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Old 04-08-2013, 12:31 AM   #21
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So while it's a shame to see a boat sit neglected and unused, perhaps it is filling a role of providing a sense of hope that helps keep the owner going through difficult times. In that regard, then, the boat may still be adding value to the owner's life..

I think that Marin is spot on here. The boat may mean hope of better days, or even represent an escape from the pressures of life. Boats definitely have an intangible value. They are whatever the owner perceives them to be.

John, so sorry to hear what you are going through. It is a very hard thing to watch a loved one slip away. Kudos to you for taking such good care. You will never regret it. Hope to see you again. Moonstruck is still in the same spot.
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:43 AM   #22
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Great thread! Well spoken and reported. It is a question that has crossed many minds as the response reflects. Subject well chosen. Thank all for the insights.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:49 AM   #23
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When we first went to see our RW35 that we eventually purchased, we noticed so many boats in the marina with stickers 3, 5, and a few around 7 years old. We saw lots of moss and grass growing on them too. We didn't ask the harbormaster at the Brisbane marina, but I kinda wish we had. I'm sure people just walk away if they loose there job or some life event prevents them from not being able to afford the fees. I know marina's will auction off boats that have sat too long without paying but not sure what the cut off is.

We now have two boats, our SJ23 is on it's trailer at a friends house, but this summer when we move back to Seattle from the UK we'll find a slip for it since we're not ready to give it up yet, it's my wife's and she can't part with it. Boats do stir the emotions don't they?
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:37 AM   #24
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You guys need a few hurricanes! That tends to weed out the boats.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #25
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The downside to these unused boats is that they take up available slips. Thereby pushing up the slip rates everywhere in the area. I read once that slip occupancy in my area was over 90%. I'm not suggesting for a minute that people can't spend their money how they please. I just wish it wasn't spent in a way that pushes up my costs for the same services.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:13 AM   #26
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The 3 "D's" will always affect ownership and enjoyment of a boat and other toys. Death,Divorce and disease are a fact of life for all of us. What people need to realize is that it is not always about "money" when liquidating assets.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #27
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Concur with Marin's observation.


The boats at the marina, the scows, the Fishing boats, the charters, the Sails, the trawlers, all give the Marina Flavor. After owning a boat I suspect most understand Papa Joe a little better.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:28 AM   #28
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Interesting perspectives here.

I also often wonder about the back-stories of neglected boats. To me, I am with others by finding it kind of sad that these boats go unloved when they could add so much joy to someone Else's life.

I suppose that if I had issues with it, it would be that they effectively "pollute" the marina with "ugly" boats and gives the non-boating passer's-by a ringside seat to our not-so-attractive side. The marina we were in until just a couple of months ago was overlooked by a hotel and a public, heavily used walking park. Thousands of people waked the waterfront with these boats right under their nose, and some of them were in shameful condition. Not the best way, in my opinion, to bring more people into this wonderful lifestyle.

I suppose there is another downside... If ALL of these unused boats were used as much as ours is, the waterways, anchorages, and popular destinations would be overwhelmed, therefore, too busy to enjoy.

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Old 04-08-2013, 08:29 AM   #29
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John, my sympathy for your situation. Good luck. Hopefully you can get back on the water.
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:32 AM   #30
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There also may be hope on the part of a boat owner whose life has changed to the point where using the boat is not practical or possible that things might return someday to normal where the boat can once again be used. So they hang on, paying the necessary bills while they struggle with the new hand they've been dealt. A month can become six can become a year can become three years in the blink of an eye..

To us, we see an abandoned boat. To the owner, the boat may represent a hope that someday the current challenge will be overcome. Selling the boat may seem to them to be an admission of defeat, that life for them will, in fact, never return to what they perceive as normal.

So while it's a shame to see a boat sit neglected and unused, perhaps it is filling a role of providing a sense of hope that helps keep the owner going through difficult times. In that regard, then, the boat may still be adding value to the owner's life..

That is a very good post! Well said!
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #31
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Who in their right mind buys a boat and pays for monthly berthage and insurance all for the privilege of letting it sit in the slip and not use it?...........
One could easily say the same thing about women.

How many times have you seen an older man with a beautiful 25 year old trophy wife? You know she's not being used as much as she could be.

How many times have you seen guys out fishing or drinking while their wives are home alone? Same thing, not being used as much as they could be.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:11 AM   #32
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Kind of strange reading this thread. My wife and I have been boat owners for our entire married life, 48 years this August. Up until four years ago, we were sport fisherman/cruisers.

Back in 2000 we retired and moved from the NE to Florida and we still fished/cruised etc. Fours years ago we bout our first trawler and three months later my wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Since then things have been sliding away from us.

The smart thing is to sell the boat, but boat ownership has never been about being smart. I am struggling to find ways to safely get on the boat and get underway safely. I can handle the boat without a crew, not a problem. The issue is, I can't predict what she will do next.

It breaks my heart that she is sick and I am rapidly loosing her. It breaks my heart that we can't enjoy the boat .

Guess my boat is one of those sad stories.

John
I'm sorry to hear that and yes, this is an example of why a boat might go unused.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:16 AM   #33
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Lots of boats like this at our marina, and I'm sure each has a story. People were out in force this weekend splashing boats for the season. This always leads to a game of musical chairs in the slips - we are in a condo marina, so rental prices are set by the slip owner. People move around each spring trying to get a better deal. Anyway, saw several boats being towed to new slips - boats that haven't started in years. There is one small sailboat that is in horrible shape. The owner claims he keeps the boat despite the cost just so he can tell his dates that he owns a sailing yacht. To each his own.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:28 AM   #34
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Marinas in the Puget Sound area tend to weed out those not used neglected boats, put them on the hard and auction them off. Many of the marines require current registration tabs plus liability insurance. In the state of Washington any boat in the water, tied to a dock/used or not must have current tabs. The Everett marina also required the boat to be in usable shape. If tabs are not current they will put the boat on the hard, and if moorage/storage is not paid they seize the boat and put a lien on it. Each year there are more and more boats being stored on land.

Each year the Everett police will knock on the hull because we do not have pleasure tabs on the bow. We have commercial numbers and tabs in the pilot house window. Each year the Everett marina required proof of ownership, current tabs, and liability insurance. In addition for live a boards we fill out a form each year that we meet the rules/regulation/requirements of the marina, proof we get pumped out, and might be inspected. Anyway if the states and marinas would make sure that boats are registered, maintained, and insured at least the boats would be in better shape, might get used and/or sold/given away.


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Old 04-08-2013, 11:43 AM   #35
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How many times have you seen an older man with a beautiful 25 year old trophy wife? You know she's not being used as much as she could be.
Yeah, and when told that all she wanted was his money, he said, "so what's your point".
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:09 PM   #36
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The 3 "D's" will always affect ownership and enjoyment of a boat and other toys. Death,Divorce and disease are a fact of life for all of us. What people need to realize is that it is not always about "money" when liquidating assets.

My solution for the 3 D's

Traveling Star: Losing the Dream
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:31 PM   #37
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Great topic. I know a few people is a situation like John's, which is heartbreaking!

My husband learned to sail on his brother Ranger 23. His brother sold it to "move up". Later, a good friend bought the boat and sailed it actively for about a year, until he got married and started a family. After many years of paying for it and not using it, his wife finally convicted him to sell it. It was very difficult emotionally for him to accept that chapter in his life was over. Yes many people boat and have kids but for many reasons that was not feasible for them.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:46 PM   #38
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The downside to these unused boats is that they take up available slips. Thereby pushing up the slip rates everywhere in the area.
While I think I understand the sentiment you're driving at I'm not sure I see the logic. I don't see how an unused boat in a slip affects rates any more than a well-used boat in a slip. The slip is occupied either way, the owner is paying the slip fees either way. Our marina management is not interested in how much a boat in the marina is used, only that it's fees are paid on time and that the owner provides the required evidence of insurance.

If you mean that unused boats make slips unavailable which means waiting lists are longer so marinas can charge what the market will bear for slips when they become available (demand drives up the price) I suppose that may be a possibility in some locations. In our area the waiting time for slips 40 feet and over is currently some four years or more and while the removal of all unused boats might lower that some the removal of just the true "derelict" boats would not.

And then you get into the question of who decides when a boat has not been used enough to warrant its remaining in the marina? What's the cutoff?

There is an approximately 100' yacht on the end- tie of the next dock in from ours. The yacht is new, it's maintained and crewed professionally, and goes out perhaps a couple of times a year, one of them usually a long cruise to SE Alaska. The rest of the year the yacht just sits. Should it be kicked out of the marina on the basis of non-use?

We have one of the first batch of fiberglass GB36s ever made. One slip away from us is the last fiberglass GB36 ever made. The owner lives out of state and so has buttoned it up for the winter. So while we use our boat year round his just sits for half the year. Should his boat be kicked out of the marina because it's not used enough?

If the Port kicked his boat out and gave the slip to someone who promised to use their boat regularly, it would have zero effect on our moorage fee so far as I can determine. On the other hand, empty slips that are earning no moorage fees for the Port would very likely have an eventual effect on all our moorage fees as our marina has to be self-sustaining--- all funds used to operate, maintain, expand, and insure the marina have to be generated by the marina. It's my understanding that city tax revenue cannot be used to cover costs associated with the (city-owned) marina.

So..... who gets to draw the line between used and unused?
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:01 PM   #39
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We have enough empty berths. Kicking out non-users would further wreck the city marina's finances.

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Old 04-08-2013, 04:02 PM   #40
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While I think I understand the sentiment you're driving at I'm not sure I see the logic. I don't see how an unused boat in a slip affects rates any more than a well-used boat in a slip. The slip is occupied either way, the owner is paying the slip fees either way.

It's the supply & demand thing. I don't care if the boats are used or not. It's the 90% occupancy (as in leased) rate that drives the prices up. Or rather, I assume it does. If folks who never use their boats would not lease the limited slips I assume the rates will start to come down. But then again, I know next to nothing about the finances of running a marina.
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