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Old 08-08-2007, 13:15   #61
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Skewing this thread sideways a bit. Spending 30-40K to save the same in the long run, I think is just delaying the enevitible. And that is losing money. You think it's hard to sell the boat you have?? wait to you try selling a barge. You won't get 30K for it, more likely the 10K. Because they are worth about scrap value only. Remember the issue you have now. The boat may look like a 250K boat, but it's name keeps it at it's realised value unless you brak it up and sell the parts. Same with the barge. It may look good, and you may spend a heap, but the package is a barge. So you will lose money in either of two ways. Keep the boat and lose it to interest. Or sell and buy a barge and lose it to not being able to sell later. I know what I would do, keep the boat you have. Because once it is paid off, you have something still worth 10x what the barge would return. And thank someone that you don't pay the interest rates we do here.
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Old 08-08-2007, 14:28   #62
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Originally Posted by Alan Wheeler
Skewing this thread sideways a bit. Spending 30-40K to save the same in the long run, I think is just delaying the enevitible. And that is losing money. You think it's hard to sell the boat you have?? wait to you try selling a barge. You won't get 30K for it, more likely the 10K. Because they are worth about scrap value only. Remember the issue you have now. The boat may look like a 250K boat, but it's name keeps it at it's realised value unless you brak it up and sell the parts. Same with the barge. It may look good, and you may spend a heap, but the package is a barge. So you will lose money in either of two ways. Keep the boat and lose it to interest. Or sell and buy a barge and lose it to not being able to sell later. I know what I would do, keep the boat you have. Because once it is paid off, you have something still worth 10x what the barge would return. And thank someone that you don't pay the interest rates we do here.
This is a great thread, and I'm starting to follow this logic. I have been plugging numbers into Excel all day today.

One contributor on this thread PMed me and mentioned that I shouldn't forget about depreciation of the boat I'm currently in and a possible appreciation depending on a lot of things. I don't know if he wants to be named or not, so I'll let him come forward if he wants.

Basicaly, I have a 20 year old Gulfstar. It might be worth $90K assuming no hull issues which I have to fix. I looked up similar 30 year old Gulfstars and they are worth about $60K. That seems to tell me that these type of sailboats lose $30K every 10 years, or $3,000 per year in depreciation. We plan to keep whatever boat we end up with for the rest of our lives, or until we can't physically be on the water anymore. Yes, we love it that much.

So I am attempting to figure out the interest on the loan vs the depreciation, vs the throwaway of $30K on a barge, vs inflation. I guess this is where I get pretty stumped... and since I like to say I got my MBA on the streets (running a business in NYC), I didn't get this part of the lecture. This is the stuff I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around.

If you get a barge and toss away $30K forever, you know what's happening. You lost $30K and you have a home to live on that's on the water. Simple. Also very rugged and can store firewood like crazy for living out in cold winters all year round.

If you keep the Gulfstar, you lose $30K every 10 years to depreciation, lose $101K in interest and principle payments over 13 years, but have some kind of value left at the end, whatever the "end" really means when you are planning to live on the boat until you are physically unable to anymore.

The reason I keep looking at the barge is that I am looking at a home to live in for the forseeable future. If I never resell either boat, the barge costs $30K. The Gulfstar costs $101K, plus the downpayment, plus 2 years of payments we have already made. Is there something I'm missing here?

I suppose the real problem is that I'm trying to analyze the situation and come up with a logical (and quantitative) solution. Is there no such thing?

There has to be SOME MBA type whiz out here who can shed light on this stuff...

And Wheels... what are the interest rates where you are on boats?? I know the boats themselves are quite expensive.
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Old 08-08-2007, 15:05   #63
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Sean,
Yes, you started a great thread. The spreadsheet you are working on is very complex. Hopefully, there is a MBA type out there that can help. Some of the varibles that you are working with include "the original price of the boat", "the inflation rate each year since the boat was new", and "the added accessories". When it comes down to the bottom line I think you will find that a boat is a poor investment, just like an automobile. Some people find a boat, do some comestic repair and flip it like some realestate investors. I have decided that I can charter a boat cheaper than I can keep my boat. I do not pay dockage, but if I did, the cost would be $8,000 a year. I could rent a boat for that in the USVI for less than that. In fact for what I pay for boat insurance, I could charter a boat. A boat is a source of freedom and mobility. You have a beautiful boat,that will be able to take you anywhere you want to go. So don't worry about the money, even realestate does not pay for itself unless you are lucky.

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Old 08-08-2007, 15:09   #64
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"...I looked up similar 30 year old Gulfstars and they are worth about $60K. That seems to tell me that these type of sailboats lose $30K every 10 years, "
Is that a valid assumption? Or does it just reflect older boats that have more obvious wear, need their hulls repainted, and originally were sold as new boats for perhaps $20k less than yours?
If you can beg or borrow (or buy) the Practical Sailor old boat review volumes, they compiled actual sales/resales values of many boats over long periods. I've seen some models, like the Pearson 424 and some Beneteau's just under 40', that seemed to hold the same sales price for a DECADE straight. No depreciation--because new boat prices and market scarcity were holding the available ones up.
Gulfstar...I just don't know. AFAIK they were always a smaller market, for a larger more "condo home afloat" type of boat.

"vs the throwaway of $30K on a barge,"
Well, if you figure you could probably get 6% on $30k right now, your barge will "consume" $1800 in lost interest earnings every year, for a starter. So the barge will cost you $1800 out of pocket--even paid for and sitting free and clear--compared to whatever you are losing now. And that's ignoring the $30,000 you'll probably lose when you scrap the barge. And, we KNOW you'll be putting more into it than you expect, both in time and equipment.

"You lost $30K and you have a home to live on that's on the water. Simple. Also very rugged and can store firewood like crazy for living out in cold winters all year round." That might be optimistic. The barge may need hauling and holes may need to be fixed. Or, if you ground it in a mudflat, someone may come along and ordered it removed. Ooops. Five years from now, someone builds condos and decides you're an eyesore. Then what?

"If you keep the Gulfstar, you lose $30K every 10 years to depreciation, lose $101K in interest and principle payments over 13 years,"
That's assuming you keep it for 13 years, instead of making a more leisurely change when something better comes along. And again, assuming the depreciation. Remember, if oil hits $150/bbl the value of old FRP boats is going to skyrocket as the new ones become unaffordable. Or, if the mortgage market pulls everything down...there may be no used luxury craft market at all.

"If I never resell either boat, the barge costs $30K. The Gulfstar costs $101K, plus "
Sounds like, the Gulfstar costs about $70k more than the barge. Or...if the residual value on the Gulfstar is $90k in ten years, and the barge has no value at all...the Gulfstar could wind up costing you only $10k. (Did I do that right?)

"I'm trying to analyze the situation and come up with a logical (and quantitative) solution. Is there no such thing? " Yeah, but the logic to speculative finance is elusive. It takes a real genius with experience in the field (not me and not even Donald Trump) to really get a grasp on it. What you can do is noodle it around, think out loud, look for folks to see what else you are missing--and make haste slowly.

"SOME MBA type whiz out " I know a couple of those who would quickly say this is not their field and duck out. <G> Without boat market experience...No joy, but I'll ask one anyway.

Some guys make a fortune in vehicle leasing, others lose it. One big difference? Some of them are right on about predicting the residual value of a vehicle in 3-5-10 years. Guess too high, and you never get it, you lose money. Guess too low, and you have to set your lease rates too high, and you get no business. Aren't there any "finance forums" on the web?

OTOH, if you can figure out how to sell the GS for top dollar, you can take $30k and buy into one of those "retirement planned communities" that everyone is hocking on TV, in Arkansas or Texas or wherever. In thirty years time--you can be pretty sure it will have gone up in value, even if it does cost you tax money along the way.
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Old 08-08-2007, 15:40   #65
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Hey, Hellosailor!!! That didn't help!!! ha ha ha

Ouch! My brain hurts!

How the hell do people figure this stuff out, anyway? Was that a longer version of saying, "there is no quantitative answer?"

Because reading through your post, I was putting each variable into a box in order in my head until... $10K Gulfstars and retirements condos! Then I lost it.
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Old 08-08-2007, 16:02   #66
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"Ouch! My brain hurts! "

See now, if you'd switch to Irish Whiskey, it doesn't leave any hangovers.<G>

Spreadsheet "programming" semi intrigues me. It can be done SO nicely, if only you can keep plugging in enough factors to make it real. And then, it runs like a nicely oiled machine, a thing of beauty in itself.

I am sure there is a quantative answer--but it is very much like saying "How long does it take to sail from Newbury to Rockport?"

And you know, in your part of the world, the answers might either be "Ya kent get the-ah from he-ah" or, more sociably "It dee pends".
< G >

Sometimes you can't get a specific answer, you can only refine the range of uncertainty. Kinda like navigation. If Finance really was a precise science, it would quickly be kept secret by a few billionaires exercizing it.
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Old 08-08-2007, 16:20   #67
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I don't know much about high finance, MBAs or spreadsheets. I made my money (such as it is) the old fashioned way; blind luck! However, I do know that the rules for boat depreciation are not hard & fast. There is not any way that you can extrapolate the depreciation of a particular boat or boats based on the value of other boats. The rate of depreciation will depend on the condition of the boat and the degree of commitment that the owner(s) have shown to maintaining the boat. It seems to me that once a boat hits 20 years old, its age stops being relevant, and it just comes down to it's condition. Like a 30 year old boat is not necessarily worth 30k less than a similar 20 year old boat; in fact, if the 30 year old is well looked after, then it may well be worth more than the 20 year old.

Also, from a slightly different tack, when evaluating the "value" of yor boat, you don't have to take market value as the "value" figure.

First of all, as we have already discussed, move your "$90k" boat to Australia and you will have a $150k boat easy. So for the cost of a 6 month Carribean & Pacific cruise, you have nearly doubled the value of the boat.

Secondly, look at the replacement value of the boat: What would it cost to buy a similarly equipped, safe, comfortable vessel in which you would have the same degree of confidence (bearing in mind that your confidence in the Gulfstar is based in no small way around the work that you have done on the boat)? I'm guessing it would be more than your current market value?

Thirdly, and probably most importantly, you need to think about what the boat is actually worth to you. And by "worth", I'm not talking about dollars & cents. I'm talking about lifestyle. I'm talking about happiness. My boat cost me about $US 55k. But it changed my life around. I was depressed and unhappy. That $55k was the best money I ever spent. Using the boat, working on the boat, racing, crusing, hell, even grinding fibreglass makes me happier than I have been in decades. The boat is worth more than money to me.

I don't know what you owe on the boat. But, frankly, for 2 people as young, fit, intelligent and educated as you and your partner, I can't see how paying off the loan could not be possible in 3 or 4 years if you jumped back into the ratrace and went "head-down ass-up" at it. I know you don't want to go there again, Sean, but if the loan was paid off, you would, essentially, be "home free".
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Old 08-08-2007, 16:23   #68
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Sean - You do have some control over the residual value of the boat. That is your sweat equity keeping it in good shape. However, you have never said that you are interested in the residual value as you will live on it to the "end." It is an interesting exercise to keep residual value in the equation but that only goes to your heirs or the retirement home should the day come you can't handle the boat.

Also, the interest is in your control also. If you borrow money at 5% and make money at 6% you would borrow all day. So you have to figure that in somewhere. You could figure out a plan to pay off the boat early and each extra $100 or $200 a month will pay huge dividends over the life of the loan.

The barge will cost you $30k but that's the beginning. You have to throw in the cost of the refit which by most measures (based on the other threads) is huge.

The gulfstar already has the refit which you should go on both sides of the excel sheet. Gulfstar $0 / barge = $XXXXX

I am not trying to convince you one way or another but I can't get my head around the barge as being cost effective when all is considered.
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Old 08-08-2007, 17:04   #69
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Sean. I just want to offer some comments based on a recent experience I had with repairing a blistered bottom on a boat similar in size. It seems to me that Wheels post #51 assesses the situation with your boat's bottom as well as possible, based on your description of the problem.

And Wheels' recommended repair is also what I would recommend. Basically peel off the improperly bonded gelcoat, make sure the exposed hull is sufficiently dry, replace the gelcoat with a good barrier coat, then bottom paint. The result, if everything is done properly is that your bottom will be BETTER THAN NEW. I say better because the barrier coat is better than gelcoat. Certainly far better than 20 year old gelcoat.

OK, so what will this cost? The only thing you cannot do yourself (aside from having the boat on the hard) is the peel. There are guys who have the equipment and they can easily do it in less than a day. Mine was done in Ft. Lauderdale and IIRC the bill was $1500 two years ago. An alternative is sandblasting but I believe mechanical peeling is better because you can insure no damage to the hull.

Next step is to make sure the hull is sufficiently dry. This is where I ran into big problems, because it took so long, resulting in big yard bills. If you are lucky, and moisture has not invaded the hull structure too much, it will take no longer than a few weeks. So my advice is: 1. try to get a good handle on how wet the bottom is vs. how dry it should be before applying the barrier coat, and 2. if you believe there is a chance that long term drying will be necesary (eg, more than a few weeks) try to find the cheapest yard in your area so that the yard charges (which will be your biggest repair expense) are minimized.

West Systems has a good pamphlet on this process... cost maybe $5. It will tell you how to minimize the drying time.

Once you know the hull is sufficiently dry, and prepped (eg. smoothed and prime coated if necessary) apply the barrier coat, bottom paint and you are done. Bottom better than new, and that is worth something in the used boat market.

Again, you can do everything but the peeling yourself. Cost will be peeling, yard bills and materials. My guess would be about $3-$4k plus yard bills.

Document everything and take lots of photos for a future buyer. Consider hiring your own surveyor to help you "officially" document the repair.

Good luck.
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Old 08-08-2007, 17:05   #70
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The barge will cost you $30k but that's the beginning. You have to throw in the cost of the refit which by most measures (based on the other threads) is huge.

The gulfstar already has the refit which you should go on both sides of the excel sheet. Gulfstar $0 / barge = $XXXXX

I am not trying to convince you one way or another but I can't get my head around the barge as being cost effective when all is considered.

Just to be clear (and to help you with the "barge" side of things), the ENTIRE barge type boat, including my refit to make it into a home comes to $30K. This is not the hull price. I have seen many boats on the cheap that are essentially empty hulls. I refit this one, I know how to refit another. That's where the $30K for the barge comes in. I'll even concede a fudge factor and say $40K.

I'm not for the barge or the Gulfstar either. I'm for doing the right thing financially. Boats are all the same to us, so long as they float, have a fridge, batteries, and anchor, power generation, cooking abilities and ways to go to the bathroom.
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Old 08-08-2007, 17:08   #71
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I don't know what you owe on the boat. But, frankly, for 2 people as young, fit, intelligent and educated as you and your partner, I can't see how paying off the loan could not be possible in 3 or 4 years if you jumped back into the ratrace and went "head-down ass-up" at it. I know you don't want to go there again, Sean, but if the loan was paid off, you would, essentially, be "home free".
We could do this - easily. Our financial issue is that in our minds (which are cold, logical machines - ha ha ha), we'd like to take the same money we would be making in 3 or 4 years and use that money to invest/save/etc...

Is that not the more fiancially sound approach?

GOD this is tough. I'll get back at this thread tomorrow from the water. We are launching and I have to get her ready for the splash in the AM.

Thanks again though... not a single post on here hasn't been taken completely to heart and factored in. They have been enormously helpful. Maybe if I knew where to earn that 10-15% in a fund I wouldn't have these questions. Right now, our savings is doing nothing but wasting away as the dollar does. That CERTAINLY needs fixing, but only after I figure out how much liquidity I need to do either the barge or Gulfstar.
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Old 08-08-2007, 17:28   #72
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Quote:
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We could do this - easily. Our financial issue is that in our minds (which are cold, logical machines - ha ha ha), we'd like to take the same money we would be making in 3 or 4 years and use that money to invest/save/etc...

Is that not the more fiancially sound approach?
I guess I don't understand the findamental question. In the immortal words of the Tubes, "What do you want from life?"

Gulfstar - A crusing vessel that oughta stretch it's legs and go cruising.

Barge - A floating house with almost zero rent so one can work and save money.

What's the point of saving money? If it is to save enough money to someday buy a cruising boat then the barge makes no sense.

We all seem to be resopnding pre-dispositioned to the aim of getting a cruising boat and going cruising.

In my mind if that is the goal then you are largely there already and should figure out how to keep the Gulfstar even though you took a loan to do it. Buying a barge to save money to someday own a cruising boat will likely set your plans back in terms of time.

If you just want a cheap place to live your life the barge makes sense.
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Old 08-08-2007, 18:31   #73
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I don't know how much you owe, nor what rate of interest, but at the risk of "preaching to the converted", you gotta live somewhere! If, for the sake of argument you owe 60k at 8% over 12 years (say), then your weekly repayments are $149 per week. I don't know about your neighbourhood, but where I live you would struggle to rent a decent 1 bedroom appartment (smaller area than your boat) for that money. So by living on your boat, you pay less "rent" than a small appartment and at the end, youget given a 45' sailboat for your very own! This is not, in my mind, a bad situation! The only "bad" aspect of the situation is that the boat doesn't appreciate.

I really don't get the whole barge idea, Sean. I mean, I can't see how spending 30k in 3 years fixing up the barge (and, lets face it, fixing up a wreck will invariably cost more than we estimate) would put you in better shape than paying 30k in 3 years into your boat loan? (of course, as I have already said, I don't know the amount nor interest rate on your boat loan; the 60k/8% I used in my example are numbers pulled out of my hat).
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Old 08-08-2007, 19:25   #74
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Sometimes the most simple things are the things that trip us up...

I swear we're idiots sometimes.


This post is the crux of the issue, now isn't it?

When you go to see a financial adivsor, or any professional like that, they always ask you what your goals are. I'm not sure we have proper goals set. We want to save money and work and all that, but wouldn't it be nice to have a cruising boat sitting around to take on a trip?

This post has opened up our eyes to that question, which is not a question we can even answer... you stumped us.

We need a couple days back in the water to really develop an answer. I suspect this is the real issue though... behind all the numbers there has to be SOME emotion and this is it.

Barge (or other large power vessel) THEN cruising boat would be a real stupid way to go. Barge or other power vessel would restrict us to that lifestyle if we stayed on it. We'd never be able to fit into the "yachtie" crowd as we can now.

This post really got us thinking. Is the goal to make money? If so, for what? We do need retirement money (desperately!), but day to day stuff isn't so bad. Health insurance would be nice to have. Is it possible to keep a nice cruising boat AND have a good amount of money to put aside for retirement and investing? Maybe... Maybe it is... We will need to think about this some more.

Thanks for the posts. These have been both useful in learning what it might cost to do an epoxy barrier coat and just in general thinking about what direction to take in life.

I have to say... I couldn't have thought of all of this stuff on my own. This forum literally helped us work through the issues here and presented us with the ultimate difficult question:

"What the hell do you want to do?? "

It's a tough one to answer.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
I guess I don't understand the findamental question. In the immortal words of the Tubes, "What do you want from life?"

Gulfstar - A crusing vessel that oughta stretch it's legs and go cruising.

Barge - A floating house with almost zero rent so one can work and save money.

What's the point of saving money? If it is to save enough money to someday buy a cruising boat then the barge makes no sense.

We all seem to be resopnding pre-dispositioned to the aim of getting a cruising boat and going cruising.

In my mind if that is the goal then you are largely there already and should figure out how to keep the Gulfstar even though you took a loan to do it. Buying a barge to save money to someday own a cruising boat will likely set your plans back in terms of time.

If you just want a cheap place to live your life the barge makes sense.
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Old 08-08-2007, 19:29   #75
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Just looking at the financial side if you have roughly a $60,000 loan on the boat the interest on that plus other expenses is equivalent to rent. Pretty cheap rent I would guess. It isn't really correct to say that in x years I will have paid y unless you deduct the rent you would otherwise have paid.
As to depreciation yes there may be some - I mean what value would one put on a 40 yr old boat vs 30 or 20. However much of this will depend on condition and what has been done in maintenance. Whether it goes down in dollar terms or real terms in another matter. Inflation is officially say close to 4% but other people say this is way too low. Assume it is 4% (ha) then over 18 years the value halves in real terms while it may have the same nominal value. In reality it may be closer to ten years.
You seem to think that your extra earning money could be better placed invested. However the aftertax and fees income is unlikely to be more than the interest you are paying. First pay off debt. If you are paying 7% or 8% you are unlikely to make that nett off investments. Sure sometimes you will but sometimes you will lose.
With the boat you have a depreciating asset but cheap rent.
Long term from an investment point of view if it interests you I would suggest you really need solid assets like real estate. Despite the sharp and impending further drops in the current market over the long term in pays. I would not recommend either real estate or stocks at the moment, rather building cash.
I don't know your wishes or values, but you seem to be giving some thought to the longer term. Go now is fine for fun but in ten years on average you can expect real estate to have doubled and that makes it hard to get in that much further down the road.
Ideally one needs enough $ for any real estate to cover the costs by rent. Probably that means about a 50% deposit given rents are lower than interest. However after ten years you would probably own it outright and thus have a source of income albeit small.
Some people opt to go now with little capital, others get a capital base first. Your choice. But there are consequences.
The Australia or New Zealand thing sounds okay. But in Australia you pay duty and tax including on deemed delivery cost. I don't know if they exempt you if you are an immigrant and you don't sell for two years as in NZ. NZ duty and tax work out at 20% and most boats asking prices seem inflated. However many stick on the market for a long time and fall substantially. eg a Westsail 32 listing privately at 160k NZ US say 110 at the time, dropping to 80k NZ or 60k US which is probably about right. Where the prices are too out of line people can buy themselves in the US so why would they pay that much over the top? Further to get the boats there requires outfitting to ocean standard (add maybe 15-20K US) so I suspect the real gains may well disappear in practice.
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