This is the year that we will be buying
. However, we are conflicted on where will be the best place for us to keep it. We are located in Philadelphia (You can literally put a dot in the center of the city and go out from there to find a marina.
The closest and easiest place for us to get to is the Delaware River. We would be able to get to the boat
every weekend and on holidays without issues. We have a marina selected already should we choose to keep the boat here and the marina is protected and many boats do not haul out
over the winter. My Chief concerns with keep the boat in the Delaware are that it has heavy commercial
traffic, the waters are not very clean and usually have debris that could damage the boat and also make swimming less safe. Pollution also makes it less ideal for swimming and fishing
out of the river. But for community and racing
on the river -- there is plenty to be had. So being close and the ability to be with other boaters are the advantages.
Then we could consider keeping the boat "down the shore" on the coast of New Jersey
. The advantages there are that we would have open ocean and coastal sailing available at will. We would also have the beaches and beach towns to visit while we are down there and we can use the boat as a residence on weekends. Anchorages
wouldn't be hard to come by. https://marinas.com/browse/anchorage/US/NJ/
Downside is that we would need to haul out
every winter and also less protection from hurricane
Our last thought is to keep the boat in the Chesapeake Bay
area. This is about 1:45-2:00 hours away form where we currently live. The bay, of course, is the center of US sailboating and we would have many qualified individuals available to work
on the boat. The waters are safer and cleaner than that of the Delaware. It offers ample protection from storms. There are plenty of places to drop anchor
. There are many beaches that we can visit with the girls and the dog.
I also think it is important to share they WHY we are doing this. We are multiple years into our plan to take sabbaticals from work
and spend a few years with out girls (who are now 7 1/2 and 5 1/5 years old). I am currently considering going two routes. Buying
a boat for the next 4 -5 years to keep on the Delaware and sail as much as possible. Our cash budget
for the boat is about $35k as we would sell the boat and need to buy something bigger once we decide to take our work sabbaticals and cast off. We would probably get 25%-50% more usage out of our boat because of simple proximity to its location just 2.5 miles away from our home in the city. If we were to keep a boat on the coast of New Jersey
or in the Chesapeake we would be able to buy a larger boat because of the marinas
that are available. (the Delaware doesn't really have much as far as marinas
are concerned when they get about 35 ft). We are certainly comfortable buying a more expensive boat and keeping it for the next 10+ years so that we do not have to go through the hassle of buying a small boat
down only to sell it a few years later to get something that will work for cruising with the family
. Our budget
here would be in the $60k range as a down payment plus whatever is needed to upgrade and maintain the vessel. We could go higher -- but we do not necessarily want to do that. So that would put our budget for a larger boat in the $250,000 range so that monthly payments are comfortable. (we do have the budget to have others do labor on the boat when needed as well) Another limiting factor is that I only get 3 weeks of vacation
a year plus your traditional holidays. Decembers are probably the busiest time of year.
Anyways, we are looking for advice
on what you have done and what you may do in our situation to maximize our time on the water
, but also make that time as enjoyable as possible. We want to be able to swim, fish
, and get to beaches.
If there is any further information that I can provide just let me know.
PS: Our sailing experience is exclusively on the Delaware river and sailing J-Boats in the 21-27 foot range. Clearly we do not own a boat at this time and use what the local yacht clubs have to offer.
PPS: I also recognize the privledge that we have in being able to even think about doing something like this as a family
. We are truly blessed.