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Old 03-03-2015, 11:51   #151
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

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Originally Posted by SV THIRD DAY View Post
I hear that number also Dan and call it BS,
Maybe that is true for year 1-3 of boat ownership when you are doing all the major upgrades but that's just not anywhere close to what we have seen for the last 7yrs for cruising and living aboard a 36ft and then 50ft boat. But you know how internet/dock sayings and myths go....you can't kill them even with Garlic.
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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
We bought SoulMates new in 2003 at say $180k. We did not do much to her except paint the bottom until we took off.

Take a look at our 6 years of cost data and you can see what we spend on her. We try to keep her in primo condition and try to do one major upgrade a year.

6 years of cost data
Chuck, I have looked at your data very carefully! The spreadsheet is greatly appreciated! I pay very close attention to anyone who has years worth of boating expense data because I have been hearing the 10% number for 30 years. I have looked at your spreadsheet, as well as others that have been posted, along with comments people have made. Nobody seems to be spending 10% per year. Sure, there are some big expenses from time to time but averaging them out is not getting me to 10%.

I have come across the 10% number recently on Beth Leonard and Evan's Starzingers website and The Voyager's Handbook. From a PDF file they have on their website, Beth and Evans Home Page (http://www.bethandevans.com/pdf/costofcruising.pdf), and the text of which is close too, if not exactly, what is in Voyager's:

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ANNUAL BOAT EXPENSES
How much you spend on the boat while you’re voyaging depends upon a number of factors including the boat’s size and complexity, the material it is made from, its level of upkeep, whether or not it is insured, whether or not you are constantly upgrading systems, how much of the work you do yourself, how much passagemaking you do, and whether you cruise in a warm climate or a cool one. The smallest, simplest boats take, on average, somewhere around $1,000 per year to keep them sailing safely. At the other extreme, brokers selling boats over 50 feet say you will need to budget an amount equal to annual depreciation – on average about 10 percent of the cost of the boat per year over the course of a ten-year voyage – to maintain the boat’s resale value. While many cruisers we know with complicated boats between 50- and 60-feet scoffed at that in their first few years when their boats were brand new or newly refit, most of them came around to that point of view in the fifth or sixth year after a major overhaul.
The 10% number, as they say, depends on a few things but I wonder if the difference is simply use/miles sailed. The more you use/sail, the more you pay, which does make some sense regarding some maintenance issues. But it is a scary number because it does say that in 10 years you will spend enough money to buy a new boat.

The Attainable Adventure Cruising website, which you have to pay to see all of the content, has an interesting spreadsheet that takes a guestimate on maintenance costs. If I plug in numbers into the spreadsheet, I get a percentage boat cost of about 5-7% for maintenance depending on miles sailed, which is better than 10% but still seemingly high. The spreadsheet certainly makes assumptions that can be debated but some comments about the spreadsheet are agreeing with it's results.

Here is a link to the article and spreadsheet. Maybe it can be seen by nonmembers, Estimating The Cost of Maintaining a Voyaging Sailboat.

Later,
Dan
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Old 03-03-2015, 12:35   #152
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

Tiny houses are really tiny which I don't think was the American Dream but the problem is that having reasonable sized houses that are affordable on one person's pay check has morphed into the American Nightmare of having to have a McMansion with takes two incomes to pay the mortgage.

My first house was built in 1977 and was 1200 square feet. 20-25 years later, a subdivision went up next to ours that has houses at 3000-3500 sf. Now, our little house was very tight with four people that is for sure but it was affordable.

About 2002, we went to the Parade of Homes which is a couple of weekends in the fall when the developers open up their houses all over the area for people to see. Given the amount of growth going on back then you could send all day on Saturday and Sunday and not see all of the houses. We went to one area just to look at homes to get ideas for our dream house. I can't remember the size of the homes but they were McMansions and the cheapest one was $375,000 with most be around $500,000-$600,000 with one horrible looking house at $750,000. The wifey and I were shocked that these homes were selling. They were cheaply made, expensive but they had lots of space. That is all they had, space. The mortgage payments would take two professional incomes, and even then, people would be struggling to make payments. INSANE.

The American Dream of having a nice house can still be had but it can't be had living in a home that is Grace Land sized on middle class pay checks. At least not if you want to keep your sanity and credit rating. I really don't understand why anyone would want a house with over 3,000 sf for a family of four much less a couple. Part of the problem is the size of US houses but it is also all of the gadgets that go to fill the house and needing two cars. We have to have two cars since we live in the country but even our old house in the city required cars to get to work and exist.

The average house size has been growing for decades but after the Great Recession the size of houses has decreased. I suspect that house size will stay more reasonable in the future. At least I hope so, buying into that big mortgage is just putting on a big, heavy ball and chain.

Years ago I saw a program where a guy build what would be called a Tiny House. The house was in the woods, used very little energy, was very tiny, and was very inexpensive to build and to use. The house design, especially the kitchen, was heavily influenced by boat layouts. The guy built the house this way so he could go sailing. He had no debt and since the house was cheap to run, he did not have to work as much so he had time to do what he wanted to do. He also was single.

Later,
Dan
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Old 03-03-2015, 13:01   #153
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

Take note that the 10% per annum maintenance figure was estimated in order to 'maintain the boat's resale value' i.e., keeping it in good cosmetic and working condition. So, for example, if someone started with a used but sound and refit 40 foot monohull purchased and equipped for $125K, that would require a budget of $125K over a 10 year cruise. This seems realistic to me. Indeed, I can see $55K of that taken up by just four items, priced conservatively:

New working sails (likely needed more than once in 10 years) $12,500.00
New diesel/saildrive $12,500.00
New Awlgrip (generally good for about 10 years if not abused) $20,000.00
Replacing the RIB/outboard evey 4-5 years approx. $5K X 2 $10,000.00

Add to that replacement of the battery banks at least once, all thru-hulls/ball valves, hoses, all of the standing and running rigging (multiple times for the latter), lifelines, new ground tackle, all new portlights/ hatches, to say nothing of regular haul-outs/ anti-fouling/maintenance/mechanical/electronic/electrical/plumbing repair and replacements. Keep in mind that with inflation over 10 years, costs will also be higher down the road.

Brad
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Old 03-03-2015, 17:35   #154
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

So in your example, and I concur with your boat price, I think that's pretty close to average.
A grand a month for maintenance. I plan on starting with most items new, but I'm planning on budgeting half, that, $500 a month for maintenance, and hope for it to build up in the first couple of years to keep me from digging into the Oh Crap fund.

I still see the 10% as not being logical as is just opposite of logic, in that by that formula, old worn out boats are cheaper to maintain than newer boats.
I think a a sliding scale percentage based on boat age, or time since major re-fit makes more sense. I don't think using a simple, flat 10% number works, maybe if you stay solely in high rent areas and do non work yourself, but have it all done, then yes, I can see 10%



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Old 03-03-2015, 17:54   #155
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

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<snip>

A grand a month for maintenance. I plan on starting with most items new, but I'm planning on budgeting half, that, $500 a month for maintenance, and hope for it to build up in the first couple of years to keep me from digging into the Oh Crap fund.

<snip>
When I had a boat partnership we calculated a maintenance & mooring reserve of $300 a month. We had a joint account and the mooring and maintenance fees were paid form this account. The setup was to reach a maximum reserve of $5,000 to pay for big ticket items like sails and the dreaded diesel overhaul. Once $5,000 was reached we could payback the partners any excesses.

We never did reach the maximum reserve but we also were never short over 3 years. Included a new genoa, new forestay furler, new cabin cushions, haulouts, anti-fouling etc...

Boat costs are inherently "lumpy."
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:51   #156
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

I have looked at ours as a % of purchase price or depreciation. We do put a bit of miles on SoulMates with over 3,000nm last year and probably more than that the year before as that was our Atlantic crossing. Next year we will probably come close to 3k miles.

We try hard to keep SoulMates in A1 condition with at least one major upgrade a year and constant preventative maintenance. This year I have been unable to do the work due to shoulder surgery but our engine has 4,700 hours so I have a local mechanic going through it and a lot of checking, changing, and swapping out of items that may have almost reached the end of their useful life.

I think the real issue on upkeep is how much are you going to use the boat. Now do not get me wrong but sailing the east coast of the USA and sitting in Georgetown Bahamas for the winter or being a 3-4 week at a time sailor or a day sailor. These take a lot less toll on the boat than being underway and sailing over 3,000 miles even through it is done in 6 months and you sit for 6 months. Of course some things are not miles dependent but simply need changing out as they have become obsolute.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:45   #157
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

nobody mentioned impact of boat on health and saved trouble/money because one is fitter, although may get more accidents.

boat is GREAT investment

as they say, time spent on boat does not count in your age.
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Old 04-03-2015, 05:40   #158
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

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You are trying too hard to defend yourself. You're cruising the Bahamas, and we're not. Have a Kalik for me please.

Hey, we sold our home to go cruising. After 12 years of making a mortgage pmt., we made a profit....unless you deduct the $57,600.00 we paid out in property taxes. Not to mention Homeowners Association fees. I never have bothered to figure out what I actually paid out in interest. I'd have a lot more money in my pocket if we had left 12 years ago, instead of buying that house.

Ralph
I made $80K profit when I sold my first house and $220K profit when I sold my second house. Profit or loss depends on where and when you buy the house and quite a bit of luck.

But, you need a place to live and if you're working somewhere out of commuting distance from the water, it's going to be a house, trailer or apartment. A house is generally a better investment.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:34   #159
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

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I made $80K profit when I sold my first house and $220K profit when I sold my second house. Profit or loss depends on where and when you buy the house and quite a bit of luck.

But, you need a place to live and if you're working somewhere out of commuting distance from the water, it's going to be a house, trailer or apartment. A house is generally a better investment.
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First house. $3000 profit. 1988
Second House. $5000 profit 1990
Third House $160,000 profit 2002
Fourth House $45,000 profit 2004
Fifth House $150,000 loss. 2011 (divorce)
Sixth House. Not selling it, hope to own it when I die.
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Old 04-03-2015, 11:46   #160
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

I know when I sold my first house the profit if you call it that was no where near all the money we spent every month in it for the 3 years. Out side stuff In side stuff gardening stuff property tax, insurance ect ect most people if you really look at it most dont make money on there house.

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Old 04-03-2015, 12:59   #161
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

Most people who sell their house for more than they pay for it turn around and buy another house that costs even more. I don't really consider that profit except on paper.
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Old 04-03-2015, 13:10   #162
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

I agree. A house makes a good place to live in, but often a lousy investment.

Taking into account interest and taxes and repairs would have definitely reduced my "on paper profit". But, I also didn't have to pay rent for a place to live. I guess it would take an accountant to tell you what the real story was on your actual profit.

Not to mention, I had more than a couple of times where home ownership overlapped and I was paying two notes, or renting one and paying notes on another, but only living in one house while the other was for sale. Worse than owning two boats!
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Old 04-03-2015, 13:11   #163
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

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Most people who sell their house for more than they pay for it turn around and buy another house that costs even more. I don't really consider than profit except on paper.

Will the Tax man look at it that way with the Obamacare 3% real estate sales Tax....

Answer....
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Old 04-03-2015, 13:27   #164
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

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I know when I sold my first house the profit if you call it that was no where near all the money we spent every month in it for the 3 years. Out side stuff In side stuff gardening stuff property tax, insurance ect ect most people if you really look at it most dont make money on there house.

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You are leaving out the fact that if you didn't own the house you would have to pay rent to live there. That rent would include taxes, insurance, maintenance and the owner's borrowing cost plus a profit margin.
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Old 04-03-2015, 13:28   #165
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Re: The Answer to How much it Costs to Cruise

Ah....but the Renters Tax Credit.....
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