Many people learn to sail when they are children, perhaps on family holidays, or even on the local lake during the school holidays, but what these people have in common is an enduring passion for all things sailing. As we enter adulthood and our salaries begin to increase our thoughts may turn to the possibility of having our very own boat, and we may be left feeling a bit daunted as there are so many options out there.
So, if you are an experienced sailor and have that itch to buy your own sailboat here you will find everything you need to consider before taking the plunge and buying your very own boat.
Where Will I Be Sailing?
Depending on where you are intending to sail it will make a big impact on the type of boat you will need. If you are just planning to sail on inland lakes or for sporting purposes then you will only need a small dinghy. Whereas if you live on the coast you may be thinking of joining local regattas or races so you will need something a bit larger and with a bit more oomph.
If you’re a real daredevil and are thinking of sailing across the ocean then you need something that will keep you alive for weeks on end and your budget will increase enormously. Basically, the boat needs to be tailored to the environment you are sailing in.
What Condition Do I Want The Boat In?
Obviously, you can go out and buy a brand new boat but this is incredibly costly and many of us will not be in this position. If finances rule that out then you are left with these options: buying a boat that is second hand but seaworthy or buying a project boat. If you are recently retired or have time on your hands then a project can be a fantastic option allowing you to develop a new hobby, but if you are looking to get straight out on the water then it makes more sense to buy something that you can immediately enjoy.
Who Will I Be Sailing With?
What is the purpose of your boat? If you are intending to teach your children how to sail on the local lake then you need to take this into account and plan accordingly, whereas if it is just for you to go cruising on and to enjoy a bit of downtime then obviously size is not essential.
Racing boats often require many people to man the rigging and look after the sail so you will already know the size you are after. If the boat is going to be your home for months on end then it needs to be designed to fit the passengers that will sail it. Always consider who you will be sailing with before you make a purchase.
What Will My Future Costs Be?
By now you will have worked out that sailing is not cheap, even after your initial purchase you are going to be hit with a myriad of extra costs, ranging from mooring fees to fuel, to possibly a brand new engine refit. Sails don’t last forever, and then you have to take into account the expense of painting and varnishing it every offseason.
Are you prepared for all of these extra costs? Do you have the time to handle them yourself? If you are buying brand new then you won’t have these concerns for years to come, however, second-hand boats can drain your bank account quicker than they will sink after hitting an iceberg, so make sure your budget allows for it.
For How Long Do I Want To Use My Boat?
Given the high cost of ownership, it is important that you get value from your investment. If you are buying a new boat you are insured to a certain extent because, if you look after your boat, you know that you will have a high resale value, or at the very least you will get 30-40 years of use out of it. However, if you have bought that 20-year-old rust-bucket then not only will it cost you an arm and a leg, but you are only likely to be able to make use of it for a very short amount of time, so it will be uneconomical.
As we have discovered owning a boat is not cheap so it is very important to do your research before you dive in and make the purchase. Carefully consider what you want the boat for and how many people will use it. Analyze your budget to ensure you can afford it now and in the future, as costs will certainly rise. Once you have made your decision then hopefully you can enjoy your sailing for years to come.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.