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Purpose of Yachts

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by JWY, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    There was a comment in another thread that seemed to draw the ire of one of our most respected posters, one with whom I rarely disagree. However, his response to the comment "... I believe they make a big statement when passing by " compelled me to start this thread.

    I once sold a 50' yacht that taught me an important lesson. The buyer was a doctor from a small-time city in the Deep South and he targeted a boat that I did not particularly support because of its questionable sea-keeping abilities. I grilled him on his use of the boat; it was simple: he said he wanted a boat for escape. He planned on driving to the boat every Sunday, watch football games, and then drive home. It was to be his escape for a day. My conclusion was better he should buy a boat than a 2nd or 3rd home, a condo, or another investment to add to his portfolio.

    Not everyone has to cross oceans, nor visit islands, nor do the Great Loop, maybe not even fish, maybe not even for special time with family or friends. Respite. Quietude. Escape while enjoying nature can be reason enough. Even "making a statement" is good enough reason to own a yacht. Why not?
    LARRYH, Capt Ralph, Kafue and 2 others like this.
  2. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    100%. I have been acused of "never" using my boat for years.

    I have seen comments here about none of the boats in the marina ever go anywhere.
    So what? What's it to you?
    Live and let live.
    And as you say, what is the purpose of the vessel?

    Now having said that, I take out, work on or just nap on at least one of my boats every week. Just because you did not see me "use" my boat doesn't mean it did not happen. Oh, and sometimes I would rather be skiing in the snow that "using" my boat.

    I work a shore job, I weekend and day boat, but my weekend is midweek.

    Before I used to take offense, now I just smile and say, I know, right?

    Boarding a boat at a dock and watching football and taking a nap is use by the way:)
    Rich Buttine, T.T. and bayoubud like this.
  3. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Agreed wholeheartedly.
    I keep saying to any friend of mine who - possibly after going out together with my boat - is feeling the attraction of boat ownership that the most luxurious part of it is that you can NOT use the thing at all, whenever you don't want to.

    I mean, now that I can and do spend most of my time living aboard, I am more picky than I've ever been, and I only decide to go at sea whenever I wake up to absolutely perfect conditions, also because it doesn't take me more than one hour to reach any of my preferred anchorages, but some of them are rather exposed.

    At the same time, I constantly see folks who I call the forced labour boaters: people who booked a day out, or a charter, and they just MUST go, no matter what - sometimes in very marginal conditions.
    Now, each to their own of course: if they think that's what pleasure boating is all about, and they pretend that they enjoyed their time even if they puked their souls out, who am I to argue?
    Me, I'd rather wait a better reason to burn some fuel, and I'm happy to own a boat also when I use her "only" as a home! :cool:
    J. Fiebiger and T.T. like this.
  4. Rusty Mayes

    Rusty Mayes Member

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    I totally agree with the opinions above, Our actual cruising activity has diminished over the last few years especially since we move the boat to a marina in the quaint harbor town of Benicia. We used to be berthed a bit closer to home but it was a **** hole of a harbor so we took the boat out every chance we got and most of the time stopped in Benicia, two hours down river. Now we drive 15 minutes further and spend most weekends on the boat whether we start it or not. The one thing I agree with some that criticize the "non-user" boat owners is the lack of use and maintenance that allows the boat the deteriorate and become eyesores or even environmental hazards to those of us trying to enjoy our yachts. A lot of that is due to lack of harbor management as well though.
    Rusty Mayes
  5. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Benicia is a lovely town. I like the town of Martinez across the strait as well but the marina there seems a few grades below Benicia Marina.
  6. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    I always thought the purpose of a yacht was to leave worries in your wake, but cruising and destinations are only part of the joy. Sanding, painting and polishing is a form of therapy. I'm sure pride of ownership is a factor too. Owning a yacht can be defining. For me, it defined where my money went!
  7. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    As long as it doesn't hurt you or others than criticizing how another spends their money is ridiculous. Again, saying it's not how you would do it is fine, but calling them names or speaking derogatorily serves no purpose. Often people don't get to use as they would ideally, but they make the most of their situation. We have a friend who had a nice boat on the TN River and enjoyed it. Plans were to get a more sea capable and do the loop. Serious back trouble intervenes so great boat they love goes on market and they buy a small houseboat with everything on one level and easily accessible. Many days spent docked and a few cruising short distances.

    Speaking of football, there are a lot of boat owners on the TN River who only own their boats for the weekend trips to Neyland Stadium during the fall for the University of Tennessee Football. Most fanatic of any fans in the country.

    Why do we care what others do?

    One other example. The father of our chief Engineer. He owned a 200'+/- Benetti in Newport. Kept a full time crew. Used the boat typically 4 to 6 weeks a year although occasionally he's spend an afternoon or day on it just looking at the activity around, even meeting his wife and kids there for a meal. His son was fascinated by everything in the Engine Room and all the related equipment. People would talk about how stupid to own such an expensive boat he used so little. Well, he worked all the rest of the time but he said he didn't care what it cost, that it allowed him time with his family, wife and kids, all around the islands and in Cape Cod and it was 100% of the time he had. Fast forward decades to retirement and seeing how we enjoyed our boat and he now has a 130' Westport and spends every other month on it cruising. Now, his daughter and her kids join in the summer and holidays and he just spend the month of July with it docked at his son's home in Fort Lauderdale. However, it all started from the 4 to 6 weeks on the outrageously over priced boat in Newport that never left New England.

    I've known people who had boats but confessed they didn't really like boating, just liked the resorts along the water. Their spouse or kids might like the boating part. They'd rather be on the golf course.

    It's one thing to not understand others, but to criticize because you don't understand is very narrowminded.
    J. Fiebiger, T.T., Zud and 2 others like this.
  8. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    The purpose of my / our yachts:

    At first, definately not to show off, period!

    I am from an old Shipowner family which had ships for more than 200 years. Also the Brits haven taken away all ships from us after the WW I and the WW II, my grandfathers started each time all over again. Means, I grew up with ships and boats, I have the sea in my blood. As long as I can remember, we had yachts and private boats in the family. I almost grew up on a Abeking & Rasmussen wooden Yawl. Except during winter, we spent most weekends and vacations on our boats. Also I became a kind of traitor at an age of 13, when I started Glider flying, I am still a yachty.

    As I was initially not foreseen to inherit the family business, I joined the German flying Navy to fly Jets and keep a close contact with the seven seas (worked as a cadet on the German square rigger Gorch Fock). I always had my own (sailing) boat. The boats got bigger with age and income but remained in size to be operated by my own family and without payed crew.

    My own yachts were always our personal retreats, our second home on the water. We could enjoy the sailing and being on the hook in beautiful bays. The family was always together, which had a very positive effect on our relation.

    Later, when my older brother died and I had to enter the line of succession, naturally my boats got bigger.
    But the main reason for my large full displacement yacht, is the fact, that the spanish law does not allow people to to keep a foreign flagged yacht in spanish water, if you own property on spanish territory. Means, You have to reflag Your boat the the spanish flag and pay all (spanish) taxes again.

    As our favorite yachting area are the Balearics and the spanish coast in the Med, we would rather not buy a house or finca on the islands. But for having the complete family on the boat during weekends and during vacations, we needed a big boat for the large family. Now that my kids have grown up and having their own families, there are several boats in the Med and in the Baltic Sea / North Sea under our flag and still no hiliday home on Mallorca :).

    When the virus of boating grabs you, You either live with it or like me, for it OR You will live the rest of Your life with withdrawal symptoms.

    From a true yachting maniac

    HTMO9
    Natuzzi, Kafue, Kevin and 3 others like this.
  9. HTMO9

    HTMO9 Senior Member

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    Forgot some points, some of them even more important today:

    - Privacy, there is no better place and way to be at those beautiful spots of this world than on Your boat.

    - Anonymity, You and Your family and friends can have a great time on Your and nobody will know who You are.

    - Safety, You and Your family are safe from any attacks, robbery and the danger of kidnapping.

    - And during the Covid Pandemic, it allows beautiful vacations in otherwise dangerous areas.

    Splendid isolation is actually what it is. This idiom orginally ment for the geopolitical and strategic situation of the British Island in the earlier days, really fits for todays yachting too.

    Is there a world without boats? Yes, there is but it is not worth living in one of those :).
    chesapeake46, bernd1972 and T.T. like this.
  10. retiredguy

    retiredguy Member

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    68 years young and as I look back at the great memories in my life I can count on one hand the memories that were not on the water.
  11. bernd1972

    bernd1972 Senior Member

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    I guess a yacht is usually pretty useful to keep your mind busy with something that makes you happy even when not aboard. At least if you´re into boats. :D
    There´s allways something to do about a boat. New gadgets, planning maintenance and upgrades as well as planning your next time aboard. Besides that it´s just a second place to come home to , no matter where you are or where you cruise to.
  12. Kevin

    Kevin YF Moderator

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    There are probably as many answers to Judy's question as there are yachts.
  13. Reconjohnnie

    Reconjohnnie New Member

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    We are looking at a good sized boat. The better half said she totally understands now after the last storm hit the Gulf Coast.

    Short story. As we were watching the storm on tv, she asked me what my father was going to do with his yacht in LA with the storm moving in?

    The phone rang a few min later and I told her we are going to Galveston to go pick up my father and Step Mother in a few hrs.

    She asked why, I said they are moving their boat to Tx to get out of the way of the storm.

    She looked at me with the AH HA!! Moment... She went: Why am I looking at a beach house? The big boat can be moved or kept in the marina next to the beach in Tx and Fl? I was Duh... I was told to shut up and find her a larger boat now. LOL

    My family as been in the ships bunkering business for many yrs and we have been around boats all our lives.

    As my Grand Father and Father have said; Boats may be holes in the water, where you throw y0ur money. The amount of enjoyment and memories all the families have gotten from our trips on the boats over the years, one can not put a price on that.

    As the better have called them now Condo's on the water. LOL