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Old 01-02-2017, 18:05   #1
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Buy now, or buy later?

The situation - Ultimately I want to purchase a used cat in the 40-45' range. I won't be reading to start cruising for 7-10 years though.

The question I have is would it be better to buy the boat now and use it as a liveaboard at a marina until I am ready to cast off or wait until I am closer to being able to leave to buy the boat?

Some of the issues I've identified are buying now, I would buy a 5-7 year old cat that would be 12-17 years old when I start cruising. Financially it is probably better to wait as I would have lower costs on land as opposed to boat financing, marina fees plus annual maintenance. Also, if I wait, I will,ultimately buy a 2017 cat versus buying a 2010 cat now.

The plus side for buying now would be I would know every inch of the boat by the time I'm ready to leave. I wouldn't use it for much more than weekend sailing in the meantime, wouldn't have the time take it on any extended voyages.

Thoughts, better to wait or better to buy now? A big part of me wants to buy now, but I keep,thinking that is putting the cart before the horse...
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Old 01-02-2017, 18:26   #2
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Buy later, a lot can change in 7-10 years plus your likely be buying a better overall boat.
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Old 01-02-2017, 18:39   #3
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Later
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:10   #4
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Really need to see the numbers for the land side living option and then account for the value of getting to live on the water. Time to break out the spreadsheet and add up the costs of both options.


If it's purely about the financials, wait and get a really cheap studio apartment (or a small cheap 30' mono) until you are ready and you will likely come out ahead. Of course that means a number of years of lower lifestyle not around boats.


Assuming it's an easy commute to work from the marina and you would be looking at owning and maintaining a house, odds are it will be close (maybe even cheaper) once you account for the ongoing home maintenance, taxes, etc ....with a house. Plus you get to live on a boat. Assuming you do a decent job maintaining it, a 15yr old boat will have a lot of years left and be a good cruising boat if and when you decide to head out and as you say, by then you will really know the boat.
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Old 02-02-2017, 03:51   #5
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Since you are taking on debt wait until later. Especially if this means less or no debt.

I save money by living on a boat vs renting a nice apartment but I'm sure that varies from place to place.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:37   #6
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Unless there are other significant factors to consider I would say buying 7-10 years before you go cruising is too far in advance. However, if you will be living aboard and saving the costs of a house, will be working on the boat, learning to sail, etc, etc, etc then it might make sense to buy now. However also consider 7-10 years depreciation on the boat unless you're getting an older boat that has already lost the biggest part.

All that being said, I bought a fixer upper 8 years before retirement and spent 7.5 years fixing it up. And yes, I now know every tiny nook and cranny on the boat.
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Old 02-02-2017, 08:53   #7
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Buy Later as you can learn the whole boat and also fit it out in say 2 or 3 years before you take off.

We had a smaller 36 foot cat for our summer home and local cruising.

Bought the bigger cat 3 years before we retire to take off.

That should give us plenty of time to fit her out and learn the new boat and also to sell all our stuff and the house.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:21   #8
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

I bought three years before we leave, I only see the boat on weekends and Summer vacations.
It has taken three years to equip her the way I wanted.
Probably cost about 10K a year for it to sit there and make a hole in the water though.

I can't understand Retiring with a debt. If buying now meant being debt free as opposed to buying later, but retiring with a debt, I'd buy now, that is the only way I see it logical to buy seven years before.
Of course realize that is just an opinion
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:39   #9
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Buy NOW. Later never comes.

My plan was 5 years. 5 years later it was still 5 years. At that point i pulled the trigger after realizing it may never happen. Spent the best 2 years of my life the past two seasons and now can't wait for this season (Great Lakes).

Plans change. Health changes. Live for today.
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:49   #10
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Do you have a boat now? If not, go buy SOMETHING!
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:06   #11
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

NOW! No telling what will happen in 7 years, you may not have your health.. Learn the boat, learn to sail, live cheaply and at retirement sail for free.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:52   #12
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

To Sofia B,
Where in Lake Erie? I'm in the Grand River, Fairport Harbor side. Love sailing on this lake.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:13   #13
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Great replies, thanks! My heart wants to buy now, but if I do that, it will be my cruising boat. If I buy now, yes it will be financed, as would a house, both on ten year notes. I work out of the house, so as long as I have good internet, and access to a major airport, I can live anywhere. However, I do believe that the boat would be more expensive overall.

Not only would I have the loan to pay off (at higher interest rate than home mortgage), but would have marina fees as well. Maintenance on a boat is probably higher than a house and insurance, property taxes and tax implications point to land.

My plan would be pay cash if I wait, the advantage would be getting a boat that is new today. I am also thinking with the increasing popularity of cats, there will be a lot of used boats on the market in ten years. The advantage of buying now is I get to live on a boat! I would also be able to get some sailing in, but not nearly enough. I'm going to look into marina fees and estimate annual maintenance so I will have a better feel on the finances of each option. Will post a spreadsheet for comment.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:15   #14
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

I've saved considerably by living aboard instead of paying rent for an apartment or mortgage payment for a house... Plus I know what it is like to live on a boat, what I like, and what I don't like.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:40   #15
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Re: Buy now, or buy later?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNGator View Post
Great replies, thanks! My heart wants to buy now, but if I do that, it will be my cruising boat. If I buy now, yes it will be financed, as would a house, both on ten year notes. I work out of the house, so as long as I have good internet, and access to a major airport, I can live anywhere. However, I do believe that the boat would be more expensive overall.

Not only would I have the loan to pay off (at higher interest rate than home mortgage), but would have marina fees as well. Maintenance on a boat is probably higher than a house and insurance, property taxes and tax implications point to land.

My plan would be pay cash if I wait, the advantage would be getting a boat that is new today. I am also thinking with the increasing popularity of cats, there will be a lot of used boats on the market in ten years. The advantage of buying now is I get to live on a boat! I would also be able to get some sailing in, but not nearly enough. I'm going to look into marina fees and estimate annual maintenance so I will have a better feel on the finances of each option. Will post a spreadsheet for comment.
Your profile says Winter Park FL. If you plan to keep the boat in FL then you will save on taxes. No property tax on boats. Other tax implications? Well if you declare the boat as your primary residence I believe you can still deduct the interest from your income tax like a land based home. Also if your work at home (I do also) you can factor that in on a boat as well as a house. Just be careful either way on this as the IRS is pretty persnickety about home office (land or boat) deductions. My accountant gets credit for this but using a different method of writeoff.

Marina costs will hugely depend on where in FL. The further south on the east coast the more expensive. JAX a lot cheaper and pretty good airport access although not my favorite metro area. Tampa/St Pete also not bad if you want the FL west coast. Panhandle even better options. Central FL, Titusville, Indian River, St Johns River the cheapest marina costs.

Looking at your situation there are some good arguments for buying a boat now. Do consider insurance however. If you stay in FL all year you will have to pay a premium for being here over hurricane season.

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