There seem to be two ways of looking at the purchase of a sailboat. Most people buy a boat as a luxury item to bring them pleasure. It is an added expense. We bought our boat for completely different reasons.
The first motivation, was the economy. We surmised that if we bought a large enough boat, that we could sell most of our belongings, get rid of what is in storage and the home, and live on it. After all, slip fees are relatively cheap as compared to a mortgage/rent and bills associated with a family home. Our plan was to buy a small used boat initially, that would give us the opportunity to learn to sail and test our theory of possibly living aboard, then trade up to a larger yacht that would have the room to make living aboard a reality.
We have managed to execute about 30% of our plan so far. We have bought the boat and started teaching ourselves to sail. We have dissolved the homestead and began the process of selling off everything in storage. In doing this we have found a total liberation in our life style. My blood pressure before undertaking this was around 150 over 85. Now it checks at between 108 over 60 at a low, to 128 over 76 at the high end. Obviously a benefit to me personally, and the wife is totally in love with the idea. The next step will be to start looking for a larger boat.
Our next boat will be in the 41′ range. After much research, we have found that is the size that will accommodate a somewhat normal lifestyle and give us enough room to live comfortably. When you consider that a boat this size can be bought for between $15,000 and $80,000, depending on your budget and how handy you are a fixing things, and a home is around ten times that, and then factor in the slip fee of around $450 to $600 for a boat that size, you get the picture. You then have the advantage of sailing your home to Catalina Island for the weekend!
All and all, this has been a great decision. A radical change from the lifestyle that we were accustomed to. The wife is an attorney and after resigning my position as an engineer and taking over her office, we were used to having the normal home/office thing. Now we are in a much better position to manage the rest of our lives, and do it in a most enjoyable way.