Some people call boats, “a hole in which you pour money into.” How can it be a good idea to buy a boat in this economy?
Let’s start by making it clear that FloatWays is not encouraging you to get into debt. In fact, owning a boat doesn’t mean you have to get into debt. There are plenty of affordable options out there. While many people need to feed their self-esteem with a car they can’t afford, a boat can be a little more inconspicuous. Having said that, let’s look at the reasons why it’s a good idea to own a boat these days.
1. You are working harder than ever. – This is true for the large majority of people that have a job. You are working harder than ever. When companies are looking to cut costs, they eliminate those that are not pushing more than their weight. Many folks that actually have a job that makes them decent money, are having to work even harder to ensure they keep it. Some, in order to be able to afford some luxuries, work extra hours or have more than one job. This basically helps proves the point. You are working harder than ever. You are busting yourself to make sure you make ends meet and have a bit of money leftover. If you are a boat lover, owning a boat even in these times is a good idea as personal compensation for the hard work you’re doing.
Plus, its not like things are really going to get any better any time soon. Stop waiting for the “right” time. It’s not the 1980’s or the 90’s. The 80’s and 90’s are over buddy. Owning a boat is a great thing and if you want one you’re simply going to have to accept the fact that life isn’t going to get any easier. Might as well, enjoy it. On a boat. Maybe not a big one, but a boat nonetheless.
2. Unite with your family (or your girlfriend). – If you have kids you know one could be playing Xbox all day, the other texting and the wife cooking, or out shopping. Even if the whole family is sitting together in the living room staring at a large screen, you very well know it’s not “quality time” spent together. However, put the entire family in a boat and unless one of the members is prone to jumping overboard, they are more inclined to enjoy their time together. They can learn to work together, cooperate, talk and spend quality time with each other. Maybe not at first, but enough time together in a boat can result in bonding relationships. Time spent fishing with your kids or cruising the lakes will not soon be forgotten. The new video game you just bought them will.
…you’re either going to lose the girl or the boat.
If you don’t have kids yet, a boat is one of the best places to spend time with your girlfriend or wife. So long as she likes boats too. If she doesn’t, sorry to break it out to you… It’s not going to work. Meaning: you’re either going to lose the girl or the boat. Take your pick. However, if you were lucky enough (or at least a bit “better than stupid”) you chose correctly and you can enjoy boating, sailing or fishing with your partner. No better way to escape the economic blues, especially if you both pitch in time and money to maintain the boat. Kinda like having kids don’t you think?
3. Girl’s dig boats. – If you are the bachelor type, there is not a whole lot of explaining to be done. You’ve probably figured out by now how much fun a boat can be. A hot girl might not be attracted by an economy $20,000 car (in “car luxury” terms) but even an economy boat is usually attractive to the opposite sex. Trust me, I know. My first boat was a $4,000 bow rider – Girl’s dig boats. So, don’t get into huge debt to buy an expensive car to impress the ladies. Spend half that and get a boat.
Next time you fail at getting a date, drop by your used boat dealer or check the classifieds and pick up a cool wakeboat. THEN call the girls. If you can’t get them on the boat then go cruise alone or take your buddies wakeboarding. That’s still better than spending your weekend at home in front of the computer playing World of Whatever.
If you’re a looking for boat romance, get a nice sailboat that you can sail single-handed while your girl relaxes in the cockpit. Nothing says romance like sunset under sail. For this scenario, a good comfortable cabin is probably a good luxury to have.
4. Classic skills and fun that never go out of style. – All the techy stuff like computers, smartphones and electronic entertainment gadgets depreciate FAST. It’s all a fad that’s never going to stop and will continue to get more competitive. At the same time, it gets really expensive if you try and keep up with the latest technological gadgets. Not good for your slow-economy-pocket is it? Why not say, “screw it,” and go have good ol’ fashion fun while learning skills that NEVER go out of style. Boating, sailing and fishing have been around for a long time. They are never going to be replaced by the next new fad.
…fancy chart-plotting GPS and fish-finders that tell you how many colors the fish below have.
Yes, there are plenty of technological advances for boats, like fancy chart-plotting GPS and fish-finders that tell you how many colors the fish below have. But, the fact of the matter is, you can have as much fun chop-hopping in a 20 foot 1985 Wellcraft cuddy-cabin runabout as you would in a boat the same size, nearly 30 years newer and 10 times as expensive. Go try and have some fun on one of the original beige Apple Macintosh computers from the 1980’s. Or how about playing with one of those old car cellphones that were so big you needed a backpack to carry them? Not much fun. An older, inexpensive boat is good, classic fun that will pull you out of the pointless rat race and impossible tech war and into a world of enjoyment, relaxation and rewarding fun that your new cutting-edge phone can simply not give you.
5. Actually save money. – Face it, you’re going to spend the money anyway. Boat or not. If it’s not the big flat-screen TV, it’s the car upgrades or the dirt bike. If not that, then the new computer, family trip or home remodel. You are going to find things to do and hobbies to sustain. No matter what the economy looks like people need their pastimes. So, why not approach boating as a way of actually saving money? For example, instead of spending the little cash you have left on the latest TV, phone or a trip to Disney. Put that money towards a nice older sailboat. Then, spend your weekend with the family sailing. Sailing saves gas. Short trips to the boat beat driving long distances to camp or to go to a theme park. Not to mention… your boat’s got free admission!
Take it a step further even… go fishing and lay the fresh catch on the BBQ off the rail in the evening. Thanks to that, dinner was free and a lot more fun than a sit down restaurant. Yes, a boat is going to cost money in upkeep, trailering or mooring, but if you buy the correct boat for your budget and do the research right, you can actually own it and use it quite affordably. Unless you’re wanting to make a bunch of upgrades. That’s when it gets pricey. So just avoid those. Instead of buying new sails to try and be 10 seconds faster in the next race, mend the ones you have. Simply focus on enjoying a good sailing afternoon even if the chances of winning the race are slim to none due to the holes and patches in your stretched-out mainsail.
Let’s not focus on sailboats alone. There are plenty of affordable motorboats in the 15-20 foots range that are great for families on a budget. If you manage to get a good deal on a boat with modern engine, inboard or outboard, that’s great because many of these modern engines are actually quite fuel-efficient. You might find the boat actually burns less gas than your SUV. Plus, if you buy the boat cash, or pay it off quick, you will have something that will last you for years to come. Even with the cost of maintenance, a boat that fits your budget properly can be less expensive to own than yearly family trips with airfare, theme park entrance fees and other entertainment.
Oh and don’t forget the incentives.
Due to the large amount of empty slips, moorings and dry-stack spaces, many marinas and harbors are offering great deals for you to keep your boat there. While many people are pulling their boats out and storing them in their garages or backyards, you can enjoy a cheaper monthly rent to keep the boat near the water. When a lot of sailors move their boats out to mooring balls to pay less rent, you can benefit from marinas scrambling to fill empty slips and obtain better pricing than usual.
It’s not the car dealers alone that are struggling to sell cars and offer incredible incentives to potential customers. Boat dealers are in the same boat (pun intended). Both boat manufacturers and dealers are offering great deals to get boat enthusiasts in the water and their paychecks moving along.
Used boats from private parties are even better. Remember how I suggested you not get in debt. Well don’t. There are plenty of ex-boaters that have been threatened to become ex-husbands if they don’t sell the boat. The market’s saturated, so the boats sell for less. The cool thing is you don’t have to feel like you’re benefiting from some ones else’s misfortune (unless of course the boat owner is selling because he lost his job). You are benefiting from the boat seller’s stupidity by choosing the wrong wife – Or his lack of strong will to offer to sell the wife that suggested he sell the boat in the first place!