Everyone can do his own math depending on the cost of marinas
in his particular location.
When you count up the cost of anchoring
, however, don't forget the indirect costs.
I kept my boat in a marina until spring last year, and she has been on a mid-river mooring
(or underway) ever since.
The first indirect cost I found out about was batteries. I quickly killed a set of batteries to the tune of 1000 GBP (but that's only one month in the marina I had just left, so I was philosophical about it). And now I go to a lot of trouble and have incurred various expenses to try to keep the batteries maintained without shore power
. I installed a wind generator
at quite a lot of expense which does not produce enough power. Solar
is probably next.
Then the next indirect cost is getting to your boat. Where do you keep a dinghy
, or can you use a water taxi? My mooring is out of the regular range of the Hamble water taxi, so to use the taxi is expensive and takes a long time for him to come. Besides that, out of season he shuts down at 18:00 or even 16:00 and you're stuck if you arrive after hours. I've incurred hotel
bills because of missing the taxi.
So now I pay my former marina 600 GBP (about $1000) a year to keep a dinghy
there. This solves other problems, too -- I have a place to park, a place to get my mail, and other benefits of being a citizen of a marina. But since I don't want to leave my regular dinghy for weeks at a time in the water, collecting rainwater etc., I bought a second hard rowboat for that purpose (another indirect expense).
Then you have to spend money
on diesel fuel
and wear and tear on the genset to make electrical
power on the mooring. With no shore power
, you don't have hot water on demand. You have to make it.
Then the biggest inconvenience of spending a lot of time on the mooring is fresh water. This can be a real problem if your boat is too big to dock single
handed, like mine.
Next in line in top inconveniences is getting provisions and getting back and forth to land. It can be a PITA if it's pouring down rain or you're in a hurry to get into the city for meeting, etc. Mostly it's not a PITA -- for me, under most circumstances, the dinghy trip is just a bit more boating
. I guess it depends on how you look at it.
When you add it all up, for me at least, the saving is not nearly as great as it seems at first glance, even compared to the extremely expensive marinas here (I was paying about $1600 a month).
But I prefer being on the mooring for one non-financial reason -- to spend a night on the mooring is to be "out there" already. It is totally different from being in the big boat parking lot which is a marina. It is so much more peaceful, and you are really in nature and finally really out of land life. For me this is the biggest plus of not being in a marina.
We have been on our summer cruise
for about a month now, and we have had shore power for a grand total of four nights out of about 30. We have been at anchor or on mooring balls or on pontoons without power, mostly. I do not find life without shore power to really be a problem as long as the genset is working properly and you have reasonable battery
capacity. At anchor with an anchor light burning and the electronics
running all the time, I usually need to charge twice a day. On a mooring ball with electronics
shut down and no anchor light, once a day at dinner time is enough even though we use a lot of inverter
power for various tasks. If you move every couple of days it's even easier, as even a short period of motoring brings the batts right back up, in our case.