Nearing Time to Leave Boating Life

Stacy and I have decided that its nearly time to sell the boat! We’ve enjoyed the boating life immensely and will miss it very much but circumstances and lifestyles change. We enjoyed making friends at our dock, our boater family. We enjoyed all the harbor cruises, coastal cruises, whale watching and fishing adventures. We’ve enjoyed trips to Catalina, staying at moorings for days at a time and cruising the Catalina coastline. But we are seeing the overall cost of boating increase beyond the return we receive.

When we first started the boating adventure prices were quite modest. Our Sailboat was inexpensive to operate and we enjoyed it for several years, but trips to Catalina were quite a time consuming endeavor. 7 hours under engine power starting very early in the AM to get an open mooring. Wine Down the Sailboat gave way to Wine Down the power Cruiser, opening up travel days that would reduce our travel time to 2 hours or less most days.

Of course, the speed comes at a cost in fuel. Now that fuel prices are skyrocketing with no end in sight, we’re anticipating fewer cruises and fewer trips to Catalina. Boats aren’t exactly the most efficient when it comes to fuel and our tank is 80 gallons. We use 1.5-2 tanks on our Catalina trips. Boat gasoline typically costs 20-30% higher than automotive gas due to location and extra additives.

Another factor in the decision was that Slip fees in Dana Point Harbor have increased 90%+ since we started. Just this year they hit us with a 26% increase. Rumors are that more increases will follow shortly as the Harbor looks to fund a complete rebuild of the area. Dana Point was really a very affordable harbor, especially given it’s location in Orange County. The Marina was operated by the County of Orange, but times change and they’ve leased to a private organization to handle the revitalization plans. This company is going to do great things, but the cost will price many of us out.

The third factor is that our beloved doggies just do not like boating. They’re bored just sitting on a boat in the slip, while we humans find the relaxation quite nice. They’re frightened when we start the engine and just cruise the harbor. They’re very nearly terrified when we venture outside the harbor and get up to cruising speed. 2 hour trips to Catalina are an emotional ordeal for them… and in turn for us.

What is next? Well, after we sell the Chaparral, we will look for a small travel trailer to get us to my retirement age (we’ll see what happens when I retire). The destination opportunities pulling a travel trailer are much more diverse than our boat. Catalina was really our only fun destination in our range and a week long timeframe. All of California, Nevada, Arizona and parts of Utah are really easily in reach for a week long vacation in a travel trailer. The doggies do not mind a car ride one bit and they love hanging out with us on long leashes, even if we are just relaxing. There are so many things to smell and see on land for doggies. The ground beneath them doesn’t constantly move either.

But first, we will enjoy as much as we can our last couple of months and the Dana Point Harbor Christmas (Holiday) Parade. Wish us luck!!!

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