It's easy to let boating get too complicated. Each weekend we bring more stuff aboard, in an effort to make our next cruise more comfortable. And by the end of the season, we're thinking: if only the boat was a little bigger...
This is how 3 foot-itis gets started. Soon you have more lockers, more stuff, and each boating adventure is more complicated.
Sticking to small boats may actually get you out on the water more. Now what you define as "small" may well be different from my definition. But regardless of the actual size, here are three reasons it makes sense to buy small:
1. Less room for stuff you won't need to buy
Those full lockers aren't inspiring you to go boating; they're just making it necessary to wash more mold off of all that stuff at the end of the season.
2. Lower maintenance and seasonal costs
Slip fees. Haul out. Bottom painting. Storage. It's all computed by the foot—either linear feet or square ones, depending on where you are. Here's an equation I learned before I even understood algebra:
Boat Expense = (LOA)³.
3. Fewer systems to go bad
How many boating adventures have been brought to a premature end by a system fail? Small boats have fewer systems, so there's less chance of breakage. (In fact, believe it or not, some of the smallest boats have no systems at all.)
If the goal is to work on the boat, sit at the dock, and talk about all those projects that are getting in the way of getting out on the water—fine, buy a bigger boat. If the goal is to get out there and enjoy, stick with small boats. Because the easier the escape, the more you'll do it.
For more on how to keep boating simple and small and affordable, read on:
3 Cheap Boating Tricks: Get on the Water for Less
What Your 2 Favorite Boat Reviews Have in Common
Five New Boats for Under $1,000