly charter for a couple of weeks somewhere different every summer until you're ready to get more use.

Are the summers really that unbearable? What about the barrier islands around mobile?

Perhaps something trailerable that you can store at home and put in wherever you want?
 

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What Tempest said (who seems to be quicker at responding!).
Chartering would open up a lot of responsibilities and alleviate a lot of worry. I worry CONSTANTLY about my old boat, and it is much closer than yours will be.
Or trailering, if you have the right vehicle, don't want a huge boat, and don't mind setting it up once or twice a year. Plus with trailering, you get to spend your off season getting it ready.
 

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Once you get past the financial aspect (and don't forget the cost to get up there and back) it might come down to your comfort level with leaving your boat, as others said.

It's not unheard of. There's a boat in my marina owned by a guy who lives in Ohio. He drives to Maryland every Thursday during the season. I know of people who leave their boats in Grenada during hurricane season and come north to stay for the summer. We have at least one SailNetter who leaves his boat in Tortola and works in Europe for however many months a year.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've got a catalina 22 right now that I sail locally. I was envisioning a boat large enough for a family of 4 to stay on - a catalina 22 won't handle that. Perhaps I could trailer her up to the Apostle Islands and have the kids camp on the islands :)

Yes, the Summers here in Louisiana are THAT bad! I only sail after dark during June-July-August. Also, no wind here in Summer.
 

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Yes, the Summers here in Louisiana are THAT bad! I only sail after dark during June-July-August. Also, no wind here in Summer.
After this winter up north, I'm looking forward to "THAT BAD."
 

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cruising all I can
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no insurance required at the cheaper places.
bottom job,meh. pressure wash it ,for 2-3 months fresh water usage you barely need bottom paint!
after the initial boat purchase, your storage and dockage for the year could be found for about $2000 .
daysailing and occasionally anchoring overnight.
that's pretty cheap fun for 2-3 months and it's beautiful in upstate in the summer.
wine country, NYS canal system is a must see.drop the mast and spend the summer going from town to town for free dockage at every lock and many towns offer complimentary facilities as well.
all manner of festivals.
you won't regret it,I promise.
 

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Joe, You're a good salesman and ambassador for the area! I'm almost sold.

I guess the other consderation is the investment in a depreciating asset that only gets 2 months of usage. But if that's where someone wants to be for the summer months, it just may be the most affordable way to do it.
 

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I don't think that's a bad plan at all, provided you truly have 2 months every summer without any other commitments getting in the way.

2 months is 60 days on the water. How many working folks who sail seasonally get more than 60 days on the water in a year? I'm guessing, not many.

I'd probably take that scenario here on Lake Champlain instead of my current weekends from May-October, some evenings, and a 1-2 week cruise in August.
 

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caberg has a very good point. Especially true for those of us who don't live close to our boats.
 

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I guess the other consderation is the investment in a depreciating asset that only gets 2 months of usage. But if that's where someone wants to be for the summer months, it just may be the most affordable way to do it.
He hasn't said what he's looking at for boats. I would not recommend a new boat for this plan.

But there are many older boats in the $10,000 to $20,000 range which are in sail away condition and will sell for the same years later if maintenance is kept up. (There's been many threads on this.) Although I wouldn't buy a boat with the expectation of recouping the purchase price, laying down $10,000 to $20,000 for your "summer home" on the lake is not all that bad of a deal.
 

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Broad Reachin'
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Yes, very doable. For a 30-40' boat in an average marina, you'll likely pay somewhere between $2k-$3k for a slip, maybe $1k for outdoor storage and winterizing. Figure on $4-$5k in recurring expenses and should be able to make it work. You could do it much cheaper is you cruise and anchor out or get a mooring ball somewhere instead of a marina slip.
 

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cruising all I can
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upstate is great from April /may to about October, but then it's not my bag.
the canal system is an incredible attraction and links several of the fingerlakes with the Hudson, lake Ontario and lake Erie as well as lake Champlain to the north.
if you check out Craigslist you can find a boat for well under $10,000
it would even be fun to rent a river boat,but they're about a grand a week. too much for me!
I found a friend a 22' seasprite for free on Craigslist two years ago.needed an outboard. he's still sailing her.
I'm considering sailing up there in a month or so myself. I've been going about every other year, sometimes more often. right up the Hudson, drop the mast at castleton and hang a left on the mowhawk river westward.
oh yea!
 

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Old soul
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You can probably find out what a marina would cost to do all the work to launch, haul, store and care for your potential boat. I suspect it will be quite costly, but might be worth if for 60 days per year of cruise in bliss up here on the Great Lakes.

I agree with Joe that some maintenance costs are cheaper up here. If you sail Superior, who needs bottom paint. And fresh water is a lot easier on the boat than salt. But there are added costs in money and time as well. I find it takes me a good week of solid work (which usually is stretched over a few weeks b/c I'm slow) just to get the boat ready for our extended summer cruises. Same goes at haul time. And then there's the added costs and risks associated with winter snows and freezing. Proper winterizing, blocking (probably with a cradle) and covering is important, and costly if hired out.

So sure, it's possible, and might work. But it will be pricey in time and money.


Why go fast, when you can go slow
 

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Wandering Aimlessly
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You might consider the Tennessee River System, keeping the boat at the bottom end of Kentucky Lake. Prices, overall should be cheaper, a one day drive instead of two, and you don't necessarily have to haul the boat at the end of your off-time, so you could go up on a long weekend.

You'd have Kentucky and Barkley Lakes to the north, and a number of choices to the east. Also, you could buy a boat closer to home, and use that first summer going up the Tenn-Tom Waterway to where you'll keep her.
 

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He hasn't said what he's looking at for boats. I would not recommend a new boat for this plan.

But there are many older boats in the $10,000 to $20,000 range which are in sail away condition and will sell for the same years later if maintenance is kept up. (There's been many threads on this.) Although I wouldn't buy a boat with the expectation of recouping the purchase price, laying down $10,000 to $20,000 for your "summer home" on the lake is not all that bad of a deal.
Yes, That's what made me re-consider the whole plan.. if the annual costs can be kept down, and they pick up a decent 10,000 to 20,000 boat. Let's say 20.
and a recurring annual expense of around 2,000/3,000.. over 10 years that avgs out to $4,000/$5,000 a year for a 2 or 3 month a year vacation home.
 

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Another option is to put a boat in charter and use in the summer months, although that tends to be the prime season. That would get you maintenance and moorage covered.

If you don't ask; they can't say no.
 
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