Jump to content

Buy or not to buy a 40ft sail boat - where to keep it?


Recommended Posts

The question really is. I  plan to travel the pacific coast and possibly complete a passage to Hawaii starting next year. Now, I want to prepare the boat by getting it ready and practice on it. I have the time and money {somewhat!). But where do I keep it while do this. I don't want to pay rediculous slip fees. I don't think I need it. When my wife wants the live aboard experience I can rent a slip for the weekend end. 

So I want to know what anchorage option are available....and yes I would have a dingy and would mind using it and dealing with the storage problems. Any advise would help.

Sincerely,

Pre-retiring-wannabe-sailor 

Link to post
Share on other sites

In SoCal there are no options that are viable. Yes, there are a few anchor out areas, but ALL of them are open to southerly storms - all those beaches collect a few boats each winter. In San Diego & Newport Bch  there are some mooring fields, but you pay maintenance on them, and you must either buy them (Newport) or get on a waiting list (SD).

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't have enough from "real estate investing" to afford a slip then don't buy a boat that large.   Get a 30ft'er'ish that you can afford to keep as close to you as possible in a slip so you can actual use it and find out if sailing is for you.   Don't start with a 40ft'er.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Your first sailing lesson:

A boat will cost you about 10-15% of the purchase cost each year to own. I have owned trailer boats and they are not even immune to this math either. Doing the work yourself will not make you immune to this math. Any rationalization you can conjure in your head as to how it will be different for you will not make you immune to this math.

Your second sailing lesson:

Wear a life jacket.

 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, rustylaru said:

Your first sailing lesson:

A boat will cost you about 10-15% of the purchase cost each year to own. I have owned trailer boats and they are not even immune to this math either. Doing the work yourself will not make you immune to this math. Any rationalization you can conjure in your head as to how it will be different for you will not make you immune to this math.

Your second sailing lesson:

Wear a life jacket.

 

 

Brilliant & true...  my slip fees in CT make people have a heart attack...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you inquiring about living on the boat, or finding a mooring for long term? You could make this work in the PNW if aboard most of the time. We have lots of protected anchorages, but no mooring fields. You would need a solid anchoring set up and be ready  to move around to shelter from storms. Also be ready for our wet, dark, and cold winters, but we do sail year round. There are lots of big and small marinas to duck into for provisioning. I am not recommending this, it is dark for 15 hours a day mid winter, and damp 24 hours a day 9 months a year, but it could be done.

As for docks, the deals are better away from the big cities. Olympia, Bellingham will be $100's less than the big Seattle options, but still 400+ a month. Another option is less convient spots, like on the wrong side of the Ballard locks or Duwamish waterway (a former superfund pollution site, don't eat the 2 headed fish).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Economically the smart way to do this is almost never done. Probably because the whole premise of sailing is irrational. Smartest would be to not buy any boat now. Find a way to take sailing and boat handling lessons on somebody else's boat. Then wait until you are fully ready to go cruising. Saving your money by not paying for storage and maintenance. Then about a month before departing on your cruise buy a boat that is mostly ready to go. Settle the last details and just go. 

(Yeah, I know...I'll let myself out.)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Teamsolorzano said:

The question really is. I  plan to travel the pacific coast and possibly complete a passage to Hawaii starting next year. Now, I want to prepare the boat by getting it ready and practice on it. I have the time and money {somewhat!). But where do I keep it while do this. I don't want to pay rediculous slip fees. I don't think I need it. When my wife wants the live aboard experience I can rent a slip for the weekend end. 

So I want to know what anchorage option are available....and yes I would have a dingy and would mind using it and dealing with the storage problems. Any advise would help.

Sincerely,

Pre-retiring-wannabe-sailor 

You cannot, repeat, cannot easily prep a boat at a mooring. The border is opening back up, maybe keep it south of the border...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

You cannot, repeat, cannot easily prep a boat at a mooring. The border is opening back up, maybe keep it south of the border...

There's always Richardson Bay!

 

https://medium.com/the-ark-newspaper/on-tour-of-richardson-bay-anchorage-bohemian-lifestyle-hard-to-find-48db0e596286

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Raz'r said:

You cannot, repeat, cannot easily prep a boat at a mooring

Why not? What does a dock offer except maybe a more stable platform to get heavy objects aboard?

Power - you have a some solar panels and an inverter to run your power tools. 

Water - well if you are living aboard you'll need to find water for yourself anyway on a regular basis anyway

I've done a LOT of stuff at anchor. Including building an 11' daggerboard and a new rudder on the foredeck.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Why not? What does a dock offer except maybe a more stable platform to get heavy objects aboard?

Power - you have a some solar panels and an inverter to run your power tools. 

Water - well if you are living aboard you'll need to find water for yourself anyway on a regular basis anyway

I've done a LOT of stuff at anchor. Including building an 11' daggerboard and a new rudder on the foredeck.

Ok, stated differently. If you’re working and have limited time, the time spent shuttling back and forth with significantly impact your projects…

 

and I think your foredeck is the size of a single car garage…

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are some sub-40 footers, permanently moored on the Willamette, with more on their foredecks than I have in my 2 car garage.

The line between homeless and liveaboard is blurring.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my foredeck was about badminton court. But a J boat doesn't have a 11' daggerboard so no worries for him.

I see your point however. But 5 minutes to get ashore doesn't seem like lots of time unless you keep forgetting to buy a screw and have to make multiple trips ashore during the day to buy stuff.

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Zonker said:

I think my foredeck was about badminton court. But a J boat doesn't have a 11' daggerboard so no worries for him.

I see your point however. But 5 minutes to get ashore doesn't seem like lots of time unless you keep forgetting to buy a screw and have to make multiple trips ashore during the day to buy stuff.

That would be me, yes....

Link to post
Share on other sites

I met a guy who built a 36' catamaran on Kodiak island. His nearest neighbors were an Inuit village about 20 miles away by boat.

Everything (including drums of resin) had to come via US Post. Taking weeks.

"Fuck I need a 1" screw...."  Talk about planning in advance!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2021 at 4:59 AM, Teamsolorzano said:

The question really is. I  plan to travel the pacific coast and possibly complete a passage to Hawaii starting next year. Now, I want to prepare the boat by getting it ready and practice on it. I have the time and money {somewhat!). But where do I keep it while do this. I don't want to pay rediculous slip fees. I don't think I need it. When my wife wants the live aboard experience I can rent a slip for the weekend end. 

So I want to know what anchorage option are available....and yes I would have a dingy and would mind using it and dealing with the storage problems. Any advise would help.

Sincerely,

Pre-retiring-wannabe-sailor 

You want to do just what every other boat owner in So Cal is already doing but they are paying through the nose to do it and you want to do it cheap. not going to happen. you might have to change your plans a bit.  owning a boat means you are forever getting it ready to sail and practicing 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

It's nearly impossible in SoCal where -- to prevent exactly what you're trying to do -- every harbor has limits on how many days you can stay per month, or whatever. And don't think they don't talk to each other!

In the PNW or the Southeast it's a lot easier, still a free-for-all in some places.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

As Longy said, there are really no viable anchorages in SoCal for what you want to do. The cheapest slips I know of in So Cal are in the Wilmington area of the inner LA Harbor.  It's pretty industrial around there, but felt safe when I visited a friends boat. It just takes awhile to get to open ocean. CYM Wilmington 40' slips run $500/mo, Yacht Haven Marina slips run $476/mo. Going down to 35' gets you down to about $420/mo at both of those. Compare that to CYM Port Royal in King Harbor, Redondo Beach, which just raised its rates for 40' slips to $1100/mo... ouch.

If you want live-aboard... all of these go way up, if available at all.

Edited by mvk512
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2021 at 10:19 AM, rustylaru said:

Your first sailing lesson:

A boat will cost you about 10-15% of the purchase cost each year to own. I have owned trailer boats and they are not even immune to this math either. Doing the work yourself will not make you immune to this math. Any rationalization you can conjure in your head as to how it will be different for you will not make you immune to this math.

Your second sailing lesson:

Wear a life jacket.

 

 

Only 15%?! That's getting off light... 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Only replying to this because when I was first starting out I had a lot of questions like this, and never saw any comprehensive answers via google search results. Maybe this will help out some aspirational 20 year old doing their own research.

In the bay area, occasionally you'll see 22-35' boats anchored out illegally. Any halfway safe anchorage is claimed by some municipality, and the harbormaster will eventually drive you out. Richmond bay has some folks "grandfathered in" but for the most part you can get 2-3 days if you're quiet, two weeks periodically if you're really lucky. Harbor masters will turn a blind eye if you're a special case. In theory you could rotate though several anchorages, one each night but that's not realistic. What SV Delos does with anchoring out for free in the third world, is not possible in the US under any kind of significant timeline.

As was pointed out, there's only a handful of anchorages on the west coast that are sheltered from the winds out of the north, and they're completely open to the south, so eventually your boat will get washed ashore in a winter storm coming from the south.

You can still get a 40' slip at emeryville marina or brisbane marina (sf bay)for under $450, but if $500 slip fees are causing grief for your budget, probably look at something smaller like a 25 or 30' boat. 27 feet seems to be the sweet spot for usable size and cost of upkeep. If inflation keeps up at all, it'll be rare in a year or two to see a 40' slip under $700.

We paid about $65k for our 35' boat and over the last five years have averaged about $25,500 in total slip fees. And then another $15,000 in routine maintenance. Buying/financing the boat is only the beginning of the financial adventure.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I could not skip the anchorage option in this comment.  I would not advise anyone in middle age to begin an serious sailing adventure when properly preparing and managing a new boat off the hook. I kinda think dock fees are part of the costs of getting ready.   You will want the relationships that you build while preparing the boat to have legs of connection and assistance which will play forward.

I pay 280 a month for a 30 foot slip in Alameda. Security, parking, power and water are included.  Routine maintenance averages 3000 a year (haul outs, rigging and a new sail program built into that).  insurance is 450. State fees runs 120. 

Richmond is about 20 dollars more a month.  I prefer Alameda. There are fewer places on the west coast even now that are so good a place to sail, race, keep and enjoy your boat. Marin’s Sausalito yacht harbors are very nice too but logically a little tougher.  Alameda  is a great walking distance to stores, restaurants and 10 min bike ride to the one of the largest chandleries on the coast.  If you were preparing for a pacific transit to cruise or race - there are few places better.  Then there is Vallejo… The PNW and San Diego have merits too but still not the same.  

I’ll let others tell you why it is not but they are bullshitting themselves and you.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK here goes,

  1. First there is no easy way to own a keeler that is low cost in any western country.
  2. Whatever you pay for a boat, its only the first installment of  many many more with no way of amortising costs.
  3. The most expensive boat you will ever own is a free one, and the most expensive boat you can find of the model you like will be the cheapest
  4. On ANY boat much over 34 feet (magic number) one man will struggle to keep it maintained without some ongoing professional help whether it be engine servicing, electrics, painting or whatever unless you make it more of less a part time job, about a day a week. Talk to any cruiser- they go sailing between doing maintenance in exotic places.
  5. Sail prices increase exponentially as you go up in size and they wear out, you do not want to replace a suite of sails on a 40 ft boat if you are "pre retiring"
  6. $1000 = one boat dollar, sub 34 you will be spending 2-4 boat dollars on a main, 10-15 dollars on a new engine install but on a 40  6-8 boat dollars on a main and 15-20 boat dollars on an engine. 
  7. Get used to spending about 10-20  boat dollars a year on your 40 to keep it sharp
  8. Learn to sail or if you can sail, get experience on a 40 foot boat by crewing, its free and if you're any good there is no shortage of spots.
  9. There is no cheap or easy way to own a 40 foot boat for a pre-retiree unless you go shares

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...