Should You Buy or Rent Your First Sailboat?

Posted by Brian Austad - December 28, 2011 - Sailing Tip - No Comments

First off I must confess that I own 4 sailboats. I love them all and I love working on them. But if you take the emotional attachment away from owning your own sailboat and strictly go by economics the decision is an easy one to make.

The Cost of Owning vs Renting a Sailboat (DaySailer)

Our 23’ Pearson Ensign sailboat cost us:
$2300 – summer slip at the marina
$750 – winter storage
$250 – paint, wax, repair, replace (maintenance)
For a total of $3200

To rent the Pearson Ensign for a typical day sail (4 hours) would cost $150. So you would have to sail 20 times during the sailing season to break even. You can also drastically reduce your rental expenses by sailing with buddies that could split the cost.

Judging from all the sailboats I see at the dock during a beautiful summer weekend, I would estimate that most sailboat owners take their sailboats out an average of only 10 times during the sailing season. This is mostly due to work schedules, unfavorable sailing weather, and the many social commitments during the summer. So the cost of each sail is very expensive.

I will not deny the bond that exists between a captain and his ship, however these are the real expenses involved in the decision making of renting versus owning your own sailboat.

Capt. Mike

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