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Monday, April 21, 2008

Entry for April 21, 2008

They call it 4-foot-itus. No matter what the size of your last boat, the next one has to be at least 4 feet longer. My original boat was 24 feet long by 8 feet wide.

The boat in the photo is a Marinette, 28 feet long by 11 feet wide, twin Chrysler engines, able to be piloted from the flybridge or from the main salon. It has an aluminum hull, which makes it light and a tad easier on gasoline consumption than a boat of the same size with a fiberglass hull. With the weight of the high flybridge, the light aluminum hull also makes it tippy in Lake Michigan’s bigger waves. Trying to dock it during a big wind can be an exercise in controlled-crashing because the light weight and the high profile of the flybridge make it easy to blow around. Still, it is a very tempting rig, made for fishing, cruising, and for use as a floating summer cottage. It has great potential to be genuine redneck yacht.

My savings would take a substantial hit to purchase the boat. The sum of the dock fees, insurance, winterization, winter storage fees, and routine maintenance could easily be $7,500 per year. Major repairs costs can be beyond imagination. Filling the fuel tank once is $500. It makes no fiscal sense at all. Then again, there is not much sense in being retired if you are not going to get a little nutty and enjoy yourself. It would make better fiscal sense to use the money to buy a winter home in Florida. Real estate USUALLY can be expected to gain value over time. Boats NEVER gain value.

Am I trying to talk myself into this or out of this? I really dunno.

To be continued, or not,

James A. Zachary Jr.

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