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Old 17-12-2014, 07:54   #136
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Re: Cost of Cruising

Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
The only thing that happens when people say that new boats cost less to maintain is that they are deferring the maintenance to the future and possible to the next owner. And this is usually reflected in sale price of the boat so they are typically only hurting themselves in the long run.

And when people talk about it cost them more to maintain their old boat its because they are now picking up the slack for deferred maintenance. But again, if they did their homework properly they purchased the boat at a discount so it was reflected in the cost of the boat.

Sorry for the rant.
You make a good point. However, many maintenance/upgrade tasks are not annual. Some can be predicted (how many years until new sails are needed); others are harder to predict (when will the brushes in the autopilot pump motor need replacing). Also, random stuff sometimes just happens that isn't so much related to age, just luck -- or lack thereof (this year my genoa furler top swivel decided to jump the track). A well maintained boat will have fewer issues deriving from deferred maintenance; however, in general, an older boat will have more components and systems that need replacing every year than a newer boat.

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Old 17-12-2014, 08:57   #137
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Re: Cost of Cruising

Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Of course all these discussions assume the boat is in excellent shape and so is everything on it.
Yes the assumption is the boat is in excellent shape, but everything is mid-life, that is your in the sustainment phase, not re-fit. The 10 yr schedule on replacing most systems seems logical to me
Assumption also is that you are not allowing things to wear out, that is allow the boat to degrade to the point of needing a re-fit.

Yes new boats need bottom jobs etc just as frequently as old boats, but there are some high dollar systems like propulsion and refrigeration etc. that should be years away on a new boat, but on an older boat may be next month before they need replacing, Tankage and chainplates fall into that category as well, and in my case at least, those are not inexpensive items.

I believe in pay me now or pay me later in maintenance, and sometimes when you delay payment, interest has been collecting.

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Old 17-12-2014, 08:59   #138
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Re: Cost of Cruising

In regard to standing rigging. If blue water cruisers carry enough new wire to replace forestay, backstay, upper and lower shrouds; and have either already installed or have in their posession norseman or Sta-Lok compression fittings - each wire can be replaced 'as required'. 'As required' is understood to mean an inspection reveals a wire is showing signs of wear and or corrosion necessitating replacement. Each of these is exposed to more or less stress than the others, and 'scheduled' replacement of them all makes little sense.

Bolts, tangs and pins? I have never in 23 years replaced any of them. But, prudence suggests their replacement should probably scheduled. One risk we take however, is inferior quality tangs and or pins - although newer than what's being replaced - may actually present more of a hazard than if we'd left the old ones on. Hard to know without fluxing/x-ray testing both...

Just another way of managing maintenance costs of a cruising boat.
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Old 17-12-2014, 10:07   #139
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Re: Cost of Cruising

I'm not sure an older boat, 30-50 years old costs any more to maintain then a 5-10 year old boat does. I should mention that I did spend a chunk O money when I first purchased my boat. New lights, radio, electrical panels, new plumbing distribution, etc. But I knew it had not been maintained and even with that chunk of money it just brought the total price up to the then average cost for my old boat. Deferred maintenance does cost, but usually that is reflected in the purchase price as well.

Most older boats have been repowered with new tankage. That was the case with mine and was a big factor in purchasing the boat. The motor then failed after 6 years of my ownership. For me it was major, but not as major as paying someone else to change it out or repair it.

A bottom job or a engine rebuilt did shoot my maintenance costs for those years to right near 10%, luckily, neither happens often. But for me with my dinky boat with its spartan systems, it runs somewhere around $500/year (3-4%), even with an add for the 5-6 year bottom job.

Standing rigging will be coming up due on the Rose. I've already replaced the head stay. That will be a 10% year too with my costs at about $1000, for a spool of wire and staylock cones. I do inspect the rigging at least twice a year.

No question that a long ocean passage is much harder on a boat then coastal cruising. Chafe alone is a biggy.

Yes I do have maintenance costs, but I keep my costs lower by shopping around and sometimes designing my own systems.

My vented propane heater being a prime example. I made the vent and vent cap out of recycled copper for less then $100 total for parts. That and a draft hood on a ventless mr. buddy heater ($60). But I'm an engineer, I can do that. The vent cap has remain drip free, even with the heavy rains and 50 knots winds from last week. My whole propane heating system cost less then just the stainless flue and vent of the typical Dickinson heater.

My new RV stove is on its way ($280 new with shipping), I'll transfer the gimbol, and fiddle bits from the old 42 year old Trav'ler RV stove to the new one, while saving a ton of money over a new "Marine" stove that works and lasts no longer then an RV stove.

Four of my seacocks are original, but they are real tapered bronze seacocks and will probably outlast me. The Heathkit (homemade kit) depth sounder with nixie tubes, also is 42 years old and shows no sign of failing. I do have a raymarine depth sounder also, that I installed, but I expect the raymarine unit may fail first.

I purchased slightly used anchor chain ( it looked new) from a fellow for about $0.60/foot for 5/16" BBB. I purchased a new simrad wheel pilot years ago for $500. A new whale diaphragm pump for $30 at a marine consignment store.

I reduce costs, by avoiding "marine" stores as much as possible and by buying good used and sometime new from private parties, consignment shops and ebay. If you purchase everthing at real marine stores, its may cost 10% a year or $1000 a month. For the penny pinching sailor, there are other options.
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Old 17-12-2014, 17:30   #140
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Re: Cost of Cruising

As I've mentioned before, I bought a new Morgan OI in 1973 (our 2nd live aboard sailboat) and I've had my present 1973 Morgan OI for over thirty years. So, 43 years on this 1973 model. My first was 33' and when I had been liveaboard cruising for 13 years my family of four needed more space. My 33' was simple, but pristine. I had kept everything in good shape. The 41' that I bought in 1985 had much equipment, but it had been negleted. When both boats were new the clock had started. I have replaced all or part of my standing rigging three times. I have replace my engine, portlights, fuel tanks, holding tank, water tanks, auto pilot, rudder, shaft & shaft seal, prop x3, anchor chain x4, upoltersy/ foam cushions x2, Air conditioners x2, two heads x2, sails (some x2..some x3), wiring, diesel generator, rub-rail, nav electronics x2...some x3, bimini and windscreen panels x3, refit & replaced some chainplates / turnbuckles, anchors x 6 (2 cut away), dinghy x 6, dinghy outboard engine x 5 and added windlass, anchor davit, solar panel, referig/freezer and wind generator. .........and more that does not immediately come to mind. ...zincs, hand rails, balsa core, pumps, seals,...

I don't have a record of money spent per unit of time on my old boat, but I have confidence in my function to cruise seasonally from Maine to the Bahamas or Florida Keys. Most of the installation and replacement work listed above I did myself. I have not made a boat payment in over twenty years and my descretionary income is above 50 percent.

My model is not for those that want in and out or those that want a "starter" boat, but my model does allow for an inexpensive route. I should add that I have not owned a car in 13 years, and I've never owned a home ashore in my 68 years.

Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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