A Boat That Will Get Used – Part One

Boat defined:  A hole in the water into which vast amounts of money is poured. – Everyone

Best day for boat owners:  Day of purchase and the day you get rid of it. – Also everybody.

I’ve noticed a pattern with boats.  They get used a lot for the first few weeks, then usage falls off dramatically, ending with at least a year of virtually no use.

What happens?

The more hassle it is to sail a boat, the less likely they will get used.  I just bought an O’Day Daysailer, one of about 15,000 of these 17 footers made.  $500 including a trailer, two sets of sails, and a protective cover, which if ordered new would be more than $500 on its own.  Better yet, it came with dry storage at a local community sailing center, one with a two-year waiting list.  It’s also a short bike ride away from my house.

The seller assured me it could be launch as a single-hander, but that just isn’t so.  You see, no cars allowed. All hand launching.  There is an old block and tackle system available to pull the boat up the old naval seaplane ramp, but I am so close to being maxed out while doing it as to be dangerous. The boat and trailer are almost too much for one person… maybe even two. There is no room for anything other than perfection in the process.  Too much wind… slipping… god knows what else… and I’d be stuck.  At best.  I’ve ordered a second winch, one that would be mounted on the trailer and should allow me to stand at the trailer and winch the boat up the ramp.  If this works well, I should be OK.  If not, the boat will be a hassle and just won’t get used, turning a great bargain into a hole in the water… but in this case a whole in the dry storage lot.  I am optimistic, but still uncertain.  I’ll keep you updated.

Which brings me to my next boat build.  I’d planned on building a shantyboat, a design I call the H.W. Taunt, based upon an English canal boat from 1880.  It is a lovely boat, but for me to use it I will need to borrow a truck.  And storage will most likely be more than an hour away, the price one pays for affordable storage.

So after all the cost and effort of building, will I use it in the long haul?

Maybe… but I need to keep thinking about that a bit.

Which got me thinking about a small sailboat.  What if I could find a design that can cartop on my Prius and be launched by myself?  Now, I’d like to be able to camp aboard, just me.  Is this possible?

Well, what about N.E.D., the camping expedition dinghy from CLC Boats?

I think it is a contender. More in part-two.

 

One Comment

  1. Please don’t put your sail up without the battens in, it will stretch the leach badly. Secondly there is no way you will get a NED on the roof of your car. The boat will have to weigh less than 100 lbs to achieve that. Also you will need a rig with spars that can be placed in the boat after it is on the roof.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.