Sailboat on Mooring, August 1, 2008

A sailboat tied to its mooring can early on the morning of August 1, 2008.

An anchored sailboat early on the morning of August 1, 2008

While the sailors are still out in force, the gas prices have really cut into the powerboat traffic. Even on the prettiest summer days the decline from last year is dramatic.

Given how many powerboats are in the local marinas, you wonder if we aren’t seeing the same phenomenon that the New York Times recently addressed. That no matter what the cost of fuel may be, boats are a very low-cost alternative to a summer home…

… Diana Dayrit and Jon Magel of Brooklyn have found a relatively low-cost getaway, a boat at a marina in Montauk, N.Y. If you think about the price of waterfront property, and then think about boat prices and marina fees, a boat can make a lot of sense for people who don’t mind bumping into each other in close quarters.

“We’ve always loved Montauk,” Ms. Dayrit said. “But because property is so expensive out there, we could never afford to buy a house. With a boat, we’re able to have not only a home but a portable hotel that we can travel with as well.”

The couple keep their boat — a 31-foot Chaparral that can sleep four in two double berths — at a small, friendly marina with full services, including utilities and winter storage, for about $6,500 a year. “Our slip neighbors have been in their spots for over 30 years,” said Ms. Dayrit, who is spending her third summer at Montauk, on the eastern end of Long Island. “It’s a blast listening to their stories, meeting their families and just sharing in the pleasantries that marina living brings.”

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