It ties into that basic human drive for personal freedom. Once you’ve experienced life on the open water for a period of time it must be very hard returning to live on dry land.
If you’re thinking about investing a large sum of money in a boat then presumably you have a fair bit of sailing experience, have put in the hours at sea, and have the necessary qualifications. Assuming you know the ins and outs, here are a few tips on things to bear in mind before purchasing.
Firstly, think about your reasons for buying a boat. Make sure you’re choosing one that meets your needs. If you plan to use it predominantly for fishing on local lakes and rivers then you won’t need an ocean-going beast with accommodation for six. But if you want to see the world, or do a lot of entertaining on-board, then you will need plenty of space and all the equipment necessary for making long-duration voyages.
When people refer to boats as holes in the water this refers to time as much as it does money. If you aren’t going to be on the boat all that much then you may well find that every trip is costing you a significant sum of money, so consider the time you need to invest in the boat to make the purchase worthwhile.
How often, realistically, are you going to be able to go out on this boat? What about maintenance? If you buy a beautiful old vessel then you are going to be spending a lot of time on repairs. Pick a boat whose schedule matches your own, and ensure that wherever you keep it is close enough to your home that you will be motivated to get out there frequently.
Which brings us to the money question. Always bear in mind that the purchase price is not the actual cost of the boat. You need to factor in many other annual costs such as insurance, dockage, fuel and oil, maintenance, winter storage (unless you’re planning to live on it). If you have a realistic view of the total costs involved and it’s still manageable, safe to go ahead.
Once you’ve found a vessel you like the look of, one of the most important things is taking it out on the open water to see how it runs. If you are not a very experienced sailor, or someone with a lot of knowledge about boats, then here is where you will really benefit from the advice of an expert. If you know someone who can accompany you to offer sound impartial advice, this will be a major advantage in making the correct decision.
New versus pre-owned? With a used boat that has seen plenty of water, any problems should be fairly evident by now so you can get a fairly clear idea of maintenance requirements over the next few years.
With a new boat, major repairs are unlikely and anyway it’s probably covered by warranty but you will see a major increase in price. If you’re buying new, it’s worth looking around the end of July which is when many deals are done before the new ranges come on sale.
If you’re buying used, it’s often a good idea to consider a brokerage firm such as Moorings which can offer advice. Alternatively, consider an arrangement where a company will manage your investment, leasing it out on your behalf so you can earn while you’re not using the boat!
This is a guest post. Rob is looking forward to browsing over the yachts and boats of Hamble on the south coast.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net