Right-sizing Your Boat

Right-sizing in the corporate world means the elimination of jobs, but in the boating world it merely reflects a smart choice by boat owners matching their current budget, time allocation, or even physical capabilities with a boat that suits them. One thing is sure, people who love boating may leave the activity for short periods, but they usually come back with a boat that better suits their present situation.

boat right-size
Buying a boat that fits the needs of a growing family is one reason to right-size your ride.

I know people who’ve gotten a bigger more comfortable boat as they approached middle age, to replace the smaller camping style interior of their original racing sailboat. I know someone who is currently trading in his 40-foot cabin cruiser for a smaller boat because the maintenance time and gas budget doesn’t suit his situation. I know people who’ve recently gone from a sailboat to a trawler style powerboat because they weren’t able to physically manage as they got into their 70’s. And then there are folks like me who want simplicity–a boat on a trailer that requires a smaller crew and a DIY budget that fits my current means.  Whatever your situation, you can count on it changing over time.

The key to happiness in boating is to recognize when it is time to make the transition, sell the old boat and buy the new one. The old adage states, “the two best days in a boater’s life are the day you buy and the day you sell”, but I’m here to tell you there is recurring happiness if you manage it right. Some people are stubborn, they’ve put their heart and soul into the old ride, not to mention a bundle of money, and wait too long to let go. Some people need to take time off and crew on someone else’s boat for a while. So how do you tell when it is time to right-size your boat and buy one that better suits your current lifestyle?

  • When the bills outweigh your finances
  • When you can’t physically do it alone
  • When crew management becomes a chore
  • When you don’t have enough time
  • When you find yourself envying someone else’s boat and picturing yourself at its helm

I think subconsciously all boaters do this last one constantly, evaluating what is around us and thinking about how we can make something (boating) that is pleasurable to us, even more so. So ask yourself, is it worth it, am I having fun anymore, am I ready for the best day in a boater’s life again by right-sizing my ride right now? I can’t answer these questions for you, but if you’re reading this far, you’re probably thinking about it. Don’t panic, the perfect boat is out there for you, but it won’t always be perfect. Right-sizing is part of being a happy boater.


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