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Old 02-19-2012, 11:30 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Posts: 34
Camping compared to Yachting

I've always wonderd how owning a large boat (like a 33' aft cabin) would compare to a camper. Has anyone made the switch, either way, before? How do some of the yacht clubs with nice facilitys compare to campgrounds?

The advantage to a boat would be more short get aways, maybe even a night after work and more city night life. Disadvantage would be (I think) less family friendly and (I think) it might get boring more quickly and you would see the same areas over and over.

I'm most interested in boating in the great lakes.

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Old 02-19-2012, 12:01 PM   #2
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Location: Texas
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We made the switch

We made the switch when I retired. We were members of a fractional ownership boat club out of Kemah, Texas for several years, and then resigned from the club and bought a travel trailer about two years ago. As you noted the boat was better for more short trips; sometimes just hitting the water after work and spending the night on the boat. Our trips were mostly in the bay around Kemah or down to Galveston (about 30 miles) to spend a night or two. Being in a club, we were assigned to one boat, but many times went with friends on a different boat that they were assigned to so we were able to be on both power and sail boats. In a place like the Galveston Bay area some hotels have boat slips that they rent by the night; many resturants have docking space and the marinas are great places just to hang out and visit for the evening. The boats in the club ranged from 26' to 45'. We liked the "fractional ownership" model that the club used.

I am not trying to talk anyone out of their RV however. In our case we decided we would like to take some more extended distance trips after retirement and that was the motivator for switching to the trailer. Everything we did on the water was fun and relaxing, however, and we have not given up the idea to go back to the boat after we get the urge to roam longer distances out of our system. Several months ago I added up our estimated total costs for both endeavors in a typical year and they came out about the same.


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Old 02-19-2012, 01:21 PM   #3
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I hadn’t thought about the ability to do short trips. We can do lots short trips in our trailer, but we’re limited to where we can “anchor" our trailer. However, we do get full hookups, which I don’t think are as available for boats. How do boats deal with fresh water, electricity, and sewage?

I also think that some of the joy of boats is from the sailing itself, where that isn’t as much the case with lugging a trailer around.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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We didn't make a "switch" from boating to RVing --- we just jettisoned our 30 ft power boat. After having owned boats for several years, we learned that, unless you have very deep pockets, it is like a hole in the ocean into which you throw money. The cost of moorage fees, maintenance, repairs, and fuel can be prohibitive - especially salt water boating.
Marinas are nice but can be expensive depending upon where you decide to dock - just like RV parks. Many boaters, including myself, enjoyed mooring/anchoring rather than going into marinas - something like dry camping in a way.
Many marinas have pump outs so you can get rid of your waste, plug into electricity and hook up to water and, in some cases, cable TV and the internet.
In boating, the journey from A to B is what makes it enjoyable, not the destination. In camping, it is almost the reverse although you can sit back and also enjoy the scenery along the way. The journey is more work - especially if you sail - but sailors do not think of it as "work" and is open to more adventures along the way.
While at sea or on the open water, you DO NOT want to have engine breakdowns, leaks, etc. There is no place to pull off and get it repaired quickly and usually no emergency road service that will come to your aid - unless it is an emergency of some sort. It is more "risky" than RVing and probably better suited for healthy, younger folks who don't mind a little rocking and rolling when at anchor --- no Steadyfast system for boats to make it "rock solid".
It's quite different from RVing and not everyone's cup of tea.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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I've never owned a boat but all the things that Festus2 said are the things I have heard boat owners comment about over the years. I guess my love for driving makes it not "lugging a trailer" around in my opinion. I even do some short trips with my 5er (2-3 days and/or a short distance) and enjoy them too!

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