Some other research worth considering,....tralier the pontoon,or rent a slip at the dealer!

Dewey643

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I was thinking of this just the other day,...and wondering that if I don't want to have to invest in a tow vehicle and trailer,if it would be worth looking into renting a slip at the dealer during boating season,and then store it there in the off season. Main Channel Marina's main store is right on Lake Wawasee in Syracuse,IN. Wondering if it would be worth doing it that way. I can still have a pontoon,but not have to invest in a tow vehicle and trailer. Wawasee is a VERY NICE lake,...and a HUGE lake at that. Syracuse is only an hour and twenty minute drive from Bluffton,IN. Your thoughts?
 

Dennis T.

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when i bought mine it was in a slip and i got first chance to rent it. no trailer with the sale. I love it. only downside for me is cleaning the toons. no lift so i have to stay after it alot. but it is great for start and end of the day. no launch, no re trailer, just enjoy and park it and cover it and go. for me that is so worth it. sometimes i might slip down and just take an hour cruise to undwind. i would never do that with a trailer i would think. that is my take.
 

tlcaud

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If you can get a slip with a lift ,I would do it in a heart beat. I have a trailer and 45 minutes from the lake. Hook up time, travel time and launch time really cuts into our boating time. We would be boating during the week if we could go to the marina and get on and go. No one ever said I went boating too much this summer. If you don't like the slip after the season is over, get a trailer.
 

Dewey643

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If you can get a slip with a lift ,I would do it in a heart beat. I have a trailer and 45 minutes from the lake. Hook up time, travel time and launch time really cuts into our boating time. We would be boating during the week if we could go to the marina and get on and go. No one ever said I went boating too much this summer. If you don't like the slip after the season is over, get a trailer.
I'm with you on the hook up time,travel time,and the time it takes to launch cutting into the boating time. Also,...I don't need a truck payment and boat payment at the same time. The money saved by not having to trade for another vehicle would PROBABLY pay for a slip,and winter storage I would think. Then,..of course,...at the end of the day,...the time it takes to retrieve the boat,load on trailer,and travel time home also cuts in! I like the idea of a slip even more!
 
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scubadad

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I can second the "if it's in the water you will use it a lot more" statement. Especially when you been out on the water all day, you're hot, tired, hungry, etc. It's so nice to just dock the boat, cover it, and then get in the car and leave.
 

Vikingstaff

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Might also depend on the price of the slip. It can cost hundreds of dollars per month for a slip in many cases. Not sure if that negates the financial part of the decision or not. However, from a convenience perspective, totally agree with the above: If its in the water, you will use it more.
 

Unishot

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Remember you still have to drive to where the boat is, and home.
For me, it literally takes less than five minutes hook the boat up to my truck. And less than five minutes to unhook it.
Launching takes no more than 10 minutes and retrieving about the same. It’s really not much time at all.
Plus, I prefer to have the boat at my house, and not in the water during storms. I’ve seen dozens and dozens of boats damage this summer with storms at one local lake. Slip costs are expensive around here, too. There’s also a peace of mind not having to worry about theft/vandalism/etc.
 

Jack M

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I got tired of paying $2000.00 a season for a slip. Neither one of our vehicles are capable of towing a boat .5 years ago we found a vacant lot in a sub division that owns their own marina .We bought the lot , now have a private slip and an investment
 

Allan56

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I got tired of paying $2000.00 a season for a slip. Neither one of our vehicles are capable of towing a boat .5 years ago we found a vacant lot in a sub division that owns their own marina .We bought the lot , now have a private slip and an investment

We have a slip and definitely use it a lot more then if we were towing , especially during the week after work. Easier to get motivated after work when you can just drive down and hop in. Because I suck at loading it on the trailer I don't have to stress about it or wait in line either.
 

jtrovato21

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You might want to also look into valet service if that's offered at the lake where the dealer is. We do that and it's been great, we are an hour away from the lake, so we just schedule our launches via an app, drive up there and the boat is on the dock waiting when we get there. At the end of the day, drop it off on the dock, put the cover on and leave. The marina takes it out and puts it away in storage until the next time we want to use it. You don't have to worry about it sitting in the water getting the toons dirty or taking a beating during a storm. Trailering an hour plus each way is miserable when you do it every weekend, I don't care how good you are at hooking up the trailer, launching and retrieving the boat, the time savings of not having to do it and deal with the yahoos at the ramp is well worth the money!
 

Tin Diesel

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There are such good comments on both sides of this discussion that its clear there is no single 'correct' answer. Its whatever floats your boat (pun intended!). Like several said - try the slip, if you don't like it, buy a trailer.

I've thought about getting a slip but decided against it.

We live 1 hour from the nearest lake - Lake Conroe - and store our Bennington ten minutes from our house on its trailer in a $80/month fully enclosed and locked storage unit that is on the way to the lake. Ten minutes to hook up and we're on the way. Launching takes 30 minutes, half of which is wait time and parking the trailer at the end of the very large lot. (I've found that locked and covered storage is nice! I can put it away wet without the cover on, leave the seats and storage compartment open, and its nice and dry when I pick it up)

When my brother had the boat on a lift in his backyard, it took him at least 30 minutes to launch - taking off the playpen cover, loading up gear, bringing down coolers from the house, etc. Even longer to store it, because its harder to put the playpen cover on than take it off.

If I had a marina slip, I would have to carry all the stuff (coolers, life jackets, and the assorted gear I don't want stolen) the 1/4 mile from the parked truck to the slip, and then back again at the end of the day. When trailering, it goes from the back of the truck into the boat while we're waiting in line - 5 minutes (I have a very organized system of storage boxes categorized by: standard gear like life jackets, fishing gear, water toys etc - just take what I need for that day). Average ramp wait time on a busy weekend - less than 10 minutes.

Slips at Lake Conroe are $200/month. That's an average of $100 per launch vs $15 for the ramp fee.

Then there's the fact that I'm a DIY tinkerer.
Last weekend, I had the boat at the house and had a great time working on it - installed a fantastic flag pole from Taylor Made on the ski deck, fishing rod holders by Taco, a new anchor-light base from Perko (which included a lot of new wiring work), front bumper protectors I picked up from the dealer, plus some all-around cleaning and generally just enjoying being busy with my boat. Most of that would have been difficult to impossible at a marina slip (or at least, every time I dropped something it would have been gone for good!)

There's also the adventurer component. Having the trailer allows us to travel to new and different lakes. We love exploring - whether it be secluded coves or oogling expensive lake houses. So far we've ranged as far from Houston as Lake Ouachita in Arkansas and Lake Travis in Austin, and have plans for the Florida panhandle. Maybe someday further west. Lake Powell is a bucket list item.

Having the boat in a slip would result in us using it more only if it was in our backyard. Its not, so I'm not seeing a lot of advantage to that $200 cost.
 

SEMPERFI8387

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You use your boat twice a month ( $200/$100 per launch)???
 

Tin Diesel

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You use your boat twice a month ( $200/$100 per launch)???

Sad to say, we only get out about twice a month.

So if I were to get a slip for $200/month...

The thing is, with September coming we are now starting our boating season in south Texas (in our opinion). Not much joy boating in 98 degree heat and dripping humidity.

There's a good chance we'll be on the boat in December... maybe even January
 

Spoiledrotten

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Tin Diesel, you and I are in the same boat. I’m a few hundred yards from our neighborhood boat ramp. We load the boat at our house.
That’s 7 mins due to the neighborhood speed limit of 15mph.


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Alicedream

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I will chime in. I have a trailer but I slip my boat. I would not want to hassle with putting it in and out. The gear we have stays on the boat and we have never had a problem with theft. In a normal summer, this was not one due to flooding, use the boat about 45 times and we pay $2,100 a year for the slip. We have a lake view cottage as our lake is an army core lake with no houses built directly on lake so you can’t dock your boat at your house. Marina about 10 minutes from cottage. We have access to the lake at a ramp half mile from house, which is great. Usually pick up my wife there and she will have the cooler. It works great for us. It all depends on your circumstances and what you prefer and cost.
 
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Dewey643

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So many good answers and options to consider,...no right or wrong answer in any of the comments!
 
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