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The Motivation for Owning a Boat

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Boat ownership can be motivated by many reasons. This is of course the pleasure of the water: opportunities for fishing, water sports or relaxing cruises. It’s freedom and adventure: exploring new destinations and waterways. The opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends on the water, relaxation. Avoid the stress of everyday life and enjoy nature.

Owning and maintaining a boat can be rewarding. Of course, this is a significant investment. Boats can provide long-term enjoyment and potential resale value. And of course it is a choice of a new way of life: the adoption of a lifestyle and society associated with boating.

There are many reasons for buying a boat, all of which are very important to the owner, and they apply to both power and sail. A brief discussion of these reasons may help the buyer with his decision to buy.

The Time Factor

Most of us who are devoted to boats have been taught from an early age. We learned the responsibilities and maintenance required and the safe limits to which we can extend ourselves and the hull. The necessities of a working life and family responsibilities later become more important and put time restrictions on our Step-by-Step Guide to Choose the Boat for Youboating life. Many find vacations are the only available time for boats and it has become very expensive to maintain a boat just for a week or two of use. This has fueled the great popularity of chartering in the Caribbean Islands or at home, in different boats and for any time period. Airline travel to these islands is usually not too difficult.

Time is also a factor in deciding between power and sail. Many people want to cruise as far as possible and they tire of sailing at five knots instead of ten or fifteen knots under power. On the other hand, people who race sailboats in a local club program like the competitive spirit of being with other boats for a few hours on a weekend afternoon. Whatever the decision, about eighty percent of the boats sold in the USA are powerboats, probably because of the restrictions of time.

Tradition and Nostalgia

Many people like to stay with the customs and heritage of their families, or region of the country. Their role models are the iron men and wooden ships that established the sea ports in the past centuries. These seamen of long ago established their trade, fishing, and ocean commerce with a minimum of investment in their boat and equipment. It is this return to the uncomplicated life that appeals to many boat owners. Cruising or sailing on the weekends provide a brief interlude of enjoyment of the waterways, just as our ancestors enjoyed their traditions of the sea.

Even with the modem trend to glass fiber hulls and decks, the shapes can be made to any modem or traditional style. The trim can be of varnished wood if the owner is willing to maintain the finish. The use of wood for a boat’s interior depends on the owner’s budget, as the joinerwork can be as modem or antique as necessary. The efficient interior arrangements, used fifty years ago, are still as popular and effective, particularly on sailboats. Most of the changes we see today are the result of planning for double beds and larger showers. Fuel and water tanks are also much larger than in past decades, probably because of higher speeds and more frequent showers.

The Sports Factor

There is no doubt boats are sometimes only a vehicle to participate in another activity. Fishing has always been in the top ten of leisure sports. Every size and type of hull has been used for both inshore and offshore trolling, trawling, and long lining. From 15 feet of boat upwards, fishermen all over the world try every stream, river and ocean to find a fresh dinner.

No less enthusiastic, the SCUBA divers are prevalent in any country, not so much for fishing, but for lost articles from any era. The development of the breathing regulator by Jacques Costeau and his subsequent films started an entire industry and an international sport. While inland cave diving and beach exploration are popular, most divers work from boats to look at the reefs and ocean bottom. Usually a semi-enclosed boat with a head is chosen. Lockers for wet suits and secure holders for air bottles are a necessity. It is not hard to fit out a boat for SCUBA, and any boatyard is able to make the necessary installations in most any type of hull.

Photo of the yacht
Vacation on a yacht
Source: pixabay.com

Easy access to and from the boat is necessary on a SCUBA dive boat as the weight of the tank and size of the awkward swim fins present a problem in mobility. Many use a boat with a rubber side and has low freeboard, such as a rigid inflatable boat (RIB). The glass fiber hulls with a rubber tube at the sheer have become very popular both with divers and as rescue vessels. They are easy to roll out from and climb into from the water. Others simply take off the fins and tanks while in the water and then climb into the hull. There is no doubt a swim platform or ramp at the stem will provide the same ease of access to the boat.

The Status Symbol

We all know of people who own businesses and influence clients by taking them on their boat to talk of future contracts. The idea of having a captive audience in a relaxing scene is very appealing to most entrepreneurs. Some people who have large, custom boats, keep buying and selling to attain a longer hull, which they think is impressive to their friends. A few have a new boat under construction before the first hull is launched. This may be the finest example of conspicuous consumption. Maybe we should be grateful to these large boat owners who provide work for everyone in the business of construction and repair of boats.

Others who seek to impress the public show off by tearing through crowded inland waterways at high speeds without any objective in mind. Apparently they think buying a boat with large engines and big fuel bills will gain the respect of their friends. It is usually the inexperienced owner who has never learned boating safety who attacks the water the way a stock car driver attacks the oval track. Not only fast powerboats try the intimidation act. All of us who have raced sailboats have seen status seekers at five knots, with mouths going at 60 knots, in a feeble attempt to push competition aside.

We all know of people who try to be associated with those of fame or wealth, hoping to be accepted in their social scene. Boats are one vehicle for movement in these circles. Some have boats, not for the joy of boating, but as a requirement for membership in a yacht club of famous members. Often, the boat may only leave the dock for a few days each year. The boat becomes a hideaway for parties and card games and to provide a climb up the social ladder.

The Dream Machine

All of us are influenced by stories we read in magazines and books. Who hasn’t wondered about tropical islands and unfamiliar places when reading the pages of:

  • C. S. Forrester;
  • The National Geographic magazine;
  • Herman Melville;
  • Jack London;
  • and Richard Henry Dana?

Many people turn to these tales and facts and think of having a boat to escape from their daily problems. They have hopes of sailing into the challenges of the sea and the pleasures of new experiences. People dream of going fishing for a living or possibly searching for old wrecks and lost treasures.

Read also: How to Choose the Perfect Sailboat: Tips on Selection, Ownership, and Alternatives

These dreams of a more relaxing existence motivate owners to Top 7 Secrets to Successfully Sell Your Used Boatcruise in their boats, whether it is for a few hours or for an extended vacation. It is the same casual thinking that encourages a land bound person to sit on the beach and gaze at the ocean. The boat owner may only have time for a short run on a river or bay, but they know in their subconscious a long trip is possible if the opportunity arises.

Family Fun

Probably, the most dominant reason for owning a boat is to have family activities on the water. Picnics, swimming and fishing are perfect for holding family life together and they provide great enjoyment that will be remembered for many years. If the children are involved, they will learn the responsibilities of boating safety and how to perform the required maintenance. This is an opportunity to learn skills and valuable lessons that will be with them for a lifetime of enjoyable boating.

Photo of the boat
Fishing boat
Source: pixabay.com

Boats are always a gathering place for friends and family. A boat owner is always popular with relatives as they all want to be invited for a short trip or a vacation. If a boat owner needs new acquaintances, he can just do some maintenance and be prepared to deal with the sudden appearance of people who want to start a conversation and who want to be invited aboard. A boat attracts new friends like honey attracts bears. There is no shortage of people who would like to be part of the crew in any type of boat.

Young people, and most adults, are fascinated with the educating experience when learning how to navigate on the ocean or lakes. The problems of determining your position and plotting on a chart provide many hours of great enjoyment.

Author photo - Olga Nesvetailova
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  16. Pardey, Lin and Larry. Cruising in Seraffyn and Seraffyn’s Mediterranean Adventure (W. W. Norton, 1981).
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