Can You Have Too Many Boats?

Well the obvious answer is yes, I guess. If you are a collector or hoarder, and have the storage room, you COULD (technically) easily have too many boats, or anything else, for that matter. I currently have three boats, and a new one under construction. How did this happen? Do I need them all? Is it right?

Brown Eyes and I have had a number of different sail boats over the years. All boats represent some form of compromise. We have had s/v Go With GUST-O, our present boat since 2011. She has taken us all over Flathead Lake in Montana, around Florida, To the Bahamas, up to Desolation Sound on the Canadian West Coast, and across the 135 km long Lake Okanagan from her home at the Vernon Yacht Club. She is a high quality trailerable micro yacht that is comfortable and at home on blue water. She is not an ideal light wind lake boat. On the other hand, GWG is very safe when a large inland lake kicks up a summer squall. Brown Eyes loves her. Need I say more? Compromises. Solution: Go racing as crew on my friend Lyle’s fast boat.

Lyle, Ray, & Stasha Dinghy
s/v Go With GUST-O with Stasha dinghy under cover on fore-deck.

When at anchor, you still need to get to shore, or go exploring in shallow waters. This prompts the need for boat #2 – a dinghy. We have a 2.5M inflatable boat that I really do not like. It slows us down to tow it. and it is too big to store on the deck of GWG when under way. I have to inflate/deflate the boat constantly, and wrestle it’s 35Kg mass over the side of GWG using a halyard. UGHH!! Solution: Build a bespoke dinghy designed just for our boat. Enter boat #3. Last winter, with a lot of help, I built a Stasha nesting dinghy that fits on the forward deck of GWG. Weighing only 13Kg, the Stasha can be assembled in a few minutes, and launched by hand. The EP Carry electric motor at just 9 kg, powers it along with little energy. The Stasha is small, but hangs from my garage ceiling, above my pickup truck. Now that we know the Stasha works well, we will be selling boat #2 – the inflatable dinghy. Then we will be down to two boats again.

One of the activities we would like to pursue from our new home base is exploration of other local lakes. Go With GUST-O doesn’t do that very well. She weighs 4000 Kg, and needs two to three days to be prepared for launch and retrieval. Hardly a boat for a spontaneous jaunt to a new small lake. Enter boat number #4, or should I say #3? I decided that I would like to have a skiff that I could sail, row, or power with my electric motor. The boat had to be light, responsive, stable, dry in a breeze, and easy to row. I also wanted to build it, as I enjoyed the process with the Stasha.

First Mate Skiff – sistership

Enter the First Mate. A 5M skiff designed by Ross Lillistone in Australia. There are a number of them in service, including some long distance racing performances. Can you imagine yourself sliding this 80Kg fun boat into a small lake, and being on the water in about 15 minutes! I am going to add another twist, in that the boat is being built as a collaborative effort by Men’s Shed Vernon, which is a shop operated as a community of retired guys seeking friendships and well being while they build stuff. Follow our progress and exploits with the First Mate construction at Men’s Shed Vernon

So…to answer the question posed at the outset…NAW!…I think that it is justifiable to have a few boats if they all see use, you can keep them up, and have a specific purpose that brings you joy. Solution: Get out there, pursue your passion. Go With Gusto!


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