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Mobility and your boating investment

There's nothing more entertaining than watching the dinghy paddock next to a mooring field to see the tricks used to get out to the mother ship. Chains in special places and "immobilisers" of every imagination, suddenly, a boat that looks like it was grown there is moving like a magic carpet across the ground and floating on the water.

TLDR; a single boat can't be capable of every boating adventure, boats become an expense if you invest in the wrong capabilities, a second boat or renting often produces a cheaper and more satisfying result.

What makes the operation of a tender to the mothership so smooth is that they have one priority which enables them to execute their function without compromise to another capability. When you see a smooth operator on the water the definition of their vessel's priority is the foundation.

For a tender on the river bank, the priority is simple, mobility to get onto the water and onto the mothership. Sure it'd be nice to be able to fit another three people in the tender but at the cost of being able to move the dinghy to start off with? No chance when there is usually an option to simply pick them up from the jetty after you've got to the mothership.

This sentiment is often lost when people go to buy their "big boat". The idea of the big boat often captures more gravity, it would be nice to be able to fish from the boat, and it needs somewhere for the kids to swim, and we'd sure love to whip up to the Whitsundays, and then there's that party that uncle John holds on the lake, and then, and ... suddenly the boat is everything except for the quite fishing rig that was initially desired.

Now the obvious problem is that your sweet little fishing rig will not fit 8 people and cruise the Whitsundays so how do we bridge the gap? The key is to invest your hard-earned gold in boats built for a purpose and if you can't afford the boat for the purpose, rent it.

Let's bridge the biggest gap of our sweet little solo fishing dinghy amongst a family who heads off to an exotic location for an annual boating cruise holiday. The boss decides that having the solo fishing rig isn't family appropriate and decides that one single boat that can handle holiday cruising can also be used for fishing.

The unfortunate outcome of this decision is that old mate can't really go for the solo fish as the boat is too big for one person to handle at the ramp. Perhaps the boat turns out to be big enough for a bit of cruising but the thought of towing the trailer a thousand kilometres (or having to steam the distance) becomes a bit much and the annual boat trip is reduced to a bi-anual trip that is forgotten about every second time.

Suddenly, a boat capable of what it was made to do is collecting dust and the maintenance for such marginal use has you thinking B.O.A.T. (Bring On Another Thousand). Let's flip the coin and go against the boss's initial call, a sweet little solo fishing rig is purchased and a behemoth cruising catamaran is hired (or if you have enough gold, purchased) every year.

In this scenario, fishing is a regular relaxing event that happens without a hitch and the family walks on and then walks off their holiday vessel each year after a solid aquatic fix. Not only is this scenario likely to be thousands of dollars cheaper in the initial outlay and ongoing costs but the investment is directly matched to boating bliss.

So how do you make a sensible investment in boating? The first step is to define how you see yourself out on the water and look into the options that deliver your boating dream. First world problems often need first world solutions so don't feel silly if buying two boats that represent competing priorities or owning a boat and renting at the same time.

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