We are in a somewhat similar situation that has generated several long, involved, and very detailed discussions on this forum. The difference in our situation is that we are very experienced boat owners and cruisers. We are planning to move from a 40’ cutter
that we have owned since new in early 1995 to a 51’ catamaran that was built 2005.
I too do all my own maintenance and have been working on, running, racing
, and cruising sailboats since 1971.
Here is some of my experiences with cost of ownership
(US $$) and maintenance based on that 20-year ownership
and 40-year sailing.
Diesel engine costs Yanmar
4JH2E (no labor – just parts) $6.05 per hour
- direct operating (fuel, filters, oil
, coolant) $3.75 per hour
- Major parts
(heat exchanger, water
pump, mixing elbow…) $1.40 per hour
- Minor parts
(hoses, clamps, paint…) $0.31 per hour
- Prop shaft & prop (cutlass bearing, packing gland…) $0.59 per hour
You have two engines so double that cost. Estimate 100 hours per year and you get $1210 per year for the engine operation and maintenance.
Moorage / Dockage
This will be your really big cost
- In San Diego
we will pay between $1100 and $1650 a month to keep a 51’ catamaran with a 28’ beam at a dock
. I don’t know where you are but I would be surprised if you spend less than $1,000 / month or $12,000 per year for a slip.
You may find it difficult to buy insurance for such a large boat with so little boating
experience. We have a perfect 20-year insurance history
with no claims and 40-years documented sailing experience and were quoted $3,500 per year for insurance on the big catamaran ($500,000 declared value). That is in San Diego
, which is probably the least expensive insurance locale in the US. Identical insurance in Florida
was quoted at $8,000 per year.
In both Washington
State and California
– we have to pay 1% of the value of the boat each year in property tax. It may be different for you but it is a big expense when looking at a $600K boat. $6,000 / year ?
Diver / Bottom Cleaning
Again, don’t know your cruising area but, even in cold Puget Sound
we had to have a bottom cleaning
five times a year. My current diver gets $50 per cleaning
on our 40’ monohull
and wants $100 / cleaning on the 51’ catamaran. There is at least another $500 per year/
Here in San Diego there are only two yards that can pickup a 51’ x 28’ catamaran. One charges $15 per foot and the other $20 per foot so you would be spending at least $900 every other year for a haulout.
Our $7,200 mainsail
lasted 14 years as did our $8,000 genoa
. That works out to about $1,000 per year for sail repair and replacement. I would double that cost on a much bigger catamaran.
I have posted many long lists of costs for our boat – search for posts by TacomaSailor. But the rule of thumb I use is about $2,000 per year when looking at the long view. On your proposed boat with “bigger” appliances
I would guess $4,000 per year.
At least once every three years at a cost of ??? I would guess a 60’ catamaran will need at least four gallons or about $900.
Let us summarize the ANNUAL results
(based on a lot of assumptions):
- $ 1,200 Engine operating
- $12,000 Dock space
- $ 5,000 Insurance (IF you can get it)
- $ 6,000 Property tax
- $ 600 Diver / Bottom Cleaning
- $ 450 Haul Out
- $ 4,000 Boat Systems
- $ 300 Bottom Paint
That looks like at least $29,550 per year just to maintain the boat. I would also consider the $30,000 cost of sails
spread over 15 years or another $2,000 per year for sails.
My long, very long, experience with boats is that everything costs more and is harder to accomplish than your most pessimistic estimate can imagine.
Therefore, I would not be surprised if a 60-foot catamaran ended up costing me over $40,000 per year to operate and maintain. My current planning for the 51-footer we are trying to buy is for $30,000 per year operating costs.
Please, pay attention to what the other experienced catamaran operators are telling you about the size and complexity of a 60-foot catamaran. I have quite a bit of experience, much of it at sea, operating boats up to 60' and 40-tons and I am intimidated by the 51' foot catamaran we want to buy.
I really do not see how you can need that large a boat.