To steal a line from Dickens…
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”
From where I sit those words have a lot to do with the current state of affairs where boats are concerned. I’m not sure if you’ve been paying attention on the price of good used boats lately but, just in case you haven’t, the cost of boats in reasonable condition is at an all time low. Spend five minutes on just about any sailboat listing page, Craig’s List, or owners associations and you’ll find boats at rock bottom prices selling for pennies on the dollar… That’s the “best of times” part.
Of course, one of the reasons the price of good boats has fallen so low is a horrible economy for those folks who used to be able to afford a boat, the rent on a marina berth to put it in, and had spare time to be able to go sailing but, sadly, for a lot of people in the rapidly disappearing middle class a boat no longer represents fun and freedom but simply a financial burden they can no longer afford… Interesting how the “best” and “worse” go hand in hand like that.
I won’t bore you with my thoughts on the “wisdom” and “foolishness” because there’s so much foolishness about it’s hard to miss and, as far as wisdom is concerned, while something of a rarity these days there is still enough to go around…
Which brings me to a boat I saw for sale up in MD. A 1968 Columbia 36 selling for less than $8K. Now the thing I found remarkable is the fact that less than $8000 for a boat in apparently good shape with pretty much all the needful gear is not very remarkable at all these days.
It’s just normal.