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Old 04-02-2019, 15:31   #1
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What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Hello all,

So Ive been wanting to sail since I was a kid but I don't have much experience. I come to a point in my life where (I think) I'm stable, but not happy with the normal 9-5 job. Ive been saving and have be interested in buying a catamaran at some point to live on full time. Im looking for as much help when I comes to this since this is all new to me. I have been looking for a catamaran a lagoon, Fountaine Pajot , and or a Leopard to name a few. Below I go over my finances and what I believe I will be working with. Im planning for around a year out to a year and a half because I really like to be secure in my decision.

One of my concerns was finances so I wanted to go over what I would be starting with at the end of this year.

Should I buy a boat in cash or finance it?
Insurance cost for a boat like you have monthly what am I looking at.

Currently I am averaging that at the end of the year I should have close to $120,000 in savings with an average of $30,000-40,000 in a 401k , If I manage to sell my stuff such as the suv, the three motorcycle, and the 2 dune buggy and the snowmobile I should be right around
= $76,000 in cash from these things not including stuff in the house.

for a overall total of $226,000-$236,000 in total by the end of the year.

My house would be rented out for around $1800-$1900 a month. Mortgage is $1400-$1600 a month which leaves me with about $200-$300 a month to be saved for potential repairs and such to be saved in a fund.

I also receive $1630 monthly for my military retirement.

Im disclosing all this stuff because I really am nervous about the whole process and how it works. I read horror stories and don't want to be one.

How much should I spend on a catamaran (37-41ft) ? Should I buy it or finance it? What would you say the months living expenses for 2 with very very minimal marina fees? Should I set aside 10% of the boats value every year for maintenance and et for the boat?

Everything would that you think I should know would help tremendously.

Thank you so much for everything.

JJ
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Old 04-02-2019, 16:09   #2
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

You should pay cash for the boat of course. But unless you plan to go back into the job market in a few years I feel you need to work/save a few more years. Meanwhile you need to chase down cost data via here and blogs to better understand costs in order to made a better decision on how much it will cost YOU

Good luck
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Old 04-02-2019, 16:38   #3
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

You do not say how old you are, or if you are single or have a partner. Sailing experience? Why a cat? If single you could really cut expenses with a smaller monohull. Which part of the country? Big difference between Southern California and the East coast. Cruising or Marina living? We need a few more details.
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Old 04-02-2019, 16:52   #4
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Im 31 years old, I have boating experience but no sailing. I would be sailing with my partner. Why Im thinking a catamaran;I've been on catamaran trips before and love the stability of them, size, and comfort, mind you Ive never been on a sail boat. I would like to sail the Caribbean for quite some time them try the French Polynesian islands. I would like to avoid marina's if at all possible.

Please ask away. the more you ask the more I learn from your experiences.
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Old 04-02-2019, 17:22   #5
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

I was looking at an older lagoon 1994 37 TPI. I wasn't thinking of going new but I wanted something that was manageable and ect. Im was working on scheduling a catamaran class towards the end of the year. I also am pretty handy and a DIYer. About the only thing that makes me nervous is diesel engine work. about everything else I'm sure i could works on. Opinions?
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Old 04-02-2019, 17:36   #6
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Since you have never sailed, why would you throw most of your savings into something you may not even enjoy.

You have to consider the time and the space.

You will have to spend a lot of time on the boat and there isn't a lot of space compared to your home or apartment.

Plus when you are not in the mood, the weather will change and you will have to deal with it.

It's not like coming home at the end of the day saying Ok, I'm done!

Buy a boat for $5,000 - $30,000 and try sailing for a while to see if you enjoy it.

My apartment feels small at times and it's about 1000 sq ft. The house is 2100 sq ft. My boat is 27' and has an 8' beam and is the perfect amount of space for a few days to a couple weeks, but I don't know if I'd like it for a few months
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Old 04-02-2019, 17:39   #7
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Are you totally sold on a cat? Especially since you've never been on a sailboat before.

Cats have a bunch of advantages but also a bunch of downsides - one of them being cost.

You can save a whole bunch of money if you find a mid-30s older monohull you like - a lot of these boats that you can get surprisingly cheap can take you a good portion around the world.

Especially since you are in your early 30s, you are not plagued (probably) by mobility issues that retirees would suffer from that would rule a monohull out.

If you have a bunch of time I'd take some dinghy lessons (both of you, preferably in separate classes) and maybe try to crew on some race boats! That's always a good kickstart to getting used to the motion of a boat.

If you live somewhere that allows it, buying an older, cheaper boat in good condition and moving onto it while still working your fulltime job is a great way to get sailing experience, learn every inch of your boat and still be making good $$$ until you are ready to leave. Or do something else, if it's not for you.

edit: oh tingum/thomm already beat me to the punch
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Old 04-02-2019, 17:40   #8
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

I would suggest step 1 of a plan would be learning how to sail. For if no other reason to find out if you like sailing.

Lots of options on how to learn I would suggest a formal course by any one of the providers from a well reputed school.
Like you I started out on other kinds of boats and learned sailing later. Others will tell you you have to learn on dinghies.
Truthfully sailing a variety of boats is good. You can do a course on a cat. Or a mono then a cat.

I would also suggest chartering a boat or two before deciding to purchase again just to see if A you like it and B it’s the right kind of boat for what you want to do.
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Old 05-02-2019, 04:40   #9
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

A couple of thoughts - first thanks for your service.


second - take a couple of sailing lessons and learn if it is for you or not. I would suggest ASA 101 and a couple after that and learn just a little. You will get a feel for whether you like it or not.


Third - if it were me and we made this choice - DO NOT BUY A STARTER boat. you can not afford to take the lose on selling it when you want to get a bigger boat. Our first and only boat and still our boat is 40' Jeanneau - are we great sailors? Nope have we sailed a lot? yep - we have probably 40k nm underway and a crossing of the Carib from east to west and an Atlantic crossing - all 2 handed - you can do this.
Find a sailing club nearby you and join but watch out for the racers who think they are the reincarnation of Dennis Conners.


Fourth we have put our cost out there for the past 10 years here 10 years of cost of cruising data

some years are good last year was really really bad but with a 15 year old boat that has been underway for 11 years it was time for some major upgrades and work


any other way we can help just let us know and good luck
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:51   #10
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What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Even though we didnít buy a starter boat, well actually we did but it ended up being our cruising boat. Iíd advise you to buy an inexpensive 30ish foot mono.
Reason is they are cheap, and will teach you everything you will need to know before you begin to cruise, maintenance, expenses, even what is a nice to have item and what is necessary. Even if you end up giving it away, you wonít be out of a lot of money.
Many things we have are actually nice to have and not necessary.

Once you have some significant time in the 30ish foot mono, I guarantee you your beliefs will change and you will have a much better idea of what you want.

I believe you can spend a lot of money on courses or Chartering and at the end of the day all you have is a thinner wallet and a piece of paper.
Just my opinion.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:46   #11
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

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Originally Posted by philips101 View Post
Should I buy a boat in cash or finance it?


JJ
Never finance a depreciating asset. Doing so, particularly for something you don't need like a boat, is the most foolish financial mistake you can make.

If buying it necessitates financing, you can't afford it.

And just as important, get over the romanticized version of cruising. Lock yourself in a confined, wet, uncomfortable moving, always rocking room for a month with bad food and a smelly odor.
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Old 05-02-2019, 06:57   #12
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

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Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Never finance a depreciating asset. Doing so, particularly for something you don't need like a boat, is the most foolish financial mistake you can make.

If buying it necessitates financing, you can't afford it.

And just as important, get over the romanticized version of cruising. Lock yourself in a confined, wet, uncomfortable moving, always rocking room for a month with bad food and a smelly odor.
I'll third the "no finance" option. You'll be able to handle any set backs easier without a monthly payment over your head.

What I did was take a week live aboard training vacation to La Paz MX. Inexpensive and allowed me to see how I enjoyed living on a boat.

I then joined a club in San Diego so I could rent different boats to see what features / compromises I liked. This was of marginal value (good if its convenient in your location).

Do as much as possible to buy the "final" boat, you don't have the buffer to lose on a required upgrade.

As I've learned there are nice places to live cheaply and earn if you misjudge/have set backs. But you have to keep your overhead low (no financing)
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:03   #13
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

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Originally Posted by philips101 View Post
So Ive been wanting to sail since I was a kid but I don't have much experience.
---
I have been looking for a catamaran
Makes me wonder; wanting to sail and living on a cat are two very different things.

What do you think you'll love about sailing?
Why do you want a cat and not a mono?

My advise would be to figure out if you enjoy sailing first, and if so, see what kind of boats you like. Same goes for your partner.

Pretty much what a64pilot said
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:15   #14
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Don't dive into the pool without checking the depth. Ease into this. Buy the nicest vessel you can for cash. Stay in your home, learn how to sail it, and see how sailing suits you and your loved ones as a life style. You'll know what to do after that.
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Old 05-02-2019, 07:37   #15
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Re: What should I do. Cost of owing/maintain and living questions

Even though I already posted to buy with cash, I'm not really aganist financing the boat. It's a cash flow issue really and I financed my boat till I sold the house and went full time cruising and then paid it off from selling my house. Cost of money is cheap currently and having cash on hand can be better than an "asset".

I would, and did, sell that house and not be screwing around with letting a renter tear it up to "make" $400/mo. I would be interested in how much cash you would have after doing that. Right now it sounds like you will have around $236k plus $1600/mo income. That's not enough IMO to buy a boat (except a low end old one) and live much more cruising than 5 years assuming you got an "inexpensive boat" (I'm attaching my costs for the past 28 months).

And you don't even know if you will like cruising as it isn't the having sundowners in the cockpit that people dream of.

I what you to go, I really do. But, I think you need to do some more planning and suck it up a few more years if possible.
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