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Old 16-03-2010, 04:27   #1
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10-25% of Boat Cost/Year on Maintenance - That Seems Like a Lot

10%-25% of boat cost a year on maintenance, that seems alot. if i buy a 44ft cat 4-5yrs old i was hoping for around $10,000 usd i do work myself, cruising med or carribean moored at anchor.
where does all this money go? purchase price $350,000 usd that could be upto $90,000 usd in maintenance costs!! i think not.
id like a break down of maintenance costs by a cat owner please. my cruising income total will be $40,000 surely this is enough to live and maintain a boat in relative comfort for just me and partner, yes i know there are variables but if you could just give me a total for your own spending and then ill compare it to my own living standards. much appreciated in advance.
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Old 16-03-2010, 04:56   #2
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That seems ridiculous
I have been cruising for 30 years and in no way have I ever heard of such a high maintenance cost.
Year ago there used to be a saying that it will cost all you have. If you do the work yourself it won't cost to much at all.

Regards John
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Old 16-03-2010, 05:03   #3
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I posted this over on the other thread when you asked.

1~2% of new replacement cost. New? $650k for a Lagoon 44, so figure $6,500 to $13,000 per year average. Some years will be $3,000 some years will be $20,000.

And don't forget that new replacement cost keeps going up.

Where? running rigging, standing rigging, bottom paint, sails, electronics, engine maintence, generator maintenence, fridge, a/c, canvas, gear, cushions, ground tackle, electrical, hull care,,,,, it just goes on and on....
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Old 16-03-2010, 06:45   #4
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I'd think the boat price is too remotely related to the actual costs to give a useful figure. Of course a bigger more expensive boat is more expensive to maintain, but other factors can mean as much. As the two others here say, 10-25% of new price, must be wrong by a large degree. That level must mean: You do nothing yourself, the boat is of luxury standard, you stay at expensive places, and you demand that the boat is allways spotless and shiny. Or, like in serious racing, a normal annual budget could be 50% of boat cost... That includes continuous upgrades and excessive wear due to pushing limits.

If you want a more useful feel for your own running costs, consider what kind of boat is it? Rigid high quality boat sailed carefully/ light flyer pushed to the limits? A liveboard boat travelling long distance will need a lot more maintenance than a yacht mostly moored. If you're on the move most of the time, sails, ropes and all working gear gets wear and tear at a multiplication factor similar to the running time difference. Good quality sails on a normal short distance cruiser may easily last ten or more years. If you go far, expect to need new sails every second year or sooner. This will vary greatly. I think I'd look at the actual boat you plan to use, find out what the prices are for different important items, like sails, engine service, rigging service, and all, the way you intend to perform those things. Also have a look at the price of replacing the engine or rig, which may occationally be nessessary...

Remember also that as a liveaboard, you'll become quite well informed as of where to get the right stuff at the right price. The differences just within the Caribbean or within the Med, for the exact same item, can often be described by mulitiplication. The right spots are normally much cheaper than your home harbour, and the wrong spots will make your jaws drop.

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Old 16-03-2010, 07:35   #5
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I suppose it depends upon the level to which you want to maintain your boat, but apart from the cost of anti-fouling paint, minor gelcoat repairs, replacing docklines, sail and diesel/saildrive maintenance, watermaker membranes, re-galvanizing the anchor chain, replacing anodes, light bulbs etc. etc., you will need to maintain a fund for capital expenditures. Assuming year-round use for extensive cruising and the desire to maintain the boat to a reasonably high standard, roughly every 5 - 7 years you will likely need to replace:

1. the entire sail inventory.
2. all running rigging.
3. all standing rigging and a number of blocks/cam cleats etc.
4. the portlights/screens
5. the hatches/screens
6. the lifelines
7. the canvas (biminis, side curtains, sail covers)
8. at least half the electronics
9. the ground tackle
10. the batteries
11. the interior/cockpit cushions
12. the refrigeration unit/s
13. the hoses for the heads/holding tanks
14. the holding/water tanks, if flexible
15. the pressurized water system
16. the water heater
17. the propane tanks
18. the propane lines
19. the stove
20. the faucets/shower heads etc.
21. curtains/blinds
22. the inflatable
23. the outboard for the inflatable
24. the fenders
25. the seacocks/ball valves/through-hulls
26. props, if folding.
27. the wind generator, if any.
28. the anchor windlass
29. the bilge pumps
30. the trampoline

In addition, in this same time period it is highly likely that the diesels/saildrives will require substantial repairs, if not rebuilding. Certainly the fuel injection, alternators, starter motors, mixing elbows, etc. will all need attention. I have also assumed that there will be no damage from groundings/collisions/ lightening strikes/loss from theft. Furthermore, I have excluded the furling gear, which could also require replacement.

Now, assuming you can do all the installations yourself, the cost of the replacement equipment/parts will still be huge. Frankly, leaving even $10,000.00 a year for your capital replacement fund alone is eventually going to be inadequate (when the diesels/saildrives need replacement and the boat needs to awlgripped). Realistically, even the highest of the figures given by Joli should be seen as the bare minimum for a boat such as a lagoon 44. And that is with a new boat! Adding in the cost of haul-outs, shipping/duties to some faraway ports of call and some loss from theft/storms/negligence - say $15,000.00 a year to be safe. Of course, if any labour is required.....

Brad
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:23   #6
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dannnggg... makes me want to run out and buy another boat. thanks./
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Old 16-03-2010, 08:36   #7
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I think Brad is quite good at mentioning the kind of thinking you need to do. If planning to use the boat, be on the move, more or less continulosly, some of the elements on that list will need attention rather much more often. Other topics maybe less, but not too much less. Less intensive use will change wear accordingly. The total price tag is impossible to guess even to a remote reliability without knowing more of the basic facts, and even then it's hard, but maintenance is one of the big costs of full time boating. Insurance is another...

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Old 16-03-2010, 09:31   #8
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I think much confusion is the result of people failing to realize boat maintenence has to be priced in todays dollar. We are afterall buying bits and pieces with todays dollars.

If you have an older Swan 44 that originally sold for $220k but todays Swan 44 cost $800k you have to use a percentage of the new boat price. 1~2% of $800k is $8 to $16k. But the guy who owns the old Swan that he bought for $200k may say he averages a much higher percentage of HIS purchase price but probably will still fall in the 1~2% range of new replacement.

Or take the guy who bought an old Tartan 37 for $65k and the new Tartan 37 is upwards of $400k 1~2% is $4 to $8k....

We tend to average 1.1% of new replacement. Some years are over 2% Some years are under .5%. I have the numbers to back this up and the repairs include some fairly major work such as new engines, Awlgripping the hull, deck, spar, new sails, new instruments, new electrical, sending all the standing rigging to the spar maker for review and repair as required, new running rigging.... This is a 9 year average and I feel like most of the major cost items will be good for a some time now.

It would be interesting to hear from people like Jedi who live aboard and keep thier boat in good order. What percentage do they spend annually as compared to a new 64 footer (guessing a new 64 footer costs $2.2 million)? 1~2% is $22 to $44k.
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Old 16-03-2010, 09:41   #9
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Guessing at prices (below) I come up with $71k but I would add another $10k for stuff so lets say $81k. Divided by 7 = $11.5k annual or under 2% of new replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
I suppose it depends upon the level to which you want to maintain your boat, but apart from the cost of anti-fouling paint, minor gelcoat repairs, replacing docklines, sail and diesel/saildrive maintenance, watermaker membranes, re-galvanizing the anchor chain, replacing anodes, light bulbs etc. etc., you will need to maintain a fund for capital expenditures. Assuming year-round use for extensive cruising and the desire to maintain the boat to a reasonably high standard, roughly every 5 - 7 years you will likely need to replace:

1. the entire sail inventory. Main and Jib yes, storm stuff and kites no. $12k
2. all running rigging. $3k
3. all standing rigging and a number of blocks/cam cleats etc. $10
4. the portlights/screens $500
5. the hatches/screens$500
6. the lifelines $800
7. the canvas (biminis, side curtains, sail covers) $8k
8. at least half the electronics $5k
9. the ground tackle $3k
10. the batteries $1k
11. the interior/cockpit cushions$2k
12. the refrigeration unit/s $4k
13. the hoses for the heads/holding tanks $1k
14. the holding/water tanks, if flexible $1k
15. the pressurized water system $1k
16. the water heater $500
17. the propane tanks Why?
18. the propane lines Why?
19. the stove Why?
20. the faucets/shower heads etc. $500
21. curtains/blinds $500
22. the inflatable $3k
23. the outboard for the inflatable $2k
24. the fenders Why?
25. the seacocks/ball valves/through-hulls $2k
26. props, if folding. $4k
27. the wind generator, if any. $2k
28. the anchor windlass $2k
29. the bilge pumps $1k
30. the trampoline $3k

In addition, in this same time period it is highly likely that the diesels/saildrives will require substantial repairs, if not rebuilding. Certainly the fuel injection, alternators, starter motors, mixing elbows, etc. will all need attention. I have also assumed that there will be no damage from groundings/collisions/ lightening strikes/loss from theft. Furthermore, I have excluded the furling gear, which could also require replacement.

Now, assuming you can do all the installations yourself, the cost of the replacement equipment/parts will still be huge. Frankly, leaving even $10,000.00 a year for your capital replacement fund alone is eventually going to be inadequate (when the diesels/saildrives need replacement and the boat needs to awlgripped). Realistically, even the highest of the figures given by Joli should be seen as the bare minimum for a boat such as a lagoon 44. And that is with a new boat! Adding in the cost of haul-outs, shipping/duties to some faraway ports of call and some loss from theft/storms/negligence - say $15,000.00 a year to be safe. Of course, if any labour is required.....

Brad
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Old 16-03-2010, 09:46   #10
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How often do you get out of the chandlery for less than $100? Almost never would be my answer. I shopped around and got a good price on 130' of halyard, a block and shackle. $300 out the door. Now I have to replace the halyard. If I had hired the work out we'd be looking at something close to $500. Maintaining a boat is expensive. I think Joli is pretty well on the mark. Not saying you can't get buy for less.
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Old 16-03-2010, 11:26   #11
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Joli, I think your estimates are pretty fair (some even a bit generous) except for :

1. the hatches/ports - I was referring to not merely the screens, but the hatches/ports themselves which, especially in tropical sun, will likely be hazed to the point that they need replacement within 7 - 10 years. While the new Lewmars permit replacement of the lens, in my experience it is often cheaper to replace the whole thing as dogs, gaskets and hinges are all pretty worn at that point. I am replacing all of mine this year and there are 10 hatches, 6 opening ports and four roller blinds/screens. The cost with tax and shipping is about $10,000.00.

2. The batteries. My 1125 Amp house bank ( 6 x 375 Amp 6 volt Surrettes) plus two 12 Volt starter batteries for the diesles and one for the windlass, will cost about $4,000.00 with tax and shipping.

Fortunately all of my fixed ports are tempered glass and should never require replacement, although on most boats the plastic will need to be replaced and, in the case of windows that are curved and bedded into the hull, this can be not only expensive, but very difficult for the DIYer.

As to the stove, propane hoses, and fenders, if you are able to get more than 7 years out of yours, you have done much better than me (and often less for fenders if you are transitting canals, or are tied up in storm conditions). Once again, I note that nothing is included for awlgrip (likely required after about 10 years) and rebuilding/replacing the diesels/saildrives. So if one assumes a 10 year life expectancy for them, you can add (conservatively) another $50,000.00 or $5,000.00 a year (and yes, for the awlgrip I am having it professionally done, rather than a DIY tip and roll, or an outdoor spray job). Even if one assumes 10 years for the hatches/ports, that adds roughly another $1000.00 a year.

In the final analysis, we are not that far apart - but in order to save for hatches/ports/awlgrip/auxilliary replacement, you really should have at least $15.000.00 yearly for capital expenditures on a cat of that size. On a boat that has a replacement cost of 600 K, that works out to about 2.5 per cent.

Finally, take note that I am still not including damage caused by theft, groundings, negligence (nor the insurance premiums/deductibles, if one chooses to insure). Nor am I taking into account inflation (as the purhcase prices for these items is bound to increase over the next 5 - 10 years).

Brad
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Old 16-03-2010, 13:38   #12
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Interesting thread, I have been having an email conversation with a local designer (have preliminary drawings) about the "next" offshore liveaboard boat. We are trying to design a boat that is as cheap to own and operate as possioble. The theory being that in the past when I have bought/built a boat I had an income, while capital cost is an issue, the much bigger issue and the one that brought me back to land was the ongoing cost of operation, as by then I wasn't working.
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Old 16-03-2010, 13:39   #13
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BTW, he also thinks it can be built at around 40% the cost of a production average white boat.
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Old 16-03-2010, 14:09   #14
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Robdyson,

We are maintaining a charter fleet of 40 bots of which 13 are cat from 38 ft to 48 ft. What we are charging yearly to the owner of an average size, say 43 ft, is in the range of € € 11-15 K. The break down is as follows;

-full insurance (3-4.000 €)
-yearly marina cost including haul and launch once a year (€ 4-6 K)
-winter maintenance 1.800 € (anti fouling, cleaning of diesel and water tanks, all piping, electric circuits, batteries, wood surfaces to be polished and varnished, small gel coat and paint work, polishing entire boat, all stainless steel parts, engine maintenance including oil and filter changes, sail drive gaskets, control of the rigging, etc..

This doesn't include any extra expenses which are not covered by insurance or warranty.
In my view, you should add to this a deppreciation cost for sails, say € 2-3 K per year. We change sails in charter every 3-4 years. For private use, it could be 5-6 years if you are careful.For cats, the fully battened main in particular is very costly..)

Obviously any upgrade or so is not included. This cost doesn't vary very much beetween a brand new or 10 years old cat. The numbers I gave are for FP cats.

Beside our charter fleet, we are also servicing many other mono and cats. Obviously, you cannot compare a Swan 43 to Jeanneau 43 or 42 ft FP to 42 ft Catana. FP's and Logoon's are relatively easy to maintain, hence, less manhour is required. And skilled labor cost a lot..

Cheers

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Old 16-03-2010, 15:45   #15
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I've never heard anyone quote 25% as a likely average annual maintenance cost, but I know many have reported 10%. Of course the condition of the boat when you buy it, how you use it, what you can do yourself and what's important to you will all influence what maintenance is actually needed.

I also think there can be trade offs between initial boat expenditures and maintenance: Spend more for a well built boat that has the systems you need all functioning and in good shape and you will likely spend less on maintenance at first.

I myself spent 30+% in maintenance on my most recently purchased boat the first year of ownership but think average yearly costs will be much lower.

Things like engine work and through hulls I had the pros do. Things like replacing the fridge, stove, head, plumbing, lights, etc., impellers, belts, etc. I did myself.

My pervious new boat, required nothing the first year.

Every boat will have different maintenance needs.
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