Monthly Archives: July 2013

“I wanna boat.”

My friend bought a Catalina 36, a sturdy sailboat exactly the right size for cruising with family.  We sailed it this weekend, had a great time, and, as usual, my internal rogue compulsion to own things (see previous posts) began to cry, like a frustrated 2-year-old, “I want one!”

And, as usual, that urge made no sense.   There are sailing clubs in southern California that give you access to dozens of boats for $30 a month, plus $300 per day of actual use.  I’m in such a club, yet rarely find the time to use it.  Owning a boat, then, is a 100% guaranteed way to spend a ton of money with no concomitant increase in quality of life.

In general, renting is:

  • 10 times cheaper than owning (depreciation, maintenance, moorage).
  • Ties up no capital.
  • Predictable — no unexpected big costs.
  • No commitment — quit or rejoin anytime.
  • Flexible — choose from various boats in 4 ports at different price levels.
  • Time-efficient — no scrubbing decks, hiring repairmen, etc.

This tends to be true of other luxury items.  Don’t buy a vacation house — rent one through a site like VRBO, and stay in spectacularly nice places, anytime, anywhere in the world, with total flexibility and no commitment.  Don’t buy a Ferrari — rent one for a day, then rent a Maserati for a day next month, and so on.

So sensible.  Yet that immature little voice is still there.  I wanna boat.