Does Size Matter?
“Hey Krabby got time for a drink?” Said a voice from the foc’sle.
“Of Course, this must be a good question if you are starting out with a drink.”
“Well you know my family really enjoys being on the water and around the club, so I am trying to convince my husband to buy a bigger boat. Can you help me make a case for a move to a larger boat?”
First of all, I am a much happier answering technical question than family disputes; but since I am a sucker for a drink I will give it a shot.
Before we get started, I must admit it’s usually the husband begging for the larger boat, so he is a lucky man if she likes boats. So that’s where we should start. If your family is all about the yachting lifestyle, as your kids get older, you will want them to hang around. I have had several customers over the years acquire larger yachts to keep the kids around for a few more years. Some of them have kept their larger yacht after the kids have grown up to entertain the grandkids. Ok, I know that is a long way off, but it happens sooner than we know. Remember when we won the Ensenada Race on Sally and celebrated at Hussongs a 0800? That was 20 years ago! Get my point? Keep the family involved in a boat now. Time goes by faster than you think.
Find a boat that will keep the whole family engaged, but it should not be a burden financially. Also, it shouldn’t be too hard for just you and your husband to handle on your own. You might consider chartering different boats until you find the type of boat that works for your needs. Once you decide on a good fit then you will need to do your homework to figure the practical side of the ownership commitment.
Make a spreadsheet for the hard costs, like: insurance, slip rent, regular maintenance, etc. Then, add in the operational costs: larger boats use more fuel, have bigger sails to repair, more decks to swab, heads to clean… and more grog for the crew. You get the idea. Figure out comparatively what the added cost is relative to the value you will get.
Keep in mind that a boat gets a lot bigger by just adding a few feet. A 35 foot boat is huge compared a 30 foot boat. In simple terms, this is because the volume increases not just from length but beam and draft. So in some cases your potential new 35 footer may be twice as heavy. Think about this because with a larger boat it will be harder to fend off the dock, needs bigger anchor and ground tackle, needs more power to counter a headwind, and bigger sails and winches. To make up for the extra work, there is more room for kids, a head with a shower (with hot water), a stateroom for mom and dad, and of course my favorite feature, a bigger bar.
If a bigger boat keeps the kids engaged and potential grandkids around, then I don’t think you will have a hard time selling the idea based on good value. Take your time and carefully look over the facts before you buy more than you need.