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Old 12-18-2015, 03:51 PM   #1
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Retirement boat question...

I am 50 years old. I am staring down retirement...the sooner the better. Whether I am retirement worthy financially, is not what I am am asking about. What I am asking about is....WHEN do you purchase your retirement boat?? I know that is a broad question but there are many things to consider. If I were to retire at 55, do I get it now? And why get it earlier than later? Do I wait until I have the money built up to buy the dream boat potentially just months before retirement? Anyway, I know there are no hard and fast answers. Just looking for discussion on the folks that have been through this. If I was ready financially, I'd already be gone. I could easily retire and cruise on my current boat but it does lack storage....and...holy shit the engine space is a bitch to get around. I just wouldn't feel comfortable cruising a boat that I question myself as to the maintenance.

I always thought I'd retire on a Nordhavn or KK...and maybe I could if I delayed retirement some. But I also find mid forties Carvers(440,445,455,456,etc)to be extremely comfortable and represent a tremendous value...with more space in the ER(and C series Cummins) I also know people cruising them and they would work perfectly fine for what I would want to do. Anyway, just rambling here. I am not questioning the type of boat to retire on...just the thoughts that go into planning and more of a timeline of events.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:01 PM   #2
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Whenever you feel comfortable, I'd say. If it truly is going to be a retirement boat, pay a lot more attention to operating and maintenance ergonomics, as you and yours will not be
getting any sprier.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:16 PM   #3
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I'd say it depends upon your purchase strategy John. If you wish to finance part of it I'd buy early enough to have it paid off before retiring. Say buy now if you plan a 5 year loan and retire at 55. If you plan to pay cash I'd hold off till a few months before retirement.

I echo George about ergonomics as mobility suffers with age.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:29 PM   #4
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I worked on a Carver 570 Sedan as a teenager (10 years ago or so)- it was a good looking boat both on the interior and exterior and the Saloon was enormous with quality materials (unlike some of their other smaller models) It was almost new so I can't comment on reliability/longevity. I know Carvers have gotten a bad reputation over the years for build quality, especially the bigger ones, but they may be building a very good boat now. I spent a lot of time including some overnights on an early 90s Carver 21 (The biggest 21 footer ever built...) and it did over half of the loop and is still in good shape today. No personal experience with the KK or Nordys.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:44 PM   #5
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If your heart is set on a boat I'd say buy it now and enjoy it longer unless you have a crystal ball.


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Old 12-18-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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Bake: A retirement boat ought to have a stand-up engine room. That whittles the market down quite a bit. In fact, instead of focusing on your retirement boat, how about focusing on your retirement engine room.
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Old 12-18-2015, 04:56 PM   #7
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We bought the retirement boat and I quit 8 months later. We spent every weekend, days off and holidays cruising locally, trying to figuring out what we wanted to change/upgrade for the first year then I went to work on the systems. Lena continued to work for another year for the income to get the boat as we wanted it. The cash flow was great. When we left, the electronics, water maker, other upgrades were all less that a year old for the most part. It was nice leaving with things new or upgraded/overhauled. For the most part, we avoided the "repairing your boat in exotic places" issues.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I am not questioning the type of boat to retire on...just the thoughts that go into planning and more of a timeline of events.
Wish I had some good advice to offer, John, but, alas, do not. One thing that I can double-dog guarantee though (old Southern expression), and that is that no matter what you do, eventually you will wish you had done something different.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:04 PM   #9
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If your heart is set on a boat I'd say buy it now and enjoy it longer unless you have a crystal ball.

Here for a good time not a long time
I'd say each piece of advice above is right on.

I'll only add that we are not getting any younger.

And since we don't know the future, enjoy it and use it while you can.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:06 PM   #10
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I had a 440 for 15 years with Cummins Cs and never saw another boat in that size range that I wish I had bought.


I think the when question depends on your plans. I f you prefer a almost new boat then wait. If you prefer a well depreciated boat then plan on some time to upgrade it before you take off. I bought a 3 year old boat after retirement an it was ready to go.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:10 PM   #11
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I bought my retirement boat at 49, with a planned retirement date of 58-59, since thats when i can pull from my 401-K's and when my pension is payable.

I intentionally chose this time to allow me to pay the boat off (yes I got a 10 year loan on the boat). Upon purchase I completely refit the boat from the ground up including new engines, gen, and a ton of other stuff. I did this because I know that I might not have the financial ability to cough up big bucks for things like engines during retirement, where now it is not a big deal since I am in my peak earning years.
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Old 12-18-2015, 05:21 PM   #12
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I had a boat but bought my trawler a couple years after retirement.
We have so many different situations, it is pretty pointless to try to answer your question. I will say this though, the older you get, the more difficult it will be for you to do your own maintenance and repairs. Think about this when considering a new vs. used boat.


It's also going to be more difficult to handle a larger boat as you age.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:07 PM   #13
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Bake: A retirement boat ought to have a stand-up engine room. That whittles the market down quite a bit. In fact, instead of focusing on your retirement boat, how about focusing on your retirement engine room.

This is good advice IMO. Unless you're a midget...
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:16 PM   #14
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My advice, you're boating OK now. Continue. Wait until you are firmly NOT WORKING and then get what you want. In a decade or more the boat you want will be very different than what you want today. And it will be a decade newer possibly.

These are boom times for the airlines. Why even think about pulling the plug? Have it both ways, money coming in and boat on.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:17 PM   #15
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Bake: A retirement boat ought to have a stand-up engine room. That whittles the market down quite a bit. In fact, instead of focusing on your retirement boat, how about focusing on your retirement engine room.
Did you photo-shop a stand-up engine room into Bucky?

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Old 12-18-2015, 06:27 PM   #16
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I bought mine 5 years before projected retirement so that it would be ready to go when I was. The other consideration is cost. Unless buying new, this is still a pretty good buyers market. Also, if you're financing, buy it now with a fixed rate loan and know you will be able to do it. Things can change such as the interest rate, that may have a profound effect on what your monthly payment will actually get you. Lastly, there is your health. If your health declines, you may choose to retire early and having the boat already may give you an extra year to enjoy it.

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Old 12-18-2015, 06:27 PM   #17
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I'm 53, so about in the same boat (figuratively speaking). Our first big(-ish) boat was a Carver 32, a great learning/teaching boat and it served us well, but I don't think we ever expected it to be The One. Our current boat is a Mainship 37, bought it last summer. It could be The One -- the one we sail away in for good, although I'm not quite sure. I do know that we don't want to drop a billion dollars and eat huge depreciation on a brand new boat next, so that's out. It's like some of the other posters have said, whether I can still physically do it or not, I'm less and less in the mood to do all my own maintenance. We may stay in the current boat because we like it, it's comfortable, I've learned it pretty well already, and the previous owner and I have both maintained it well and consistently. That's the thing, if we buy one more even bigger boat, then I have to climb that learning curve again, bring it up to my maintenance standards again, fix all the tiny things that most people wouldn't notice but bother me. Comes down to whether I want to climb that hill one more time.


But here's one more thing that keeps crossing my mind when I think about boat maintenance. Right now my wife and I are still working like crazy and we will continue to work for probably another, oh, maybe 10 years. We frantically mash our boating time and all the maintenance into the frustratingly small bits and pieces of time we have now. When we're retired, I don't know if I'll feel such pressure. Maybe I'll have a completely different perspective and I'll have the appetite for one more, even bigger boat (or gasp, a 50' sailboat and we'll cast off to the Marquesas). I won't know that though until we actually get to that point. For now I've concluded to get the biggest, most comfortable, well maintained boat we can reasonably afford and we'll see how we feel in eight to ten years. Maybe I have one more bigger new(er) boat in my future, maybe not, but either way, it'll be fine. We can do the Loop (or whatever) in Xanadu very comfortably.
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Old 12-18-2015, 06:29 PM   #18
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If finances are not a consideration, I can't see any reason to wait. Since I have been a boat owner since about 18, it never occurred to me that I wouldn't have a boat after retirement, but I never thought about buying a boat specifically for retirement. On the other hand, I expect my boating habits to remain largely unchanged during retirement, except that I hope to spend more time boating. So, the boat I have now may well be my retirement boat and if so, I will be glad not to have waited.
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Old 12-18-2015, 07:23 PM   #19
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Hey John. I think you know your particular situation (financial and otherwise) better than anyone here and you've been around a lot of boats and have a pretty good idea of what "floats" and what doesn't. And...you probably have a pretty good idea about the lifestyle, etc. So...when the right one comes around, you'll know, so nab it. You won't regret it.
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Old 12-18-2015, 08:14 PM   #20
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Bake: A retirement boat ought to have a stand-up engine room. That whittles the market down quite a bit. In fact, instead of focusing on your retirement boat, how about focusing on your retirement engine room.
Couldn't agree more!!! I just hired a guy today to do ER checks for me on a monthly basis. I just can't navigate the ER anymore without getting a cramp or throwing my back out. In an emergency I will venture into the ER but the less that happens, the better.

A stand up ER is so nice to have as you age. I had one years ago on my 54' sport fisher. You could actually stroll down the stairs to the ER. It was so comfortable, I would eat my lunch down there in complete bliss!

As for when you buy your retirement boat, I'd hold off until you see the retirement light burning brightly at the end of the career tunnel. There are going to be some great boats (later models) then that maybe don't fit your budget now.
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