When I moved to the Cayman Islands in early 2009 one of my first priorities was to purchase a boat. I knew that it would be one of the only, if not the only, opportunities in my life to be able to take full advantage of a boat. I’m not sure I’ll ever live somewhere again where just about every day is a great boating day. Even on days when it was rough, the bay was usually calm enough to do some water activity.
Originally, I wanted to get a boat that was big enough to take to other islands. Something with a cabin down below where we could dock and live on the boat for a week or a long weekend. However, I quickly realized there were four big challenges with a boat like this. First, as it turns out, Cayman is situated FAR from everything else. Jamaica is about 150 miles to the east and in boat terms that is FAR. That’s about 7 hours on the open ocean and not a trip we would make often. Second, a boat like this costs WAY more than a deck type boat. Third, a boat like that doesn’t have a lot of room for passengers. Finally, a larger boat like that doesn’t really have the horsepower for water sports like skiing and tubing.
So, with this in mind, we started looking for a deck type boat. I wanted a larger boat in this class, which put us in the 26′ – 30′ range. We settled on a used 2007 Sea Ray Select EX. It turned out to be the perfect boat to just have around the island. It was fast, had lots of room for passengers, and was easy to maneuver.
The boat brought hours of fun and was perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling, tubing, water skiing, kneeboarding, touring the island, etc. Having the boat was one of the best experiences of my life with one major exception – the cost. I now know where the expression “The happiest days of a boat owners life is the day he buys it and the day he sells it” comes from.
From the day I got the boat, a giant sucking sensation began tugging on my wallet. I don’t even want to get into how much the boat ended up costing us, but I’m definitely glad to see it go! In the end it would have been much cheaper to just rent a boat everyday we went out – and we went out a lot.
One major lesson I learned was to never buy a boat without a warranty ever again. It seemed like every time we went out something else broke on it. Between all the bouncing and salt water there is just so much that an go wrong. I’m not normally someone who ever purchases a warranty, but you can bet your butt that it was a must when we were looking at RVs. From everything I’ve read, fewer things go wrong with an RV, but I don’t care. I wanted a warranty anyway. This way I know I’m paying for gas, wear and tear items, maintenance, and that’s it.