Boat? Vacation home?

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Topic Author
dogbones
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Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

Spouse and I are talking goals - we're getting the tidbits of retirement finalized (fully funded, plus taxable) and thinking about where to allocate some fun funds. We have very stable jobs, salaries will increase steadily, and my vacation is in the summertime while his is flexible to when he chooses. He is/was an avid angler until life responsibilities crept up. He and his father once owned a small boat and docked it about an hour away and would go fish often, taking trips to FL, the Caribbean, etc.

We've tossed around the idea of putting away money for a beach home, lake home, or a boat. At this point, the boat is winning out in every way given how easy it is to pick up and go - whether to the ocean or lake or river. A few of our siblings own second homes at the beach (and one with a boat of their own), but he hates the beach beyond a few days to visit and I cannot fathom cleaning another location other than my primary at this point (or the financial responsibility). And truthfully, with his stressful job, I would love to see him get back into boating/fishing and even create memories for our little ones as well.

Before I give the boat idea some life, what are things that we (more me, he knows a lot more about boating than me!) need to consider? We have the space to park it, are within 2 hours of different bodies of water, and have a truck to tow. Anyone regret a purchase like this or do you find this easier to manage than, say, a vacation home?
ThankYouJack
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by ThankYouJack »

My only reservation is that 2 hours is a ways to drive...how often do you think you'll use it and could you rent instead?

I would definitely go with a boat before a vacation home. I haven't owned a fishing boat but have owned 3 PWCs and had a blast with them. I wouldn't over think it and just buy (or rent) and enjoy. I would probably start small as well -- probably don't need anything too expensive for fishing. If you don't like it, then you can sell it.

I often hear on here things like:
1) Best two days of owning a boat are the day you buy and the day you sell
2) B.O.A.T. = Bust Out Another Thousand

But I wouldn't listen to that as there's two types of people -- people who love being out on the water and those who don't. Have fun enjoying and making memories!
sailaway
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by sailaway »

I cannot imagine that a boat would be less work than a second home. At least you seem to be considering a trailerable boat, and which means it can be where you are when projects need done, rather than travelling just to work.

If available in your area, look for a multi location rental club, like Freedom.
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:07 pm My only reservation is that 2 hours is a ways to drive...how often do you think you'll use it and could you rent instead?

I would definitely go with a boat before a vacation home. I haven't owned a fishing boat but have owned 3 PWCs and had a blast with them. I wouldn't over think it and just buy (or rent) and enjoy. I would probably start small as well -- probably don't need anything too expensive for fishing. If you don't like it, then you can sell it.

I often hear on here things like:
1) Best two days of owning a boat are the day you buy and the day you sell
2) B.O.A.T. = Bust Out Another Thousand

But I wouldn't listen to that as there's two types of people -- people who love being out on the water and those who don't. Have fun enjoying and making memories!
Great points! I think if we stay within our means for the type of boat that meets our needs we may not really regret the purchase. What PWCs did you have and how often did you use them?
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

sailaway wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:24 pm I cannot imagine that a boat would be less work than a second home. At least you seem to be considering a trailerable boat, and which means it can be where you are when projects need done, rather than travelling just to work.

If available in your area, look for a multi location rental club, like Freedom.
Of course, the more sophisticated the boat the more projects it would need I am sure. From what I understand, when they owned their fishing boat they had a slip for it. The cost included maintenance and whatnot at the dock but I'd need to gather more information on that.
BrendanP
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by BrendanP »

We bought a beach vacation home after talking about it for years as we didn't want to wait for retirement.

It's only 1.25 hrs from our primary home without traffic and we've bought enough duplicates items so we can just pack up and come down quickly.

We're both off for the summers, have a lot of family nearby, and found ourselves coming to this area multiple times a year for various reasons.

It's only been a year but no regrets so far.

Edit: Vacation homes are not popular on Bogleheads or FIRE forums. However, we still have to work many more years to get our pensions and can't retire as early as we'd like.
Last edited by BrendanP on Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
mickroark
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by mickroark »

You know how the saying goes.

The happiest day of my life is the day I bought my Boat.

The second happiest day of my life is when I sold that Boat.

Same goes for Vacation Homes. :arrow: :confused
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

mickroark wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:32 pm You know how the saying goes.

The happiest day of my life is the day I bought my Boat.

The second happiest day of my life is when I sold that Boat.

Same goes for Vacation Homes. :arrow: :confused
Why do you think that is about boats? Maintenance? Guilt about not getting as much use? I certainly would feel more guilty not getting full use of a vacation home (especially where we are on the east cost - 5 months max in the year)
stoptothink
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by stoptothink »

dogbones wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:53 pm
mickroark wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:32 pm You know how the saying goes.

The happiest day of my life is the day I bought my Boat.

The second happiest day of my life is when I sold that Boat.

Same goes for Vacation Homes. :arrow: :confused
Why do you think that is about boats? Maintenance? Guilt about not getting as much use? I certainly would feel more guilty not getting full use of a vacation home (especially where we are on the east cost - 5 months max in the year)
I've never owned a boat, but do enjoy having several friends with them. In fact, we spent half of today on our friend's boat. We do always help with clean-up. I never cease to be amazed how much maintenance they require and how much of a hassle they are in general. Now is probably the worst time in recent history to be trying to buy a boat, I know a handful of people who have sold their very used boats recently for more than they were initially purchased for. In fact, our friends from today are considering putting theirs' up for sale.

FWIW, we have zero interest in a boat or a vacation home. In both cases, the maintenance overrides any appeal.
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

stoptothink wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:11 pm
dogbones wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:53 pm
mickroark wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:32 pm You know how the saying goes.

The happiest day of my life is the day I bought my Boat.

The second happiest day of my life is when I sold that Boat.

Same goes for Vacation Homes. :arrow: :confused
Why do you think that is about boats? Maintenance? Guilt about not getting as much use? I certainly would feel more guilty not getting full use of a vacation home (especially where we are on the east cost - 5 months max in the year)
I've never owned a boat, but do enjoy having several friends with them. In fact, we spent half of today on our friend's boat. We do always help with clean-up. I never cease to be amazed how much maintenance they require and how much of a hassle they are in general. Now is probably the worst time in recent history to be trying to buy a boat, I know a handful of people who have sold their very used boats recently for more than they were initially purchased for. In fact, our friends from today are considering putting theirs' up for sale.

FWIW, we have zero interest in a boat or a vacation home. In both cases, the maintenance overrides any appeal.
Fair enough! To be totally truthful here, my husband would be satisfied with a rowboat if it got his fishing line in the water. Truly a simple person (why I married him!) It's something we'll definitely have to discuss down the line. I imagine if boats are like cars today, it's a time to wait before pulling the trigger.
ThankYouJack
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by ThankYouJack »

dogbones wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:04 pm Great points! I think if we stay within our means for the type of boat that meets our needs we may not really regret the purchase. What PWCs did you have and how often did you use them?
I've owned a couple SuperJets and a Yamaha 3 seater. Got good use out of all of them.
mickroark wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 8:32 pm You know how the saying goes.

The happiest day of my life is the day I bought my Boat.

The second happiest day of my life is when I sold that Boat.

Same goes for Vacation Homes. :arrow: :confused
Have you owned a boat or a vacation home and if so was that your experience? I'm not sure why these sort of sayings are so popular...I never hear boat owners or vacation home owners that I know say them.

dogbones wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:13 pm
Fair enough! To be totally truthful here, my husband would be satisfied with a rowboat if it got his fishing line in the water. Truly a simple person (why I married him!) It's something we'll definitely have to discuss down the line. I imagine if boats are like cars today, it's a time to wait before pulling the trigger.
https://www.amazon.com/Intex-68370EP-Ch ... 654&sr=8-2

$130 :) I own something similar and it's been great.
SnowBog
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by SnowBog »

I think someone else mentioned this already...

But you could look into a "boat club membership" if available in your area. As I understand them, these type of memberships give you access to reserve any available boat without extra costs (other than maybe gas). They deal with all the storage, maintenence, Insurance, etc.

I think many give you flexibility - maybe both on location (if they have several) and boat type (could take out a fishing boat one day, a ski boat the next, and a pontoon another day).

In theory you get all the fun, they get all the work. It would also be a good "test" to see how much you'd use a boat. Then you can better assess how much you want to spend to purchase a boat.

I've never joined one of these, but I have rented [non-member] boats they make available to the public before. We aren't a boating family, so doing an ad hoc rental when the urge strikes is prefect for us. But if we wanted to try boating more, this is how'd we'd start before making a larger commitment.
ThankYouJack
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by ThankYouJack »

SnowBog wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:27 pm I think someone else mentioned this already...

But you could look into a "boat club membership" if available in your area. As I understand them, these type of memberships give you access to reserve any available boat without extra costs (other than maybe gas). They deal with all the storage, maintenence, Insurance, etc.

I think many give you flexibility - maybe both on location (if they have several) and boat type (could take out a fishing boat one day, a ski boat the next, and a pontoon another day).

In theory you get all the fun, they get all the work. It would also be a good "test" to see how much you'd use a boat. Then you can better assess how much you want to spend to purchase a boat.

I've never joined one of these, but I have rented [non-member] boats they make available to the public before. We aren't a boating family, so doing an ad hoc rental when the urge strikes is prefect for us. But if we wanted to try boating more, this is how'd we'd start before making a larger commitment.
I think boat clubs can be an even larger commitment than owning because of the initiation fee. I looked into Freedom Boat Club and there are some perks but the one by me charges $4-6k to join. I'd also have to pay hundreds a month even in the off season when I wouldn't be using it. And there's a reservation process because they have a limited # of boats. It's worth it for some but not for myself
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

https://www.amazon.com/Intex-68370EP-Ch ... 654&sr=8-2

$130 :) I own something similar and it's been great.
:sharebeer brilliant idea! We live within 20 and 30 minutes to large lakes and rather than renting from them this seems doable for mini trips!
Mike Scott
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by Mike Scott »

Remember the ocean going part of this boat question. Honestly, bogleheads is not a good place to get advice if you are looking at expensive boats.
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

SnowBog wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:27 pm I think someone else mentioned this already...

But you could look into a "boat club membership" if available in your area. As I understand them, these type of memberships give you access to reserve any available boat without extra costs (other than maybe gas). They deal with all the storage, maintenence, Insurance, etc.

I think many give you flexibility - maybe both on location (if they have several) and boat type (could take out a fishing boat one day, a ski boat the next, and a pontoon another day).

In theory you get all the fun, they get all the work. It would also be a good "test" to see how much you'd use a boat. Then you can better assess how much you want to spend to purchase a boat.

I've never joined one of these, but I have rented [non-member] boats they make available to the public before. We aren't a boating family, so doing an ad hoc rental when the urge strikes is prefect for us. But if we wanted to try boating more, this is how'd we'd start before making a larger commitment.
I think renting is a GREAT way to start our journey on this to see how much time/money we would dedicate to it. It's one of those things where we would likely do it more once we have it but just haven't had the time to sit and discuss and go through with it (kids, life, etc)
Pu239
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by Pu239 »

A vacation home with a boat is the best (or worst) of both worlds. Smaller boat, of course, which limits your mobility but why choose only one?
Between the idea And the reality...Between the motion And the act...Falls the Shadow - T. S. Eliot
smitcat
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by smitcat »

Mike Scott wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:51 pm Remember the ocean going part of this boat question. Honestly, bogleheads is not a good place to get advice if you are looking at expensive boats.
Best post so far ....
sailaway
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by sailaway »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:44 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:27 pm I think someone else mentioned this already...

But you could look into a "boat club membership" if available in your area. As I understand them, these type of memberships give you access to reserve any available boat without extra costs (other than maybe gas). They deal with all the storage, maintenence, Insurance, etc.

I think many give you flexibility - maybe both on location (if they have several) and boat type (could take out a fishing boat one day, a ski boat the next, and a pontoon another day).

In theory you get all the fun, they get all the work. It would also be a good "test" to see how much you'd use a boat. Then you can better assess how much you want to spend to purchase a boat.

I've never joined one of these, but I have rented [non-member] boats they make available to the public before. We aren't a boating family, so doing an ad hoc rental when the urge strikes is prefect for us. But if we wanted to try boating more, this is how'd we'd start before making a larger commitment.
I think boat clubs can be an even larger commitment than owning because of the initiation fee. I looked into Freedom Boat Club and there are some perks but the one by me charges $4-6k to join. I'd also have to pay hundreds a month even in the off season when I wouldn't be using it. And there's a reservation process because they have a limited # of boats. It's worth it for some but not for myself
It depends somewhat in how you would store the boat. Around me, their monthly fees are on par with slip fees for the same sized boat. Also, I live in San Diego: we don't really have an off season...

But as for the intimation fee, that isn't much compared to the costs of acquiring the kind of boats they are offering. If you want to be able to sleep on the boat, all bets are off.
Jack FFR1846
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

We did the boat experiment after a bunch of windfalls hit my bank account: Unknown profit sharing check at new company, bonus for bringing in a new employee, quarterly bonus, stipend for submitting a patent application and ESPP sale. We made a good decision on the boat for our family and mainly took it to a lake an hour and a half away where we bought the boat. Over the next 4 years, I kept track of the days on the water. It was about 20 days first year, 10 days second year, 5 3rd year and 1 the fourth year. At that point, I realized I could rent a brand new boat at the marina where we bought our boat for less money than we paid for insurance alone for our boat. I sold the boat, with the plan that we would rent a boat when we wanted to. We never did rent a boat. So clearly, we don't miss it.

Perhaps you could rent for a year or two and see how often you actually do go. Way less work. All you really have to do is put fuel in it before returning it for the day.
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Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

Mike Scott wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:51 pm Remember the ocean going part of this boat question. Honestly, bogleheads is not a good place to get advice if you are looking at expensive boats.
I don't think we would look at expensive boats for what the purpose would be (pontoons are cool! but not what I'm looking for :happy ) . The majority of trips will likely be on lakes and rivers, in and out same day to throw the line in for a few hours, and maybe take it with us to drop in the water when visiting others at their homes. Something like a used bass or bay boat would be up our alley
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 7:35 am We did the boat experiment after a bunch of windfalls hit my bank account: Unknown profit sharing check at new company, bonus for bringing in a new employee, quarterly bonus, stipend for submitting a patent application and ESPP sale. We made a good decision on the boat for our family and mainly took it to a lake an hour and a half away where we bought the boat. Over the next 4 years, I kept track of the days on the water. It was about 20 days first year, 10 days second year, 5 3rd year and 1 the fourth year. At that point, I realized I could rent a brand new boat at the marina where we bought our boat for less money than we paid for insurance alone for our boat. I sold the boat, with the plan that we would rent a boat when we wanted to. We never did rent a boat. So clearly, we don't miss it.

Perhaps you could rent for a year or two and see how often you actually do go. Way less work. All you really have to do is put fuel in it before returning it for the day.
Now knowing renting is an option, I might suggest we do this for larger boats or to test out which fits our needs best before making the jump.
MarkerFM
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by MarkerFM »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:44 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:27 pm I think someone else mentioned this already...

But you could look into a "boat club membership" if available in your area. As I understand them, these type of memberships give you access to reserve any available boat without extra costs (other than maybe gas). They deal with all the storage, maintenence, Insurance, etc.

I think many give you flexibility - maybe both on location (if they have several) and boat type (could take out a fishing boat one day, a ski boat the next, and a pontoon another day).

In theory you get all the fun, they get all the work. It would also be a good "test" to see how much you'd use a boat. Then you can better assess how much you want to spend to purchase a boat.

I've never joined one of these, but I have rented [non-member] boats they make available to the public before. We aren't a boating family, so doing an ad hoc rental when the urge strikes is prefect for us. But if we wanted to try boating more, this is how'd we'd start before making a larger commitment.
I think boat clubs can be an even larger commitment than owning because of the initiation fee. I looked into Freedom Boat Club and there are some perks but the one by me charges $4-6k to join. I'd also have to pay hundreds a month even in the off season when I wouldn't be using it. And there's a reservation process because they have a limited # of boats. It's worth it for some but not for myself
We have a membership at Freedom Boat Club in our winter location, and I wish they had one near us in the summer. The initial outlay is far, far less than the cost of buying even a used boat, and the operating cost is also less. Everything except gas is included. You also have to pay hundreds in the off season for a boat you own whether you acknowledge it or not. If you plan ahead, reservations are not a problem. We will make some out in the future based on our other plans, and cancel if plans change or weather looks iffy. And, as mentioned above, you have the choice of boat type (and they rotate new boats into the fleet frequently). We don't even fish, but it is great to get out on the water and relax. Also a good way to entertain friends and visitors.
Topic Author
dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

MarkerFM wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:31 am
ThankYouJack wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:44 pm
SnowBog wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 9:27 pm I think someone else mentioned this already...

But you could look into a "boat club membership" if available in your area. As I understand them, these type of memberships give you access to reserve any available boat without extra costs (other than maybe gas). They deal with all the storage, maintenence, Insurance, etc.

I think many give you flexibility - maybe both on location (if they have several) and boat type (could take out a fishing boat one day, a ski boat the next, and a pontoon another day).

In theory you get all the fun, they get all the work. It would also be a good "test" to see how much you'd use a boat. Then you can better assess how much you want to spend to purchase a boat.

I've never joined one of these, but I have rented [non-member] boats they make available to the public before. We aren't a boating family, so doing an ad hoc rental when the urge strikes is prefect for us. But if we wanted to try boating more, this is how'd we'd start before making a larger commitment.
I think boat clubs can be an even larger commitment than owning because of the initiation fee. I looked into Freedom Boat Club and there are some perks but the one by me charges $4-6k to join. I'd also have to pay hundreds a month even in the off season when I wouldn't be using it. And there's a reservation process because they have a limited # of boats. It's worth it for some but not for myself
We have a membership at Freedom Boat Club in our winter location, and I wish they had one near us in the summer. The initial outlay is far, far less than the cost of buying even a used boat, and the operating cost is also less. Everything except gas is included. You also have to pay hundreds in the off season for a boat you own whether you acknowledge it or not. If you plan ahead, reservations are not a problem. We will make some out in the future based on our other plans, and cancel if plans change or weather looks iffy. And, as mentioned above, you have the choice of boat type (and they rotate new boats into the fleet frequently). We don't even fish, but it is great to get out on the water and relax. Also a good way to entertain friends and visitors.
One thing that makes FBC attractive to me is that there are about 4 locations within 2 hours or less of us. Making it a point to go frequently on the lake for spring and fall, while having an opportunity to go at the beach is a very nice option. I'd have to research the costs as a whole
tibbitts
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by tibbitts »

sailaway wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 7:24 pm I cannot imagine that a boat would be less work than a second home. At least you seem to be considering a trailerable boat, and which means it can be where you are when projects need done, rather than travelling just to work.

If available in your area, look for a multi location rental club, like Freedom.
I can't imagine a non-residential-sized boat being more work, or even close, to a home. My trailerable boat required very little maintenance before it sank. After that there were some electrical issues (although not until a year or two later.) Being able to keep a boat at home is a huge advantage. However the rent-vs-buy decision is obviously based partly on how often you'll want to use the boat.
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RickBoglehead
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by RickBoglehead »

tibbitts wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:59 am I can't imagine a non-residential-sized boat being more work, or even close, to a home. My trailerable boat required very little maintenance before it sank.
Maybe it did require more maintenance than you thought? :shock: :wink:

Seriously though, boats do require a lot of maintenance, and it grows with the size and complexity of the boat. Going into salt water with a trailerable boat? Need to flush the brakes / wheels with fresh water ASAP. Need to hookup the outboard to a freshwater hose and flush it. Need to hose down the entire boat promptly.

We had a nice catamaran sailboat that we "inherited" from my family (i.e. took it because no one could sail it but me). We went from having it on the beach with a house one lot back to living 75 minutes from a beach that we could trailer it to (salt water). Took an hour to get it ready to go, 75 minute drive, an hour to rig it (including stepping the mast), an hour to unrig it, 75 minute drive, and an hour to store it. That's 6.5 hours of non-use to use it each time.

We own a 16' boat with a 70hp engine on it, formerly in a boathouse on a lake. It took us 30 minutes of idle speed down a canal each time we used it. THAT impacted use greatly. Want to see the sunset? Need to plan ahead of time to be out at the right time. Storm coming? Hope I beat it in.

Now it's on a trailer. If we don't buy a lakefront property, we likely won't keep it. We just trailered it on a vacation. Wrapped the acrylic windshield in plastic wrap to not have to scour the bugs off it. Put the transom saver in, tie the steering wheel. Put all the loose stuff in the truck, remove things from the rod holders and compartments that would rub in a 700 mile drive. Buy a spare tire (not needed with boathouse), have a jack and tools, put the canopy in the truck bed (barely fits), the list goes on.

Trailering is not the most fun.
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ThankYouJack
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by ThankYouJack »

MarkerFM wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:31 am
We have a membership at Freedom Boat Club in our winter location, and I wish they had one near us in the summer. The initial outlay is far, far less than the cost of buying even a used boat, and the operating cost is also less. Everything except gas is included. You also have to pay hundreds in the off season for a boat you own whether you acknowledge it or not. If you plan ahead, reservations are not a problem. We will make some out in the future based on our other plans, and cancel if plans change or weather looks iffy. And, as mentioned above, you have the choice of boat type (and they rotate new boats into the fleet frequently). We don't even fish, but it is great to get out on the water and relax. Also a good way to entertain friends and visitors.

I was just thinking (for prices by me at least) if it's $6k for the initial fee and ~$4k/year that's around $10k for the first year (this was 4 years ago so I bet prices have increased especially with demand from COVID). That's a pretty big sunk cost for someone who's on the fence and may quit after a season or two. A friend of mine bought a boat a couple years ago, had it for about a year and sold it for more than he bought it for, I'm sure he's glad he didn't join a boating club.

I'm not knocking boat clubs, realize they're great for a lot of people and I'd probably join one myself if it wasn't for the large entry fee. Instead, I personally prefer to rent when desired. Or boat with friends and give generously knowing the costs involved.
WhyNotUs
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by WhyNotUs »

dogbones wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 6:42 pm Anyone regret a purchase like this or do you find this easier to manage than, say, a vacation home?
Had a sailboat not a fishing boat, no regrets. My advice would be to look for a used boat that is a respected brand with well known engine/s and a meticulous former owner. This is not something that the cheapest is always the best. To have a boat that meets the above you need to be patient and wait for the right one. Putting the word out at the marina's that you would be using could help. Boats that meet those criteria will likely sell fairly quickly so be ready to move when one comes up.

You would be doing quite a bit of trailering, so the condition and capacity of the trailer is more important to you than some other buyers. Learn what to look for and assess whether anti-sway equipment for your hitch is needed. You want the transport and put in/take out to be as simple as possible. The bigger the boat, the more importance this takes.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX
tibbitts
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by tibbitts »

RickBoglehead wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 9:22 am
tibbitts wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 8:59 am I can't imagine a non-residential-sized boat being more work, or even close, to a home. My trailerable boat required very little maintenance before it sank.
Maybe it did require more maintenance than you thought? :shock: :wink:

Seriously though, boats do require a lot of maintenance, and it grows with the size and complexity of the boat. Going into salt water with a trailerable boat? Need to flush the brakes / wheels with fresh water ASAP. Need to hookup the outboard to a freshwater hose and flush it. Need to hose down the entire boat promptly.

We had a nice catamaran sailboat that we "inherited" from my family (i.e. took it because no one could sail it but me). We went from having it on the beach with a house one lot back to living 75 minutes from a beach that we could trailer it to (salt water). Took an hour to get it ready to go, 75 minute drive, an hour to rig it (including stepping the mast), an hour to unrig it, 75 minute drive, and an hour to store it. That's 6.5 hours of non-use to use it each time.

We own a 16' boat with a 70hp engine on it, formerly in a boathouse on a lake. It took us 30 minutes of idle speed down a canal each time we used it. THAT impacted use greatly. Want to see the sunset? Need to plan ahead of time to be out at the right time. Storm coming? Hope I beat it in.

Now it's on a trailer. If we don't buy a lakefront property, we likely won't keep it. We just trailered it on a vacation. Wrapped the acrylic windshield in plastic wrap to not have to scour the bugs off it. Put the transom saver in, tie the steering wheel. Put all the loose stuff in the truck, remove things from the rod holders and compartments that would rub in a 700 mile drive. Buy a spare tire (not needed with boathouse), have a jack and tools, put the canopy in the truck bed (barely fits), the list goes on.

Trailering is not the most fun.
My trailerable boat was just a little larger than your 16ft boat. I'm basing the relative maintenance on the boat not having home-type systems: bath, kitchen, hvac, etc. And might be influenced by the $70k+ quote I just received for repairs needed on my $140-ish house (that excludes the other $20k I need for updates vs. repairs.) You had some circumstances (the 30 min down the canal) that would certainly be irritating, as would the rigging on a larger sailboat. Whether it would be worthwhile would certainly depend on whether you had some activity (fishing for example) you wanted to boat for, and also on the availability and quality of rentals available where you wanted to use a boat. Where I live now I probably wouldn't be interested in having a boat because the variety of nearby lakes is insufficiently interesting, and I don't have a place to keep the boat at my house (which would really kill my interest.) Well if someone wanted to give me a new boat... I might use it for a year and then sell it. But under different circumstances it would be nice to have a boat again.

Oh, and agreed, having lakefront property at one point was a huge positive factor in favor of boat ownership.
Jeepergeo
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by Jeepergeo »

The saying, "The two best days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it" comes to mind.

You might consider looking into boat rental options or a boat co-op. Those can cut the "boat chores" significantly so that the DH can enjoy the boat...less storing, pulling, launching headaches and just time on the water.

If the water is 2 hrs away, my guess is you might average 6 to 8 weekend trips per year. Each trip requires getting the boat ready, hitching it up, pulling it two hours to the lake, an hour ir two to launch and load the boat, and then repeat that when the weekend is over, for each trip! That is a lot of work AND the boat just sits in the driveway or storage for the other 44 weeks per year!

With rentals or a co-op, you drive to the lake without the effort to pull the boat for two hours and when you arrive, the Marina has the boat in the water and waiting for you at the dock. As the weekend winds down, you drop the boat at the Marina and the Marina crew takes it from there. Lots of boat enjoyment without the drudgery.

Of course, if you visit different waters, daily or weekly rentals at each water would likely work out better than a co-op at a particular waterbody.
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dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

Everyone makes great points here, especially regarding trailering. What about slips at a marina to leave your boat in - is this an option if he decided he wants to use the boat in 1 location only?
tibbitts
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by tibbitts »

Jeepergeo wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 10:26 am With rentals or a co-op, you drive to the lake without the effort to pull the boat for two hours and when you arrive, the Marina has the boat in the water and waiting for you at the dock. As the weekend winds down, you drop the boat at the Marina and the Marina crew takes it from there. Lots of boat enjoyment without the drudgery.
At the small lakes I was familiar with there either weren't marina rentals such as you describe, or the rentals were maybe 20+ years old and not in a condition comparable to a boat you would own yourself. So the practicality and desirability of rentals varies a lot by location.

Trailering a reasonably-sized boat is easy compared to a box-shaped cargo trailer or RV due to the superior aerodynamics and the relatively greater visibility. So driving an hour or two to a lake and back wouldn't be hugely different with or without the boat in most cases, depending maybe on the route and traffic.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by smitcat »

dogbones wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 10:41 am Everyone makes great points here, especially regarding trailering. What about slips at a marina to leave your boat in - is this an option if he decided he wants to use the boat in 1 location only?
Yes - of course. Both wet and dry slips are available in some locations dependent upon what your goals are. You could use the slip most of the time and still use the trailer ocassionally to visit other locations.
Deciding if you really like boating and if so which boat would suit you best will take time and research.
vested1
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by vested1 »

My wife and I own 5 boats, a pontoon, a bass boat, two single sit on top kayaks, and a 16' canoe, all sitting 400 feet from the house at the dock. In your position, mainly wanting to boat and fish on lakes and rivers I would opt for kayaks. For a river I would get a single sit inside river kayak, but for the lakes I would get two single sit on top kayaks and/or a double kayak for cruising. You can use a regular kayak on a river, but a lake kayak should be longer for maneuverability and ease of paddling, which can be a problem in rivers. Our kayaks are 15' and 16' long and weigh about 55 pounds each.

Fishing kayaks are reasonably inexpensive to buy and outfit, and they require little to no maintenance. There is nothing like catching a fish, especially a trout, from a kayak because you are on the same level as the fish when you pull them in, and when they see you they freak out and start jumping. Bigger fish will tow you around until they get tired. We are catch and release anglers. You can paddle all day with very little effort and you can troll at the same time, or you can stop and cast or bait fish. You can fly fish, use bait or lures, and get in and out of the smallest coves in the shallowest water without worrying about getting stuck or damaging a propeller. There are kayaks that you can peddle as well.

I outfitted our single kayaks with rod holders for hand free fishing and upgraded the seats for comfort. We use the more expensive paddles that are lighter to allow easy paddling for hours on end. My wife's kayak has a retractable rudder, which comes in handy in the wind. We carry hand held portable radios so that we can keep in touch on the lakes if we decide to separate.

As for storage, kayaks can be stored in the garage at the rafters by installing pulleys and ropes, which we did for decades. You can transport kayaks on top of your vehicle on a rack with several add on attachments, or buy a kayak trailer that folds and stores vertically in the garage taking up very little space.

The pleasure of silent paddling on a lake, watching the bald eagles and osprey diving for fish, or seeing other wildlife on the shore coming down for a drink is priceless.

I have to say, my wife has been a good sport during all the times I challenged her to take the leap on any given adventure, which has always paid off. Perhaps the most memorable was the time we went out on a lake in Oregon that is famous for it's clarity. In the distant past, lava from a volcano had blocked the stream high in the mountains at the headwaters of the McKenzie River, flooding the small valley upstream and creating the lake. The water was so frigid that the trees petrified in place and many are still standing on the floor of the lake. The water is so clear with visibility at 100 feet that you can see some the trees from the surface of the water. That lake is a favorite scuba diving spot for those sporting wetsuits. My wife got vertigo the first time we went out because it was like you were floating on air, or flying like Peter Pan, as the water was virtually invisible. The fishing was great!
Last edited by vested1 on Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Watty
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by Watty »

A few random things that may not have been mentioned about buying a boat.

1) He should plan on taking a refresher course on boating skills and safety. A large percentage of boating accidents are avoidable.

2) Parking: you may have a place where you could park the boat but you also need to check on HOA and city restrictions. Even if it is allowed your neighbors may not be too happy if you park a boat somewhere where they can see it from their house.

3) A boat will require maintenance, but some people enjoy doing things like tinkering on a boat so that may not be all bad.

4) You said you had something that you can tow the boat with. I do not understand all the details but figuring out just how much you can tow with a vehicle is a lot more complicated than just looking at what is is rated for towing. You do not want to be close to the limits of what you can actually tow so you have a margin of safety. Be sure to spend time and getting advice on just how much you can tow with your vehicle.
3feetpete
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by 3feetpete »

I've owned both and enjoyed both. My choice would be a vacation home. Boats depreciate, trailing a boat is no fun, look around at boat yards and marinas and you will see the great majority of boats hardly ever get used. Get a condo and the only maintenance will be inside. You can invite friends and family to visit and create memories.
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dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

vested1 wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:46 am My wife and I own 5 boats, a pontoon, a bass boat, two single sit on top kayaks, and a 16' canoe, all sitting 400 feet from the house at the dock. In your position, mainly wanting to boat and fish on lakes and rivers I would opt for kayaks. For a river I would get a single sit inside river kayak, but for the lakes I would get two single sit on top kayaks and/or a double kayak for cruising. You can use a regular kayak on a river, but a lake kayak should be longer for maneuverability and ease of paddling, which can be a problem in rivers. Our kayaks are 15' and 16' long and weigh about 55 pounds each.

Fishing kayaks are reasonably inexpensive to buy and outfit, and they require little to no maintenance. There is nothing like catching a fish, especially a trout, from a kayak because you are on the same level as the fish when you pull them in, and when they see you they freak out and start jumping. Bigger fish will tow you around until they get tired. We are catch and release anglers. You can paddle all day with very little effort and you can troll at the same time, or you can stop and cast or bait fish. You can fly fish, use bait or lures, and get in and out of the smallest coves in the shallowest water without worrying about getting stuck or damaging a propeller. There are kayaks that you can peddle as well.

I outfitted our single kayaks with rod holders for hand free fishing and upgraded the seats for comfort. We use the more expensive paddles that are lighter to allow easy paddling for hours on end. My wife's kayak has a retractable rudder, which comes in handy in the wind. We carry hand held portable radios so that we can keep in touch on the lakes if we decide to separate.

As for storage, kayaks can be stored in the garage at the rafters by installing pulleys and ropes, which we did for decades. You can transport kayaks on top of your vehicle on a rack with several add on attachments, or buy a kayak trailer that folds and stores vertically in the garage taking up very little space.

The pleasure of silent paddling on a lake, watching the bald eagles and osprey diving for fish, or seeing other wildlife on the shore coming down for a drink is priceless.

I have to say, my wife has been a good sport during all the times I challenged her to take the leap on any given adventure, which has always paid off. Perhaps the most memorable was the time we went out on a lake in Oregon that is famous for it's clarity. In the distant past, lava from a volcano had blocked the stream high in the mountains at the headwaters of the McKenzie River, flooding the small valley upstream and creating the lake. The water was so frigid that the trees petrified in place and many are still standing on the floor of the lake. The water is so clear with visibility at 100 feet that you can see some the trees from the surface of the water. That lake is a favorite scuba diving spot for those sporting wetsuits. My wife got vertigo the first time we went out because it was like you were floating on air, or flying like Peter Pan, as the water was virtually invisible. The fishing was great!
You've certainly set me up with a great starting point when looking for future vacation spots! :happy Thank you for your details - never even considered kayaks. I'll add it to my research
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dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

3feetpete wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 12:17 pm I've owned both and enjoyed both. My choice would be a vacation home. Boats depreciate, trailing a boat is no fun, look around at boat yards and marinas and you will see the great majority of boats hardly ever get used. Get a condo and the only maintenance will be inside. You can invite friends and family to visit and create memories.
We've considered a condo but, at least in today's market, is not worth the look just yet. The price some of them are going for are wildly expensive
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dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

Watty wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:54 am A few random things that may not have been mentioned about buying a boat.

1) He should plan on taking a refresher course on boating skills and safety. A large percentage of boating accidents are avoidable.

2) Parking: you may have a place where you could park the boat but you also need to check on HOA and city restrictions. Even if it is allowed your neighbors may not be too happy if you park a boat somewhere where they can see it from their house.

3) A boat will require maintenance, but some people enjoy doing things like tinkering on a boat so that may not be all bad.

4) You said you had something that you can tow the boat with. I do not understand all the details but figuring out just how much you can tow with a vehicle is a lot more complicated than just looking at what is is rated for towing. You do not want to be close to the limits of what you can actually tow so you have a margin of safety. Be sure to spend time and getting advice on just how much you can tow with your vehicle.
Great points - he is the tinkering type for sure. Those are details we would sort through.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by ThankYouJack »

dogbones wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 1:38 pm You've certainly set me up with a great starting point when looking for future vacation spots! :happy Thank you for your details - never even considered kayaks. I'll add it to my research
Not sure what your budget is, but there are some really cool fishing kayaks out there. I've seen the pedal kayaks at my local lake and they seem to work very well:

https://www.hobie.com/kayaks/mirage-pro-angler-14-360/
https://oldtowncanoe.johnsonoutdoors.co ... ?jo-page=2

I own 5 kayaks myself but don't fish so can't help you with more info on fishing specific kayaks.

Or going back to the inflatable rowboat, you could put a small motor on it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZtb95ridf4 :) Not sure I'd actually recommend that but it would be cheap and super easy to transport :wink:
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by MoonOrb »

I came in to share three things, two of which have already been covered:

1. Yes--rent a boat. For all of the reasons that people have said.

2. If the decision instead is looking like a vacation home, also rent a vacation home or just spend more money on travel. When we went down this path a few years ago we decided not to get a 2nd home and instead told ourselves that it would be okay (and a lot better for our future financial outlook) if we just gave ourselves permission to spend some more money on travel or going away for a weekend if that was what we wanted to do.

3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
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dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 2:27 pm
dogbones wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 1:38 pm You've certainly set me up with a great starting point when looking for future vacation spots! :happy Thank you for your details - never even considered kayaks. I'll add it to my research
Not sure what your budget is, but there are some really cool fishing kayaks out there. I've seen the pedal kayaks at my local lake and they seem to work very well:

https://www.hobie.com/kayaks/mirage-pro-angler-14-360/
https://oldtowncanoe.johnsonoutdoors.co ... ?jo-page=2

I own 5 kayaks myself but don't fish so can't help you with more info on fishing specific kayaks.

Or going back to the inflatable rowboat, you could put a small motor on it - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZtb95ridf4 :) Not sure I'd actually recommend that but it would be cheap and super easy to transport :wink:
Those are pretty cool fishing kayaks! Thank you for putting this out there - something we'll look into as well! We could easily afford a few of those with much less headache
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dogbones
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:18 pm I came in to share three things, two of which have already been covered:

1. Yes--rent a boat. For all of the reasons that people have said.

2. If the decision instead is looking like a vacation home, also rent a vacation home or just spend more money on travel. When we went down this path a few years ago we decided not to get a 2nd home and instead told ourselves that it would be okay (and a lot better for our future financial outlook) if we just gave ourselves permission to spend some more money on travel or going away for a weekend if that was what we wanted to do.

3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
I laughed out loud on that third point :D I think part of this is addressing my guilt with not taking vacations or breaks in the year more often. Like I said, his job is super stressful he doesn't even think to say "hmm where can I go for the weekend or a week". So we end up 3 years later without vacation and just seems silly. To your point, forgiving ourselves to spend the money on trips or a small vessel away is step one in this.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by ThankYouJack »

MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:18 pm
3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
Owning a boat sure isn't for everyone. I wonder why some people like myself love being out on the water so much and it may have to do with my childhood going out on the water with my grandfather. The OP's spouse also has fond memories of boating / fishing with his dad. It's innate for some, calming and freeing and good for the mind and soul.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by smitcat »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 5:32 pm
MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:18 pm
3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
Owning a boat sure isn't for everyone. I wonder why some people like myself love being out on the water so much and it may have to do with my childhood going out on the water with my grandfather. The OP's spouse also has fond memories of boating / fishing with his dad. It's innate for some, calming and freeing and good for the mind and soul.
Or you could really love boating and have great times - its not for everyone so opinions vary.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by Sandi_k »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 5:32 pm
MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:18 pm
3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
Owning a boat sure isn't for everyone. I wonder why some people like myself love being out on the water so much and it may have to do with my childhood going out on the water with my grandfather. The OP's spouse also has fond memories of boating / fishing with his dad. It's innate for some, calming and freeing and good for the mind and soul.
I agree entirely. We rented PWCs for a decade before we bought our own. We've been owners now for nearly 20 years.

Being out on the water with our PWCs inspired us to move, and we now have a waterfront home. BEST DECISION EVER, no regrets, and we never would have considered it without the PWC experiences.

Two years after we bought the "new" house, we bought a 19' open-bow I/O motorboat. Since DH is handy, he's done the (minimal) maintenance on it. We have a dock and boat lift, so our costs are literally only gas and insurance. We've put ~ 120 hours on it since 2013, so 15 hours per season. It's mainly used for leisurely cruising, and towing about friends' kids in the summer. We paid $25k cash for a new/old stock Monterey, and got a screaming deal on it.

I hate all the naysayers who do not love the water, and yet feel justified in commenting on costs and tropes like "bust out another thousand" and a "hole in the water into which you pour money." It doesn't have to be that way. And havings watercraft have been an absolute joy of our adult life - something neither of us had as kids, but discovered as adults.

The world is pretty happy reducing you to a working automaton. Having a reason to escape for the weekend to the water, and to spend your time with others who also love being outdoors and on the water is a great recipe for peace and joy. And if you have kids? They will CHOOSE to spend the weekend with you once they're teenagers, AND they'll beg to bring their friends along.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by dogbones »

ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 5:32 pm
MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:18 pm
3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
Owning a boat sure isn't for everyone. I wonder why some people like myself love being out on the water so much and it may have to do with my childhood going out on the water with my grandfather. The OP's spouse also has fond memories of boating / fishing with his dad. It's innate for some, calming and freeing and good for the mind and soul.
This is precisely why I want to do this for us - he has those memories he speaks fondly of, and has spoken about wanting to do the same for our little ones. I think it could be good for him he just hasn't spent the time to think about himself.
The world is pretty happy reducing you to a working automaton. Having a reason to escape for the weekend to the water, and to spend your time with others who also love being outdoors and on the water is a great recipe for peace and joy. And if you have kids? They will CHOOSE to spend the weekend with you once they're teenagers, AND they'll beg to bring their friends along.
He is certainly one to find it calming, freeing, and good for the mind and soul and wants to pass his own experiences on. I happen to be the one opening up the doorway back to those experiences for him because he selflessly is choosing to work, work, work before thinking about that stuff. Before you know it, kids are in high school and want nothing to do with it when you suddenly realize it's an option.
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by tibbitts »

dogbones wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 9:21 pm
ThankYouJack wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 5:32 pm
MoonOrb wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:18 pm
3. My tax professor owned a boat. I will always remember what he said about it: "if you want to know what it is like to own a boat, get into the shower in all of your clothes, put it on cold, and then start ripping up one hundred dollar bills."
Owning a boat sure isn't for everyone. I wonder why some people like myself love being out on the water so much and it may have to do with my childhood going out on the water with my grandfather. The OP's spouse also has fond memories of boating / fishing with his dad. It's innate for some, calming and freeing and good for the mind and soul.
This is precisely why I want to do this for us - he has those memories he speaks fondly of, and has spoken about wanting to do the same for our little ones. I think it could be good for him he just hasn't spent the time to think about himself.
The world is pretty happy reducing you to a working automaton. Having a reason to escape for the weekend to the water, and to spend your time with others who also love being outdoors and on the water is a great recipe for peace and joy. And if you have kids? They will CHOOSE to spend the weekend with you once they're teenagers, AND they'll beg to bring their friends along.
He is certainly one to find it calming, freeing, and good for the mind and soul and wants to pass his own experiences on. I happen to be the one opening up the doorway back to those experiences for him because he selflessly is choosing to work, work, work before thinking about that stuff. Before you know it, kids are in high school and want nothing to do with it when you suddenly realize it's an option.
My parents bought a lakefront vacation home and a boat starting when I was roughly 10 years old. It was a stretch for them financially, and would never have been Boglehead-approved. But it was more than worthwhile for them - not even close. It got used almost every weekend (was 90min from home) and sometimes on vacations (also took some driving vacations to other places as well.)
numerica
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by numerica »

For Scott Burns, a boat is the vacation home:
https://www.dallasnews.com/business/per ... the-point/
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HomerJ
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Re: Boat? Vacation home?

Post by HomerJ »

If we had to haul a boat every time we wanted to use it, we would have never used it.

We bought a small condo with a dock slip, and kept our boat (and jetski) there...

Just drove up, walked down to the dock, and out we went.

I highly recommend a condo for the ease of maintenance. No yard work, roof is not your problem, most condo complexes have a pool or two (again not your problem to maintain).

But that was just us.

We sold that place (and the boat and jetski) after 7 good years, and moved far away... But now I'm getting the itch again. There's a lake with a marina just 45 minutes from our new house. I'm looking at how much it would cost to rent a slip.

I just like the idea of going, and jumping on the boat with very little work. But then, of course, I'm stuck to that one lake. But I'm okay with that. Hauling a boat does not appeal to me at all.

But that is just us. If you don't mind hauling it there, and hauling it back every trip, then go for it.
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