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Old 01-11-2012, 21:33   #76
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Well, Frank, while I agree with some of your examples and those posted by others as well, let's not get carried away here! The chain that is garlanded along park pathways is NOT the same as proper anchor chain, the propane stoves for RV's (I think this is what you refer to here) don't have thermocouple shutoff valves for when the flame blows out, the ballcock valves may well be common brass instead of bronze and so on.

One really needs to be knowledgeable before substituting non-marine items into a marine environment, for very bad results can be around the corner.

Cheers,

Jim
Agreed.

The caveat is that you have no more guarantee through a marine store.

My camp stove ($150) from Canadian Tire shuts off propane to the burner after it is blown out (just tested it. Haven't put it away yet after the threat of Sandy. It is an older one so YMMV).

Chain is galvanized, there is no more to it than that. It's either done well or it isn't. There is no special galvanizing for marine.

Ballcocks I'll give you because only the manufacturer knows what they did and what they made it of (I have seen marine manufacturers quote bronze meaning the body but not the ball and vice-versa).

I'm just saying that because it came from a marine outlet doesn't mean it's worth the price.

You are absolutely right in that you need to be knowledgeable. That's why I'm always willing to learn.
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:27   #77
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

If it has seals inside of it, you should realize that the seals used in marine items are designed to withstand salt. Land items are not.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:01   #78
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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If it has seals inside of it, you should realize that the seals used in marine items are designed to withstand salt. Land items are not.
Ahhh. See, didn't know that.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:09   #79
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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Originally Posted by frank_f View Post
.......................................
.................I'm just saying that because it came from a marine outlet doesn't mean it's worth the price.

You are absolutely right in that you need to be knowledgeable. That's why I'm always willing to learn.
I continue to follow these two wise ideas from frank_f. Often my decisions as to wether to buy a "marine" item or "generic" depends upon wether the item is essential to safety or some critical operation. With this in mind, all my system that manages propane is of the highest marine quality, but I have a little inverter under my cockpit table that I can use for an FM radio, laptop, or small 110V light that I bought for a small price off the Walmart shelf. My sheets run through some high quality marine blocks, but the adjustment on my main and mizzen topping lift is done with a plastic Duncan yo-yo.
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:09   #80
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

3 categories:-

1) stuff that definately needs to be "marine" quality - (Thru hulls / seacocks).

2) stuff that doesn't - (me Plastic sink bowl did not come from a Chandler - so no boaty pic on it ).

3) stuff that is worth (or is tempting for!) taking a punt on - (I have a couple of light synthetic throwover style blankets and duvets (light and synthetic for ease of washing and drying - plus anti-damp).........Very cheap because ("proper" bedding ain't plastic )......I had no idea if they would be any good (looked a bit light to be warm - but turned out very well), now I wish I had bought 100 and rebranded them as "marine"!.....unfortunately now I can't even remember where I bought them from ).

Of course their are likely things which don't need to be in category 1, but I don't have the confidence (or can't be arsed?!) to hunt down an alternative.....
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:23   #81
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

One of the biggest complaints I hear when selling to the marine world is that "just because it says marine on it it's twice the price." I am sure there are some vendors who do this, and god knows West Marine has very high markups, but as mentioned, it rarely is that simple.

For instance someone in this thread mentioned alternators. Well non-marine ones don't have to meet the USCG standards for spark suppression. But the ones sold for marine use do. For a diesel boat this may not matter at all, but for a gas engine it could mean the difference between a nice day on the water, and your boat exploding.

Pretty much anything made of metal is going to be more expensive when labeled with "marine." Not because they are jacking up the price, but because of the metallurgy. For instance on of the easiest ways to decrease cost in metal parts is to use a less expensive alloy, which often means using more zinc. Not a problem at all for most of the world, but on a boat the zinc will literly disolve.

Someone mentioned the difference is price on one suppliers 304 stainless wire versus another's, and indicated that one was 4 times the price. This absolutely could have been just a pure rip off, but there are certain things that can distinguish high quality 304 from bad. Remember the grade only definese the alloy mix, not the manufacturing technique. So a true marine wire will have the threads electropolished, then passivated before being spun, and the cleaning will be done with 304 brushes instead of a standard steel wire brush. If any of these things are skipped, it becomes cheaper to produce, but can drastically reduce the expected lifespan of the wire.

There are other fun things like this that often make identicle looking parts really quite different. Most manufacturers take a certain percentage markup independent of the market they are selling to. However marine retailers have to take a higher markup because they have a much lower volume of sales than say Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart isn't turning the stuff on their shelves every month they consider it wasted shelf space, a chandlery however may only turn some items once a year.
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Old 02-11-2012, 15:03   #82
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

Helpful post. Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2012, 20:13   #83
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+1. Thanks Stumble. Good info.
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Old 11-11-2012, 21:19   #84
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
3 categories:-

1) stuff that definately needs to be "marine" quality - (Thru hulls / seacocks).

2) stuff that doesn't - (me Plastic sink bowl did not come from a Chandler - so no boaty pic on it ).

3) stuff that is worth (or is tempting for!) taking a punt on - (I have a couple of light synthetic throwover style blankets and duvets (light and synthetic for ease of washing and drying - plus anti-damp).........Very cheap because ("proper" bedding ain't plastic )......I had no idea if they would be any good (looked a bit light to be warm - but turned out very well), now I wish I had bought 100 and rebranded them as "marine"!.....unfortunately now I can't even remember where I bought them from ).

Of course their are likely things which don't need to be in category 1, but I don't have the confidence (or can't be arsed?!) to hunt down an alternative.....

Too bad about the boaty pic, though ... (grin)
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Old 17-11-2012, 13:50   #85
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Re: Keeping down maintenance costs for cruisers

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BINGO! Here's the issue in a nutshell.

I would make only a slight modification. Instead of asking, what's the biggest boat you can maintain? My suggestion would be to ask, what's the SMALLEST boat that will serve my needs? That smaller boat is going to be less expensive to buy in the first place, and easier and less expensive to maintain over the long run.
Totally. I bought my first boat last spring a 26. Right away people were talking about how i would want to buy a bigger boatin a few years or my gf talking about how getting a bigger one later might be nice. Saying is, go up in no less that 8' increments or whatever.

But i have a different idea. My goal is to keep my boat as long as possible, if not for the rest of my life. Screw upgrading and swapping boats.

Heres why:
- i bought the boat used and in very good condition from a prev owner who knew his boats and looked after it well. Things are going to go wrong and im going to have to learn how to fix them
- i am learning how to sail and like anything, its hard to learn fast when you keep switching the platform hardware. Not unlike learning to race cars and switching make, model, and type while still trying to get the feel for drifting
- the boat is good and solid. A 72 col 26 mk 2 is built like a tank with 2" fibrglass at bottom and no less than 3/4" anywhere else. Sucker, if it breaks, can be fixed.
- people have done blue water in the boat. I wouldnt chance it with my experience level, the gus accounts ive read they are uber experienced, but if they can handle it and survive then this boat can go as far as im ready to go
- older is simpler. Im great with technology, im a network engineer, but i dont need any special training to operate the electrical because the highest tech stuff aboard ive probably installed myself
- as said by many here - sail area is exponentially proportional to the cost of sail maintenance. And load and risk when winds get nutty
- crew, my boat is set up for single handing, even though im not ready to take her out alone yet. Ive had issues just getting one other experienced enoug crew member at times, more would be harder. Its easy to get people to go boating, but babysitting schmucks wanting to run the deck at 50 degree heel because they overdid the winches on a close haul is more work than fun keeping them from getting their shirts wet
- 5 foot itus isnt that much worse than 8 foot itus. Aboard cruising for hours that extra 10 foot of length doesnt give you much more privacy from the kid, woman, or other crew anyway, your all " in the same boat " no matter what.

So smaller is better, and in many cases older is better, if your looking to save money. Bigger is more braggable and you can fit more stuff on it, but braggability and extra space comes at a cost, whether its mandatory (maintenance) or optional (that gidget would go real well in that empty space)
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Old 17-11-2012, 15:14   #86
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Agreed, but if I can modify the annual operating cost of the boat from $25,000 in cash to $13,000 in cash without killing myself or compromising my quality of life too much, then that is $12,000+taxes less that I'll need to produce in the meantime.

Part of my problem is that I have read endless horror stories on this very forum about massive repair and maintenance costs. Refitting costs are even worse, if you buy a used charter boat (which is probably where my next boat is coming from) according to the chatterbox that is Cruiser's forum.

Maybe I've heard too many horror stories, and it is not at bad as I think.

Maybe I should have started with a simpler question "What are the reasonable and expected running costs of a 40' catamaran for a full-time cruiser, and what can be done to modify those costs?"
OK, I'm just going to jump in here ... I am not going to read the other posts that follow (so forgive me it this has been said). The pros and cons of buying a charter boat -- we did it and we do not regret it. The simple truth is, all of the important systems were very well taken care of by the charter company. The thing that suffers on a charter boat are the aesthetics, we bought a charter boat and never looked back. We put the boat in a second tier charter for three years. We were very hands on owners visiting and sailing the boat three times a year. Each time we visited we did some kind of upgrade or maintenance.

On September 1 of this year we took full time possession of our yacht. We have done a lot of replacements and upgrades since then in anticipation of blue water cruising. The only thing we can find fault with is the condition of the interior woodwork/veneer -- it has taken a beating. But is that necessary to cruise? In our opinion, no.
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Old 19-11-2012, 17:31   #87
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

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OK, I'm just going to jump in here ... I am not going to read the other posts that follow (so forgive me it this has been said). The pros and cons of buying a charter boat -- we did it and we do not regret it. The simple truth is, all of the important systems were very well taken care of by the charter company. The thing that suffers on a charter boat are the aesthetics, we bought a charter boat and never looked back. We put the boat in a second tier charter for three years. We were very hands on owners visiting and sailing the boat three times a year. Each time we visited we did some kind of upgrade or maintenance.

On September 1 of this year we took full time possession of our yacht. We have done a lot of replacements and upgrades since then in anticipation of blue water cruising. The only thing we can find fault with is the condition of the interior woodwork/veneer -- it has taken a beating. But is that necessary to cruise? In our opinion, no.
Thanks for that feedback! This has been my observation based on pictures and broker descriptions, which are absolutely no substitute for direct experience. The wood veneer on those boat does seem excessively fragile, and unfortunately is one of the few things that cannot be "repaired" in a simple and direct way.

Moorings says that's why they changed to the Leopards, and it does appear (looking at new boats) that the interiors are higher quality than those of the Lagoons. Time will tell if that appearance translates to actual performance!
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Old 19-11-2012, 20:09   #88
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Re: Keeping Down Maintenance Costs for Cruisers

One reason my maintenance costs stay low is because I've owned the same boat for 28 years.
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