Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by Meriachee, Mar 16, 2019. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Meriachee


    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,239 posts, 1,095 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    How long would you be prepared to leave your boat in your slip, unused? Or, put another way, if you were to use it, say, three times a year, for 5-6 days each time, what kind of issues (besides the obvious degradation, carpet growth, and the like) could be expected?

  2. jon hansen

    jon hansen

    Joined May 25, 2012
    1,924 posts, 1,591 likes
    john alden caravelle 42
    us sturgeon bay, wis
    i would lease/charter and pocket loads of cash. but that's just me

    Will Gilmore, jwing and Meriachee like this.
  3. Gunni


    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    5,943 posts, 1,486 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    I would give up my slip, and haul the boat. Launching when needed, and getting a transient slip if needed.

    Camchain and Parsons like this.
  4. dlochner


    Joined Jan 11, 2014
    3,594 posts, 1,658 likes
    Sabre 362
    113 US Fair Haven, NY
    If the boat starts in good repair, then I would not expect any significant issues that cleaning products and elbow grease couldn't fix.

    What I would be concerned about is keeping the boat secured in the slip and making sure the dock lines remain intact and do fray, chafe, or break. Will the boat continue to be on shore power? If not the batteries might be an issue.

    Is the marina a responsible marina that is will regularly check the boat for any problems? That would be very important. While the boat may be in good repair, stuff still happens, did the sail unfurl? A mainsail cover come loose? Scupper hoses get clogged?

    If the boat will be in hurricane territory, who will over see securing it against any damage?

    Finally, the spiders may not be amenable to your return.

  5. 31seahorse


    Joined Aug 2, 2005
    939 posts, 198 likes
    Celebrity Class 19
    US Penn Yan, NY (Seneca Lake SP)
    I like the charter idea, but if one is not in a great charter location finding a boat available for charter might be difficult. As example, we spent 5 weeks in Florida (late Jan to end of Feb, 2019). On the east coast at Stuart and on the west coast at Punta Gorda there were no options for private or individual charter of a sailboat. One person at a brokerage office I stopped at with my request had the following comment, "No one is going to charter their sailboat to you for a week of sailing unless you take a boat that is captained." Maybe it was just me he objected to!

    Back to Meriachee's question: (1) Perhaps you could charter your boat to others during the times you are not using it. Of course there are a boatload of complications therein. (2) I do know a real estate broker (remaining nameless) who is too busy to use his boat enough to warrant the slip fee. He used Air B&B to "rent" his boat as a place to stay. The boat does not leave the slip. Just a "sleep in a sailboat" stay.

    Will Gilmore likes this.
  6. Head Sail

    Head Sail

    Joined Nov 13, 2013
    462 posts, 153 likes
    Catalina 34
    US Tacoma
    +1 for Gunni on hauling. That's what I do. Somewhat less expensive to store on the hard even with haulout fees. If left in the slip I'd still have to have a diver clean the bottom and replace zinc and eventually paint. On the hard I can do all that myself prior to launch and have a nice fast bottom to start the season.

  7. shemandr


    Joined Jan 1, 2006
    3,939 posts, 895 likes
    Marblehead Skiff 14'
    US Greenport, NY
    I would already be puckered at 1 month. For over two weeks I'd probably want someone to check on it. Geeze I just left my boat on the hard for 4 months and had a minor disaster - flooded with rain water -and with a cover on it! Boatyard workers have told me that boats like attention. The ones left on their own don't do well on average.

  8. Terry Cox

    Terry Cox

    Joined Dec 25, 2000
    3,729 posts, 530 likes
    Hunter Passage 42
    US Shelter Bay, WA
    Agree Andrew. Aside from the three plus months of cruising during the year, Belle-Vie gets a check every two weeks during the slower months just to make sure. We cruise year around and have had some of our best times on the water during the winter.

    A cruising friend of ours kept their trawler in our local marina. No details yet, but their boat sank while in the slip. Stuff happens and when it does, many times just a regular check will catch issues before they become major.

  9. capta


    Joined Jun 4, 2009
    3,046 posts, 1,098 likes
    Pearson 530
    na Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
    We won't leave our boat in the water unattended even overnight, but she's our home and everything we own is aboard.
    Realistically speaking, a lot of your systems will degrade rather quickly from a lack of use, in the water or out. Better to sell her and rent a boat when you want one.

  10. Davidasailor26


    Joined May 17, 2004
    1,652 posts, 401 likes
    Beneteau Oceanis 37 LE
    US Havre de Grace
    I'm not sure those of us in less tropical climates would agree. Our boats sit unused for 5+ months each year without issue. Admittedly they're winterized beforehand, but still...

  11. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    3,603 posts, 1,320 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    Since we live 3 miles from our boat, the Admiral gets worried after 2 weeks unattended.
    We live at Hurricane Katrina ground zero.
    We just did spring cleaning on the exterior, spring engines maintenance, new zincs, etc.
    We need the elbow grease, cleaning products, resorting of tools in the right places etc.

    For us, the Marina, is a nice place to meet others in the boating sport!!

  12. deltaten


    Joined Feb 1, 2014
    62 posts, 13 likes
    Watkins 27
    US North East, MD
    My marina is a family-owned/run business for the last 90 some years. Staff is hard working, conscientious, honest and friendly. I have no qualms about leaving my boat unvisited for the off season.
    I wouldn't be there otherwise.

  13. RoyS


    Joined Jun 3, 2012
    473 posts, 187 likes
    Hunter 33
    US Bay Pointe, Quincy
    Be sure to tell your marina neighbors that you do not object to their going onboard your boat when you are not there. I tell them if there is a halyard slapping or anything out of the ordinary, come aboard and adjust as necessary. With that kind of invitation they should not feel timid about adjusting a dock line or whatever.

    31seahorse and Gene Neill like this.
  14. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    3,603 posts, 1,320 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    Another reason to check on your boat in a Marina....:yikes:

    jon hansen likes this.
  15. Ralph Johnstone

    Ralph Johnstone

    Joined Jan 4, 2006
    2,466 posts, 301 likes
    Hunter H-310
    CA West Vancouver, B.C.
    This doesn't apply to you, I trust ? ? ?

    Meriachee likes this.
  16. Meriachee


    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,239 posts, 1,095 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    No chance man. I thoroughly get the concept of wet and unused as it applies to the lower mainland. Besides a stealth factor, the green probably adds a certain slimy lube characteristic to the lines. Eeeew

  17. jssailem


    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    8,985 posts, 3,902 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    What is that @JamesG161 a southern cousin to the Loch Ness Monster? :yikes:

    It is difficult to leave my boat for weeks on end. It helps to have friends in the marina on the dock to do an occasional visual check. They have my phone number and we chat. I make the trip (250 miles) at least every 5-7 weeks. Sometimes for a couple of days other times for a week or two. It is uplifting to see the boat is still afloat in her slip.

    Do I use her as much as I went golfing? Yes. If I collected cars would the boat use and work be similar, I suspect yes.

    Adding up the marina costs over the past year it about equals what my golf club membership ran. I don’t miss golf. I love the boat experience.

    Boats are all about maintenance. Use of good materials helps to keep her operational.

    Now that I am mostly retired, my wife has announced my travel itinerary for next year. Our travel budget will be greater than a couple of new sails.

    I may need to find a retirement job. Is Walmart still hiring greeters?

    StargazerP303 likes this.
  18. All U Get

    All U Get

    Joined Oct 2, 2008
    2,900 posts, 556 likes
    Pearson/ 530
    US Strafford, NH
    Same here as we’re on our boat ten months out of twelve. Some folks are opting for tiny cameras to view their boat while away, mine just calls to me when I’m sleeping.

  19. JamesG161


    Joined Feb 14, 2014
    3,603 posts, 1,320 likes
    Hunter 430
    US Waveland, MS
    I got a great idea for you!!
    Become your Marina's manager!!
    and hire out as a boat maintenance consultant.
    Then become a Monitor on SBO and use all the real expert's advice.:clap:
    In addition, become a near term weather forecaster, like "Rufus" [inside info for PNW boaters].:)

    Headhunter in Chief...

    jssailem likes this.
  20. Meriachee


    Joined Aug 1, 2011
    3,239 posts, 1,095 likes
    Catalina 270
    CA Wabamun - on the orange ball
    Personally I like it, but it doesn't help the original question (which is somewhat loaded, as they say) the individual looking at purchasing said boat lives 800+ miles away. What insight I'd like to garner from this topic is what those of you who are far away from your boat actually have in place to attend to things that can, and unexpectedly do, go off the rails.

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