Happy New Year. The temperature has barely climbed out of single digits, we're bracing for a winter storm... and my husband is trolling boats.com and YachtWorld, looking for our next boat.

winter skiff

Whatever our next boat looks like, it is hopefully covered up for the winter. Photo: PaulCroninStudios


In our house boats are members of the family, so we adopt each one with care. We don't mind if they need some work, since upgrades and maintenance are what make a vessel "ours."

The off season is the best time for boat shopping, especially since so much "leg" work can be done from the comfort of a warm armchair. We troll through the listing details, imagining ourselves at the helm or gazing out at a quiet anchorage from the cockpit. The cold weather also makes it more of a buyer's market; any inquiry is likely to receive an enthusiastic response. And expenses like storage fees are probably already paid up through the beginning of boating season.

I'm not sure what our new family member will look like, but I do know that the shopping will fill up some quiet winter afternoons. There are so many different boats, all with a history (good or otherwise).

Best of all, we can shop for the next family member while tucked away inside, which makes it easier to forget about that next winter storm.