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Hey Y'all, I'm looking for some input on when it's time to sell the boat. My heart says keep it, but my logic says sell it off and pay off that remaining school debt. I bought my Aloha 32 with intentions of sailing it down into the Caribbean from Lake Erie, but I have since gotten married and moved 90 minutes from the lake. My desires to sail south have been put on the back burner and I'm settling down into married life and buying a house soon. I rarely use my boat anymore, and I don't really enjoy short jaunts out for a quick sail and instead only enjoy traveling to different ports on lake erie (which i lack the time to do anymore due to work). The problem is - I love the boat and have a crazy emotional sentimental attachment to the boat. It doesn't make sense to keep it anymore and pay the upkeep and dockage expenses. Has anyone else been faced with this same situation?
 

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Ditto. I remember getting the boat I really wanted just before having my first child. Two summers later my wife was pregnant again and we used the boat for six hours--three two hour sails--in five months. Sold it.

After a few years, thankfully, I was able to return to being a serial boat buyer. It's sort of like being a serial killer, only more socially acceptable.
 

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The OP answers itself. However, I hate reading that one gives up something they love for something else they love. Love is fragile and in weaker moments, things like this become cancerous. I don't mean to be overly dramatic. A break for a while, because your family is more important, is just fine. Perhaps you'll get back to it one day.

Has to be the OP's call. I'd consider whether there is a local lake and get a small dinghy or day sailor. A cooler and some apps for an evening sail with your wife can be very nice, for both. Like you, we are always trying to get to another port. When the opportunity presents itself to do 3 kts, in a light breeze, with no where to go and all day to get there, its incredibly relaxing. Perhaps move closer to the lake, do you have to be 90 mins away?
 
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This post raises some (many) interesting issues with owning a boat. There are many way to use a boat... and that will of course depend on its size. If it is large enough to live on with some level of comfort this offers a range of possibilities... such as simply getting away from your dirt place and spending time on the water even without voyaging anywhere. To make this type of use work the boat needs to be kept in a pleasant place. And that may not be a marina. I personally have no interest in living aboard in a marina.. Others may find it appealing.

If the boat is not too large or complex... it can be more easily sailed and without crew... though that means an AP... and some navigation gear. Large boats represent more issues including expense and maintenance. But they comfortably accommodate more people on board.

So the calculus will include where you live... and how close it is to your boat... because long travel to do a day sail gets old fast. How far is too far to go to get to your boat? And of course parking can be an issue too. How many people are going to be on board... for a sail or for over night? Staying aboard means meals and things like showering and more stowage.

I think the options for use open up for boats around 30' if several are going to use it together for anything more than a short day sail. But there is lots to take care of and it only increases as the size goes up. If you're just staying on the water the boat still needs maintenance, just like a house. It's not a hotel room... you take take of it. Is it worth the time and money? Also is the weather a factor? Would you prefer to be aboard on a rainy weekend or at home on dirt doing dirt stuff like movies and so forth?

Would a larger or small boat change your use? Or one closer to where you live? Is whatever the total cost of ownership worth it? At some point an expensive asset which is not used makes no sense to keep. So you need to USE it or move on.
 

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You're just married. You probably need the boat as a dog box for when you are in trouble with the missus. You can keep it stocked with beer so when the wife barks you can suddenly say: "OMG I forgot to leave the bilge pump on! I gotta race to the boat!" then when the beer supply is exhausted u text her to see if she has calmed down.

Either that or sell the boat and buy a tent for the back lawn for when you're in trouble.

:)


Mark
 

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I was in this position a few years back, newish job, sailboat 90 minutes away on Lake Ontario. A kid (2 now). Driving down to the boat yard every two weeks all winter long to check snow loads etc.

I sold mine and have no regrets.

Bought a trailer sailer instead that stays in my driveway. Some times I just go out to the drive way to hang out on the boat.

Usually when she goes in the water its for a week or more of gunkholing and exploring.

I keep a collection of even smaller boats for day sailing on the week end.
 

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I've sold boats when I was no longer using them well, and then bought another that fit my needs. No big deal. To me, it makes me sad to have a boat just sit at the dock, deteriorating. I'd rather someone else was using it.

Most recently I down sized from a cruising boat to a speedster. I may switch back to a cruiser when I retire for good. I don't know yet, so why hold on to a cruiser that isn't right for me now?
 

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Haleakula is my wife and myself sanctuary away from our working lives and the hum drum routines which owning a home and still working can bring. We love where we live, love our home and friends, but it is a refuge for Us. A place to go to together. A place where we bond with each other.

We’ve taken many coastal trip with her. We get along very well and work together 35 feet apart. We share many experiences and sights together. It adds to our marriage and bonding.

We have learned that this is important for our marriage to be successful. Spending time together strengthens us and our marriage.

The day will/ May come when we can’t physically take care of Haleakula, but until that time she maintains an important place in our lives .
 

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As noted, the apparent answer is to sell the boat and buy a trailerable boat. But you still need to answer a question:
Why would you ever buy a house that is 90 minutes from sail-able water?
The real answer is to sell the house and move closer to the water.
 

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My Dad tells a story that around the time that he got married he had gotten interested in fishing and decided that he wanted his own boat. At the time he was working at his father's lumber yard and thought he might build his own boat in an underutilized portion of one of the sheds using the rather extensive millwork shop at the lumber yard.

Dad ordered a bunch of study plans, picked a design and ordered the full set of drawings. One day he was working late in the lumber yard and after everyone left, Dad wandered back into the millwork shop with the drawings to see how hard it would be to make the frames for the boat. He traced a pattern onto a scrap of wood, and cut it out to shape.

He was checking his work when the phone rang. Dad answered the call and it was my mother calling to tell him to come home for dinner and delivered the news that she was pregnant with me.

When Dad got off the phone, he rolled up the drawings and tossed the frame into the scrap pile next to the potbelly stove that the yard crew used to warm up in winter, then went home to start his new life.

12 years later, with my brother and I away at summer camp, my folks took a vacation at the beach. With perfect beach weather, they quickly became bored and so went to a sailboat rental to break the monotony. Mom and Dad took the required half a day of lessons and spent the rest of the week sailing as much as they could. Two months later they bought their first sailboat, a 25 foot coastal cruiser.

Over the rest of their lives, between them, Mom and Dad owned close to a couple dozen boats between them. As Dad said just last week, at the time that we started sailing a lot of his friends were pushing him into golf. He chose sailing because he saw it as something that the whole family could do together. The close friendship that Dad and I built sailing and working on the boats together has remained a constant over the 58 years since we began sailing.

I guess I am saying that however much you love your current boat, you need to realize that this is only your current boat and not your life long boat. There will be future boats when the right time comes and you will love them just as much while reminiscing fondly about the boats you loved before.

Jeff
 

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Ditto. I remember getting the boat I really wanted just before having my first child. Two summers later my wife was pregnant again and we used the boat for six hours--three two hour sails--in five months. Sold it.
About the same here. Donated first boat away year after my daughter was born after realizing that the boat was costing about $500 per hour to use and only getting a few hours per season out of it. (Tax laws were more generous in the 90s and could net similar cash without hassle and time of selling.)

When youngest turned 9, got another boat to try out as a family cruiser & and upgraded five years after that. Just finished a dozen day cruise with my youngest where he used snap maps to locate his buddies along the coast & bar hop as we traveled along.

My advice: Don't let the boat be a burden which you grow to hate; let it be a dream that you can pickup when you are ready. Ditch it now!

/ed
 

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Having owned 5, I can say with certainty that for most of us, 1 boat for life doesn't work.

Your needs change as your situation changes. If you sell this one, it's not a decision to stop sailing forever. It's a decision to stop sailing on the lake in that 30 foot boat for now. Your next boat might need more room for kids, your next job might be close to a lake or the ocean, you might want to charter for a while, sounds expensive but none of us calculate the per hour of use cost of ownership, because if we did we'd sell our boats and we don't want to :).

No decision is permanent.
 

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I’ve owned 7 or 8 boats (not including trailer boats). Enough I can’t remember them all. I’ve been boatless for as long as a decade due to a divorce. I’ve owned boats for as short as 2 years using that boat just to teach my second wife to sail and make sure she would long term cruise on my “last boat “.
Boats, houses, cars, airplanes, bikes are possessions. Tools to make life more enjoyable. Never be owned by your possessions. Always own your possessions. Sell the d-mn thing. Get another when it will improve your life.

After no bike for a decade thinking of getting a GS. Timing is right as it seems I’ll be spending at least 4 months a year on land.
 

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Depending on where the OP is in Ohio, you can still sail just north of Columbus. On Alum Creek there is a very active keel boat club. On Hoover Resivior there is an active dinghy club. Hoover is mostly about racing. Alum Creek is about both racing and "cruising". I left Annapolis about 8 years ago for St. Louis. Had to sell the boat. 1 year ago we found the Alum Creek club, bought a trailer sailer, rented a dock and now sail 3-4 days per week. All while raising a family and working in the middle of OH. Plus, we can trailer it up to several ports on Erie.

While I miss my Pearson, the little O'Day allows me to sail regularly and keep the family involved. It is the right boat for us at this time.

If you are anywhere near the north side of Columbus, PM me and I can share details. Even get you on the water there.
 

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....After no bike for a decade thinking of getting a GS. Timing is right as it seems I’ll be spending at least 4 months a year on land.
I was just out on my GTL yesterday. It never ceases to amaze me how this touring bike handles more like a sport bike, just way more comfortable. Unlike any other bike I've ever owned (including 1200s and 1300s), this one never even winces when two up. Six cylinders and 1600cc are something else.

I used to laugh at guys with toys on their bikes. Now I have installed GPS, Sat radio, cruise control, heated seats and grips, power windscreen, electronically controlled suspension adjustments. Radio, GPS and passenger mic are bluetooth into my helmet speakers. Crazy. I road 150 miles, with the same comfort as my car.

GS is a cool looking bike, if you decide it does the job.
 
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Sounds like a tough choice. It also sounds like you know what you need to do.

Does the wife enjoy sailing as you do? If so, maybe it's better to move your life closer to the water. If not, well, the boat has to go. Better to sell it before you are sick and tired of the burden it has become. Take the proceeds and savings from overhead and build a cruising kitty for charters or the next boat.

Good luck!
 

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Wow, that sounds like what I went through about 25 years ago. I was relatively newly married, and had been angling to get my first big boy sailboat. We found a "sailing club", set up by a Catalina dealer. For $1000, you got the almost unlimited (albeit scheduled) use of an older Catalina 22 for the summer. And if you bought a boat from the dealer that summer (new or used), you got your $1000 credited to the sale.

That was my plan for sure: get the Mrs. hooked on sailing and buy a boat that summer. Except, we found out she was pregnant. So, that was that. Clearly, there would be no boat in our immediate future.

Fast forward three years (and another child) later, and I bought a Sunfish with a trailer. My hope was that I could take the boat out on a whim and just blast around a reservoir near my house. Turns out, that didn't work either. It wasn't until my oldest was 6 that I finally pulled the trigger on an Oday 23.

As many others here have said, you can't have everything, and as much as I love sailing and want to cruise, I love my wife and kids more. Who knows what will happen in the future: your wife may want to chuck it all and go cruising. Or maybe your kids will get deathly seasick and want nothing to do with your sailing. If you can't mothball the boat under cover, then I'd sell it and see what the future brings.
 

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Had an airbag goldwing after a series of hogs. Best tourer I ever owned. Would go out and have breakfast in one state, lunch in another, dinner in a third and sleep in a fourth. Walk away not scraping anything from my HD friends. But this time want daytrips, an occasional tour and double track no real dirt as they unlike my prior KTM they aren’t really made for it. Thinking of a 1200 and save a few bucks. Although the 1250 is a beast.

Just like what the OP is going through. He has a dream. His reality doesn’t match up. I hope he never loses the dream and gets another boat in the future. His dream for sailing maybe radically different when he re enters the sailing world. Selling a boat is cheaper and less stressful than losing a wife.
 
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