Saturday, March 18, 2017

3 footitis...

It's a malady many boat and RV owners experience: going up or down in size of their conveyance, always searching for "the ideal."

Today, on one of the boating forums I read, there was a discussion on why there were so many used boats of a particular brand for sale.

My response:

Often, "the dream" isn't the same as the reality. The boat brochures don't show wave heights at the top of the cabin, the dog falling between the boat and the dinghy, the first mate puking in the head, or the skipper confused about what that upcoming nav aid means. :D Nor do the high end motor coach ads show the sewer hose popping loose from the connection, I-10 across Louisiana, sitting in a truck repair place while a guy with greasy boots walks through your coach, or the fact that most RV sites can't accommodate a 45' coach, AND the converted box van in the next site with 6 kids, 4 dogs, and a rooster.

Of course, those things didn't happen to us... we don't have a dog... and a cat is easier to fish out between the dock and the boat... except for those razor-sharp claws and teeth.

It all depends on how each couple handles the reality. 8-)

Some people need a piece of dirt somewhere with a place to keep their stuff. Some never intended to do extended boat cruising or RV traveling... but, found out they enjoy it so much that they wanted something bigger so they could stay out longer.

The reality is NEVER as carefree as the ads, and those who go into it knowing that have a much better chance of buying the right conveyance. We have had a bunch of boats and RVs... there is something to the saying: buy your third boat first. Meaning: knowing the difference between how you think you will use it and how you will really use it. Many people get a boat with the idea that grandkids, friends, (insert your crowd choice here) will want to cruise with you... that is rarely the case. By the time kids are 12, family (parents and grandparents) are embarrassing and they'd rather be with their friends. Friends and neighbors have other things they want to do with their weekend... and they sure aren't going to be around when it's time to wax the hull or pay for maintenance.

Most boats and RV are best utilized by... a couple. You often need two people to get them parked (docked), and even 40' is too small after a fine Mexican meal.

So, buy the boat that the two of you will use. Make sure it is big enough that you can take care of your daily needs (a real potty, shower, meal prep, comfortable places to sit, a comfortable bed, and storage for your stuff), but small enough that the two of you can handle it. And, understand that as you age, you will get smarter about how to handle it, but there will be some physical things you could do a year or two ago (insert eye roll here) that you can't do now.

And, because of all that, we move up or down... thinking that 3 more feet will be "all we will ever need"... or 3 less feet will be easier to handle. And that is what keeps boat and RV manufacturers busy, and creates a good used market.


For the record, we are still in the desert southwest, in our motorhome.  Living in "a van down by the river"... except, the Aspect is a little bigger than a van, and there is no nearby river.  Altough, there is an irrigation ditch at the far end of the park, away from where we are.

And, I'm kinda missing my boat.  Yeah, our little boat.  And the dolphins.  But, the motorhome and the boat are just the right size.  ;-)


Hudson River Boater said...

There's always enough space for a Boat in the right Anchorage-- There's also always enough space to park a Snowmobile in.. Thank the Lord I have neither anymore..

Always enjoy reading your Blog Cap'n. Thanks for sharing.

Captain Jim and the Blonde said...

Thanks, HRB. We have a (little) boat, but it won't be spending the night in an anchorage. Plenty of room for it at our dock, though. I'll have to go with you on the snowmobile thing - too cold and too much work for me. Say, there's another plan: put a snowmobile on a trailer and go south until someone asks, "What is that?" Settle in. ;-)