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Old 24-02-2014, 13:56   #16
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by scarlet View Post
I think we would want to go somewhere in the middle. We are planning on doing alot of anchoring... which will save.. and we would probably do almost all of the small maintainance stuff ourselves. We would leave the tough stuff.. (like engine work, etc.. ) to the experts.
Buying an older boat generally means you would spend more on annual maintenance than should you buy a new boat.

I own an older boat and do most of the work on her. If I were to haul out yearly like I'm supposed to, and have the bottom done regularly, I would be real close to the 10% number. This includes engine rebuilds, new upholstery, mattresses and the whatnot over the years.

However, I scrub my bottom thoroughly (doesn't everyone?) and double up on ablative bottom paint and am able to go 5 years between haul outs.... meaning that my annual boat maintenance costs are running at closer to 5% of boat value when measured over 10 years.

Does this help?
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Old 24-02-2014, 13:58   #17
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Re: cost question

If you hire all the maintenance, 10% is probably a good number.

I've spent ~3%/year average over 10 years but do majority of the work myself. Plus I don't pay slip fees. The maintenance costs have picked up in the last few years as the boat ages.
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Old 24-02-2014, 14:34   #18
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Re: cost question

cwjohn is correct, of course, re: depreciation. A new boat will cost much less to maintain (certainly for the first 5-7 years), but it will suffer much more depreciation. Suijin is also correct that a 'strategy' is to find a boat with a recent refit - as has been pointed out, the previous owners will get more for their boat (and should get more) than one that is worn out, but generally not as much as the actual cost of the refit.

If one plans on owning and cruising the boat for 10 years, then even with a new boat you would be getting well into the major refit cycle in the last few years. You will also likely much more in terms of depreciation. What is the 'sweet spot'? It depends upon your budget and your needs, as well as your wish-list. I suspect that you can find a boat that will suit your purposes at a price you can affortd. Whether it will be your 'dream boat' is, of course, another matter.

I also agree with the suggestion that costs go up on a disproportionate basis with an increase in size. Boats such as a Lagoon 380 may be small in comparison to ones that you have researched at the Miami Boat Show, but owner's versions were available with a shower stall. They were reasonable well-built, they perform reasonably well, they have decent bridgedeck clearance and decent accomodation (albiet the galley is rather small). They could have the interior modified to take a small washer/drier.

On the issue of a washer/drier, you might want to bear in mind that there are manual clothes washers that work and that air drying is free. In addition, in a number of ports there are laundromats at the marinas; some anchorages even have trustworthy people who will come out and pick up and do your laundry at a reasonable cost. Remember too that you will not be able to use an inverter for your drier unless you have a huge battery bank and inverter; even then, it will be a gigantic draw on your batteries. As a consequence, you will either need to use them only when at a marina (which adds considerably to your cost of doing the laundry, if you would otherwise be happy to stay at anchor), or you will need a fair size generator which adds to fuel costs. My wife and I would love to have a washer/drier on our boat but, at present, have chosen to go with a cheap, manual 'wonderwash', which actually works pretty well for small loads. And small loads are, of course, likely to be the case when cruising in warm climates.

Brad
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Old 24-02-2014, 14:39   #19
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by cwjohm View Post
And don't forget to factor in what everybody seems to ignore - depreciation.

People seem to think this is not a real cost but if you buy a boat for $500K and sell it for $200K in 10 years this is a cost of $30K per annum even ignoring the very real issue of opportunity cost (the loss of investing that income over 10 years).

You will get a bunch of people here stating that they bought and sold for the same price but they are in a tiny minority. The blunt fact is that boats depreciate especially in the first few years.

I had thought of that.. and was alloting for a 50% depreciation over 10 years... I'm sure there is some variances.. but, I figured a $500,000 boat, after 10 years in good shape, wouldn't go for less than $250,000. And a $300,000 boat, after 10 years in good shape, wouldn't go for less than $150,000. I'm sure those are agressive numbers.. but.. hey... plan for the worst case scenerio..
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Old 24-02-2014, 14:41   #20
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by Tropic Cat View Post
Buying an older boat generally means you would spend more on annual maintenance than should you buy a new boat.

I own an older boat and do most of the work on her. If I were to haul out yearly like I'm supposed to, and have the bottom done regularly, I would be real close to the 10% number. This includes engine rebuilds, new upholstery, mattresses and the whatnot over the years.

However, I scrub my bottom thoroughly (doesn't everyone?) and double up on ablative bottom paint and am able to go 5 years between haul outs.... meaning that my annual boat maintenance costs are running at closer to 5% of boat value when measured over 10 years.

Does this help?

YES... all of these answers help.
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Old 24-02-2014, 14:43   #21
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post
If you hire all the maintenance, 10% is probably a good number.

I've spent ~3%/year average over 10 years but do majority of the work myself. Plus I don't pay slip fees. The maintenance costs have picked up in the last few years as the boat ages.
Dot.. does that mean you are anchoring 100% of the time? I know it's a little off topic.. but, I'd love to hear about that... you can either answer here.. or take it off line. Our goal is to anchor most of the time.. (for cost savings, of course.. but, more so.. privacy.. )
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Old 24-02-2014, 14:48   #22
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post

My wife and I would love to have a washer/drier on our boat but, at present, have chosen to go with a cheap, manual 'wonderwash', which actually works pretty well for small loads. And small loads are, of course, likely to be the case when cruising in warm climates.

Brad
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Old 24-02-2014, 15:15   #23
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Re: cost question

Not that it addresses Scarlet's issue, but in my view the "sweet spot" is to buy a 2-3 year old boat and sell it 3-4 years later before you need to replace sails, motors etc. That way you avoid the 25% depreciation of the first 2 years and you have to do precious little work on the boat. You still have to stump up some 10% depreciation. This is of course from my point of view of not having to do any work on the boat myself. IMO life is too short to spend my life in the bowels of a boat fixing things.

In regard to anchoring I would strongly suggest spending a week or two anchored before coming to any conclusions. If it is a good anchoring spot you will not necessarily have the privacy sought and worrying about others swinging into you is not great fun. Add then anchor dragging in high winds, inaccessibility to the necessities of life etc etc and it is not all it is cracked up to be.

Of course it is one of those things that has to be experienced to decide whether it is for you in the longer term.
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Old 24-02-2014, 15:22   #24
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Re: cost question

A lot of good information here.

The 2 main points that ring true to me are:
(1) we are referencing 10% of boat value, and
(2) the replacement cycle of boat systems in full-time use is ~7-10 years

Southern Star's summary is very realistic and similar to our experiences in a [now] 16 yr old catamaran. After winterizing boats for decades, we were surprised at the wear & tear of 24/7/365 use.

For us average boat costs over 5 yrs cruising year round is about 8% of boat value. We've done some major refits over this time including chain, sails, generator, electronics (lightning strike), water maker, outboard... you get the picture. Soon will need standing rigging.

It's not all work all of the time; these projects are planned in specific periods and it's one of the reasons we decided to come to Guatemala for a refit. Work is primarily DIY. Even decided to take on a biggie - stern extensions while here.

I recently posted a summary of our expenses (Cruising Expenses | East of the Equator | M&M). BTW, I did include dockage, customs & other fees there, since it's just a small percentage.

Best of luck with your planning & cruising!
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Old 24-02-2014, 15:28   #25
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Re: cost question

Why do people use % of boat value? Nobody knows what your boat value is. Depreciation is anyone's guess as well.
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Old 24-02-2014, 16:11   #26
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by jostalli View Post
Why do people use % of boat value? Nobody knows what your boat value is. Depreciation is anyone's guess as well.
For most boats you can easily predict market value based on boat sales in that model/class.
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Old 24-02-2014, 16:21   #27
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Re: cost question

A commercial Preventive Maintenance contract on a medical instrument, for example, runs about 5-10% of the cost of the instrument when new. These contracts usually include replacement of all moving parts plus cleaning, lubrication and calibration once a year.

When you own a boat, people must factor-in the cost of "wear and tear", as a % of its value. A 10% estimate $ value, is a good ball park to have on hand.

Salt water atmosphere will literally "corrode" your boat's rigging and its contents. Regular preventive maintenance will reduce your cost of a major "project". There is no way to get around it. Doing most of the maintenance yourself, will definitely save you a lot of money.

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Old 24-02-2014, 16:32   #28
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Re: cost question

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Why do people use % of boat value? Nobody knows what your boat value is. Depreciation is anyone's guess as well.
% of boat price is a rule of thumb that people use when buying boats. Generally the cost of boat ownership increases with boat size and price increases with boat size so % of boat price is a simply a guide to ownership cost.

Depreciation is in fact not anybody's guess. Statistically depreciation rates are well understood in the industry based on actuarial studies. Most brokers know them and certainly insurance companies know them.
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Old 24-02-2014, 16:39   #29
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Re: cost question

% Rates are of course different for different brands, designs and even variants on the same custom design.
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Old 24-02-2014, 17:04   #30
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Re: cost question

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
Maybe the real point is that systems on boats wear out or become obsolete in 7-10 years.

If you don't plan for that, your boat will join the host of boats out there with non-functional or marginal systems, so you might as well plan ahead for it and not be surprised.
I think this is the real crux of the matter.. and pretty close time frame wise. I am shocked at some of the figures people mention for maintenance.... but it depends on how you look at it.
On most my boats I made them "near perfect" before I left. So for instance/one example: in 2.5 years of cruising on my $330k 47 footer, I doubt I spent more than $5-6K in maintenance in 2.5 years. But I spent $50k before leaving. It's how you look at the accounting.
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