Renting a Slip vs. Trailer Storage..

May 13, 2004
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Bob Ballew
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2520 Parker with twin 200 Yamahas
...Based on my experiences of doing both, trailer storage wins hands down;, cost and benefit wise...When my 38' twin diesel slip fees hit over $700 a month, I sold the boat and bought a Parker and trailer. Now, my storage fee is $247 a month for a 25'er on a trailer, launching is free, saving another $14 per launch and the county boat property tax dropped a good bit, plus, I no longer had to pay a yearly property tax on the sand bottom I didn't even own (betcha you forgot that little money grab)....
...Now, let's look at slip fees. Aside from instant access to open water, the ever increasing fees make it a bad deal for middle class boat owners... I will use current Long Beach Marina fees as a comparison.
... A 25' boat (actual length) would cost $328 a month. Throw in a Parker like mine with a 2' bow plank and 3' engine platform, the measurement goes up to 30' and $483 a month. A few inches longer and it jumps again to $634....
...Now, for the new fees...(yep, no surprise there). October 1st,,2022, the fees for Long Beach Marina go up 3 percent.
...Your 25'er costs are now $338 a month; a portion going to help pay off bonds issued to pay for marina upgrades. The 30'er would cost $498 a month. Then, there is still the sand tax rip from the county plus the yearly boat tax, no matter which county the boat is located in. Note: storage yards have to give the county assessor your boat info. No claiming an out of state tax-free ownership...
...Add it up, and the trailered boat gets many free tanks of fuel compared to renting a slip...plus, the benefit of trailering to the hot spots on the coast and being able to work on your rig in front of the house for a few days. Keep your trailer greased and you are good to go.
...Aspire to own a 100' yacht? The slip fee would only set you back $2,887 a month. Sometimes, big is not always better....at least, according to the Good Wife.....
...
 
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surf launch

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Lots of practical and valid points but I would also add; The inevitable higher maintenance cost being in a slip because your boat is sitting in that acid bath 7/24.
 
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RodRage

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    Bigger boat bigger slip fees, been slipped in Long Beach over 10 years and the prices don’t go up that bad compared to other Harbors, we have nice clean docks Patrolled on a regular basis CLEAN bathrooms with showers and even the homeless keep to them selves for the most part, never had a problem with theft as most of us on our gang Way have each other‘s phone numbers and look out for each others shit. Being no more than 20 minutes from my boat I can wake up see that the weather is good at 8 AM call a buddy And be throwing a hook at Izors I 915 or 9:30, yeah I got a little seaweed on the bottom but she aint for show she’s for fishing! Too each his own🤙

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    Reel 007

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    Everything is a tradeoff, my trailer is in the repair shop, redesign refabricated bow stop, disc brakes for two axle and misc. It's $4200.00, that's a lot of slip fees, I have a dedicated tow vehicle (a vehicle I hardly use for anything else), registration came for that vehicle this afternoon $508.00, insurance and maintenance for said. vehicle
    On the plus side, I have storage at home for my boat, no use, no cost (kind of).
     
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    RodRage

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  • Sep 7, 2017
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    Luckily my trailer barely fits in my driveway and I pull my boat out every 60 to 100 hours for service and if you know me that means about every two months especially during lobster season, If you’re slipped and drive your boat on the regular plus keep it scrubbed regular it’s really not an issue I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of it🤣 I do my own bottom paint once a season and Hot water pressure wash the bottom when I pulled out for maintenance. Couldn’t imagine having to trailer down every time!
     
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    Dragon

    It is what it is...
    May 24, 2006
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    Or you can hit it in the middle...I used to drop the boat in the water @ CI Harbor courtesy dock witch is right buy the showers / laundry and ramp behind a locked gate. Since we have to work all week we are "Weekend Warriors". Just pick the good weekend and and leave it in the water for the weekend. It worked Good! Not to pricy we lived within 20 min to the Harbor anyway...
     
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    af dreamer

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    Apr 16, 2007
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    Because slips are so hard to get I bit the bullet and have a slip and dry storage for my Whaler.I keep the boat in the water May to Nov and in the LB marina dry storage the rest of the year.Im in the Bahia,not as nice as the Alamitos Bay marina but is cheaper.PINA if the boat is tall because of the PCH bridge at the Goldensail.Works for me.Tom
     
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    mike mitchell

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    If you use your boat for just fishing your right, trailer is better. If you use your boat as a weekend getaway or a gathering place for family and friends then a slipped boat might be a better option. Of course it does take a boat load of money.
     
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    gecsr1

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    Jul 15, 2005
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    Well with today's Prices, slip fees, insurance, bottom cleaning, repairs and maintenance , services, and fuel and bait, also part prices if you can find the parts, best thing is to have is NO BOAT.... fish with your friends and share their expenses at the end of the trip..

    You will be a million percent ahead of the game... and yes I know it's sad.
    as I sold my Boat and I miss it ... but the cost of ownership are out of control....

    PS: My boat was slipped 15 years of the 16 years of ownership..

    over and out.....
     
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    MYNomad

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    The gist of OPs post seems to be you can save a lot of money by keeping your boat on a trailer. Obviously true. Another observed that a slip is a luxury. Also true, but then so is having a boat. But neither insight is even useful in deciding whether it makes sense to have a slipped boat vs trailer boat (vs no boat at all). To analyze that, properly, one most compare relative costs against relative benefits. Saying that a slip costs a lot more means nothing without also showing that a slipped boat adds up to a whole lot more fun -- ie, do the marginal benefits of slipping outweigh the marginal costs. That analysis is highly dependent on individual preferences, but in general it is fair to say that the time spent enjoying a boat goes way up when it is slipped versus on a trailer. It is also important to consider the use to which the savings from trailering are to be put. If it gets your kids a better education, or you a better house or better retirement, it would likely make sense to trailer the boat and use the funds that way. It should also be noted that trailered boats, because of size limitations, can't do the things that a slipped boat can do. So if you want to travel far in rough conditions with relative comfort, a slipped boat may be a necessity.

    Over the years, I have mostly had boats (but there were times when it didn't make economic sense so I went boatless), and in the early years mostly trailered boats. From that, I can see that there is no correct answer to the question. It depends too much on how the boat will be used and how well the owner can afford the additional costs.
     
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    May 13, 2004
    883
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    Long Beach and points due west
    Name
    Bob Ballew
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    2520 Parker with twin 200 Yamahas
    ...My post was limited to mainly cost due to current economic conditions. Lots of other factors play into the decision and I am glad I could afford to try various ownership scenarios over the years....Interesting that half of the big boats in the L.B. Downtown Marina never leave the dock. Guess they own them for status..
    ..With my little boat savings, we are off to the Wrigley mansion in Avalon for 2 days of wine and good food, then, it is off again for some serious tuna chasing.....Hmmm, can I troll off the Catalina Express?
     
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    mahi

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    The gist of OPs post seems to be you can save a lot of money by keeping your boat on a trailer. Obviously true. Another observed that a slip is a luxury. Also true, but then so is having a boat. But neither insight is even useful in deciding whether it makes sense to have a slipped boat vs trailer boat (vs no boat at all). To analyze that, properly, one most compare relative costs against relative benefits. Saying that a slip costs a lot more means nothing without also showing that a slipped boat adds up to a whole lot more fun -- ie, do the marginal benefits of slipping outweigh the marginal costs. That analysis is highly dependent on individual preferences, but in general it is fair to say that the time spent enjoying a boat goes way up when it is slipped versus on a trailer. It is also important to consider the use to which the savings from trailering are to be put. If it gets your kids a better education, or you a better house or better retirement, it would likely make sense to trailer the boat and use the funds that way. It should also be noted that trailered boats, because of size limitations, can't do the things that a slipped boat can do. So if you want to travel far in rough conditions with relative comfort, a slipped boat may be a necessity.

    Over the years, I have mostly had boats (but there were times when it didn't make economic sense so I went boatless), and in the early years mostly trailered boats. From that, I can see that there is no correct answer to the question. It depends too much on how the boat will be used and how well the owner can afford the additional costs.
    Well said. I slipped in Dana Point for 18 years. The west basin was nice before the county took over. It got worse when the county took over and even horrid when the county signed it over to the Ueberroth guys. I sold my Henriques soon after.
    Harbor life, inside the fence is why you slip a boat.
    A agree that the middle class are getting hosed and pushed out of harbor life.
     
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    sbsurfer

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    I'll add a different perspective on this, where slipping the boat actually made me money...definitely a rare case, but stoked it did!

    So in Santa Barbara the slip thing is a bit different, you "own" them. Had to buy my 35ft slip 5 years ago for $90k....and still pay $400/mo to the city. Now there is also a one time "transfer fee" to the city for $15k when I bought it. So it would have to appreciate above 105 to break even.

    But now 35ft slips are going for $140k in SB...this increase definitely makes slip life more affordable than trailer. Yes there are more expenses with slipping the boat than if I left it on the trailer. But the real value for me and the family is the constant use of the boat even just sitting in the slip. Having a home base to kayak around the harbor, grab takeout from local joints and eat on the boat, etc etc...is incredible to have, especially during the lock downs. Keep in mind this drastic increase in value the last few years is not the norm so I don't expect the same rate over the next 5 years.

    I've done both and after having a slip it would be hard to go back to the trailer life. So much so that I just picked up another slip in SB for my 16ft skiff. To me the added benefits of the harbor life outweigh the addition maintenance costs over the year.

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    Bend Session

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  • Jan 3, 2017
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    another thought would be think about slipped boats and outdrives - the salt water murders outdrive, heat exhanges, ect..... Slipped boats should have shafts and outdrives. Just my 2 cents.
     
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    sbsurfer

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    another thought would be think about slipped boats and outdrives - the salt water murders outdrive, heat exhanges, ect..... Slipped boats should have shafts and outdrives. Just my 2 cents.

    Again I'll add a different perspective here...

    I have my 29 Radon with an OD in a slip 24/7 365 for over 5 years. Only thing in addition to routine maintenance is that I replace the external steering rams every 2 years and trim rams every 3 years.

    What people overlook is total cost of ownership, most focus on specific things like an outdrive. My outdrive with twin props allows my Radon to cruise between 20-30 knots getting almost 3mpg....not bad for a 12,000lb boat. If it was a shaft boat I would be getting half the fuel economy and a much slower cruise speed. The amount of money I save in fuel every 2 years easily pays for the steering rams I end up replacing. Not to mention the time I save by traveling at a 30 knot cruise speed.

    In fact almost all of the commercial urchin boats in the SB harbor are outdrive boats. Some with their original TR drives from the 70's still.

    I think total cost of ownership is a better way to approach boat finances, everything about boats is a compromise.
     
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    Bend Session

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  • Jan 3, 2017
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    Again I'll add a different perspective here...

    I have my 29 Radon with an OD in a slip 24/7 365 for over 5 years. Only thing in addition to routine maintenance is that I replace the external steering rams every 2 years and trim rams every 3 years.

    What people overlook is total cost of ownership, most focus on specific things like an outdrive. My outdrive with twin props allows my Radon to cruise between 20-30 knots getting almost 3mpg....not bad for a 12,000lb boat. If it was a shaft boat I would be getting half the fuel economy and a much slower cruise speed. The amount of money I save in fuel every 2 years easily pays for the steering rams I end up replacing. Not to mention the time I save by traveling at a 30 knot cruise speed.

    In fact almost all of the commercial urchin boats in the SB harbor are outdrive boats. Some with their original TR drives from the 70's still.

    I think total cost of ownership is a better way to approach boat finances, everything about boats is a compromise.
    What engine is in your Radon? How many hours of life do you get from your outdrive before it needs to be replaced or rebuilt?
     
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    May 13, 2004
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    Bob Ballew
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    2520 Parker with twin 200 Yamahas
    When I was a commercial ab diver, I owned a 24' Radon with a 454 engine and outdrive..My experience was the outdrive needed overhauled at about a thousand hours...Basically, double maintenance issues. I now run twin 200 h.p. outboards with lots less issues than diesels and inboards....can keep the engine out of the water when moored and lots easier to work on plus the high speed gets me to the outside fishing grounds at 37 mph......
    ..Of course, the choices all depend on what you value most...
     
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    sbsurfer

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    What engine is in your Radon? How many hours of life do you get from your outdrive before it needs to be replaced or rebuilt?

    350hp Volvo D6

    I'm hoping to get 1500-2000 hours out of the drive before replacing since I'm not commercial and not putting a heavy load on the drive each trip.
     
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    frazier

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    Ive had both slipped boats and trailer boats , presently have three trailer boats , the 17’ whaler will go in a slip as soon as im done building the pilot house with lockable storage , it is nice to have a turn key boat in a slip that one can just jump on and go to the island or whatever
     
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    4L2NA

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    My hats off to sbsurfer, your timing was great in a very tough marina:appl:. Being in a slip would be pretty cool. I've had my 25' Davis on a trailer since 1998, but then again I generally don't mind towing. I think that it really boils down to a life style choice and what headaches you want to deal with, they both cost $$$. Then again, if you are in a slip, you wouldn't need a large tow vehicle (although a lot of us already have one) and it's maintenance, maybe eliminate the trailer & it's ongoing maintenance until you need to replace it, etc....endless ways to analyse it.
     
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