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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm bareboat certified, and have chartered probably 10 times over the last 5 years. I've had a blast, and always thought I wanted to own a boat... at *some* point.

I'm just not sure this is the point. But I'm being forced to make a decision because the very prime harbor has offered me a 34' berth, after waiting 5 years (5!!!) on their waiting list. (For those familiar with SF, this is South Beach Harbor, and I own a condo right across the street.)

I have two young children (5 months and 20 months), and I don't forsee taking them on the water until they're much, much older and excellent swimmers. And because of that... frankly, I don't see myself getting on the water much for the next 4-5 years. And with family/professional responsibilities, not sure how I can find time to even maintain the boat.

Should I just .. rent the berth and leave it empty? Should I go pick out a boat, even if I'll only be able to take it out 1-2 times a year (special holidays) for the next 4-5 years? ... or should I just wait, even if there's another 5 year waiting period ahead of me?
 

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Can you sub-lease the slip? Take it now, rent it out for the next few years, and when you are ready, it would be there for you.
 

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I will tell you that if you even just keep the boat good and clean on a DIY basis it sounds like you will use up your free time

I dont know how long the charters lasted BUT it sure seems like you enjoyed them ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good thought, re: sub-letting. I'll get in touch with the harbor and find out if that's an option. I don't need to get all of my money back, but just enough so I don't feel like it's a burden on me.

If I do buy a boat... I'd probably get a newer (1995+) fiberglass hull, easy on the eyes, not really high performance family cruiser (and occasional weekend racer). As far as maintenance, definitely don't have time for DIY. What are my options? How hard is it to be really hands-off, just hand someone the keys and say... keep it in ready-to-run shape?
 

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A lot of people sail with kids provided you take precautions to make it as safe as possible. Another possibility is a simple day sailor. Not much maintenance and you can get out for a couple of hours whenever you can steal them.

Jim McGee
C22 Island Time
C30 Goin' Coastal
Maple Shade, NJ
 

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Not sure why the young children should deter you in sailing.
I know many, including myself that had or have children on board at a young age. We started sailing with our daughters at Eighteen months.

The time to buy is now. What will it be like in five years?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've only sailed with other adults, so don't have a clue how to child-proof a boat. In the SF Bay Area, 25+ knot winds are pretty much standard... not too mention quite a bit of boat traffic, so I wasn't sure how you keep a 2 year old from getting in trouble.

Any references out there on what "precautions" I would need to take, in order to be reasonably safe? There must be child tethers out there that *guarantees* they will never fall out of the cockpit...?

But do kids that age really enjoy a few hours of sailing? I can't even get her to sit quietly in the minivan without a DVD playing.
 

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Our son has been sailing since he was 18 days old,(we lived in an area with regular 20+ knots of breeze too) he was determined to beat us and had is daughter out sailing at 1 week old, and she is already, at 1 year old, a veteran of a local fall racing series.

Sailing with children is very do-able, and I see no need to wait until they're "much much older". We have 3 basic rules: 1: stay on the boat, 2: stay on the boat, and 3: stay on the %$#@! boat. Swimming is good and important but adhering to rules 1 thru 3 make it to a point irrelevant. Tethers, vigilance and good practise will make keeping to those rules fairly simple.

You have a golden opportunity to get into a good situation - think how many have bought the boat and then realized they can't find a place to moor it.... If you have the wherewithal, do it now.. sail when you can and get your family into it sooner rather than later.

Do a little searching around this site.. there are several threads addressing sailing/cruising with youngsters of all ages.
 

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"I don't need to get all of my money back, but just enough so I don't feel like it's a burden on me."

If there's a five year waiting list....You should be able to sublet and make a tidy little profit to boot!!

I LOVE the bay!...haven't been there in years but can't wait to go back..
Did my Deep Sea Diving School over on Alameda and my nightlife across the bay.
 

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In many marinas, you can't get the slip and not keep a boat in it. That really isn't fair to the people who are on the waiting list who have boats—so it often isn't allowed. Either is sub-letting the slip, for much the same reasons.

I agree that now might be a very good time to get the boat, especially if you have the slip, since most people get the boat and then have to hunt down a convenient slip.

The age of your children is moot...since many kids have started sailing far younger than that. Hiring a local teen that is a sailor might be a very good way to get the maintenance done on your boat, as many young sailors are fairly familiar with the basics of boat maintenance. It would also provide you with possible crew for when you do go out.
 

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I’m not sure that you can legally sublet at South Beach. This is a city owned and operated marina and the marina management people are a bunch of rule followers (I know from personal experience). Subletting illegally is also problematic insomuch as you will have to show proof of $300,000 liability insurance with the marina being listed as co-insured. Not only will you have to pay personal property tax on your boat (purchase price or assessed value – whichever is highest) they will also bill you for the property tax equivalent of the slip itself even though it is owned by the City and County of San Francisco. As you know the waiting list is long on account of the Ball Park being right there and that tenant parking pass is “golden” on game days.

Now some thing you might want to consider is picking up that slip right now and mailing me one of your dock keys and I’ll come over on weekends and park Freya there while I enjoy the South of Market night life. Sounds good to you? Because it sounds good to me.<O:p
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Haha, very interesting... never occurred to me to make money off of the parking pass! Watch'em move the Giants to Stockton, and then I'll be really stuck.

Yea, I haven't even gotten the marina on the phone yet, but just logically I figured it'd be difficult getting the sublet thing worked out. I'll see if they let me hold on to the spot for 6 months while I test out my kids on the water, and see if they like the experience. If they do like the water, then I'll buy something along the lines of a Catalina 320 or 340... and go from there.

Part of me is trying to justify this by saying it'd be a cheaper way to entertain possible clients/business partners than paying for a luxury suite at the park. I can just anchor in McCovey Cove on game days, BBQ right on deck, cheap beer + liquor, and listen to Jon Miller.
 

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Part of me is trying to justify this by saying it'd be a cheaper way to entertain possible clients/business partners than paying for a luxury suite at the park. I can just anchor in McCovey Cove on game days, BBQ right on deck, cheap beer + liquor, and listen to Jon Miller.
Seems to me that's all the reason you need....;) Once the boat's in the marina (tax deductible no doubt??) then the sailing and quality family time is all gravy!:)
 

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Seems to me that's all the reason you need....;) Once the boat's in the marina (tax deductible no doubt??) then the sailing and quality family time is all gravy!:)
I came into this discussion 99% convinced it wouldn't work out... but here I am, starting to get swayed. Have to discuss it all with the wife.

I guess I should've known better than to ask a bunch of sailors whether it's practical to buy a sailboat. :)
 

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you know how to sail, you can get a slip, not getting personal it sounds like the money end is not a problem.... i just have one ?


what the hell are you waiting for?
 

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You could also consider a well qualified partner on the boat, ease the $$$ on them a bit and get the partner to supply extra elbow grease. The kids will love sailing if you make it fun. If you're having fun, even if it's blowing 20, you can convince them that they're having fun too. If you're intimidated, they'll get scared. I had my boy out on a Nacra beach cat flying a hull before he could walk. He loved it!
 

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But do kids that age really enjoy a few hours of sailing? I can't even get her to sit quietly in the minivan without a DVD playing.
My dad always had some kind of a boat (motor or sail) and I went with him all the time when I was young. Don't know about 5 months but I have pictures of me in diapers sitting on a boat. I remember being on dad's Cal 22 when it was rough out, my brother and I went up to the v-berth and had a blast rolling around up there as the boat tossed and turned.

If anything I would say as your kids get older like near the teens it will be tougher to get them to want to go sailing. Went boating a lot from when I was really little until about 14 years old. By the time my brother and I were both in our teens dad sold the boat, we were never using it. Boat time competes with video games and girls ...
 

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If you can afford it I say go for it too. We have two young ones and the 3 rules above are the best!!!! We follow those too.

One more thing you may want to think about is putting that netting around the boat on the life lines... If screams of kids, but it would give you that extra measure of security.

I like the Catalina too... I was suspect of those pulpit seats but they are really nice, the kids love them on the Hunter and they also follow the one hand for them and one for the boat when they are on there.

I would think that the cockpit size and depth of a 32-34 would provide all the safety needed for your youngsters...
 
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