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Old 20-12-2013, 13:13   #1
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Why don't people use their boats?

Marina del Rey has over 4000 slips and very few are empty, yet it seems like on any given day fewer than 1% actually go out on the water - even on the weekends.

I suspect it's the same up and down the Southern California Coast - including Long Beach and San Diego - and I'd be interested to hear if it's like that in other places as well.

How can so many people afford to use their boats so infrequently? Why aren't more boats offered for sale?
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Old 20-12-2013, 13:32   #2
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Why don't people use their boats?
Cos they're too big.

Ok - we're also looking for a proper cruising boat (25 to 30 ft), but in the meantime we're on season #8 with a trailerable micro-cruiser, and still lovin' it. Sailing this boat is a breeze and costs for maintenance and operating are laughably tiny. With the trailer, we get to places in a day that would take weeks by water... or are inaccessible otherwise. The small cabin is tolerable for a long weekend of cruising... longer if we can hit a marina every three or four days.

A small boat really is a sweet-spot in the costs-vs-fun graph. More people should try it as their first boat, unless they're 110% sure a large boat is necessary.
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Old 20-12-2013, 13:44   #3
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pirate Re: Why don't people use their boats?

^^^^+A1^^^^

As to the big boats.. its coz folk come on CF and are told its not possible to sail anywhere and be safe on less than 40+ feet..
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Old 20-12-2013, 13:48   #4
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

Be grateful. If all 4000 boats tried to get out every weekend it would be chaos!
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Old 20-12-2013, 13:51   #5
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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Be grateful. If all 4000 boats tried to get out every weekend it would be chaos!
That is the silver lining... Just seems like a waste...
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Old 20-12-2013, 13:53   #6
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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^^^^+A1^^^^

As to the big boats.. its coz folk come on CF and are told its not possible to sail anywhere and be safe on less than 40+ feet..
Yes, I agree. Even among those out cruising I seem to find many folks who could likely do as well with much smaller boats. The couple cruising on 50' has a lot of space.... Not being critical, if they are about doing it.... But I suspect many folks are stuck at the dock for the extra feet and money they are committed to.

I also think some like the "idea" of cruising more then the like the "doing of it". On a trip a few years ago aboard Faith, I encountered more folks who spoke of the "dragons" they were afraid of (and warning me of) then those who were encouraging or actually going about it themselves.

Unfortunate, what ever the cause... Life is short.

(Posted from the marsh Harbour laundromat, living the dream.)
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Old 20-12-2013, 13:53   #7
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

Big advocate of small boat cruising myself. Yes, I have had boats up to 42' but a small boat, open even, and a good tent, is a cool way to do things. Pull up on a deserted beach, set up,(maybe 15 mins nowadays), campfire meals, comfy bed, sundowners, water lapping, breakfast sat in the water if it is that hot, off for a sail afterwards. Fantastic.

PS. One major advantage as well, no need to read those anchor threads.

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Old 20-12-2013, 13:54   #8
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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Why don't people use their boats?
For the same reason they don't use their RV, Jet Ski, Table Saw, BowFlex Gym Machine, Pasta maker, fruit juicer, or 90% of the things they collect and Must Have. The Culture of Consumption tells us to be happy when we consume..using the things we bought and being happy with them...not so much.

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Why aren't more boats offered for sale?
Remember the bumper sticker: "He who dies with the most toys wins"

How can you win the game if you put your toys up for sale. But I guarantee if you asked those people who never used their boats how they were doing financially they would admit to struggling with their $100 cable TV bill, $300 family smart phone payment, and boat Slip Fees!

Now get out there and Buy...buy...buy...it will make you happy....happy...happy Merry Christmas....
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Old 20-12-2013, 14:19   #9
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Marina del Rey has over 4000 slips and very few are empty, yet it seems like on any given day fewer than 1% actually go out on the water - even on the weekends.?
I remember years ago sailing (columbia 5.5) OUT of MDR on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon heading back to king harbor.

It seemed like about 1/4 of those 4K boats were all on the way back in the main channel. Many of them seemed to be shocked you could actually sail out, rather than motor. Several dozen actually signaled we were #1, and commented on our sailing ability.. I'm surprised we weren't taken to task for not having our fenders out.

But that's not normal -- most of em never leave.


I think it's simpler than size... It's a toy - looks like fun before purchase and then reality sets in - boating (particularly sail) is work. Maintenance is work. And boat parts cost $$$.

-- OR -- (Since you mentioned MDR)

The folks that could afford the $$$ for a boat didn't think that their 12-hour a day 7 day a week lifestyle would not leave them any time for yaaachting..
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Old 20-12-2013, 14:20   #10
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

there was a guy next to me with a 1988 34 footer. it had been there since it was new and he bought it down from new england. he used it once again and it has not moved since then. the rent has been paid every month.
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Old 20-12-2013, 14:20   #11
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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Cos they're too big.


A small boat really is a sweet-spot in the costs-vs-fun graph. More people should try it as their first boat, unless they're 110% sure a large boat is necessary.
When I started my search I read and read and read. and read a little more. one of the pieces of advice that really stuck in my mind was "buy the smallest boat that will fit what you need." I looked at a lot of boats in teh 25 to 40 range. the 25's just dont do it for me I like to cook and am 6'2" I need standing room in a galley. and for a boat to still have nice lines(we all know how it looks is the most important thing right?) got to get to about 30. other side of the coin I am a musician(drummer but not actually any good) and will miss my music so I thought about getting something with 2 cabins so I could have a music room. decided for cost of everything stayins smaller outweighed haveing all my music gear. also those larger boats just have so much space inside I would look at all the woodwork on say a Formosa 41(I looked at one that was gorgeous, well at least would have been when fixed up) that is just too much cleaning and upkeep. I settled on a Mariner 31. great little ketch, ocean capbale, shallow draft. workable Galley with headroom. comfy deck, commfy living space. all around good. I would have had space for more stuff on a larger boat but how much stuff do I really need when cruising.

sorry about the long story my point is smallest that will fit you seems like the best advice I read.
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Old 20-12-2013, 14:38   #12
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

Having a boat is like having a gym membership. Even if you never go, you still want to think of yourself as the kind of person who goes to the gym/sailboat. That keeps you paying the fee despite all logic.
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Old 20-12-2013, 14:54   #13
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

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Originally Posted by jeepbluetj View Post
I remember years ago sailing (columbia 5.5) OUT of MDR on a nice sunny Saturday afternoon heading back to king harbor.

It seemed like about 1/4 of those 4K boats were all on the way back in the main channel. Many of them seemed to be shocked you could actually sail out, rather than motor.
..
I'm laughing because under those circumstances the much wider "sail only" lane in the middle of the channel would be so much easier to navigate given the lack of traffic....not to mention you'd have the right of way heading out past the breakwater...
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Old 20-12-2013, 15:21   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldFrog75 View Post
Marina del Rey has over 4000 slips and very few are empty, yet it seems like on any given day fewer than 1% actually go out on the water - even on the weekends.

I suspect it's the same up and down the Southern California Coast - including Long Beach and San Diego - and I'd be interested to hear if it's like that in other places as well.

How can so many people afford to use their boats so infrequently? Why aren't more boats offered for sale?
I have lived on my boat for 6 months at a marina in SC on the intercoastal waterway. We get some transient activity but I've been stunned how many of the boats here never get touched. I'm seeing around 60-70% of them that I've never seen an owner on. Big and small. I'm guessing people just get to busy with life...
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Old 20-12-2013, 15:39   #15
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Re: Why don't people use their boats?

I think it's not the size as much as the price of the boat. To have a expensive boat usually means a high pay high time consuming job. And with that comes the higher standard for everything else (cars,homes,golf,tennis,kids in all kinds of activities etc). I sail my 50 alone on Friday afternoons, boss/company owner is also a sailor. We shut down early Fridays, more to life than work. The boats I see sail most are older not so much size dependent.
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