I have thought a lot over the years about the old saying, “The best two days of a boat owners life are the days he buys and sells the boat.” While I would like to think it is because a great yacht broker can make the buying and selling process a lot of fun, realistically, it is because boat ownership brings creates a lot of good times, it also comes with its own unique challenges. Those of us who have long had our sea legs on and have an affinity for the water know that owning a yacht can be one life’s most rewarding accomplishments/Visiting remote ports, watching a sunset and spending quality time with family and friends are only a taste of the amazing benefits of owning a boat. So why are those times not “the best days?” I would like to offer my opinion on the matter.
At the end of a long work week, you decide you are going to go spend the weekend on your boat. Friday night comes; it’s been a long week you get down to the boat with the idea to take it out for a sunset cruise. The boat is a little dirty so you spend the next couple hours washing her down, and now she looks great. Problem is, sunset is in a few minutes and you are pretty tired after washing and detailing your boat. So you finally decide to relax and enjoy the boat in the slip. The next morning you decide to go down to the engine room to do your system and fluid level checks before heading out for a cruise. You find a couple minor things that need to be addressed so you head down to the Marine Store to pick up a few items. Next thing you know, it’s 2pm and you have been working on your boat all morning and part of the afternoon. Most of the day is gone, so you decide not to take the boat out and again, just enjoy her at the dock. The next day is Sunday and you don’t feel like taking her out and getting her all salty and have to wash her down again. The weekend is over and you didn’t get to “experience” your boat on the open water. Does this sound familiar? If so, you are not alone.
You may be asking yourself, as many current and prospective boat owners do after repeating this story, is it worth it? Well, if that’s where the story ended you would be right to question it. Fortunately there is an answer for this (unless, of course, you are one of the few but not uncommon people who love to work on their boats) and it comes with a clear understanding of what is involved with not only boat ownership, not only sitting in the slip but what to expect when you get out and use your boats.
Understanding your true cost of ownership and how you will enjoy your new boat are of the utmost importance. Are you someone that likes to tinker down in the engine room? Do you enjoy spending time trouble shooting miscellaneous issues that WILL come up no matter what boat you purchase? Or, are you the type of person that wants to get aboard and just go (or relax)? Somewhere in the middle? This is one of the first questions you will want to answer while considering your budget. In order to enjoy all the benefits (and more) described above, it takes a commitment to vessel maintenance, updates and upgrades. With prospective new owners as well as experienced yachtsmen looking to move up I offer to put together a pro forma to help estimate potential costs. No one has a crystal ball but the experience of a yacht manager, broker or other marine professional can help you to get a clear understanding of what you can expect and ultimately how to best set yourself up for an unparalleled ownership experience.
Finally, I recommend using an experienced yacht manager or management company that will look after your investment from stem to stern. There is cost to this but will allow you to actually enjoy your boat and not always be working on it. In the long run this will also help avoid costly yard bills due to neglect or just simple oversight. When properly cared for, there is nothing that can compare to yacht ownership, making all of your days on the water…the Best of Times.