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Old 02-18-2011, 05:21 PM   #1
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Buy now or wait?

My dream is to buy a trawler when I retire and cruise up and down the intercoastal from the Chesapeake Bay to Florida, Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I am 48 and will be able to retire in about 10-14 years. But I contsantly keep asking myself why not buy the boat now? I am self employed and can get away Spring and Fall to go to Florida and back. The drawback is that my business keeps me busy on the weekends from May to October and I have three kids ages 10, 13 & 15, not that they are drawbacks but to leave home for extended periods in the Spring and fall to pursue my dream will not be great for my family. Is there anyone out there with advice?
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:29 PM   #2
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Charlie,
Have you looked at the news the last few days. Could be ther'e may be much better deals soon. WAIT.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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RE: Buy now or wait?

If you buy a boat now or soon, it sounds like you won't have much time for it.* Used boats are cheap now and could get cheaper in the near future, but new ones won't ever be.* Keeping a boat is expensive, and you have children that may soon go to college.* I'd wait until the kids are through college (if you intend to assist them) and the house mortgage (if any) is paid.* If funds are not an issue, well, why not get the boat now?
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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RE: Buy now or wait?

the way i see it...

buy now, and here are my reasons:

1. It is a family thing, ok perhaps your kids will not be going with you on the 1500 but you can use the boat a few years before making that big trip.
2. Who knows what will happen tomorrow or next year etc. You have to take time and enjoy life and your family now.
3. You know you want to.. and prices on boats are still rock bottom (since the economy is re-bouncing this will not last).
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #5
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Buy now or wait?

I say wait at least a few more years.

Ownership costs are high and rising.

Boats are generally declining in value.

I think you should charter a trawler for a week or two and take the wife the kids, the pets and give it a go.

Do this for about 2 years and see who is really with you or against you.

If the majority are into it - start shopping.

Otherwise hold off till the kids are more on their own.

My 2 cents

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-- Edited by JohnP on Friday 18th of February 2011 07:20:10 PM
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:33 PM   #6
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Quote:
DavidM wrote:

Buy a modest size boat now, say 36'. It will fit a couple and three kids ok, but tight. Use it in the late Fall, Winter and early Spring. Depending on where you live now you may have to leave it someplace warm and fly/drive with the family*to use it.

Don't plan on singlehanding in the winter. It separates your family. Get your family into boating. They will resent it if you are gone having fun while they go to school.

Build boating skills, maintenance skills and then you will know what kind of boat to move up to when you really retire.

David
I couldn't agree more. Life is short, enjoy to the max now......................Arctic Traveller

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:42 PM   #7
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RE: Buy now or wait?

You don't say how old you are, so we are guessing here.
If you have kids, buy now. Mine are long gone from home now, but always remind me how much they enjoyed growing up on the boat.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:16 PM   #8
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Quote:
DavidM wrote:

Buy a modest size boat now, say 36'.
HEY!!! Them's fightin' wurds!*

*

I would say continue to think it thru. If you can afford to pull out the checkbook for regular fixes and upkeep, fine, buying now might not be a bad idea. You will need the experience when the time comes. But if you are going to buy knowing you don't have time and try and just hang on to it for 10-14 years just to save a few grand, or only provide the most minimal use and upkeep? WAIT.

I tend to Mr. Miyagi:

Walk on road? Walk left side - safe. Walk right side - safe. Walk middle, sooner or later get squished just like grape. Here, boating, same thing. Either you own boat "yes" or own boat "no." You own boat "guess so," sooner or later [squish] just like grape. Understand?

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Old 02-18-2011, 08:20 PM   #9
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Quote:

I would say continue to think it thru. If you can afford to pull out the checkbook for regular fixes and upkeep, fine, buying now might not be a bad idea.

*

You can reduce the cost of repairs by a huge amount if you learn to do your own.* The cost of parts is normally small compared the labor to diagnose and replace.* Lean now with a smaller boat, and when you go bigger you will have the knowledge base to keep it going..........Arctic Traveller

*
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:12 PM   #10
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Quote:
Xraycharlie wrote:

My dream is to buy a trawler when I retire and cruise up and down the intercoastal from the Chesapeake Bay to Florida, Florida Keys and the Bahamas. ...The drawback is that my business keeps me busy on the weekends from May to October and I have three kids ages 10, 13 & 15, not that they are drawbacks but to leave home for extended periods in the Spring and fall to pursue my dream will not be great for my family. Is there anyone out there with advice?
It sounds as though you will not have all that much time to use a trawler-type boat.* And you apparently feel that the rest of your family might not be into the cruising dream you have.

So one suggestion is perhaps to try chartering a boat sometime when you can get away with your family for a week and see if you and everybody else likes it.* Granted, it won't be cheap, but it will be a lot cheaper than buying a boat and then get buried in boat costs plus some possible resentment from your family.

I'm a big believer in doing something that you really want to do as soon as it becomes even remotely feasible.* If you wait, how long to you wait?* When will you know if the right time has come along?* You can wait and then one day you realize you can't do it due to health issues, financial issues, whatever.

A fair number of us on this forum had parents who experienced the Great Depression, either as kids or young adults.* I don't know about anyone else's parents but my mother wanted to do all sorts of things when I was growing up and after I left home--- travel, buy property in Hawaii, etc.* But she*couldn't bring herself to*do them becaue she had an inherent worrly that the Great Depression might come back and she didn't want to get caught short of money like she'd seen her parents and friend's parents*do.* So she never did most of the things she wanted to do.

Another possible course of action is buy a smaller boat-- a trailer boat perhaps--- that you and your family can enjoy closer to home.* Use that for awhile--- the cost outlay will be WAY less than a trawler-type boat--- and see how it goes.* Maybe boating will become a big part of your family's life, maybe it won't.* But if doesn't work out it will be a*much less expensive lesson than if you learn the same thing by purchasing a cruising boat that doesn't work out.

*
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Old 02-18-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Make sure you don't have a "reluctant spouse."

If you have that then forget the dream, or leave her behind.

I had dreamed of doing the same thing, and my wife convinced me to go ahead and buy a boat, and she loves spending time on it.* Now I am sure we will cruise on our boat together.** We had the luxury of having boated since we met in smaller boats, and I knew she loved it.

If your SO won't buy into it then you might need to rethink.* That is my take because nobody, not even me, enjoys being on a boat alone.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:38 AM   #12
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Quote:
nomadwilly wrote:

Charlie,
Have you looked at the news the last few days. Could be ther'e may be much better deals soon. WAIT.
Eric,

I am curious- what aspect of the news do you feel merits waiting?
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:02 AM   #13
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Buy now. It's like waiting to buy a computer because prices are coming down.
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:18 AM   #14
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RE: Buy now or wait?

If you buy now and somehow the money ear-marked for raising the kids evaporates, your retirement cruising will be without your family.

Marin had a good suggestion on getting a trailerable boat.* It keeps everything in perspective and the kids will probably like going fast out on the water.

JohnP
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Old 02-19-2011, 07:46 AM   #15
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Buy now, you'll be able to get in cheap and lake the upgrades along the way. Time waits for no one. Worst case you may not do the cruise but the times now spent with family on the boat will be priceless. I work overseas and only get to boat for a very short period of time throughout the year but the additional cost of having the boat is negligible to the time I do spend on it. Hell there are some weekends I never leave the dock but just go down enjoy some cocktails and enjoy the water with my wife. Some people think I'm nuts for the cost benefit but I don't. ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY. I'm buying bigger next year no matter what She'll sit alot but it doesn't matter at all.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:16 AM   #16
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RE: Buy now or wait?

I too am in the buy now camp. You only live once. Whether you do a long cruise or not, time spent with family on the weekends, assuming you live near where you can keep the boat, are priceless. I have just as much fun anchoring out 20 minutes from the marina and swimming with the family and anchoring out for the weekend as I do going anywhere longer distance. Time on the water is a great gift. It really depends though on whether you can use the boat as a weekend getaway or not. If the boat would be 5 hours away...well, I'd not consider it worth it.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:38 AM   #17
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RE: Buy now or wait?

I'm with the buy now camp.* Your children are of an age where in a couple of years they might rather eat broken glass than go boating with the fam, or at least that was the way my kids were.* And such memories both for the kids and for you will be pretty priceless.* Also, you said you were self-employed.* My dream was always to go cruising for a few years while under 55 (now 62), but the self-employed have a tendency of continuing to invent new projects and start new businesses that interfere.* At least that was the way it was with me, so now I'm working overtime to get responsibilities reduced so we can leave for a few years.

There are a lot of bargains out there, and I would respectfully disagree with the buy smaller vote because of the size of your family.* By the time they are grown, you'll be more skilled and 42' to 48' will seem just fine to you, and not too big for a couple.

Woodsong's point about your distance from the boat is also critical - if you are more than 45 minutes away, it will not be used as it should.* Which brings me to the most important point.* At least for me, loving to tinker, design, research, plumb, sand, paint, varnish, wire, scrape, grease and fiddle are essential components to happy boat ownership.* Entropy reigns in the universe, but it is accelerated on the water so if you don't love maintaining something you are proud of, buying a boat will only be the second happiest day of your life, with the first being when you sold it.

I never bought or built a boat I could afford and never regretted one of them.
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Old 02-19-2011, 08:43 AM   #18
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RE: Buy now or wait?

We live in Louisiana and purchased our trawler in Kemah Texas- about 5 hours away. We kept her in Texas for over a year and made the drive over about once a month. Like you- we are self employed and work consumes our lives at times. Traveling that far became too much so we moved her closer.
Our last boat (28' planing hull) sank in Hurricane Katrina- and we ended up moving into the trawler several years earlier than we planned. Old trawlers take a lot of work to maintain and improve- so we get to cruise some and work lots too! The bottom line for us- is we are glad we made the purchase, although we wish we were able to cruise more. As mentioned the monthly costs are substantial- but you don't have a choice on those, but the operating costs are minimal if you don't hit anything or break something. I am glad I am getting her in shape for when we have more time to cruise. 10 years from now I'm sure we are gonna be happy we went on and purchased.
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:27 AM   #19
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RE: Buy now or wait?

Quote:
Egregious wrote:That is my take because nobody, not even me, enjoys being on a boat alone.
I disagree! Single handing my boat is one of my passions.


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Old 02-19-2011, 09:32 AM   #20
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RE: Buy now or wait?

I have to go with the buy nows. *I don't know of anyone involved in cruising that wished they had waited...rather, quite the opposite. *Of course, a supportive spouse would be convenient.
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