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.