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Old 20-08-2014, 18:26   #1
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Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

I want to by a boat eventually but have no idea what the long term cost will be.
I would love to get a very general idea of what the cost of owning a 30ish foot boat will be, I live in the Houston area BTW.

Using a 1980 30 foot Catalina as an example,

How often will a boat need a bottom job and what will it cost to have it done?
What does a haul out cost?
What does it cost to stay on the hard?
Insurance? I see some marinas require insurance, 300K in one case, I assume this is liability coverage, what’s an average policy run?
What kind of life can I expect from well cared for sails? What would be a very general replacement cost?
What does it cost to have the bottom cleaned in the slip and how often will it need to be done?

Any other common expenses I’m missing?

Thanks
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Old 20-08-2014, 20:31   #2
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Depends on alot
Shape of boat,standing and running rigging,gear,sails,engine,cutlass etc etc
And what can you do yourself vs a 100,hour mechanic.
But figure sails every 15 years , rigging every 15, bottom paint every 2 years, and insurance Id say all the other maintenance items 8d say 400 month???

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Old 21-08-2014, 14:46   #3
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Welcome to CruisersForum, DonZe
The cost depends on the complexity of the boat, too: the gear that isn't on board doesn't need maintenance. I own a 30' sailing boat and I do without fridge, pressure water, A/C, watermaker, microwave oven, radar...

In 2009, I got a new mainsail and a new genoa for approx 3000€. In 2013, changing the standing rigging was about 3100€, not including unstepping and restepping the mast. Having the alternator rebuilt was about 350€.

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Old 21-08-2014, 14:59   #4
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Figure 10 to 15% of the value of the boat, every year. If you are unable to do some maintenance to a professional standard, figure more.

Some owners spend less. Most all of these have boats which are deteriorating each year.

There are very few exceptions.

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Old 21-08-2014, 15:47   #5
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

well my costs of having a boat is attached and you can change for the boat size
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File Type: xls Rubber Ducky expensives.xls (54.5 KB, 1980 views)
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Old 21-08-2014, 16:08   #6
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Costs vary significantly from area to area. Here are some examples from San Diego. Our boat is a 1995 Caliber 40 (originally built as a Caliber 38 so it is typical of a biggish 38 foot boat).

The answers to your questions will depend on:
- where you keep the boat
- the condition of the boat when you buy it
- your prior insurance history
- your prior boat ownership history
- your ability to do work for yourself
- how well maintained you want your boat to be

How often will a boat need a bottom job and what will it cost to have it done?
Every three years
A friend on a 32’ sailboat just received a bid of $1,250 for roundtrip, labor, and materials


What does a haul out cost?
$350 roundtrip

What does it cost to stay on the hard?
The answer varies widely. Yard to yard, and on what the yard is doing for you.
I recently spent 8 days in a yard. The yard gave me three nights as part of the price for doing the bottom and then gave me two free days because their mechanics could not get to my job in time. I had to pay $50 for each of other three lay days (days on the hard). So – I paid $150 for 8-lay days.


Insurance? I see some marinas require insurance, 300K in one case, I assume this is liability coverage, what’s an average policy run?
The answer is very dependent on where you sail and where you keep your boat.
Our policy in San Diego is 15% less than in Puget Sound and would be 100% greater in western Florida.
If you assume 1.25% of the insured value you would have a good starting point.
BUT – it really depends on your deductible (ours is 2%) and your boat ownership and claim experience.

What kind of life can I expect from well cared for sails? What would be a very general replacement cost?
The answer, again, is very dependent on where and how you sail. Tropics are much harder on sails that New England. Sail material and construction technique can double the basic sail price.
Our genoa is 14 years old and in good condition after $350 of repairs – replacement cost would be $3,000 at low end and $8,000 at high end.
Our mainsail was in bad shape after 13 years and had to be replaced. Costs were $3,200 to $8,500.
Our spinnaker is 19 years old and in great shape.


What does it cost to have the bottom cleaned in the slip and how often will it need to be done?
My friend pays $37.50 every three weeks to have her 32’ boat bottom cleaned every three weeks. We pay $50 every three weeks and another neighbor pays $48 every three weeks for his 37’ boat.
In Puget Sound we only had the bottom cleaned every two months and it cost $35.


Any other common expenses I’m missing?
Zincs – really depends on your marina
Local Tax (in California it is 1.1% yearly of BUC value)
Slip Fees
Electricity


I provided a very detailed list of costs on our boat in the following link:
Ownership costs

See post #4 – Be VERY CAREFUL to note that I do ALL my own labor. Except for the haulout and prop shaft replacement – I never pay a mechanic to do anything on my boat.

Based on 20 years ownership of our current boat – the boat will cost you about 3% - 5% of it’s value each year AFTER you pay for slips, moorage, boat payments. If you buy a $50,000 boat in good shape I would suggest you budget $2,000/year for the first several years for maintenance and upgrades.
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Old 21-08-2014, 19:24   #7
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Thanks everyone, you have been incredibly helpful.
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Old 21-08-2014, 21:28   #8
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Here is an update to my prior list of maintenance expenses. This list covers the period November 2013 thru August 2014. These expenses are for a 20-year old very well equipped 40-foot sailboat on which two of us have lived and cruised for many years. Also note most of the parts were purchased at a deep discount thru a professional boat mechanic account. None of the following contains labor costs because I do all the work myself. Just for grins - the number in parenthesis ( ) are the number of hours I spent installing, repairing, or updating the item

- $ 5 distilled water for batteries (5)
- $45 propane for galley (2)
- $15 fuel filters for Yanmar (1)
- $10 oil filter for Yanmar (1)
- $15 oil for Yanmar (150 hour change)
- $25 waterproof switch for anchor washdown pump (3 to diagnose and repair)
- $25 replace various hose clamps that appear rusty or weak (4)
- $35 replace shackles on heavy duty anchor snubber lines (1)
- $45 replace shackles on 44# Bruce anchor chain ( 2 - rusted / needed cutoff blade on grinder)
- $75 light weight snubber lines for anchor and thimbles (2 splice and fit)
- $500 new halyards for main, genoa, spinnaker (6)
- $ 5 gallon of Muriatic acid
- $50 replace lower forestay toggle due to long crack (2)
- $5,800 new Hydranet Mainsail ( 4 remove, fold, transport, reinstall, test)
- $350 repairs to Genoa (3 remove, fold, transport, reinstall, test)
- $160 pay for inspection of standing rigging – all still perfect
- $30 Two bottles of R-134A refrigerant (4 - diagnose leak, test, diagnose, test,etc)
- $10 various 12V light bulbs (2)
- $20 replace hose for galley sink (4)
- $25 10 and 5 micron pre-filters for watermaker
- $15 activated carbon filter for watermaker
- $475 rebuild 12-year old Spectra Clark Pump (6 diagnose and ship to Spectra)
- $25 various cleaners, brushes, sponges ( 10 hours to clean every month)


It should be obvious from the list above that if a sailboat did not have

- diesel
- refrigerator
- anchors
- watermakers

they would be so much cheaper to own and operate
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Old 22-08-2014, 02:11   #9
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

This type of question always entertains me, because the answers are so far apart sometimes. I understand you really need/want to know (as we all did when first entertaining the idea), but it's really impossible to answer. It depends much on the boat and your DIY abilities for one, but in todays world also on your network and internet research abilities...

Couple of small examples on my 32ft boat:

I looked long and hard on the rigging question, and decided on galvanized wire instead of ss. Easy to inspect myself, virtually free terminals, and way longer life expectancy with some minor maintenance. Kicker is I found a good source, and the 9 stays will cost 250$ to replace fully. I did also find a tiny shop that could set me up with ss stays for around the 450$ mark.
My bottompaint I get from a guy that gets it from a guy that gets it in big barrels straight from the factory. Namebrand stuff, half the price.

Best thing to do is just to compile a list of things you'll need and do some specific research yourself. There are countless ways to do everything cheap, but much depends on how much time and energy you're willing to invest.


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Old 01-09-2014, 08:20   #10
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

At some time soon a cruising yacht of 35 plus feet will become home. Reading these experiences helps formulate strategies for managing the events of cruising. Thank you for sharing.

The thought of constant repair and maintenance sounds like a bad thing. But why? It is very similar to the home ownership experience. Repair the leaking faucet or pay the higher city water bill. Paint the house or watch the wall rot. Tired of the curtains replace them with new shades, seems very much like stains on the sail and the blown out status means a visit to the sail loft.

Perhaps it is preception. The boat for many is a recreational thing, while the home is where living occurs. For the live aboard cruiser the boat is home. Fixing repairing up grading is what is done. It is the way of life.

And like dyi home maintenance, research, friends, and sweat can provide cash savings, accomplishment, and a sense of well being.

Where are those boat for sale links?

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Old 01-09-2014, 10:33   #11
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

How much ya got?

It's pretty easy to answer most of your questions.

Bottom job? Haul out cost? Stay on the hard?
Talk to a yard or two. They'll have a ballpark figure.

Insurance? Just call an insurance broker. They'll tell you.

Sails? Talk to a sailmaker.

Bottom cleaning? Talk to a local diver.

All these businesses will want your business and should
be able to tell you prices. You can pick up a marine
business directory at any yacht broker's office.

Other expenses? Ha ha ha ha. Can't think of any.
No, you've covered 'em all.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:41   #12
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Bill
If I don't believe everything I think how will I know I thunk something good?
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:09   #13
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

Where are you going to keep the boat? Houston is cheap, I hear. However, any meaningful sailing will take place in the gulf as Galveston Bay is chock full of old oil rigs lurking just below the surface - unmarked in many cases. Getting thru there to the gulf will take a LONG time. If course, marinas exist in Galveston but are much more expensive.

You present too many variables. If the boat you buy is sail off the dock ready, 10-15% per year is reasonable. It the. Oat needs a LOT of work then the costs can rise very quickly if you do the work yourself - like a rocket if you pay someone else.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:10   #14
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

The cost depends... For the frugal sailor such as I it depends on the year.

How often will a boat need a bottom job and what will it cost to have it done?
Generally every 2 to 5 years. Figure $1000 if you do it yourself. $2000 is you pay others to do it. I may paint my boat next year whichwill be 6 years then

What does a haul out cost?
See above, Prices include haul out. For a 30 foot boat, $300-$400
What does it cost to stay on the hard?
Figure $20-$25 a day. Some are more
Insurance? I see some marinas require insurance, 300K in one case, I assume this is liability coverage, what’s an average policy run?
I currently pay $100 a year for libility

What kind of life can I expect from well cared for sails? What would be a very general replacement cost?
Sails are all over the place. You can spend $4000 for a new mainsail and it might last 10-15 years, less if your full time sailing. I spent $300 for my last mainsail for a good used one.

What does it cost to have the bottom cleaned in the slip and how often will it need to be done?
I've not paid for hull cleaning in years. If you pay a diver, figure #40-$80 each time.

Cost of maintenance/ repair varies. This year, I've spent very little other then changing oil,filter, fan belt, one breaker for the DC panel. So this years costs are Low. Last year I rebuilt my diesel and that was $1000 for parts and machining. I've 200 hours on the rebuild so far.

The short answer is it takes what you have. If you have money, you'll spend more. If you have just a few $ then you make due with used or do it yourself.
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:53   #15
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Re: Cost Of Owning A 30ish Foot Boat

These types of questions are difficult to get a useful answer to on a forum like this because the costs differ from owner to owner, area to area, and type of boat (it's not all about the size; equipment, construction, and standard of maintenance have a great deal to do with it.)

You seem to have a grasp on many of the items that are required for boat ownership as they apply to YOU, and you have compiled a fairly comprehensive list of questions. Since you know the right questions the answers should be easy to find. You would be better off, rather than asking a forum where the members are scattered all over and will be most familiar with the costs in their own areas and particular to their own boats, to start making phone calls in your local area. And of course the answer to that question will have a great deal to do with your yearly cost as whether you pay cash for the boat and go with liability only insurance or have a monthly boat loan payment and purchase hull insurance. (Although you will find it near impossible to get a loan on a 1980 boat unless you can take a personal loan which would not require any hull insurance since the boat is not actually collateral.)

Since you are using a 30 foot Catalina for purposes of gathering your figures, call a marina or two where you would want to keep your boat and ascertain their rates. Then ask their recommendations for someone to dive and clean your hull, and a haul out yard, call and get their costs. Go down your list in similar manner and get costs for your area.

Then start working down the list of items that will need to be replaced from time to time. There are any number of sailmaker sites online where you can fill out a form and get a quote for sails. It's a starting place. Defender or Catalina Direct will give you a quote for rigging.... You can find out costs for any particular item with just a little bit of research.

Get your hands on a West Marine catalog and you can see what the cost is for bottom paint, varnish, rebuild kits for head and bilge pumps, replacement lights, batteries, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

It also depends on how you plan to maintain your boat and what your standard is. Some people treat certain things as routine maintenance items and other people pay no attention to those items at all. Some people want high performance sails, others (like me) are happy with OEM type sails. Some people have refrigeration and others are content to buy ice. See where I am going with this?

And....and this is a big one....it will depend hugely on the condition of the actual boat you buy and whether you are constantly going to be in the process of replacing and repairing every single little thing or if you are going to have a boat that has already been upgraded and been well maintained and only needs to be kept up with occasional upgrades and replacements as things wear out or break.
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