That one time we bought a boat. And to this day, still technically own it, but it’s on ze market! Perhaps we were bored one day, I don’t really know what sparked the interest, but my husband thought we should start looking to buy one. We lived near water, didn’t have any extra “toys” and I thought this could be fun! Let’s live a little.
Back track 12 years ago…When my parents got divorced, my dad’s first post-divorce purchase was a sailboat. That sailboat, the sailboat after, and the boat after that provided me with nothing but anxiety. My dad had never owned a boat before so he was basically making stuff up as we went. Nothing could go wrong when you’re completely dependent on the wind, right?! 10 years being on various boats I became a little more comfortable, but I did best when it was anchored and we were eating! In all honestly, we had a lot of fun on the several boats over the years, but I never became officially comfortable on them. So why I thought if we purchased one it would be any different, well hell, you’ve got me!
Our search began on the craigslist which eventually lead us to a boat yard, which sells boats for owners and once sold, they earn a percentage of the sale. We met our boat sales man, who would eventually end up becoming our good friend, and he took us on our own very short lived boat owners life! He set up with connections on getting it reupholstered, connections on getting the boat to our dock, because let’s face it, I drive a Prius and she wasn’t going to be towing anything across town, and advised us on all things boat related. What we needed to buy for it to be legal (lifejackets, fire extinguishers, etc.), recommendations on apps to use to get us to and fro, and sent us on our way to being boat owners. Fun side note: our boat sales man ended up dating my best friend and now they live on an island somewhere together, so who is the real winner here? He sells boats, I sell relationships?!
But back to the boat. We didn’t just buy a small, starter boat, you know the normal thing for a couple who has never owned a boat. We bought a 26″ Glastron Cruiser with a bed, bathroom, and kitchenette area. We thought for sure we were taking this to Florida and sleeping over. Wow, were we wrong! Fortunately we didn’t go too big on the price tag, but we will likely not recoup everything and we’ve accepted that. We paid 15K in cash for the boat, and an additional 2K for new upholstery, so between those two main purchases, the costs of getting all things boat required, and docks, we’ve likely spent right around 20K. But 20K is a lot for going on the boat 3 times. I wish I was kidding. We took the boat out 3 times before we decided we were selling it! One time was successful as we had a couple friends on it, one who was an experienced boater, and we took it all the way to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. But the other two times, eh, let’s just say boating wasn’t for us. My husband was hoping purchasing this boat, it would be a fun way to let loose on the weekends from his extremely stressful job, but it was in fact just the opposite. And in the mix of all this, was when his company downsized, and his job responsibilities increased, providing very little time on the weekends to enjoy this new found toy. I think it would be an accurate conclusion to make that I caused him way more anxiety than he was anticipating when we were out on it together.
The boat has been listed for about 6 months with a few interests here and there, but turns out most people in Louisiana buying boats want fishing boats, not a cruiser. But with time, I know it will sell. See that’s the good thing about paying cash for things! We aren’t making payments on a boat that’s just sitting at a boat yard for sale right now. We’re just sitting back waiting for the dang thing to sell and recoup what we can. It’s currently listed for 19K so if we get 15K, we will be happy.
Right before we purchased it, an acquaintance told us “boats are a horrible investment.” First off a boat is definitely not an investment, unless using it for business purposes. There were never any plans to get an 8% return on this. Secondly, haters gonna hate. We knew purchasing the boat, it’s like a car, you don’t make money on these purchases and that’s okay with us! We gained some very little experience, but experience none the less, and we know not to make that decision again. I’m just glad we didn’t go ham on the price tag. You win some, you lose some, and we will chalk this up as a loss.
I know we’re not alone in making money mistakes. What is your biggest money mistake? Let me know in the comment section!