It has been fun to look at how some others have been able to make the loop happen. Here are a few of our current plans, from a financial perspective.
As is the case when you are several years out, the plans are fluid. They are “written in sand” and easily changed.
Since we paid off the house last year, we’ve been actively saving into our boat fund. You can see our progress on our handy-dandy chart.
When we first started looking at the prices of boats, in 2012 or so, the recession still had the country in its grip and it looked like we could get a used boat that would meet our needs in the $80,000 range, no problem. Many were tens of thousands less than that.
As time has passed, it seems the very same boats that were selling for $80,000 then are going for even higher now, even though the boats are quite a bit older. So, we’ve increased the target for our boat fund.
In a perfect world, we would spend no more than $100,000 for a boat that doesn’t need major work. It would be nice to not take on debt. We’ll start looking seriously in 2022 or 2023.
We are hoping for something no more than 40’ long, just to keep the cost of maintenance and marinas in the reasonable range. We don’t mind going slow. We’d prefer a cockpit and no ladder to climb. Diesel.
There are many boats that, at first glance, meet our criteria… until you factor in head room.
Not bridge clearance…head room. Standing on the floor with shoes on and not having your head touch the ceiling kind of head room.
Six feet, six inches of head room to be exact.
It’s not the kind of problem most people have to take into consideration. My dad was the tallest in our family at just under six feet, and I never heard about having to consider head room when buying vehicles until I married into a family of basketball players.
We noticed it on our Bayliner 2850 Sunbridge, which had an excellent layout for a smaller boat. There was only one spot in the galley where Lance could stand upright. At the end of a two week trip his back would hurt from having to continually slump. Being able to stand upright is right at the top of our list of must-haves.
The intersection of budget and boat length and head room narrows the playing field.
There are some great boats in the desired length with plenty of headroom but which are outside the price range. Great Harbor, Kady Krogen, Nordhaven, Manatee.
There are boats in the desired price range and length which don’t have the headroom. Almost any Taiwanese trawler, Grand Banks, really too many to list.
The longer boats usually have good headroom, but don’t meet the length or budget criteria. Almost any ~50’ semi-displacement has adequate headroom , like the Bayliner 4788, which we see a lot of up here in the Seattle area.
Two models which seem to hit the sweet spot (although maybe pushing the budget a bit) are the Mainship 400 and the Bayliner 4087.
We have not been able to walk on a Mainship 400 yet, but the literature seems promising.
We’re planning to attend the 2020 Spring AGLCA Rendezvous and we’re looking forward to the Looper Crawl to be able to get on boats and see if there are any new contenders.
That’s our plan. Written in sand.