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Boatlife 101

Does your dream boat reflect your dreams?

It can be challenging to determine what kind of boat you are searching for and it can be demanding to decide what you want without knowing what is out there. Still, it is crucial to set yourself some boundaries to avoid getting lost in the vast boat market and make sure you get the boat you want. These boundaries do not have to be very narrow and can include some seemingly random stuff. For example, when we looked for our dream sailboat, Michael had a vast tech dream list, while I did mostly care for 3 things:

  • a bed I could get into from the side (knowing we would live on the boat I wanted to avoid having to crawl in from the top or bottom every day)
  • Comfy sitting and laying positions in the cockpit ( I knew we would be spending most of our time there)
  • And a decent galley as we love cooking.

For many sailors, those preference points might sound irrelevant. But after 3 years, I am still super happy that we had those 3 things on our list, and you have no idea how many sailors do agree with my wishlist points after living on a boat for a year or more.

What factors impact your choice?

Factors that you should take into account when defining the type and size of your future boat are:

  • People: How many people will you regularly have on board? Will you use the boat to offer charter holidays, or will only your immediate family and friends share the space with you? Do you even want to have other people on your sailboat or will it only be you? The amount of people on board does not only impact the size of the boat but especially the sailing set up. How sheets, sails and winches are arranged in a cockpit impacts the amount of sailors you need on board. If you want to use the boat to teach sailing classes it is preferable to have multiple places on the boat where people can handle the sheets and be active. A single-handed sailor will prefer to have all in one place.
  • Location: Where will you be using the boat. On a lake, the sea or even the ocean? Are you planning to boat on waterways? What kind of requirements will the boat have to meet to do that? Do you intend on sailing in the Nordics or the tropics? The location can impact the draft your boat can feature. ForTuna has a 1.9m (6.3 ft) draft which is amazing for most locations. But if we ever decide to make the Bahamas our main sailing destination we would definitely need a boat with less draft. On the other hand your location or future destinations can impact the sail set up you are looking for. Do you intend on crossing oceans and sailing with the wind? Finding a sailboat with Spinnaker might be your goal. Do you prefer to sail along the Mediterranean coast? A heavy wind jib might be your focus to handle the prevailing winds in the Mediterranean Sea. There are some requirements such as sail setups which can be upgraded in a second stage, however changing the draft of a boat is not a choice.
  • Storage: Will you live the whole year on the boat, or do you need to store it for long periods? Will you be staying at anchor or will the boat be most of the times in marinas? If you keep your boat at the marina, boat size will likely impact monthly storage costs. When buying a boat you should always have an eye on future maintenance costs. We would hate for you to find your dream boat only not to be able to keep up with marina and maintenance cost once you own it. Moreover, depending on your location, the boat might need extra winter storage.
  • Towing: Do you intent to tow the boat on your own? If you are trailering your boat, keep in mind that the size of boat will directly impact the size of the vehicle needed to tow it.

New or second hand? 

This is probably the decision which will primarily impact your wallet. A new boat will always require a bigger budget. However, it opens up a world of personalisation you do not have on a second-hand boat. If you go for a second-hand boat, you will have to compromise. It will be almost impossible to find a boat with everything on your list as it was built for someone with a different wishlist. On the other side, a second-hand boat will experience a smaller value decrease over the years as the significant value loss happens within the first year. Moreover, going for a second-hand boat means you might have more money left in your wallet to get those boat projects done. 

If you decide to go for a new boat, please be aware that the initial offer very probably is far away from what the boat will cost you in the end. New boats are like empty shells that need to be outfitted. If you would like to have a closer look at all the hidden costs of buying a new boat, we can recommend this YT video.

cover page boatlife finance

how much does a boat cost?

Find your dream sailboat

To best understand which sailboat is your dream boat, start with this question:

what do I want to do with my dream boat?

Does your focus lay on sailing, water sports or boat holidays? Do you have a business goal you would like to achieve, such as a charter or sailing school? Do you intend on sailing the world or staying close to your home port? Once you have figured out the primary purpose of your dream sailboat, go through the different impacting factors we mentioned above. Write it all down and start looking for your dream boat!

If you have more questions about how to find your dream sailboat feel free to reach out to us and send us an email! We hope you like the blog post and found useful information for yourself. If you don’t want to miss out on our next blog subscribe now to our newsletter our follow @whensailing on most social media platforms.

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By Salty Greta

My passion for travel and nature has led me to live on a Sailboat. From there I share my passion with all of you to inspire you to follow your dreams, whatever they might be.

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