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As we inch closer to our boat purchase, I am in full-blown preparation mode for my new Sea-Doo boat!
We have decided on the model that we wish to purchase…it is the Sea-Doo Challenger 230 SE. This is the top of the line Sea-Doo Challenger model that offers some additional perks such as a bow and cockpit cover, stainless steel cup holders, 4-speaker stereo system, ECO mode and more.
Our decision is also based on available space. My family is only 5 people, but three of those 5 people are over 6 foot tall. Add in a few teenage friends and the extra space in this boat will go to great use! The storage is also a huge plus for me. Most of our trips will be day trips on the river where we will head to Sebastian Inlet or up and down the Florida waterways, so I plan to pack food, clothes, etc., enough for all of us!
Now that we have the boat decision made, we have to figure out the other decisions, the first one is storage.
We have a few options to store our boat…at our house, an on-water slip in a local marina or in rack storage. I have already ruled out an on-water slip. This is a big investment for us and I do not want the salt water prevalent in all of our bodies of water in Florida to do any damage to the hull of the boat. I also am concerned that water-born creatures will attempt to call my new Sea-Doo home and I have heard horror stories of miniscule animals damaging boats stored in the water. That leaves us with storing the boat at home, on the side of the house and towing it each time we want to use it, or in a local dry-dock storage facility.
I called a few local storage facilities that use high and dry fork lifts to pull the boat out of the water and store in their multi-level storage facility. The beauty to this type of storage would be that we would just have to call ahead or show up at the dock and the boat would be waiting for us to load up and go. The closest facility is a family owned and operated full-service marina, so we wouldn’t have to worry about fueling or cleaning the boat afterwards. They are already set up to help us with everything we need to prepare for a day on the water and to get the boat ready for storage post boating. The quotes I received came in around $250 per month for a 23-foot boat. This price is much more affordable than I would have imagined. This is very high on my consideration list as I see it as the easiest way for me to get out on the water, quickly and with little advance preparation.
The other option is to store the boat at our house. We can store it on the side of the house, but we do not have a covered storage area appropriate for the boat. We live in a mature housing development and there is no possibility for adding space to the house or adding on a garage to store the boat. This option presents us with the least expensive option, but also a bit more work. We would tow the boat to our intended launch ramp, launch at the dock, clean it post boating near the ramp and then bring it back home. For this option we will need to ensure we have adequate experience towing a boat (I don’t, but my husband does) and will have to allow advance time for boat preparation to get out on the water. Less expensive yes….however, also more work.
The storage debate is still being waged in our household…I am advocating for the dry storage and my husband is advocating for the beside-the-house storage—I will let you know who wins this one!
Where do you store your boat? Are you a fan of one or the other options? If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Would love to hear your ideas. Also, please let me know if there are other storage solutions that I have not researched.
SHE DOO is actually Mrs. JA and she is indeed a full-time, working mom of three and is quickly being immersed into the boating life. She will be taking an everyday consumer approach to the entire boat buying process. SHE DOO will be a ongoing segment at OnBoard taking you with her along the journey as she progresses through the process of looking for the right boat, purchasing the right boat, learning the proper boating procedures and operations, real life experiences on the water with her family and everything else there is to know about making the most out of the boating experience and the Sea-Doo LIFE. Her immediate thoughts are how to entertain her 17, 15 and 10 year olds and friends as she sees them being on the water as a much better alternative than them being on the streets.