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Old 30-03-2014, 08:20   #31
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Re: How much is enough?

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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
I think you are on the cusp of 2 different cruising lifestyles:
- You have the true megayacht lifestlye. In which case your budget boat and crew expectations are way low.
- You have the couple cruisng on thier sailboat lifestyle (all be it upper end), in which case you will generally find folks much more hands on and a full time crew won't fit well long term.

Trying to split the difference, neither works well. Purely my opinon but you came asking for advice, so...
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:28   #32
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Re: How much is enough?

Question I have for the OP is whether he is intending to cruise extensively just live on the boat with limited cruising?

Where is the OP East or West coast us, OZ, NZ, Europe?

I would buy used for two reasons.
A) Much cheaper.
B) Already depreciated.

Assuming you are going to cruise extensively I would get a Sundeer.

SUNDEER 60 shown here is an example.

The S60 has an owner's cabin forward with head. Aft are berths and a head which can be for the crew separating the two and helping with privacy. The boat is narrower than the Bene decreasing space but making berthing much easier in one regards. The boat draws 6' making some destinations much easier.

And most importantly the Sundeers and Deerfoots of all sizes were specifically designed for a couple to handle.

There are other boats I would consider but this is the one that comes to mind first.
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:31   #33
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Re: How much is enough?

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Again, I do thank everyone for their great tips and advice. Especially those who have been providing real raw data. Trying to get the conversation back on track though would be great. I really don't think that the concern should be around what I may or may not be worth. I am the only one who can know whether or not this type of a move fits inside my budget and that's why I'm trying to find out costs from those who have actually experienced them.

So, based on this statement is it your advice then that any boat that I should get should not be more than 2-3% of my total net worth? That seems pretty unrealistic for most people. I may be way off but I'm guessing that most people have a lot more than that sunk into their yachts.
I'm not suggesting a specific percentage but I've seen and heard enough stories of folks who dumped a ton of money into a boat never having tried the lifestyle only to quickly find out it wasn't for them and then they took a bloodbath trying to sell.

Example: I knew a couple who bought a nice $500k trawler. I don't have the numbers but they easily dumped another $100k in outfitting it for liveaboard.

They took it out one time. Had what was really a minor docking incident but it scared the heck out of them. It sat in the slip the rest of the summer, paid a guy to drive it over to the haul out come winter. I heard later that they sold it for $300k.

Remember for every story you hear of someone just selling it all buying a boat with no experience and sailing off into the sunset, there are probably 10 who wind up with broken dreams and a big loss.

I'm reading between the lines a bit but from your statements it sure sounds like your wife isn't 100% behind the idea of going cruising which raises the odds of it not working out.

Sorry if I'm being a bit of a downer but I'm seeing a number of red flags. Be aware and account for them and your odds of success or at least minimizing the loss should be better.
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:32   #34
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Re: How much is enough?

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So, based on this statement is it your advice then that any boat that I should get should not be more than 2-3% of my total net worth? That seems pretty unrealistic for most people. I may be way off but I'm guessing that most people have a lot more than that sunk into their yachts.
A percentage of net worth really just doesn't work for this. It's a matter of the portion of your net worth you can reasonably afford for a boat while still protecting the lifestyle you wish to have. Only you can figure that out. If you had a low income and low net worth any percentage might be too much. If you were worth $4 million then $400 million wouldn't really impact your life.

Just a couple of comments. One don't underestimate the cost of living and using the boat. Don't put yourself in a position that you can't enjoy all you planned. Plan for the unexpected.

Second, and this one is strictly personal, the idea of borrowing money on a boat unless it was to be my primary home just is one I have a problem with. That's really a bit damaging to what I'd call available net worth. Boat doesn't count in that equation but the debt does. So available or disposable net worth just took a big hit. Betting that one's investments can continue to outstrip the cost of interest is a gamble I personally wouldn't take.

Back to your specific budget items:

Monthly maintenance, I'd want to increase the number until I built a reserve for major work of 10% of the boat's value. Then your annual maintenance number is probably fine.

Docking a boat that size can range from $400 per month to $3000. But your number should be adequate for most locations.

Fuel cost is so dependent on usage. That's just over 100 gallons per month you're planning on. That would be more than enough for many. But you decide to do one long cruise this month of a total of 1000 miles and all motoring due to where it is, then you're talking 3 to 10 times that.

Captain's salary. Not just captain but deck hands, crew. What about hull cleaning. A good captain for a boat that size will cost $5000 - $10000 per month. Now the captain may or may not be temporary for you. But we live in South Florida. We get our hull cleaned by divers every three weeks. Expensive. Are you going to scrub the decks yourselves or when you pull to a marina will you find someone there to do it and the two of you enjoy the sunset instead?

Boat Insurance will depend greatly on where and what you're doing. But I'd toss out a range of $1,000 to $1,500 per month on that price boat.

Health insurance, you might want some form of supplemental major medical even if not something more comprehensive.

Costs back home. Will always be more than you plan. Things break. S... happens. I'd increase that estimate.

Licenses, registrations, property taxes. All depend on where you are. Normally just a few hundred a year. Then add cruising fees for place you might go such as $300 for the Bahamas.

However, when it comes down to it, I only have one major issue with your numbers and plan. You talk about "solid investment portfolio that generates a sizeable income." That's not a good basis for any plan. Figure in years of no income other than your fixed income securities. Or even losses. To me budgeting always consists of at least two if not three plans. First, is what my best projections would indicate. Second though is the most important plan. I budget a contingency plan. No, I don't base it on the entire world falling apart, but I do base it on significant deviations from expectations. Stock market down. Rental property vacant. Engine rebuild on boat. Then third, if you want to just torture yourself is the "what if things went even better than I project."
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:42   #35
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pirate Re: How much is enough?

If the Missus wants space.. go for a big Cat..
The Lagoon 440 is pretty spacious.. not crazy about the bridge deck helm and high boom but sails well enough.. 200 miles/ day.. heaves to pretty nicely in a blow..
But there's plenty of others to choose from out there.. and for long term from her view point I reckon that'd be the wiser choice.. I have found women in the main start to get claustrophobic over the long term in mono hulls... they still resent being grabbed by the hair and dragged into caves...
Can't imagine why..
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Old 30-03-2014, 08:51   #36
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Re: How much is enough?

Not to get hung up on the boat size issue, but a 50' boat is substantially larger inside than a 45' boat, and a 58' boat dwarfs the 50'. It's a function of beam and length, and those extra cubic feet add up fast. A 50' is more manageable than a 58', and your wife will find it considerably larger than the 45', I think. Only she can be the real judge of that.

A 50' center cockpit would give you a wonderful aft cabin with a comfortable queen size bed, lots of storage, and plenty of tanning deck behind the cockpit.

But, putting that aside as you were only throwing out an example...

There are other merits to going smaller. Boat is easier to handle in the harbor, at a dock, can (all other things being equal) get into skinnier water than a larger boat, etc.

From a financial perspective, one benefit to going with a smaller boat is that there is a very good chance that you'll decide after not too long that you bought the wrong boat for you, for whatever reason (wrong size, wrong layout, wrong rig, wrong color, whatever) and that you want to change. The smaller the boat you start out with, the less you're going to lose in depreciation when you trade it in.

I think your numbers look about right, certainly something you could manage expenses to. Regarding self-insurance, I might consider that down the road but not for the first couple of years. You can't make an educated decision about that until you have some experience with the boat and how/where you're operating it. And from a liability standpoint, you can do a lot of damage and injure a few people pretty easily with a large boat, just by accident.

As far as a captain goes, choose carefully. There are a lot of excellent ones out there, many with a talent for imparting knowledge, exhibiting an excellent sense of humor, and being fun to be around. I would say that part of your plan is the most difficult part...finding the right person who you'll learn from while being able to stomach having on your boat day in and day out.

One advantage to going on a series of crewed charters is that you can try out a variety of boats in a variety of locales, and even get to know a variety of captains. I would strongly consider going that route for a few years before pulling the trigger and going whole hog all in right out of the gate.
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Old 30-03-2014, 09:46   #37
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Re: How much is enough?

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I'm reading between the lines a bit but from your statements it sure sounds like your wife isn't 100% behind the idea of going cruising which raises the odds of it not working out.
Wife is very much on board. It was her idea. She just wants to be comfortable...

As for the rest of it.... I don't scare easy, learned that the first time i got lost in the air... and frankly, if I lost half of the investment we've been talking about it would be no big deal. What IS a big deal is KNOWING actual costs for things prior to execution. Budget is HOW you choose what you can and can't compromise on to determine a course of action. As a pilot and in business I learned to plan EVERYTHING. This is what I'm trying to do.

The questions I asked were based on that. If a new pilot asked me how much the insurance was on a Diamond DA42, I wouldn't answer by telling him that its too much plain for him and he should be looking at a DA20 instead or a Cesna 152, I'd just tell him how much and what that covers, or if I didn't know I'd tell him so. If you asked me what it would take to get you pilots license and what you would need before you could safely fly the DA42, I'd tell you that too.
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Old 30-03-2014, 09:57   #38
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Re: How much is enough?

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However, when it comes down to it, I only have one major issue with your numbers and plan. You talk about "solid investment portfolio that generates a sizeable income." That's not a good basis for any plan. Figure in years of no income other than your fixed income securities. Or even losses. To me budgeting always consists of at least two if not three plans. First, is what my best projections would indicate. Second though is the most important plan. I budget a contingency plan. No, I don't base it on the entire world falling apart, but I do base it on significant deviations from expectations. Stock market down. Rental property vacant. Engine rebuild on boat. Then third, if you want to just torture yourself is the "what if things went even better than I project."
Thanks very much... Very useful information.
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Old 30-03-2014, 10:01   #39
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Re: How much is enough?

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Wife is very much on board. It was her idea. She just wants to be comfortable...

As for the rest of it.... I don't scare easy, learned that the first time i got lost in the air... and frankly, if I lost half of the investment we've been talking about it would be no big deal. What IS a big deal is KNOWING actual costs for things prior to execution. Budget is HOW you choose what you can and can't compromise on to determine a course of action. As a pilot and in business I learned to plan EVERYTHING. This is what I'm trying to do.

The questions I asked were based on that. If a new pilot asked me how much the insurance was on a Diamond DA42, I wouldn't answer by telling him that its too much plain for him and he should be looking at a DA20 instead or a Cesna 152, I'd just tell him how much and what that covers, or if I didn't know I'd tell him so. If you asked me what it would take to get you pilots license and what you would need before you could safely fly the DA42, I'd tell you that too.
I can see where you're coming from. But if I may offer a slightly different approach? Instead of trying to set a firm budget right out of the gate before you even know how you will use the boat, first figure out your intended cruising grounds. East Coast and Caribbean? South Pacific? The Med? Different boats work best in different areas. Find out the TYPE of boat that will be best for your intended use then focus on what makes you comfortable within that type. Once you have that those two parameters set, your projected budget will be far more accurate for everything including purchase price, mooring, maintenance. You'll even be able to call insurance brokers and get an exact quote for coverage and conditions. Trying to lay out an item by item budget before you even know how you will use your boat or what type boat you will even have is a bit like taking off in a 767 and then programming the FMC with your route.

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Old 30-03-2014, 10:31   #40
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Re: How much is enough?

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Just a couple of comments. One don't underestimate the cost of living and using the boat. Don't put yourself in a position that you can't enjoy all you planned. Plan for the unexpected.
This is why I'm asking the questions :-)

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Second, and this one is strictly personal, the idea of borrowing money on a boat unless it was to be my primary home just is one I have a problem with. That's really a bit damaging to what I'd call available net worth. Boat doesn't count in that equation but the debt does. So available or disposable net worth just took a big hit. Betting that one's investments can continue to outstrip the cost of interest is a gamble I personally wouldn't take.
This is one that I'm up in the air on myself. Currently I can borrow this amount of money for between 2% and 3% but I'm currently pulling cosiderably more than that with various business ventures. I can write a check now or just decide to pay everything off early if that changed. But, I know what you are saying. It needs consideration.
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Old 30-03-2014, 10:44   #41
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Re: How much is enough?

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If a new pilot asked me how much the insurance was on a Diamond DA42, I wouldn't answer by telling him that its too much plain for him and he should be looking at a DA20 instead or a Cesna 152, I'd just tell him how much and what that covers, or if I didn't know I'd tell him so. If you asked me what it would take to get you pilots license and what you would need before you could safely fly the DA42, I'd tell you that too.
There are 4 things you seem to be missing about this forum and/or cruising in general that are leading you to make subtly incorrect analogies and conclusions.

1) You are not asking a single person face to face for advice. You are asking a large completely anonymous group of people for advice. Consequently you are getting a lot of advice that you didn't ask for because of:
-the limitations of the written word,
-folks that didn't pay attention to all the info you gave (e.g. live-aboard skipper) or didn't see subsequent answers,
-folks seeing you as a newb who is biting off more than you can chew and want to help you look out for yourself, . . .
You will continue to get it no matter how much you disclaim. My suggestion is to say 'Thank you' or to ignore the advice that doesn't pertain and keep reading. Some of it will be worth consideration even if it doesn't pertain to the immediate question. Having seen this situation enough times on the forum if you keep trying to control the topic you will wind up getting flamed and the consensus will become that you are an ass.

2) This is not a business situation where the goal is obviously constrained and time is money so people are inclined to stay focused. Also there is minimal hierarchy here so there is no good mechanism to keep the discussion on topic. Acting like it is a business meeting will just annoy people and lead to the aforementioned flaming and consensus.

3) Similarities between flying and sailing aside there are vastly different regulatory requirements between the two. In the US the FAA mandates a series of training and experience steps on your way to flying bigger and more complex aircraft. In the US to use a large vessel, 100' or so, there are 2 or 3 steps: Write a check, change the registration & in some states take a very short (1-8hr) boating safety course, then you can untie the lines. The FAA would not allow you to buy and immediately fly a used 707 with a private pilot's license which is the best analogy I can make between sailing and flying in this regards.

4) While the folks that can afford a 100'+ boat are generally bright enough not to jump straight to that size alone, there are plenty of folks that can afford 50'-60' that would. They come on this forum periodically. Hence a lot of extraneous advice.

If you can accept the forum for what it is you can get at least some of the answers you are looking for. Fight it and you will drown.

Good luck.
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Old 30-03-2014, 11:15   #42
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Re: How much is enough?

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Question I have for the OP is whether he is intending to cruise extensively just live on the boat with limited cruising?

Where is the OP East or West coast us, OZ, NZ, Europe?
Currently I live in Ontario, Canada near Toronto.

Cruising is the intent. Not just a liveaboard.
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Old 30-03-2014, 11:18   #43
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Re: How much is enough?

You are not sure what you want because you do not know enough about boats yet. Take some sailing classes and charter some boats in order to increase your knowledge of boats.

Do not make the mistake of buying a boat first and then learning more about boating. The chances of buying the wrong boat for you are much greater until you learn more about boats.

It's a hard lesson to buy a boat only to find out it is the wrong boat for you. It takes seemingly forever to sell a boat at the price you want.
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Old 30-03-2014, 11:21   #44
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Re: How much is enough?

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Currently I live in Ontario, Canada near Toronto.

Cruising is the intent. Not just a liveaboard.
How extensively do you wish to cruise?
Caribbean
Europe and the Med
Pacific
Round the world (RTW)
If going RTW will you go thru the Suez, around Cape of Africa or will you ship the boat?

Do you want to go into high latitudes, Chile, Alaska, Iceland, Norway, Cape Horn?

These answers affect the boat you should have and the costs and maintenance.
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Old 30-03-2014, 11:35   #45
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Re: How much is enough?

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There are 4 things you seem to be missing about this forum and/or cruising in general that are leading you to make subtly incorrect analogies and conclusions.
Thanks for the advice. In the last post I made that prompted this, I meant no disrespect in my analogy. Nor was my intent to be provocative. You are probably correct in that I have been trying to guide the conversation and in doing so may be getting off track. With that particular analogy I was trying to convey the quantitative nature of my inquiry and probably could have done a better job.

I will say, I struggled with the idea of posting at all here just for the reasons you laid out. I've read hundreds of posts on a variety of topics and was nervous about where this particular topic might lead.

To your point, I have been collecting bits of data from those that have been providing it, they have been very useful, and I hope it keeps coming. Even the comments that are more "instructional or suggestive" are being carefully considered.
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