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Old 06-09-2015, 19:39   #16
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Rebuilding a boat vs maintaining one is a big difference. I usually end up pretty much rebuilding a boat before I went extended cruising. As such, my maintenance costs were very minimal for 3 years or so.
Also, you have to ask yourself if you will/can do the labor or not.
That is a good point. I figure I can use this itemized list to estimate refit costs as well. Any items installed or renewed before setting off will reduce the future maintenance costs accordingly.

Best regards,
- Fabian
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Old 06-09-2015, 21:26   #17
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Nice spread sheet. I'd love to have see it refined. I'll be in the 41-45, 5-10 year old boat market in about 4 years.

So, assuming 2% cost of the boat for insurance ($300-350K) for a 45 foot used cat, that's about $7,000 a year to boot. Throw in food, supplies, yearly fuel, etc. This is an expensive way to live.
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Old 06-09-2015, 22:20   #18
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

I really like your spreadsheet; more owners should do this before they start.

My comments...

When you get a survey before purchase, plug in the actual lifespan of all of the items and see what your initial replacement spend might be which will be your worst case figure - so if sails are 12 years old and shagged, you know you are starting at year 0 with those. I've seen the same things many times when new management companies come along and take over body corporates for examples, like an apartment block.

If you can afford to put away that much cash per year, then fantastic, stick it in a high interest term deposit and keep adding to it. If you find you aren't spending much, you'll be able to afford a new update sooner rather than later.
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Old 07-09-2015, 00:17   #19
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Your cost estimates are way too high. But I suppose if you go from boat yard to boatyard expecting someone else to always do the work, and appear to have been born just yesterday, I'm sure there're people out there willing to take your money for high cost repairs and unnecessary work. I see it all the time.

Take the time to read a friend of mines website sailingbritican.com where Kim outlines their repair experiences following their purchase of a well-used, 11 year old boat. Not the fact that they purchased a poor quality boat, but rather... the parts where the previous owner got taken repeatedly by shiftless workers and service companies who billed for work which was not done, and her and her husband needed to clean up the mess. There was no shortage of engineers telling them that they needed a new engine and generator, when in fact both systems just needed some repairs related to long term neglect.

This season, we only had to sub out some refrigeration work which came in under $1500 for an entirely new fridge because my wife accidentally broke it. A tricky impeller replacement cost $25 and a few water pumps pooped the bed and needed replacement by us which cost $1200 or so for the pumps. Otherwise, our only mechanical systems costs were maybe $1000 more for misc. filters, bottom paint, odds and ends etc. and I probably spent 100 hours of my time on deck work which is now complete and hull polishing and waxing.

Based on your ridiculous, stratospheric estimate, we should have spent over $75,000 this year on maintenance, when in fact we spent less than $5,000.... and our 13 year old boat is in pristine condition.
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Old 07-09-2015, 07:13   #20
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

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I estimated 20% ongoing maintenance on top of the replacement costs for repairs, parts etc, and various odds and ends not listed (but perhaps not saildrive boots). Currently about $3K/year. Do you think that is a reasonable figure? Or should I increase that?
In my approach I do not distinguish between "refit" and "maintenance", so I don't have a separate budget or accounting for these two aspects. In fact, I have no maintenance budget at all, per se. If something is broken, it has to be fixed, but I spread out "capital improvements" so that I can spread out the expenses and my time to do them. So, $3K/year "maintenance" is low for me. But, again, my total expenditures for ALL costs (except mortgage) are less than the 10% (of initial boat cost) figure some people toss out as a maintenance budget. In the end, I don't think you can expect to plan this ahead with any accuracy. Expect the care and feeding of a cruising boat to be more than you thought, and it WILL take up as much money as you have if you let it. Your effort to estimate these costs is worthy and demonstrates due diligence. I think you're still on the high side of expected costs, but you (reasonably) haven't anticipated everything and any over estimation now will serve as your factor of safety in reality.

A huge factor is how much of the work can you do yourself vs hiring people. Paying for labor runs up the costs significantly. Part of the enjoyment of boat ownership for me and others is the opportunity to learn new skills. If you're reasonably competent taking car of your car and house and performing most repair/upgrade jobs, you can do the same on the boat. Plus you get to buy a lot of cool tools. And, by doing the work yourself, you can know whether it was done right and not rely on somebody else who may not have your level of quality assurance.

Dave
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Old 07-09-2015, 08:16   #21
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Interesting list fab. It will help narrow the search. Also interesting is that none of those items require replacement in the first 5 years, some after 5-10-15 years. This would suggest that there is an maintainance cost curve starting at 5 years (0$) to 15 years.
Let's assume you buy a 5 yr old lagoon 400 for $100K less than the new boat price and own it for 5 years. During that 5 years your maintainance costs average 20K/year. (After 5 years that 20K is closer to 30K with inflation)
So cost would be around $120K for 5 years ownership and I guess that would increase quite a bit for the following 5 years as more things come up to their use by date.
The alternative might be to buy new where nothing comes up for replacement for 5 years and the only maintainance costs are fixed costs such as engine servicing, antifoul etc which are likely to be under $2K/year.
Your list certainly puts things in perspective and will be a great resource when boat shopping to hopefully find a cat that has had a lot of the expensive items already serviced or replaced and also gives you some good bargaining power with the knowledge of what will need replacing and the associated costs. A couple of things that relate a lot to sailing are the 6 Ps, proper preparation prevents piss poor performance, as well as "expect the best, plan for the worst"
Your passing your preparation exam with flying colours.
Well done
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:09   #22
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Your cost estimates are way too high. But I suppose if you go from boat yard to boatyard expecting someone else to always do the work, and appear to have been born just yesterday, I'm sure there're people out there willing to take your money for high cost repairs and unnecessary work. I see it all the time.

Take the time to read a friend of mines website sailingbritican.com where Kim outlines their repair experiences following their purchase of a well-used, 11 year old boat. Not the fact that they purchased a poor quality boat, but rather... the parts where the previous owner got taken repeatedly by shiftless workers and service companies who billed for work which was not done, and her and her husband needed to clean up the mess. There was no shortage of engineers telling them that they needed a new engine and generator, when in fact both systems just needed some repairs related to long term neglect.

This season, we only had to sub out some refrigeration work which came in under $1500 for an entirely new fridge because my wife accidentally broke it. A tricky impeller replacement cost $25 and a few water pumps pooped the bed and needed replacement by us which cost $1200 or so for the pumps. Otherwise, our only mechanical systems costs were maybe $1000 more for misc. filters, bottom paint, odds and ends etc. and I probably spent 100 hours of my time on deck work which is now complete and hull polishing and waxing.

Based on your ridiculous, stratospheric estimate, we should have spent over $75,000 this year on maintenance, when in fact we spent less than $5,000.... and our 13 year old boat is in pristine condition.
Hi Kenomac

We absolutely plan to do as much work on the boat as we can. I will be a new boat owner, but I am willing to learn, and learning to do my own repairs and maintenance is absolutely part of the process.

That said, I deliberately put in a "worst case" cost estimate, to account for the fact that the item might break in a far away place, and require additional shipping, duties and tax, or in certain cases, if the repair is too complex for us to handle - paying someone to assist.

If you think the estimates are high, that is in a sense good news, since it means we'll likely end up under budget, with more money to spend cruising.

That said, I don't want my estimates to be stratospheric either. Many of the estimates are based on prices found in online chandleries, e.g. a 1200W windlass seems to run between $2,000 - #3,000. Or the costs are based on actual replacement costs I learned from this forum, or from speaking to boat owners.

But others are just a guesstimate. If you think any particular line items are out of line, so to speak, I'd be happy to adjust them. Just let me know what you think is reasonable.

Best regards,
- Fabian
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Old 07-09-2015, 11:16   #23
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Interesting list fab. It will help narrow the search. Also interesting is that none of those items require replacement in the first 5 years, some after 5-10-15 years. This would suggest that there is an maintainance cost curve starting at 5 years (0$) to 15 years.
Let's assume you buy a 5 yr old lagoon 400 for $100K less than the new boat price and own it for 5 years. During that 5 years your maintainance costs average 20K/year. (After 5 years that 20K is closer to 30K with inflation)
So cost would be around $120K for 5 years ownership and I guess that would increase quite a bit for the following 5 years as more things come up to their use by date.
The alternative might be to buy new where nothing comes up for replacement for 5 years and the only maintainance costs are fixed costs such as engine servicing, antifoul etc which are likely to be under $2K/year.
Your list certainly puts things in perspective and will be a great resource when boat shopping to hopefully find a cat that has had a lot of the expensive items already serviced or replaced and also gives you some good bargaining power with the knowledge of what will need replacing and the associated costs. A couple of things that relate a lot to sailing are the 6 Ps, proper preparation prevents piss poor performance, as well as "expect the best, plan for the worst"
Your passing your preparation exam with flying colours.
Well done
Thanks Monte

Yes, that is absolutely part of the plan - to use this list to more accurately assess the value and expected refit costs of a used boat.

Regarding new vs. used I figured any refit costs "saved" on a newer boat will be paid for in boat depreciation. I think a big reason older boats hold their value better is owners start having to replace equipment on board as it wears out.

Best regards,
- Fabian
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Old 07-09-2015, 14:41   #24
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Fabian,

Most things on a boat can be rebuilt or repaired for a small fraction of the cost of replacement. This is why I think most of your estimates are way too high.

Ken
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Old 07-09-2015, 16:36   #25
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Your maintenance costs have a huge variation depending on your sailing habits. If you use your boat for 6 months a year and you are doing light coastal cruising sitting at anchor or in a marina each night you can not compare that with cruisers that are crossing oceans. If you are a weekend sailor you can't compare your costs with someone who lives on their boat 24/7 for 6 months each year.
Offshore sailors put more wear and tear on a single crossing than coastal sailors do in several years sailing. Your location is also important, if y!u sail in the tropics your costs will be much higher due to UV damage and because of the environment your rigging may in fact require replacing much sooner.
The sailors who have only been cruising for a few years have not got enough experience to know the real costs of maintence over a period of 10-15 years when damn near everything will have been overhauled or replaced. Someone like Jim Cate can give you a much better idea of costs. Most of us lie alot to ourselves.
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Old 07-09-2015, 17:05   #26
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

It's good attempt but I can tell you that this is an impossible task. I have seen hundreds of boats of different size, make and models and I can hardly see any similarity between the expenses over the years to the owner.
All I can say is that new generation boats whether it be mono or cat, are made significantly weaker than early models and require much more care , maintenance thus, extra cost. Much worse quality of factory sails, increasingly complex electronics, low quality alloys and materials used everywhere to save cost results in substantial increase of (mostly unpredictable..) expenses to the owners.
Periodical maintenance and good care can reduce the cost significantly. To do so;
-trim yr sails well, not only for performance but for less strain on yr rigging and sails. Take them out when they are not is use, wash, dry and store adequately.
-don't save on fuel and engine oil, check yr filters, impeller and anodes carefully.
-DIY is a fun for most owners but don't try it if you are not really competent. Nevertheless, you should at least be good enough to judge the ones who are working on yr boat; one third of our job is to fix the damages caused by uncompetent owners and yacht workers.
-avoid installing unnecessary equipment, the more you have the more problem you will have. I have seen so many boats with double genset, huge washing machines that were never used, diving gears, double water maker, various electronic equipment bought on internet, etc..


Good luck


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Old 07-09-2015, 17:51   #27
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Its damn rare for me to agree with Ken, but in this case he is %100 correct. Here is an example on my boat.

You posted!
Replace Toilet/Hoses (Port) ...... $2000
Replace Toilet/Hoses (Starboard) ....$2000

Reality!
I just rebuilt my toilets (actually bought whole new pump mechanisms) and replaced all the hoses on BOTH sides for about $500-$600. Thats about 1/4 of your estimate.

I also believe your estimate on the watermaker is WAY high, especially if its a rebuild and not a replace!
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Old 07-09-2015, 18:20   #28
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

What Dave has said coincides with our experiences.

Here are a few additional comments based on operating a 1986 Beneteau for 21 years, and more recently a 2002 Jeanneau. We were living aboard & actively using the boat for approx. 3 months per year. How much you use your boat, and where, are of course major factors.

Engine(s) - Hours trump years, so much will depend on your personal habits. Diesels, well treated, will last longer than you’re likely to be sailing. Our Yanmar in the Bene was still strong at 2500 hrs & 28 years old.

Standing Rigging - The insurance company wanted a survey when the boat turned 20 (I think it was). Good survey, & no requirement to replace the rigging.

Running Rigging - 5 years is too short a life but I can’t recall exactly how much. Certainly we never made a wholesale change of running rigging.

Working sails - again, hours trump years. We were still using the original genoa on the Bene after 21 years of ownership. Now, it may not have had the newest shape, but it wasn’t obviously worn or in any way looked it’s age.

Batteries - 5 - 7 years.

Cushions - Open cell foam (interior cushions) breaks down. Frequently used cushions require new foam perhaps every 6-7 years. New fabric brightens the interior, increasing value & making it appear more modern. We replaced the interior fabric twice in 21 years—not because the fabric was worn out but to modernize the boat & for a 'face lift’.

Autohelm - was still working fine after > 21 years.

Winches - should last a lifetime with routine maintenance.

Hatches & ports - we replaced a few plexiglass panels that got crazed or cracked, but never had to replace a hatch.

Fridge - ours was still working great at 28 years old. Freon had to be added once I believe.

Stove - replaced gas stove at about 25 years old because the oven didn’t seem to be heating above 350 F. New gas stove does seem to be more fuel efficient.

Tender - it took us 3 tries to find the right one; then it lasted for about 12 years when the glue gave out. The o/b was still working fine when we sold it.

Dave mentioned ceiling panels. So true. I think we replaced all but the one in the main saloon on the Bene. Those were all costly jobs but I can’t recall costs. Also replaced the counter tops in the galley & head to modernize the boat. Those were not too expensive. Draperies/window coverings - new ones required perhaps every five years due to UV deterioration. Blinds on the Bene were tired but all still worked when she was 28 years old. Switching to LED lighting costs initially. Varnishing can be very expensive if you have to pay for it.

You haven’t mentioned a vang, but that required a rebuild on our Jeanneau. We also had to replace the battery charger & a water pump but those are getting into smaller, more routine issues. We also had to remove, repair, & reinstall a holding tank. If you have teak decks, they require maintenance but can be very expensive to perform major repairs on.

Much also depends on your personality. If you need the latest & greatest technology, replacing electronics or sails will cost you greatly.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-09-2015, 21:07   #29
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

Thanks Traveller & Prairie Chicken

I have updated the spreadsheet based on your feedback:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing

I have removed the mast, hatches and winches from the list, as these do seem to last a very long time. I increased the annual maintenance budget from 20% to 25% to compensate, to accommodate for the odd failure and repair, as well as to account for various odds and ends not listed.

The new yearly long-term maintenance cost is now roughly $15,000, down from $20,000 when I started this thread. Hopefully that brings the numbers more in line with actual costs. I keep hearing my estimates are high.

To Ken and Dave's argument that regular maintenance, rebuilds and repairs can drastically reduce costs - I think that is a point well taken. I see now that it's easy to spend a lot of money upgrading or "buying new".
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Old 07-09-2015, 21:12   #30
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Re: Maintenance costs for an older 41'-45' catamaran

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Originally Posted by robert sailor View Post
Your maintenance costs have a huge variation depending on your sailing habits. If you use your boat for 6 months a year and you are doing light coastal cruising sitting at anchor or in a marina each night you can not compare that with cruisers that are crossing oceans. If you are a weekend sailor you can't compare your costs with someone who lives on their boat 24/7 for 6 months each year.
Offshore sailors put more wear and tear on a single crossing than coastal sailors do in several years sailing. Your location is also important, if y!u sail in the tropics your costs will be much higher due to UV damage and because of the environment your rigging may in fact require replacing much sooner.
The sailors who have only been cruising for a few years have not got enough experience to know the real costs of maintence over a period of 10-15 years when damn near everything will have been overhauled or replaced. Someone like Jim Cate can give you a much better idea of costs. Most of us lie alot to ourselves.
Hi Robert

I tried to estimate costs for full-time long-distance tropical cruising, which is our goal. That's why I originally listing standing rigging & sail replacements at 7.5 years for example.

Best regards,
- Fabian
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