Originally Posted by KarenG
We are in the process of purchasing our first boat - a 1986 Hershine 42”. It has been kept in a saltwater boathouse by the original owner all of its life and is in beautiful condition.
KarenG: Congrats on the new boat...and we have at least 2 things in common. My boat is 1985 38' Hershine. And I live just south of you in Port Orchard, and lastly, just purchased a boathouse.
To answer your questions, it all comes down to budget. But also consider that in WA state, new boathouse construction is no longer allowed, so your purchase will retain its value and become equity. Moorage, by an large, is not equity, but a rental fee.
Now for the difference between indoors and outdoors. The reason your Hershine looks so beautiful now is that it was in a protected environment and well cared for (both advantages when buying). If you were to take the same boat into the PNW weather for 2 years, you would see a lot of differences, and you would spend much more time with maintenance and upkeep than actual cruising.
I have experienced open moorage (with and without canvases), common cover, and now boathouse. Hands down, the boathouse provides what the others cannot. And you get much more time on the water because your upkeep is much less.
Some other considerations. Yesterday, I was waxing the flybridge, but it was pouring rain outside. Dry inside the boathouse !! Bottom line...with rain from Oct to May, you can still be dry inside the boathouse for whatever task brings you there. In my boathouse, I have a huge workbench, spacious loft, all my power tools, and everything I need to repair/maintain the boat, and.....none of those tools reside on the boat itself anymore. Before I moved into the boathouse, my boat itself was a floating repair shop, with varnishes, brushes, sandpaper, tool kits, spare parts (yada, yada). To cruise with guests, I had to transfer all my repair stuff into my car in order to make room for the guests. Now, with the boathouse, its just lift the curtain and start the engines. The boat is always ready to cruise.
Here is sort of the final arbitrator. If you ask anyone who has a boathouse if they would ever go back to open moorage with canvas/tarps, the answers is always no....
The Hershines are great boats and your are buying one in great condition now. Thats a winning combination. Take that as a clue and make the decision that is right for you. I realize its an hours drive away and more money than you planned, which definitely does factor in. But I 'bought up' to a boathouse and now have no regrets at all.
Hope this helps
And photos please !!