Sloop for Sale - The Sailing Boat next Door
Whenever you think of a tiny seaport along the New England coast an image of a dozens of sloop sailboats tied to the docks and anchored in the water comes to mind. It is an image of the timeless sailboat that we see in the movies and in pictures.
We read about them in Romance novels as a romantic way to sail into a woman’s heart when a dashing young lad in his knit sweater takes his love out for a ride. It is also a hobby that is enjoyed by thousands on our lakes, rivers, and other waterways around the world.
What else do we know about the quaint little sailboat, the sloop?
But first: What makes a good sailor?
It takes a special breed of person to be a sailor. They are not like the anxious, faced paced types that hop into their speedboats and crazily zoom along. They are more laid back, more one with nature, and hurry is not in their vocabulary when they are on the boat.
To be out on the water is what their spare time revolves around, sure they have a favorite sports team, but all that will have to wait if it is a sunny day with a gentle breeze. There adventurous spirit longs for that feeling of noiselessly gliding
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Sloops past and present
So what is this quaint little sailing vessel the sloop? First of all let us not confuse it with its military cousins. In the late 1700’s, a war ship with sails was called a sloop, but this referred a lot more to its intended mission than its sail configuration. In the 1900’s a sloop referred to a ship that was classed between a corvette and a frigate and did not even have any sails.
The modern day sloop
That brings us back to the little sailboats you can tug up onto the beach behind your cottage. By definition a sloop is a boat that has just one mast along with a fore and aft rig. A sloop typically only has one head sail. It can have a cabin built in but many have no cabin at all.
They often are steered by a single tiller which is a wooden shaft rudder that mounts at the back of the boat so it can allow for maximum sail size. The smaller versions have little or no draft so they are very advantageous in small lakes and ponds that tend to be shallow in spots.
Luxury Sloop Variants
There is also a luxury variant of the sloop. These vessels come with large cabins and are in a whole different price category than the little sloops you are most familiar with. These are the big sailboats you used to see in the Americas cup races before the catamaran and trimaran styles became more popular. These can cost up to $25-50 million in cost.
The largest sloop mega yacht is the Mirabella V built in 2004 at a cost of over $50 million. It is a whopping 247 feet long. There is a master suite on the main deck and 6 more rooms. It comes complete with a few smaller sailboats called lasers, jet skis, and a 23’ tender to ferry people back and forth to shore.
So what about those sloops with two masts? Well those are actually ketches, and although they look similar there are some big differences between them.
Sloops vs Ketches
A sloop has its advantages and disadvantages versus a ketch.
A sloop is faster and sails closer to the wind, a kind of exhilarating on the edge feeling. It requires less sails to be bought and maintained and you need less accessories and parts. There is less work required on the boat when sailing, called rigging.
Because it is the most popular boat, a wide variety of sloops are available on the secondary market. The drawbacks, since it only has one mast its sails are larger and heavier which makes them hard to manage and there are fewer options to reduce its sail area in heavy wind. So there are times it simply cannot be used and sits idly moored.
A ketch is widely preferred by the older sailors because it is much easier to handle than a sloop and sails with more control in strong winds. Since ketches are not as popular there is less of a selection to choose from.
Typical ownership costs of a sloop
So what are the typical costs involved in sloop ownership? Well since there is an ample supply of them you can probably get a good deal on one on the secondary market or go new if you so choose.
Let us look at the cost of a typical 23’sloop with a cabin for the first year.
- New Boat $23,000 (used $13,000)
- Fuel – none typically unless you add a small motor for emergencies
- Taxes - $450 (varies per state)
- Anchorage - $500 – 1000 for the season, there are more boats than spaces so sometimes it can take years on a waiting list to get one.
- Winter storage - $500
- Annual maintenance – a typical average for this type boat is around $2000 annually
- Miscellaneous – $500
So you can see that even if you pay for your boat in installments you still have a pretty good yearly bill. Plan for it and put some away for the unexpected mishaps such as a hole from running aground or tearing a sail.
All in all they are still much easier to maintain as opposed to their motorized counterparts.
Why buy a sloop?
People fall in love with their sloop sailboats because of the on the edge speeds they attain while wisping across the open water on a bright sunny day. There is something about that back to nature feeling under sail, that sailboat owners often talk about craving, a sense of freedom it is referred to.
There must be something special about them with as many of them as there is around. So when you get interested in buying one, pull a sloop owner aside and ask them what they like about them and why you should look for a sloop for sale, they will tell you there is nothing better than the feeling of sailing to take your mind off the rest of your worries.