After 11 years of full-time cruising on our W32 Tarwathie, my wife and I have decided to slow down. We bought an RV in a RV park in Florida as a winter home. We will cruise only 3 months per year, up on Lake Champlain.
A blue water boat with self steering is not optimal for lake sailing. Today, Tarwathie is in excellent sail-away condition. But I'm concerned that 8-9 months of annual storage in freezing weather will make her shrink and expand and start opening up leaks and promote rot. A major leak causing rot would be a major project to repair. We're not up to major repairs any more.
Also, one month's maintenance spread over 12 months cruising, is a small burden, but if you are on the boat for only 3 months per year, one month maintenance is a big burden.
But we still consider Tarwathie our primary home. It would be an emotional trauma to sell her. But it would be a worse emotional trauma to see her deteriorate if we can't keep up with the maintenance. I'm on the horns of a dilemma. Should we sell and scale down to a small light boat, or should we muddle on doing the best we can?
I'm sure that we aren't the first to encounter this dilemma. What advice do you have?
not advice but some notes:
1.) It will cost to store or use a boat (it just costs $$$'s every month) but I bet you knew that.
2.) boats hate condensate and leaks (best kept warm and watched for leaks) (barns fix both issues+/-)
3.) boat ownership is a love hate thing, love the sailing and days at the dock hate the expenses and maintenance.
so with that: what one should do, well depends on what you want, and what your options are, best case you have a young sailing person (you know well and would visit often " like 3 times + a year") going to college near the lake who would rent the boat through the winter (if allowed) . allowing $$'s for some one else to do the maintenance for you. Then summers are yours:) (all the standards like disconnecting the starter, and adding antifreeze to motor systems, installing non freeze thruster under the boat etc. would be req)
worst case you do the above and they trash the boat or abandon it :( but in any case the secret to storage is remove all sails, keep heat in the boat and a dehumidifier running at all times.)
Selling and repurchase will lose value, commissions and efforts but could be less cost than a trailer?.
Now for some storage ideas.
a.) a trailer and some property with a RV carport or barn + power near by (short wide load permit each way + taking down the mast and putting it up) and you could have it moved to new location without to much $$'s as you have a trailer. something like http://www.farreachvoyages.com.html
b.) do the same as (a.) but with other's (group buy barn and hydraulic trailer) as observed in Sweden.
c.) leave it in the water, heated and with a non freeze pump under it and hope for the best?
lastly if you want to sell how is the market? (it is better than 3 years ago I know, but ?)
also: I know it is hard to believe, but the non-inflated value of the boat will decline as time goes on (i.e. the boat is worth what it was new) 40 to 50 K but the dollar is only worth about 18 to 20 cents compared to 1975. So as long as you maintain it, you get the original price back, just note those $'s aren't worth as much. but if let go well allot less.
Thanks for the thoughtful suggestions Norm.
WOA YouTube channel WOA Picasa images Westsail Parts Company Westsail on Facebook