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Old 04-07-2014, 01:32 PM   #61
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Thank you, Scott and Don, for putting my questions in the right context. Actually, it's been months since I knocked over a marina to save a few bucks on toilet paper. .

You're exactly right that I'm not obsessing over money; simply looking for economical alternatives. I don't pay list price for cars or other big purchases and tend to shop for the best deal I can get on airline tickets, hotels and many other things. So why not apply that philosophy to boating where it makes sense?

Despite the sidetracks, there's been a ton of great suggestions, which I really appreciate.

Don, I thought about a mooring ball, but doubt I'd sleep well being two hours from where she's moored. I like the idea of having dock neighbors keeping an eye on her.
I can't speak for other captains...but if you are a member of an assistance towing company...and your boat is at the same marina or close by...and you like/trust the captain...he just might keep a real eye on her (or not ).

My friends at my marina always would be calling me and have me check something, turn something on/off they forgot, keep an eye on the waterline right after launching...etc...etc... I was doing it anyway even without being asked.

The two docs next door really appreciated it and would always stop by with fresh fish and they even gave me their old Furuno 1850F fishfinder/plotter when they upgraded. never expected it but they got the "concierge" service including double secret handshake fishing reports every time they showed up.

I'd say better and more thoughtful care than the occasional professional dockwalker ...because I do it out of respect and friendship. And also a helluva lot cheaper than the real pro boat watchers ....even though they will do a lot more... their pay demands it.
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Old 04-07-2014, 03:10 PM   #62
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Angus, welcome aboard.

I think there a number of ways to keep boating as affordable as boating can be. You can use the internet to shop for parts and other items you need. Craig's List is good place to find used boating goodies.

Sign up for email alerts from the major marine retailers. I got a notice the other day that certain items at WM were going to be 50% off. It was worth the trip.

I don't know about where you live, but it's not unusual for marinas in my area to offer a free month slip rent when you pay for a year in advance. This amounts to an 8% discount on slip fees over the year on an expense that isn't usually discounted.

Regarding repairs, do what you can, and asked people in your marina for references to repair people for the things you can't do.

While boating will never be cheap, you can control costs and I think this is what you were asking about.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:27 PM   #63
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I can't speak for other captains...but if you are a member of an assistance towing company...and your boat is at the same marina or close by...and you like/trust the captain...he just might keep a real eye on her (or not ).

My friends at my marina always would be calling me and have me check something, turn something on/off they forgot, keep an eye on the waterline right after launching...etc...etc... I was doing it anyway even without being asked.

The two docs next door really appreciated it and would always stop by with fresh fish and they even gave me their old Furuno 1850F fishfinder/plotter when they upgraded. never expected it but they got the "concierge" service including double secret handshake fishing reports every time they showed up.

I'd say better and more thoughtful care than the occasional professional dockwalker ...because I do it out of respect and friendship. And also a helluva lot cheaper than the real pro boat watchers ....even though they will do a lot more... their pay demands it.
Well, in general I've found the tow captains to be incredibly nice and helpful people in all regards. There are certain people to make friends with. Tow captains. Dockmasters. Dock hands. Live aboards. Fishing Captains. It's like any travel. In business it was the front desk clerks at hotels.

Affordable is such a difficult subject too because what we all have a different definition and different level of what we can afford. That is something for us all to keep in mind too. Some excellent postings here about ways of keeping costs to lower levels. I'll toss out one more and that is build relationships. Become a good customer. Build two way trust and then you'll find people going out of their way to help you. Good customers get deals that others don't. Fuel regularly at a marina and you may find you get the volume price even when not buying volume. Be a good tenant and you might get a break on next year's increase. Shop a local supplier and he might give you discounts without you even asking.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:36 PM   #64
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The guy who got the best service at my marina was often seen cooking hot dogs or sausage and peppers for the yard crew and mechanics at lunchtime....well...at least a couple times a season..

I'll bet he got better service than the guys pounding out the $100 bills in tip to get what they wanted ASAP.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:49 PM   #65
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Ian, I wouldn't discount the moorings. There are probably others in your situation. They probably have a neighborhood watch type thing set up. There may even be an expierenced live-a-board that you could pay a little to check in on the boat. A mooring can save you half or more on fees.

I used Hartge's as an example because I have left the boat there for a couple of seasons. I love the place. It is centrally located on the Bay. It's in sheltered water, and desn't take long to get to Annapolis, St. Michaels, Oxford, and a host of anchorages.
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Old 04-07-2014, 05:59 PM   #66
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To clarify for anyone concerned about my use of the term "grossly inflated," here's some background. Yesterday I visited 10 marinas on the Chesapeake. Prices for a seasonal slip varied from $3K to $5.6K. Similar winter haul out packages ranged from $1,000 to $1,800. One of the most expensive was a marina with basic facilities and not in a location I would remotely describe as a market price-setter. IMO, they simply saw a guy with a "new" boat. I certainly agree that fair pricing can vary for a multitude of reasons, including the honest need to make a profit, but I don't think this industry is immune from opportunists.

What general vicinity are you after? I know marina rates around here can be way high in downtown Annapolis and Eastport (and then varying depending on other available creature comforts), not so high a little further out...

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Old 04-07-2014, 08:34 PM   #67
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Ian, I wouldn't discount the moorings. There are probably others in your situation. They probably have a neighborhood watch type thing set up. There may even be an expierenced live-a-board that you could pay a little to check in on the boat. A mooring can save you half or more on fees.

I used Hartge's as an example because I have left the boat there for a couple of seasons. I love the place. It is centrally located on the Bay. It's in sheltered water, and desn't take long to get to Annapolis, St. Michaels, Oxford, and a host of anchorages.
Good to know, Don. I won't rule them out. Says a lot to me that you trust Moonstruck to spend a season on a ball, so I'll keep them in the mix.

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What general vicinity are you after? I know marina rates around here can be way high in downtown Annapolis and Eastport (and then varying depending on other available creature comforts), not so high a little further out...

-Chris
Chris, I've been looking everywhere from Kent Island north to the canal on the eastern shore. This week, I'm going to start checking out the other side north of Annapolis. Marina shopping is a great way to learn the area. My general goal is to stay above the Bay Bridge and hopefully cut down drive time from Valley Forge, PA. Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:50 PM   #68
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Want to keep your expenses down? Learn to maintain your own boat and know when to call a professional for a job out of your abilities. In the process, you'll become a better captain in your knowledge of your vessel and your ability to repair on run.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:12 PM   #69
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The overall cost of boat ownership & maintenance is actually turning out lower than I expected. I chose a boat which was relatively simple to maintain and operate. I kept the size down to minimum requirements.
I shopped around and got a good deal on a marina berth. The insurance is reasonable because the boat value is relatively low. As it can be classified as a sail boat, the cost is lower than insuring a power boat.

Its all the "extras" that cost money to run and maintain. I have an alcohol stove, no A/C, no exterior woodwork, no genset. I run my fridge off dock power or 12V when cruising. Fuel costs for a 36 hp diesel are almost nothing.
I try to do all my own maintenance on the boat. The new things that I have not dealt with before, I read up, ask questions, and learn how. I make mistakes and learn from them.

I use my boat as a fair weather cruiser, a rough water sailboat, a weekend getaway, a man-cave escape, and a place to contemplate life.

In summary - I think I get more enjoyment per dollar spent than most other boats.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:49 AM   #70
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Maybe the biggest money saving tool you'll ever use on a boat is knowledge. And over time you'll gain plenty, sometimes the hard way. The more you have, the less you'll spend on expensive stuff like repairs. The easy way?--Get a few good books on maintenance and repair of your boat's systems (engines, electrical, etc.) and you'll set your budget free. Well, maybe not free, but certainly affordable. "Man's flight through life is sustained by the power of his knowledge." Dive in, the water's fine!
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:51 AM   #71
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AusCan,
You have a fridge? Extravagant. We get by fairly well w an icebox.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:17 AM   #72
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AusCan,
You have a fridge? Extravagant. We get by fairly well w an icebox.
Yes - One of my luxuries is having a cold beer waiting for me in a small portable fridge on the boat. When I cruise, I use this one for a freezer, and have 2 iceboxes built into the cockpit seating for drinks and bulky food.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:31 AM   #73
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In some climates a small fridge is cheaper than buying ice all the time.

Plus a small fridge is WAY cheaper than those silly (yet effective) $600 coolers that hold a bag of ice and oniy a six pack but do stay cold for days.
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Old 04-08-2014, 06:56 AM   #74
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Chris, I've been looking everywhere from Kent Island north to the canal on the eastern shore. This week, I'm going to start checking out the other side north of Annapolis. Marina shopping is a great way to learn the area. My general goal is to stay above the Bay Bridge and hopefully cut down drive time from Valley Forge, PA. Thanks.

I can imagine the rates being all over the place. I know Bay Bridge Marina (BBM) is very proud of their water. Summit North is about as far away from the Bay as you'd want to get (and a bud even brings his boat from Summit down to BBM for 3 months, in the summer). The marinas in Kent Narrows (Piney Narrows, Mears) are both nice enough, although that puts you on the back side of the Island, so that might matter depending on where you intent to cruise.

Lots of folks like Rock Hall for that commute (Haven Harbour, or Osprey Point are both very nice, and Rock Hall Landing on the other side is very decent)... or way up the Sassafras River in Georgetown. There are also boatloads of marinas in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, although that makes it a long-ish run down the River to get to the Bay...

There are a couple more I can't remember just now or haven't been to: Lankford Bay, something else with a Chestertown address, etc...

-Chris
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Old 04-08-2014, 07:04 AM   #75
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angus99...what are your marina requirements?

Do you spend emough time there to warrant things like a pool, great restroom/shower facilities, on site food, etc...etc?

Or can it be bare bones because you plan to cruise all the time or just don't want to pay for frills?

This goes to what people were saying about price per foot....some marinas stink at a given price and others have great stuff on premises for less...yet many are "you get what you pay for".

If you don't need anything more than a slip and battery charging electric...you could check and/of advertise in Craig's lists for the areas OK with you. Look for private docks as a way to keep costs down too.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:31 AM   #76
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AusCan,
You have a fridge? Extravagant. We get by fairly well w an icebox.
Eric - Brings back memories - Thanks!

50's, 60's each boat we had was equipped with a nicely built, well insulated wooden "Ice Box" with a great door and fancy chrome hinges/latch. They usually had two level galvanized metal interior. Top shelf for block ice (as cold air drops) had a skinny drain tube that went into bilge. Bottom containment area was larger for foods. We'd travel for weeks on end as family of five. I was the "Ice Man"... every time we'd dock for fuel or provisions it was up to me to get the box filled with block ice. I became damn good with an ice pick... still am today! I use an awl.

MOF - As a very useful hold over from "back in the day": In our AC fridge (where it gets elect cooling approx 45 min in both morning and eve by gen set running) I place a 12 x 5 x 6 inch plastic container filled with ice on top shelf (just under its small door internal freezer/cooling unit). Those two cooling methods enable our fridge to stay cool 24/7 in any weather. On warmest times Ice needs to be replenished about every 1.5 days. In cooler weather ice lasts for days. We also have a very big well insulated cooler on the bridge that I further wrap with insulation. In that cooler are blocks of ice! Two small coolers are in salon for water, beer, juices... with shaved block ice inside. In warmest weather this cooling operation in its entirety allows us to go for up to four days with no ice run to shore. In cool weather... for many, many days!

Ya just gotta love "Ice Boxes"!

Happy Boating Daze! - Art
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:00 AM   #77
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There are a couple more I can't remember just now or haven't been to: Lankford Bay, something else with a Chestertown address, etc...

-Chris
Worton Creek Marina?
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:32 AM   #78
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>In some climates a small fridge is cheaper than buying ice all the time.<

In some locations Block Ice is a dream , and a bag of cubes has too much surface area to last long, even in a quality ice chest.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:40 AM   #79
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I can imagine the rates being all over the place. I know Bay Bridge Marina (BBM) is very proud of their water. Summit North is about as far away from the Bay as you'd want to get (and a bud even brings his boat from Summit down to BBM for 3 months, in the summer). The marinas in Kent Narrows (Piney Narrows, Mears) are both nice enough, although that puts you on the back side of the Island, so that might matter depending on where you intent to cruise.

Lots of folks like Rock Hall for that commute (Haven Harbour, or Osprey Point are both very nice, and Rock Hall Landing on the other side is very decent)... or way up the Sassafras River in Georgetown. There are also boatloads of marinas in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, although that makes it a long-ish run down the River to get to the Bay...

There are a couple more I can't remember just now or haven't been to: Lankford Bay, something else with a Chestertown address, etc...

-Chris
Thanks, Chris. Believe it or not, I've been to all of these over the past couple of weeks. (Chestertown is beautiful, but it's so badly silted in the manager advised me not to consider it with a 4'7" draft. It's gotten so bad, he's considering moving on.) There are things I like and don't like about all of them. But I'm more convinced than ever that that upper Chesapeake area is where we need to be.

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Worton Creek Marina?
Was there last Saturday, Don. John, the owner, is the nicest, most personable guy I met at any marina. He gave me a tour of the 91-foot aluminum "mini-liner" he's restoring. It was burned out in the Bahamas, he bought it at auction in Miami and was somehow able to get it running and pilot it back to Worton's Creek. It's going to be spectacular when he's finished with it.


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angus99...what are your marina requirements?

Do you spend emough time there to warrant things like a pool, great restroom/shower facilities, on site food, etc...etc?

Or can it be bare bones because you plan to cruise all the time or just don't want to pay for frills?

This goes to what people were saying about price per foot....some marinas stink at a given price and others have great stuff on premises for less...yet many are "you get what you pay for".

If you don't need anything more than a slip and battery charging electric...you could check and/of advertise in Craig's lists for the areas OK with you. Look for private docks as a way to keep costs down too.
Good thoughts, Scott. It'll be somewhere in between, I expect. Not a boutique and not a fish cannery. I'm learning that deciding on a marina has almost as many compromises as buying a boat.

Thanks again, all.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #80
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Worton Creek Marina?

Yep, that's the one I couldn't think of...

I usually forget my own name a couple times per day, too... <sigh>...

-Chris
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