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Why We Quit...


YodaMage

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So I find myself for the third year in a row not in the water in May. Why not in the water? Same old story...and to me the biggest problem with boating around Lake O, especially on the west end. 

 

You see, down here we have very limited ports and as such docking prices are fairly high. Additionally, our marinas seem to have a few things in common which is they are owned by crooks and staffed by the incompetent. Should you not have a towable boat, you are at the mercy of a handful of 'boatyards' which are complete shams taking months to do little and most of that wrong. That is where I am again this year...months behind with a boat still in pieces and parts they were going to order in March still not even ordered and calls unanswered. 

 

So a lesson to many..DO NOT CROSS INTO AN UNTOWABLE RIG unless you:

 

1. have the time to do all your own work on it..which is to some degree a paradox as you probably work a decent amount to pay for said rig

 

2. have no desire to actual be on the water

 

3. are willing to dock it hours away from home

 

 

So my options now are three fold...either keep paying thousands for a boat in a parking lot (which I spent 5K on this spring to 'upgrade it' ... upgrade as in sit in a parking lot it seems eating 2K in dockage fees that it isn't using..). Second, take the financial hit to dump it and go back small which my family does not enjoy bouncing around in or lastly just selling the gear and going to a cruiser somewhere in Lake E or the Upper River. I'm leaning toward the last right now, giving up fishing and passing the hobby onto my kid and instead going tubing.

 

Sad, but what other options are there... 

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Years ago I lived on the snow slopes..nuttin better than sliding downhill on yer feet,without a yard sale..

then the prices tripled ,and the knees started knocking.

I used to chase a little white ball and beat it with a stick to force it in a hole..then that too tripled in price and again the cost outweighed the fun..

Then i got into boat fishing....yeehaa some how i managed 75 to 100 days a year on the water ,It was game on for many years ,,then everytime some one mentioned the word hurricane ,gas would jump 50 cents a gallon and after a few years 70.00 to 100.00 trips became 200.00 to 300.00 and again the cost outweighed the fun...So I sold the boat and am still in the process of selling 30 years of tackle buying.......Now I join the gees and head south every year..yes its expensive but the friendships and fun outweigh the cost...and within 2 years we will be moving from the tax burden of supporting NYC..and moving South to a more friendly state...

With that said I would do it all over again knowing the joy and friendships come and gone over the years...No regrets,,,BUT i ain't stopping...Now i have discovered the world of under water hunting (spear gun) exploring the ocean bottom and tugging on the tails of sharks.. but Im shure that will come to a abrupt end someday too. and Ill be back at the back of a boat with a rod in my hands.. thinking of my next adventure...

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Interesting takes and stories here. When I retire I plan on selling everything and living on a boat. That is it. An American Tug to do the ICW and head over to the bahamas for a couple of weeks then back again.

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My boat is only 22.5ft, and I tow it from Barcelona on Erie up to Olcott.  Fish both lakes with no problems.  I do just about all my own work on the boat, except engine stuff.  Ive redone electrical systems, redid plumbing, done fiberglass, installed electronics, buffed and waxed.....blah blah blah.  Teaching myself everything along the way.  The skills and knowledge that I have gained working on my boat myself is priceless.  And I like not having to rely on the hacks that work at the local marinas.  How big is your boat?  Can you do any of the work youself?  You must have a really big rig if you cant even tow it.  Ive seen people towing 30-40fters with no problems.

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Years ago I lived on the snow slopes..nuttin better than sliding downhill on yer feet,without a yard sale..

then the prices tripled ,and the knees started knocking.

I used to chase a little white ball and beat it with a stick to force it in a hole..then that too tripled in price and again the cost outweighed the fun..

Then i got into boat fishing....yeehaa some how i managed 75 to 100 days a year on the water ,It was game on for many years ,,then everytime some one mentioned the word hurricane ,gas would jump 50 cents a gallon and after a few years 70.00 to 100.00 trips became 200.00 to 300.00 and again the cost outweighed the fun...So I sold the boat and am still in the process of selling 30 years of tackle buying.......Now I join the gees and head south every year..yes its expensive but the friendships and fun outweigh the cost...and within 2 years we will be moving from the tax burden of supporting NYC..and moving South to a more friendly state...

With that said I would do it all over again knowing the joy and friendships come and gone over the years...No regrets,,,BUT i ain't stopping...Now i have discovered the world of under water hunting (spear gun) exploring the ocean bottom and tugging on the tails of sharks.. but Im shure that will come to a abrupt end someday too. and Ill be back at the back of a boat with a rod in my hands.. thinking of my next adventure...

 

Continuously reinventing yourself Ray = the key to a fulfilling life my friend , as you very well know. You got it figured out bro....hit me up this summer and we'll get out fishing.

 

 

 

 

So my options now are three fold...either keep paying thousands for a boat in a parking lot (which I spent 5K on this spring to 'upgrade it' ... upgrade as in sit in a parking lot it seems eating 2K in dockage fees that it isn't using..). Second, take the financial hit to dump it and go back small which my family does not enjoy bouncing around in or lastly just selling the gear and going to a cruiser somewhere in Lake E or the Upper River. I'm leaning toward the last right now, giving up fishing and passing the hobby onto my kid and instead going tubing.

 

Sad, but what other options are there... 

 

I totally feel your frustration Yoda.  You'll figure out what's right for you. I personally rarely put myself in a position where I must rely on others to get things done, because others rarely meet my expectations - but that's just me.  We all have different wants / needs / expectations so what works for me might not work for you, but somewhere there is a happy medium that I'm sure you will find.

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I had larger boats kept at marinas for years. The last one had twin big block gas guzzlers and was a complete time vampire due to all the maintenance required. I experienced every frustration you have experienced with marinas and probably more over the course of 20 years of slip kept boats. It got to the point that while I could afford it, it simply was not worth it.

So in 2006 I ordered my 23 Steiger Miami that I have trailered ever since. Best move ever. I do ALL the upkeep on the boat including engine. All very easy if you are mechanical and get the shop manual. Big benefit is I now fish Erie and Ontario regularly, and may even take the boat to FL to use as my offshore boat.

Having a boat in a slip is a great but comes at a price (both financial and hassle) For me keeping my boat on a trailer in my barn makes me much happier, and I will rent slips at Olcott and Buffalo SBH for a few days to a week at a time when the fishing is hot.
 

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Marinas and boat dealers come and go.  I have been in the boat game now for 40 years and have had experience with just about every marine operation within 50 miles of my home.  Have had good experiences and bad.  I can say in the past six or seven years I have had for the most part good experience with a couple long term marine/marina operations here in WNY.

 

It is a short season and this year with a long deep winter, not much of a spring and now into the first week of June some are just getting their boats in the water.  So I understand the stress it puts on the marina operator and the stress on the customer for wanting the boat done and in the water.  

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The 7-10 K a year you spend on the frustration of owning a boat.....would most likely finance more charters a year, than trips you actually took on your own boat. 

 

Plus you could charter out of the "hot" ports, and even change great lakes and species and even throw in an offshore Tuna charter and a whole bunch of head boat trips as well every year. 

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i don't keep mine at a marina but do keep it on a rail system.  I feel your pain with wanting to take it here and there.  It is also a 26 mile total run from where it is kept to the salmon grounds and at 13 gallons of fuel per a trip it is surely expensive with gas prices the way they are.  This is purely recreation fishing so I'm not getting paid for one bit of the trip and I am usually alone so they are all day trips to make the most from it.

Edited by Chas0218
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I used to slip at Genny, besides all the usual complaints of fish boat ownership I could never really figure out how, I would put the boat away in fall in realitivly good working order and when I pulled it out in the spring I would have to lay out another thousand or so(35 years ago dollars) for whatever gremlin was in there all winter doing his mischievous stuff. Now I own a kayak, dont have to deal with ride along boat jerks, registration, C G inspections, insurance, marina owners and more.

My ownly worry is pot smokin redneck bass fisherman driving motorized missiles

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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As of today...it is theoretically in working order. I say theoretical because I have not seen or heard most of it work...because it is still not in the water...but it made its way to the lift. The lift of course is broken so it sits stranded worse than if it were on the trailer. 

 

I also noticed upon inspection that the marina shrink wrap guy snapped off my antenna. I have yet to get a great look at it to see what else might be broken, as it is trapped in a lift which I may have mentioned.

 

Bad joke.

 

I am 90% on looking to trade it at year end on something like a 26 Sundancer or Larson 265 that I'll move to the Inner Harbor or Upper Niagara and have the option the pull out as needed and drag it home or to a dealer of my choice. I think I'm giving up on Lake O and fishing unfortunately. MyTurn hit it dead on, it isn't the money, it is the frustration. 

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My experience is that I used to trailer a smaller boat most weekends from PA and get about 10 mpg (500 mile round trip) and spend 120-160 bucks for two days on a hotel.  More if it were a 3 or 4 day trip.  Then you had to pay launching fees daily and launch and stow your boat each day.  I now keep my bigger boat at a marina and get 19 mpg for the trip with no hotel costs since I stay on the boat.  Given the convenience of pulling up and hopping on the boat, I'll live with the marina costs.

 

Per trip costs;

 

Pre Marina (~14 trips per year)

            Travel 500 miles/10mpg X $4/gallon = $200 each trip

            Hotel costs (2 days)                          = ~$150  each trip

            Launch Fees                                     = $14   each trip

                                              Total  14 trips  = $ 5096

 

Post Marina; (~14 trips per year)

             Travel 500 miles/19mpg X $4/gallon = $105

             Seasonal Marina                                = $2200

                                         Total 14 trips          = $3670

 

Staying extra days are free and no additional Launch Fees or hotel costs.  Plus you get to meet and talk with a lot of knowledgeable and friendly guys at night.  Since my travel costs were so high, this obviously changes the math for someone who lives close by.  I also never looked into storing the small boat there during the week, but I'm still happy with the arrangement.

 

 

 

            

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My boat has been marina kept for 29 years and I don't think I will ever go back to towing...its just too much of a hassle hooking and un-hooking especially since I am older. Trailerable means under 18 feet in my opinion...anything longer and you are talking WEIGHT. The best systems are the ones where the boat is lifted out on a cradle (no bottom paint), and not subject to floods and high wind bashing. 

This is the most common mooring method in Florida canals. In spite of anti-fouling paint, sacrificial zincs, outdrive still dis-integrated and had to be replaced. 

For new owners, my advice is to keep your boat in the marina only if you know you are going to be using it every day...otherwise trailer it and check the outdrive each time it is hauled out. If you are not going to use it for awhile, keep it on the trailer...not in the water.

Boating is still enjoyable to me in spite of the costs. 

 

Cheers, DocWet [Everything has limitations...and I hate limitations.]

Edited by DocWet
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Start with a 12 fter, go to Lake Ontario, get a 16fter, trailer 4.5 hour trips, sleep in a tent at state park, buy a camper already on a site, get a 22ft boat, had enough of campground , decided on buying 13 acres with a co owner, moved trailer to 13 acre with water, sewer and electric, headaches getting bigger, carpenter ants ate the trailer, break ins by thieves, sold the 22ft, sold my half of property, bought a 17.5 all around boat, ventured to ontario now and then with lots of other destinations. Last couple years picked up a 20ft grady so my Grandkids could join along. Always wanted one. Now 2 boats, 4 outboards, sit at home and travel to all waters within reason. Diversity is the key for myself. Walleyes in the late summer on ontario, next adventure up for us. Biggest thrill for me is watching my Grandkids catch fish now.

Edited by Roughrider IV
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You guys will laugh but when I first got my boat I would sleep in it on the trailer on our longer trips.  My boat has a cuddy that is large enough for me and 1 other guy. We would stay on that get up at dawn launch the boat fish all day then put her back up on the trailer sleep another night then back up to fish then head home.

 

It wasn't an ideal situation but we didn't have to pay slip fees, or for a hotel room. It all depends on what you want to do.  If you don't mind fishing out of the same harbor/port it isn't an issue.  If you like to fish all over then trailering is the only economical option. I would rather trailer and get 10mpg than drive the boat and get 2mpg (on a good day).

Edited by Chas0218
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Big Water has some good points and his comments also hit on some other important factors in the equation.....one of them is distance. I have trailered for over 35 years and have a vehicle that get about 11 mpg without the boat attached but I only live about 5 minutes from the north end launch ramp here and about 20 minutes from the one at the other end of Canandaigua Lake.  I am within an hour  or so of Lake O and about that for most of the Finger Lakes ports I use. So in this case paying $2,500 for a slip is ridiculous (despite the crowded launch ramp conditions at the north end). For a few years I kept the boat on the trailer but at a marina half way up the lake and I would call ahead and they would launch the boat for me at $1,000...for the season which runs from early JUNE until after Labor Day (my favorite fishing is in the Fall and I fish until late November) Another problem was I had to wait until 8 AM or so for the staff to be there and there was a chain across the ramp so I couldn't do it myself earlier....nothing like starting fishing derbies after 8AM or launching during the summer months at that time (assuming the staff could do it at 8AM or were even there) when it starts heating up at 10 AM. I never wanted to leave my boat in the water because of the discoloration from algae etc. but one year my boat was sitting on the trailer there and a big storm came up including a water spout and high winds (mini tornado) which wiped out many boats in the marina and threw some against others and the docks.....another reason for forgoing the convenience and opting for security. My boat is kept outside my garage for the summer months and stored inside a barn in the winter or plastic wrapped if I decide to store it here so I have no security issues that some marina folks have.

 

Quite a few guys I've known over the years have moved up to large boats and then back down again and then trailered mainly because of the financial and practical concerns and the freedom of going anyplace you wish to fish unencumbered.

 

I think the bottom line is different for everyone....I used to take my closeness to these resources for granted until years ago when I ran into some guys from PA at the ramp in Geneva who had trailered for hours to get there and after an exhausting day on the pond had to trailer back home for hours....it made me real glad I have the circumstance I have and I have never taken it for granted or complained to myself about the half hour trip to that launch since then. I also admired those guys resolve for doing what they did to just participate in our sport.

Edited by Sk8man
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When I was fishing without tracy I slept in the envoy or on the boat to save money. In the fingerlakes there are places where you can get a rv site and slip for 2000-2500 for the season. There are lots of options and doesnt take too long to figure out what works best for you and what doesnt! As long as we get to fish every week....:)

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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If you like going, get a trailerable 18-21' boat so as to go different ports/lakes and multi species. Pick your days, fish the best times of the season,  & enjoy your time on the water. Find a good mechanic that gets the job done & treat him nice.Bigger is not allways better.

 

 I have 2 boats, 21' Hardtop & 16 w/ 35 hp merc. Like them both.

Edited by Has Been
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Boats are a fishermans biggest pain in the a##. Yet we all want one until they break down and then have to lay out some cash to fix. BOAT = Break out another thousand. Had to be towed back to ramp on sat. About 15 miles Would have cost 425.00 if i wasn't a boat us member. Didn't get mechanics bill yet. Told him to fix it so I can get back out on the water. If you own a boat it is gonna cost you handsomely , so you need to just resign yourself to that fact.

Sent from my iPhone using Lake Ontario United

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