Friday, August 14, 2015

Boat logistics

Right now it makes sense for me to own a sailboat that can be trailered. My van with its 7.3 turbo diesel can tow just about anything ment to be towed. A little 19 foot O'day sailboat is barely noticeable.

There is much to be said for having a boat that can be towed to prime sailing grounds. Leaving the frosty north in December and being able to launch in warm Gulf of Mexico waters a few days later is nothing to sneeze at. A sailboat making the trip by water from New England better leave no later than early October and be prepared for some cold weather.

It sounds easy to hitch up a boat and sail south -and it is. Once you get there things can be iffy. In spite of Florida having numerous boat ramps, finding long term economical storage for a tow vehicle can be problematic. Most boat ramps do not allow overnight parking. Those that do have time limits, usually not more than three days.

There are private marinas and boat ramps that do allow long term parking, but for a price. Some are reasonable, others, not so much. It may take some searching to find one that fits your individual needs. I'm fortunate that my dad's place in Florida has room for my tow vehicle.

One of my concerns is what to do when the van finally wears out. Frankly, I can't afford to replace it. It might make sense to keep a trailer sailer boat in Florida and pay someone to launch it. There are even climate controlled storage buildings built to withstand hurricane force winds.

What if I someday don't want to trailer my sailboat anymore? There are some great deals on larger boats that can't be trailered. I've discovered that rather than store a boat in high priced Florida, some people keep them at marinas further north in the Carolinas or Virginia.

Of course, the thing that makes the most sense is to live on a boat full time. All you have to worry about is the boat: no house or car worries, plus not much room to collect stuff. In the near to mid term we'll be doing the snowbird thing and continue to be part time live aboards. While that complicates the heck out of things it's worth doing.



  1. As a person ages, and bikes become a bother, perhaps a pair of little motor-scooters could fit aboard a larger boat.

  2. I've seen boats with full sized motorcycles and the crane to move them to shore. However, electric bicycles have come a long way and that might be a more reasonable solution.