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Old 22-08-2008, 02:19   #1
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Maintanence and Insurance Costs

I still can't figure for myself, how much a boat costs in upkeep.

For say a 47 footer with fiberglass hull, about $50,000 in price, rigged as a ketch, how much would you say it would cost to reasonably maintain, and to insure?

I'm not asking for specifics and I always hear the "well it depends on a lot of things", but just from experience, how much about?

I heard about 10% of price of the boat per year for upkeep if fiberglass hull (as in the case of this scenario), as much as 16% for wooden hulls, or up to almost 20%...

But I want some answers just from the average person's experiences with this relative boat size.

*EDIT*

Since age may be a factor, I suppose a range from say 1970-1995 or so...

I don't know how much age makes a difference in upkeep, especially if everything has been kept up well till now...etc.

I just need experienced answers to develop cost projections.
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Old 22-08-2008, 06:01   #2
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A Short Reply

The real answer to this, as you know, is very long and begins with, "It depends."

The short answer is that boats can be very expensive to maintain to a high standard. What does this mean? Well, let me give you a few examples. But first, let's start with the actual boat and its condition.

If you buy a 47' boat, which by the way is very big, and the basic boat is in very good condition (engine solid, sails recent, rigging in good condition, no blisters or fiberglass problems, basic structure sound), then your maintenance cost for the first five years might be fairly low. If, however, your 47' boat has 8000 hours on the diesel, standing rigging that is 25 years old, and sails that have little shape or strength left, etc., then in the first few years you could spend 50-100% of the purchase price to just keep the boat in working order.

Assuming that you buy the boat in good condition, however, then you must decide what you can live with. If the electronics are very old and perhaps not working properly or are unreliable, then a new set of basic electronics will cost you a few thousand dollars. A complete set of high-end electronics will cost much more.

Is it ok that there's a leak coming from that old hatch or port when it rains hard or does that bother you enough to fix it? Does that old foam mattress let you sleep well or do you want a new custom innerspring mattress? Is that old fabric on the salon cushions ok with you (and your female cruising companion) or do you want new stuff? Is the bimini falling down around your ears? Can it be replaced or do you need a few dozen yards of new sunbrella and some major surgery?

I purchased a 40' boat that was five years old and in pristine condition. I am averaging about 10-15k per year in maintenance with full time living aboard and cruising. Note that I have not had to do anything really major. I've had a new bimini made and all the sails restitched, etc., but have not had to replace any tankage, rebuild any engines, etc. Insurance for the Carib has been 3-4k and is increasing every year.

For some examples, I just spent 2k in an engine repair job and that was doing the work myself. Last night I put a rebuild kit in the forward head ($60). I'm having corian installed in the galley to replace the worn formica (1k at Colombian labor rates). The bottom needs painted again (1-2k). I just had a B&G instrument repaired for $700. It adds up.

If you're going to travel outside the US, you may end up paying very high prices for parts that you end up needing. Shipping, customs, etc. can take a big toll on your budget and delay you for weeks.

I hope this helps you. Be realistic about the cost and you will be happier in the long run.

-ConchCruzer
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Old 22-08-2008, 06:24   #3
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freemason - conchcruzer has it right - but if you are buying a 47' boat for 50k then i must assume it is an older boat (and we all know what assume is) - an older boat requires more maintance and if you plan to curise more upgrades - of course you can go as is as i was talking to a former cruiser the other day and remembered the days before gps when he started cruising - a lot of dr - so it really depends on the boat and what are your willing to put up with -
as for insurance - where do you plan to cruise - i changed my insurance as i left fla (home port miami) and headed north for the hurricane season - and having a great time - so if you want to go the carb for hurricane plan to spend a bit on insurance but if you decided to go north it is less - and of course if you want full hull coverage vs liability makes a difference - your best bet for insurance is contact a broker and see what they can do and shop it around a bit as there are a lot of differences
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Old 22-08-2008, 08:19   #4
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We own a 1986 Beneteau First 42 that is maintained in pretty good condition (I like to think) in southwest Florida. Taking into account semi-annual haul-outs and routine repairs, replacements and up-grades we've been averaging about $750 per month for 6 years excluding insurance, slip fees et al.

The older the boat, generally the higher the maintenance costs and the greater the need for replacements simply because parts become hard or impossible to find. I should also mention that I do most all of my own work except with electrics which I do not consider myself skillful enough to do properly unless the job is very straight forward. (Fortunately, there are a lot of electrics wizards here about that have helped me work through some problems, for which I have been most grateful.) One cost frequently overlooked is the maintenance, repair and, unfortunately, replacement of sails. On our boat a good dacron head sail easily costs $4,000 to $6,000 so these need be cared for very well indeed.

Unfortunately, no matter what you estimate your costs at, it will probably not be enough. It seems to go with the territory.

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Old 22-08-2008, 09:04   #5
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A 47' boat that has a MARKET VALUE of $50K will likely eat your lunch. I'd guess 100% the first year.
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Old 22-08-2008, 09:11   #6
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IMO the best way to calculate what upkeep costs is too compare your boat to its new replacement cost. Remember, you are replacing bits and pieces in todays cost.

If your boat "new" would sell for $750k figure 1-2% of $750k annually. Some years it will be less but on average you will be around that number. Spending could look like this $5k, $3k, $25k, $5k $10k...it all depends on what you need or want to do to the boat.

Also understand "new" replacement cost is escalating annually. Five years from now the $750k figure could be $850k.

1-2% of "new replacement" is a safe figure.

We have experience...........





Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeMason View Post
I still can't figure for myself, how much a boat costs in upkeep.

For say a 47 footer with fiberglass hull, about $50,000 in price, rigged as a ketch, how much would you say it would cost to reasonably maintain, and to insure?

I'm not asking for specifics and I always hear the "well it depends on a lot of things", but just from experience, how much about?

I heard about 10% of price of the boat per year for upkeep if fiberglass hull (as in the case of this scenario), as much as 16% for wooden hulls, or up to almost 20%...

But I want some answers just from the average person's experiences with this relative boat size.

*EDIT*

Since age may be a factor, I suppose a range from say 1970-1995 or so...

I don't know how much age makes a difference in upkeep, especially if everything has been kept up well till now...etc.

I just need experienced answers to develop cost projections.
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Old 22-08-2008, 12:57   #7
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Lots of good information coming in, the skew first:

Someone says about 100% costs for a used boat, but what would I be looking at that would be costing me that much, replacement of equipment(?) replacement of sails(?) putting it on the hard and resurfacing the hull(?)

It would help to have some information about what you go through for say, a maintanence check-list that I should be looking for through each survey to determine what I'll be spending money on.

Also, for instance, there's a $29,900 boat similar size, but hand-built, surveys say it's built well enough, but has no epoxy on the hull, needs to strip and resurface that epoxy and then anti-foul paint...various other odds and ends.

The boat was finished in 1994.

What is the safety of such a boat given its survey, considering it was built by an individual between 1984 and 1996?

And bottom line is how much can I keep the costs down by doing things myself? What types of work would that be looking at?

Also, I should really be finding out what things on this "check-list" of things to maintain, are priorities, and are just luxuries, if my house's wall has a hole in it that's not really a priority, but if the foundation cracks that is going to be bad for the value, and at sea, bad for seaworthiness.

So I'm still building this list of necessities in my head - when trying to figure costs...
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Old 22-08-2008, 16:20   #8
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I guess bottom line I need to get good at looking at surveys and estimating hidden costs from surveys and my own inspection, but to do that I need continued input from experienced sailors with how much it has been to upkeep their boats and with what things to look for needing maintanence.

For instance, does anyone have a check list of things of what to inspect and maintain?
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Old 22-08-2008, 22:56   #9
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Freemason - I have a generic one that I downloaded from the internet. Send me a PM and with your email address and I will send it to you.

It is almost impossible to make the maintenance cost story a short one. But I'll give it a go.

Boat Price - Look at all similar boats on the internet. If the average 40 footer that is "like" yours is selling for $125k and yours is $50k - bet on needing about $75k worth of work to make it like the others. I am convinced there is no free lunch.

Then once you have the boat in "internet average shape" you need to maintain it. I baselined our costs over one year and for our little boat (25 feet) it is $400 per month all in with insurance, mooring, repairs and upkeep. it will also definitely cost more in the first year rather than subsequent years.

In listening to others over the last 18 months I will make a general statement that I probably can't defend.

For each 10 feet over 25 add $150 per month. So at 35 feet = $550. 45 feet = $700. Above 50 feet I think the curve steepens as you can get into a lot more big boat systems. Regional location will also influence slightly.

This "maintenance reserve" will build a kitty over time IMO so when you need to repower or buy new sails, the money is in the bank so to speak. We also self insure except for liability and if we damage the boat we have to fix it.

We throw $400 a month in an account and pay bills out of it. We got up to about $1500 and paid for bottom paint. The kitty is now back up to about $1,000 and we are going to buy a new Genoa.

That's how it goes and it is pain free.

OTOH - People will say that it doesn't cost them that much - However be careful - If it is a person who spent 2 years putting $40k in a boat before launching they have built a lot of "maintenance equity into the boat. You can have a boat in "great" shape and live on it's equity for quite a while. At some point however all this maintenance will be due and you willeither pay the bill or sell the boat and the next owner will have to put the money in.
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Old 23-08-2008, 02:12   #10
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There's good news and there's bad news...

I'm with Dan on doing your costing by looking at other used boats, but I'd go one further.

It is easy to look at advertised boats and think ... I can jump in that one and go cruising. Not so easy. Even good boats are going to need some work, average boats will need more.

So there is an upgrade figure that you need to add onto the advertised price.

The good news is that you can defer much of it. How much you can defer depends (at least in part) on just how good, cautious, experienced and tolerant you and your crew are.
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Old 23-08-2008, 12:41   #11
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I don't disagree with the wisdom of the say "$75k" expenses to bring your boat up to par, I just disagree that boats of the area I'm looking for are worth about $150k.

I also cannot imagine how ship-shape would take $75k, I can see how keeping things nice such as flooring, deck, various items around "house" would add up that much, but cleets, wenches, hull epoxy/paints, chains, etc...if that were all so damaged to be worth $75k in repairs, wouldn't the boat look like it had been engulfed in flames?

I'm not so worried about a toilet that is cracked on the seat, or a shower head needing replacement.

But bottom line is I really don't think that these 45 footer, fiber glassed hull, ketch or yawl, should be worth over $100,000. The New prices should have dropped by almost 50% alone, of course it's tough to bring anyone down to the basement price on an inaugmentable property.

Too bad equities are more the opposite :-\
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Old 23-08-2008, 18:03   #12
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Free... I'm afraid you've asked for advice you don't WANT to hear and got it.
I will disagree with the advice a bit. If your boat sells for 150k in good condition and it is being offered at 50k ...you will need 150k to put it in good condition.
There is NO 47' factory built boat you can buy for less than 100k that is worth what you will pay for it....and if blue water is your goal...add $50k.
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Old 25-08-2008, 22:32   #13
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I don't disagree with the wisdom of the say "$75k" expenses to bring your boat up to par, I just disagree that boats of the area I'm looking for are worth about $150k.
My example may be extreme and you are right that a $150k boat selling for $50k is a divorce sale, a death sale or looks like it was engulfed in flames.

More likely you will see in a "class" of boat some that are 1/3 cheaper as opposed to my extreme 66% cheaper example. The point I am hoping to convey is that there are few free lunches.

In terms of "class" not all 40 foot boats are the same so you need to be realistic IMO as to what you are buying.

In terms of self sufficiency, you may be able to do a ton of work yourself and save a lot of labor hours. I don't know. I do know that for me I would rather be sailing than working on a boat. I am still working and my time at work pays way better than what I can hire boat labor for. YMMV.

Regarding what you are looking for, of course that is a personal choice. Let's say your class of boat has a mean value of $75k. Finding one for $40k will require a bunch of work.

The beauty of so much choice is that hopefully we can all find what we want within our means. Put another way I haven't seen too many boats I didn't like.
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Old 26-08-2008, 16:50   #14
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Right now I've seen a lot of boats in my "ranges" that are across the board in price, from $95k down to $29k, and honestly the lowest priced boat is looking almost to be a steal-bargain...other than redoing the hull-paint/epoxy, it really doesn't look like it needs much work, maybe replacement of the rudder since it has some moisture readings.

I'm not sure...

But, again that's the one where at first I figured it had to have caught fire and been invested with ebola carrying monkeys...

But...I honestly think that the guy who built her (yeah custom boat built by designs from Roberts) built her well, and is simply about to keel over dead or something and is trying to sell it off, and has been misled by his surveyor into what price range it actually is...

I've seen the exact same boat with a few interior/exterior works (like all teak or mahogany or something interior and a bimini) asking for $95k.

I don't see how in hell the other boat would even take 100% of the cost to fix up and make sea-ready, if indeed there's not some fundamental issues I'm missing.

Of course I'm going to look into it further and further for some time...I never expected to buy a boat within a year or even 2 years, let alone right now...
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Old 26-08-2008, 17:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeMason View Post
Right now I've seen a lot of boats in my "ranges" that are across the board in price, from $95k down to $29k, and honestly the lowest priced boat is looking almost to be a steal-bargain...other than redoing the hull-paint/epoxy, it really doesn't look like it needs much work, maybe replacement of the rudder since it has some moisture readings.

I'm not sure...
I don't know if you are talking "range" as in price range or "class" as in Beneteau 40 + Hunter 40 + Jeaneau 40 built from 1995-2000 which I could arguably put in a class of plastic production boats built in a 5 year range.

If you are looking at a factory produced - say a run of at least 100 - full keel boat and a plans built - of which there are 100 plans and 10 complete - full keel boat, I would suggest you are comparing an apple and an orange.

Rightly or wrongly plans built boats are going to be all over the map.

Also - there are the statistical anomalies - Divorce, bankruptcy, death etc. sales. I am not suggesting there are not deals out there.

Remember - It's like taking and ice cold shower while tearing up $100 bills. At some point you got to get in the shower and start tearing.
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