IMO 3 steps:-
1) Buy well
(both in condition and in quality).
2) Personal Knowledge
(of everything - what needs maintainence and being able to identify problems before they get expensive. Plus what usage is unneccesarily stressing the boat / equipment).
- the more you can do the better, not simply for saving money
but also by adding to personal knowledge bank (see above). Even when you can't or simply don't want to do something you personally knowing WTF needs doing and how does save money
- even if only by folks not being able to BS you).
3 1/2) Less is More
- if it ain't onboard, then it don't break, don't require maintanence nor replacement. All a personal choice on comfort / fun levels, no universal rights or wrongs.
You have 3 choices of when maintanence gets done:-
1) Before you buy (by someone else!) - or before you leave (by you!)......it's called putting maintenance
into the bank!
2) When using the boat (locally or "out there") - how much of that depends on how much was done (or not done!) at step 1!
3) After you sell (by someone else!).
Obviously in an ideal world the boat would be bought with shiney new and quality stuff onboard (or installed before pushing off to distant places) - all good to go (for 7-10 years) with only preventative maintanence done along the way.......and the refit
sold to someone else a few years down the line
........but in practice likely that will be a mix of steps 1 and 2 (i.e. if your sails
are 5 years old - does it make sense to replace with new now, or in a few years time?......same for a squillion other things, where it makes sense to wait until something breaks or is not unreasonable to take a punt on.......electronics don't all suddently go pop after 5 or 10 years).
My guess is that many of the "Horror stories" come from folks buying
boats based on the boat size and attractiveness of the scatter cushions
in the lounge plus the number of gizmos installed (hey, we all like gizmos
). Whereas if the money was spent instead on something that didn't have the build quality (and life expectancy) of veneered MDF Kitchen cupboards might also find that the fixtures and fittings also installed were also longer lived.......the most expensive route
a boat is in parts
- off the shelves of a Chandler (same as for buying a car).
and of course the old favourite of confusing being able to purchase
something with being able to afford to. Everything is too expensive when you don't have the money.
and IMO being able to live without certain things (aircon?) is a useful cost saver, whether that is permanently (if it's not onboard it can't break!) or only temporaily until fixing becomes cheaper / less of a PITA.....everyone has own comfort level on stuff.
BTW the above not saying that old and heavy is the way to go - in ye goode olde days plenty of ***** boats were built
pretty good at identifying those after a couple of decades
. and sometimes less
Originally Posted by ArtM
What are the costs?
- Broken running gear
- Corroded parts
- Worn out sails
Answer: start with quality and learn how to maintain and to use without abusing.
- Faded, peeling, cracking gelcoats
Faded - Live with! (and pay at resale - or the repaint in 10 years. or carry on living with).
Peeling - Not sure if that is Osmosis repair or delam. On either the cheap answer is to buy neither! For that some decent boat history on the internet is priceless - plus seeing a few examples yourself (including at below price / condition point of what you intend to buy at).
Cracking Gelcoats - don't drop stuff on the decks! If it's stress related then you bought the wrong boat (unless the brochure proudly claimed that the boat was designed to flex so much it starts cracking the gelcoat).
- Damaged hulls - Answer: Don't hit stuff!
- Blister maintenance - Answer: A bit of pre-purchase research on the boat builder / models, plus keeping fingers crossed! "they all do that" is not a good answer.
- and bottom painting - Answer: suck it up . The cheap way is to antifoul in a tidal region where it is legal to do so between tides (on the beach or on drying pads). No tidal range? Sh#t outta luck . Learn to swim / dive .
So it seems to me that, given this, there would be value in creating materials and designs that would minimize or even eliminate these costs.
- What do you do to minimize maintenance costs?
- Would you post your maintenance budget
- Is it possible, or cost feasible to build cruising sailboats with almost no parts that would break, corrode, fade, or wear out?
- What are the barriers to getting more widespread adoption of better, more durable technology into these boats?
Folks claim they want "the best" (quality that will last a 1000 years, and survive a thermonuclear strike) - but the Market says that most won't pay for that.....indeed, IMO most would be silly to do so.
Unsurpisingly, no easy answers - if there were that would take half the fun of boats away