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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    North Devon, boat in Plymouth

    Question Dilemma! Do I need a bigger boat?

    Hi everyone, would appreciate a few opinions from those of you who have faced the same issues as I am currently and am curious to know how things have worked out for you:

    Bought my first boat new in 2008 a Jeanneau Merry Fisher 625 Legende. I live in North Devon where we don't really have any handy marina facilities, so launch and recover just about every time we use it. Fab starter boat and got good use averaging 100 hrs a year. As time goes on a few frustrations creep in - the novelty of launching and recovering every time is beginning to wear thin now, the family are growing up and lack of space is becoming more of an issue and at just 21ft, in anything other than really good conditions the boat slaps through the chop and life is often uncomfortable on a passage.

    So, the options are:
    1. Could possibly go to a MF 755 or Antares 780. Bit more space etc but could be one size too big to launch, recover, manoeuvre every time? Would be over 3 tonnes all up on the road!
    2. Anything even bigger would need to be in a Marina so probably then looking at South Devon Coast say Exmouth or Plymouth about 1.5 or 2 hrs drive to boat. Concern is will I spend more money on the boat only to find I use it less because of the distance?
    So, how far do you chaps live from your boats? Is 2 hrs drive unusually distant? Is it a natural progression in the boating world to just keep going bigger and would I find that say a 30ft shaft drive boat will still slap or will life be that much more comfortable?
    My guess isthat some of you will have walked this road before me, how have things worked out for you?
    This boat lark all started with me looking to buy a better kayak!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    hi there, and welcome to the forum,

    I have had the same question some years back,

    first boat 21ft after 3years looking for similar but bigger
    upgraded to 25ft, but still looking for bigger,
    then we found the biggest trailable boat in that segment,
    29ft loa, twin diesel sportfisher, a Karnic 2660
    I have to admid that we were a little over weight, but for me I had no issue with the tralering and launching,

    we have had and still have much fun with that boat in Belgium, Holland, south Croatia, SOF, schotland, Falmouth and scillies,
    we don't want to give up tralability !!!

    sinds one year I also have a little ship (70ft) with 11 berths, in SOF
    but I have no desire in a boat size inbetween.

    but ofcause thats only one opinion.
    mates on here might give you other valid opinions.

    by the way, I like sportfisher style boats, Antares are nice, there is a mate on here selling a very nice diesel Karnic 2460,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Carlisle. The Happiest Place in Britain (Official)


    I may be marching to the beat of a different drum on this subject. Boat is in Weymouth we are in Cumbria. Because of the distance involved, to go to the boat we have to set time aside and blank it off in our diaries. Even for a long weekend the Memsahib has to take leave Friday and Monday. Because of this, time for the boat is committed, all other things are factored out and so we get to spend time at the boat.

    If it was handy, such as the dory on the trailer in the yard, it would probably never get used on the basis that there is always next weekend.

    Beware - When you marry your mistress it creates a vacancy!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Always been marina berthed so not qualified to offer opinions on launch/relaunch etc but we started with 21ft and for same reasons as you, moved up to 28ft which was plenty big enough for the two of us but as time went by, we spent more and more time aboard so decided to go to a 36ft which is just perfect for either weekends or two weeks. As far as travel goes, we are an hour and a half away and that doesn't bother us one bit. 2 hours would be more frustrating but wouldn't change anything for us.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    west yorkshire


    I found UK boating spasmodic and frustrating. kept boat in irish and north sea marinas and got out rarely - wind/tide/ work combinations rarely panned out as desired. We moved inland onto river trent and yorkshire ouse, can go out spring to autumn but gentle pootering. very relaxing but not exciting. Finally gave up on UK weather and moved boat 1500 miles away to med. If you want convenience and boat aboard hours find an estuary or river near home so that sea state is not an issue. Wait for holidays and high days for the sea trips, enjoy the river life in between. (swmbo still misses the baby ducklings each year). Unless you buy a really big boat, 50ft plus the sea will be an issue in the UK.
    Last edited by kashurst; 23-02-12 at 23:04.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Over 44 years and 7 boats I've had both trailerable and berthed boats. Enjoyed the flexibility when trailering but got tired of the hazzle (partially self-inflicted):

    The boat stored in a barn, 10 minutes from home, so 20 minutes spent to bring it home for loading, checks and prep. Yes, could have been omitted, but I'm not one to head out without feeling sure that things work (and never had a problem so think it is worhtwhile). Getting the family out of the house and then drive to a slip, commonly 30 minutes away, making the boat ready with lines, finders etc. and launching.
    Parking car, securing stuff to prevent them from 'disappearing' while out and finally getting into the boat. Same procedure in opposite order at the end of the day, clearing the boat and washing it down before tucking it away.
    The boat was 21' and the job of trailering in general and slips in particular took a proper 4x4, which we most likely would not else have bought (£££!)

    What we missed from the berthed boat was the ability to pop down every now and then, spend time onboard (if not going out then just for a good time, drinks, coffee etc. or maybe dinner). Marina is some 10 minutes away.

    So now back with the berthed solution. And a larger boat (non-trailerable) . Amazingly the marina fee almost exactly matches the cost of trailering (mainenance, storage space hire, launching fees).

    To the discussion about not getting to use the boat enough:
    You won't automatically use a boat more just because it is bigger or a larger investment.
    As HF says you need to prioritize boating. Plan on the use if distant - then a driving distance of an hour or two is not a problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    Are there any swnging moorings locally or even a harbour where you could moor. Your use may then be bound by tides if mooring or harbour dry out but at least you would be close to boat.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    Hi Quest,
    I have had the same question for a few years, i currently have a 22ft boat in Poole, but trail in to Cornwall every year when we camp. it takes me 1 1/2 hrs. to get to my boat on the weekends and i use the launching facilities in the harbour ( Rockley Park)

    i enjoy the flexibility of trailing as i will take it to Italy this year ( lake Garde).
    depending on the English weather this year, i may move it to either the SOF of the med somewhere, as it is the weather that restricts me not the trailing. regardless of size of boat if the weather is **** then there is no enjoyment.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Portishead, Bristol


    I am 14 minutes from the boat which means I visit 3+ times a week. Plus the marina has become a great social centre.

    Traveling 3 hours on a Friday night and the same on a Sunday, battling with the traffic only to find out when you arrive there is a problem with the boat or weather was not as good as predicted, is not for me.

    We use our boat regularly and this is because it's on our doorstep.

    Plus the boat is looked after and cleaned regularly by me.

    Why not consider Watchet?
    "Is it me?"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001


    Hi, good to hear that you enjoy the boat you've got. Where do you normally launch? I know Exmouth well having had several boats in the Docks (marina) and have a few moorings on the river. I quickly gave up on trailer boating, found it a pain. So for past 20 odd years all my boats have been on moorings (80%) with the remaining 20% of the time in marinas. Exmouth I love, or rather the river Exe, Exmouth docks is the second most expensive marina in the country outside of the Solent, with few facilities, so I would discount that.

    Torbay, Dartmouth, Salcombe and Plymouth are all within easy reach, but do you really want the expense of a marina? Ok it's convenient and some have a good atmosphere but you could save a small fortune by trying a mooring for a while, maybe even in N Devon? If you then find it's not for you there will always be a space somewhere in a marina.

    I too started with smaller boats and loved it. One of my best was a 22' Channel Islands, used it 2-4 times a week but didn't do the longer trips I wanted cos of lack of space and facilities, so after 9 years (yes I did love the boat!) moved up to a CI32 which gave me a huge increase in space and meant extended trips were much easier and more comfortable, so I spent even more time on board.

    So think carefully what you actually want to do in your boating before you change boats, maybe try your current boat on a mooring somewhere for a while to see if that's for you, and consider carefully where you might want to base yourself and the boat, look at the local facilities and what the family wants - beaches/shops/nightlife? Will that keep everyone happy? If your family aren't happy then your boating time will suffer, so their needs/happiness is vital.

    Good luck in whatever you decide. Don't forget to ask on here about any places you're considering basing yourself, there will be someone who is there already and can advise you. Most of all, have fun!

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