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Old 19-11-2013, 05:16   #1
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Dollars and Sense 2013

I know what it cost me to have and use my boat for 2013. I keep track of boat use costs, but I decided to add payments this year to determine what I really spent. The answer is I spent a total of $26,824 for the year for the pleasure of having my boat.

Now since I'm in the great warm Northeast that only has a 1/2 year for sailing season, and I have a job and mostly use the boat on the weekends, there are not so many days of use time available. I figure with weekends and a week vacation I used the boat 62 days, but will call it 70 so that I feel better about it and cover days that I went to do nothing but boat work/maintenance (maintenance days are boat days right).

So that works out to $383/day of use.

So this is where it becomes dollars and sense as sometimes I wonder if this makes any sense.

Let this be a lesson for you wannabees dreaming of sailing!
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Old 19-11-2013, 05:34   #2
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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I know what it cost me to have and use my boat for 2013. I keep track of boat use costs, but I decided to add payments this year to determine what I really spent. The answer is I spent a total of $26,824 for the year for the pleasure of having my boat.

Now since I'm in the great warm Northeast that only has a 1/2 year for sailing season, and I have a job and mostly use the boat on the weekends, there are not so many days of use time available. I figure with weekends and a week vacation I used the boat 62 days, but will call it 70 so that I feel better about it and cover days that I went to do nothing but boat work/maintenance (maintenance days are boat days right).

So that works out to $383/day of use.

So this is where it becomes dollars and sense as sometimes I wonder if this makes any sense.

Let this be a lesson for you wannabees dreaming of sailing!
Given that I have spent the equivalent of $5500 on a 40 foot boat , and I got a total of 90 days days usage , Houston You have a problem

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Old 19-11-2013, 05:46   #3
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

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Given that I have spent the equivalent of $5500 on a 40 foot boat ,
What's the "equivalent" of $5500?

Of my $26k over $17k was payments.

Regardless it really makes me wonder what it costs/day use for the 75+% of boats that I never saw move all year.
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Old 19-11-2013, 06:03   #4
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I did the same analysis last year. $16,800 for us, including payments. I'm kind of a fanatic with Excel. Our season at the marina runs May 1 to October 15, but we even did a boat diary, about 60 days on the boat. Brutal. We could have done 10 cruises on the Queen Mary for that cost, but we don't have that much time.

I have mixed feelings about including loan payments though. First they'll disappear next year and lower the annual cost in half, and the payment amount was our choice. How it amortizes depends on how long we own the boat of course. Second we just financed for 36 months because we hate loan payments on toys, so the payments are much higher than they could have been. Finally we'll get some (probably small) fraction back when we sell it, so factoring payments is a complex piece.
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Old 19-11-2013, 06:17   #5
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I know what it cost me to have and use my boat for 2013. I keep track of boat use costs, but I decided to add payments this year to determine what I really spent. The answer is I spent a total of $26,824 for the year for the pleasure of having my boat.

Now since I'm in the great warm Northeast that only has a 1/2 year for sailing season, and I have a job and mostly use the boat on the weekends, there are not so many days of use time available. I figure with weekends and a week vacation I used the boat 62 days, but will call it 70 so that I feel better about it and cover days that I went to do nothing but boat work/maintenance (maintenance days are boat days right).

So that works out to $383/day of use.

So this is where it becomes dollars and sense as sometimes I wonder if this makes any sense.

Let this be a lesson for you wannabees dreaming of sailing!
i had a 48 ft boat in turkey a few years back,i think i spent 6weeks in total over 2 years on it,must have cost about $7000 in storage and flights etc.
managed 4 days sailing over the period when i wasnt repairing it!

4 sailing days=$1750 a day! or 45 liveaboard days= $155 a day!
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Old 19-11-2013, 06:19   #6
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

If not payments then opportunity costs are applicable. What could you have done with that 26 grand and how much interest could you have made in place of your fun on the boat.
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Old 19-11-2013, 06:39   #7
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

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If not payments then opportunity costs are applicable. What could you have done with that 26 grand and how much interest could you have made in place of your fun on the boat.
The opportunity costs are a lot. Instead of the 6% loan the money could have been making at least 10% the past couple of years. So that's a 16% loss. I don't feel there is really any arguing that if your goal is to retire onto a boat and go cruising it is best money wise to not have a boat until you need it.

But of course then you don't go sailing much. In the end it is a rare few that make having a boat work as far as money goes, and those that do do so because they don't still have a land home.

I looked at the cost of just joining a club instead of having my own boat. The cost wasn't much less than the yearly maintenance and operation costs for my own boat.
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Old 19-11-2013, 07:24   #8
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

Wow! This is a very interesting thread. As for counting your payments in the daily cost of owning your boat - do you really think you will only get a small portion of the value of the boat back when you sell? I guess that all depends on how good of a deal you got when you bought and what kind of maintenance you did.

The next thought - "instead of spending 6% on interest for the loan you could have made 10% over the past couple of years" - sure, arm chair quarterback could have made 10%. But how about in 2008/2009 - you could have LOST 30 to 40%. Investments are no guarantee of an income. I could have.. would have.. might have.

But here is the real question - you chose to spend money on sailing, presumably because you enjoy sailing. You obviously have the available money to spend our you could not have done it. Anyone/everyone can make the same statements about anything/everything that they spend money on in life. For example: look at how much I spent on restaurants vs cooking at home, I could have bought a Yugo instead of the Lexus, I went to a lot of movies last year and that really cost me, insert here what you decide to spend your disposable income on.

People do things to make money so they can first buy the necessities of life. Then they spend the rest on the things they want/enjoy. No one has ever said boating was cheap (other than maybe an unscrupulous broker). People spend money on boating because they enjoy it. People with more disposable income buy bigger boats. People with less buy smaller boats, fractional ownership, charter (either buy a boat and put it in charter or just charter someone else's boat).

Bottom line - I really don't think it's fair to make a statement like "let this be a lesson for you wannabees". It is not real hard to figure out how much boat ownership will cost. And if you have the disposable income and that is something that you enjoy doing, come on out, the water is fine!
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Old 19-11-2013, 09:15   #9
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I'd agree with almost all of that, I just think very few owners do a analysis of cost per day of use. Well, at least not a careful, inclusive one at least. We even track the cost of gas back and forth to the slip. When you do that analysis the cost is almost always shocking - but we still do it, and we're even shopping for a 40-footer now.
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Old 19-11-2013, 09:36   #10
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

This isn't a good idea for a thread. It's a GREAT idea for a thread.

I'm evaluating this now, and trying to be smart about it. I LOVE sailing, and have this idea about doing some extended cruises in a few years when my wife and I are retired, but while I'm tempted to get that cruising boat now, I'm well aware of some of the pitfalls of owning a liveaboard when I'm not really living on it for now.

It's difficult to decipher all the data out there, because you have some posters like goboatingnow who report paying $5500/year for a 40 foot boat, while others are reporting what seems like more realistic costs. When I start looking at the real costs of cruising the way I'd do it, slip/marina fees, insurance, equipment replacement, upkeep and maintenance costs add up to real money.

With the horror stories out there about the money (and especially the TIME) involved in a boat restoration, I'm feeling like the best solution for me might be to get a much smaller, newer boat that I can actually sail on the weekends instead of an older, larger "dream" boat where the activity each weekend would be boat maintenance.

I know I'm running the risk of never really cruising for extensive amounts of time, but there appears to be that risk even if one gets an older boat with deferred maintenance.

It seems to me that someone a while back was collecting this kind of data. Actual sales prices (vs asking prices) would also be helpful in terms of available data, as I get the impression that boat dealers are inflating asking prices for boats.
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Old 19-11-2013, 09:59   #11
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
This isn't a good idea for a thread. It's a GREAT idea for a thread.

I'm evaluating this now, and trying to be smart about it. I LOVE sailing, and have this idea about doing some extended cruises in a few years when my wife and I are retired, but while I'm tempted to get that cruising boat now, I'm well aware of some of the pitfalls of owning a liveaboard when I'm not really living on it for now.

It's difficult to decipher all the data out there, because you have some posters like goboatingnow who report paying $5500/year for a 40 foot boat, while others are reporting what seems like more realistic costs. When I start looking at the real costs of cruising the way I'd do it, slip/marina fees, insurance, equipment replacement, upkeep and maintenance costs add up to real money.

With the horror stories out there about the money (and especially the TIME) involved in a boat restoration, I'm feeling like the best solution for me might be to get a much smaller, newer boat that I can actually sail on the weekends instead of an older, larger "dream" boat where the activity each weekend would be boat maintenance.

I know I'm running the risk of never really cruising for extensive amounts of time, but there appears to be that risk even if one gets an older boat with deferred maintenance.

It seems to me that someone a while back was collecting this kind of data. Actual sales prices (vs asking prices) would also be helpful in terms of available data, as I get the impression that boat dealers are inflating asking prices for boats.
you have to realise that once you start living aboard and actually go somewhere,a lot of the expense of keeping a boat unattended in a marina or on a hardstand goes away,as you will generally anchor for free with minimal use of marinas,unless you choose to be in one.
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Old 19-11-2013, 10:01   #12
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

Boats are a waste of money.
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Old 19-11-2013, 10:02   #13
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

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you have to realise that once you start living aboard and actually go somewhere,a lot of the expense of keeping a boat unattended in a marina or on a hardstand goes away,as you will generally anchor for free with minimal use of marinas,unless you choose to be in one.
Very good point, and probably one in favor of waiting until just before you actually intend to go on your journey to get that perfect liveaboard, instead of buying it 5-10 years out and paying all those storage fees.
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Old 19-11-2013, 10:13   #14
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

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Very good point, and probably one in favor of waiting until just before you actually intend to go on your journey to get that perfect liveaboard, instead of buying it 5-10 years out and paying all those storage fees.
quite correct!
(though i currently have 4 yachts at the moment and not cruising,so a bad example!,but i do have my own dock which costs very little to keep the boats on)

another factor of actively cruising that will reduce the cost of running a boat,is that with more time on your hands you will be more likely to tackel routine maintanance jobs yourself,do the haul out and antifouling yourself etc

many cruisers are of the mindset to be totally self sufficint when it comes to boat repair,......and KISS when it comes to expensive equipment.
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Old 19-11-2013, 10:32   #15
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Re: dollars and sense 2013

Thought I'd contribute from a joining a club perspective:

$400 for unlimited use (1 May-31 October) of 23' keel boats
$188 for four daily/weekend rentals to larger boats with engines, heads, showers, etc. (technically $1,100 but it was split 6 ways with the crew and I)
$1000 Upcoming 7-day bareboat in BVI ($4000 but split four ways)

Total sailing days over the season; about 70 - so $23/day ($10/day without the BVI vacation)

Granted, the boats are older and sometimes have bagged out or mismatched sails - but they always work, and I don't have to do any maintenance. Included in sailing days are days spent crewing on other club members' and friends' boats.

I always thought that owning a boat became economical at the sail for two months or more point, but looking at the costs above I think you almost have to liveaboard! If you have a good club near you, I would say always consider joining that first!

p.s. missing from the costs above are time spent doing maintenance on the boat - unless of course you really enjoy boat maintenance or your time is free
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