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Old 12-04-2019, 09:08   #1
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Sailing Maintenance Costs

Hello everyone!!
Could someone point me to a post (I imagine there is one somewhere on this forum) or provide me some information on the general costs to keep and maintain ~50' catamaran?
I am looking into the Moorings purchase program (for the Moorings 5000) which means I would receive the boat in about 5 years. At that time I plan on some retiring and doing some extensive sailing with my wife and kids, but I want to have a handle on how much maintaining the boat would cost. Please exclude food etc, just focusing purely on boat maintenance etc.
Thanks for your help!!!
Sincerely,
Dan
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:46   #2
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

It's a blindfolded dart throw guesstimate, but

10% of the purchase price average per year.

No slip fees, storage etc, just actual break / fix and routine maintenance.

Some earlier years 5%, others later on 25%.

Most say as the boat gets older if the desired standard is high, that becomes a lowball number, and suggest using the New Retail price as the basis.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:50   #3
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

And DIY type owners with skills, putting in a lot of time, shopping secondhand / consignment shops obviously get stuff done at a fraction of the price paid to yards, professionals.

As do those who just let the boat get run down.

Since resale will hardly ever recoup ongoing costs, that is a rational choice if you're just keeping the boat until it's scrap, at least until safety gets compromised.
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Old 12-04-2019, 12:27   #4
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

Thanks for the info everyone! I also talked with Moorings and they estimate there maintenance costs are about 10% of the purchase price. I imagine could be done cheaper if tried to do most of it DIY. So I think I am getting a better idea of what it will cost me.
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Old 12-04-2019, 19:40   #5
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

To me, that confirms 10% is indeed a lowball number, given that was the answer given by the outfit selling the boat 8-)
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Old 12-04-2019, 20:22   #6
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan2011 View Post
Hello everyone!!
Could someone point me to a post (I imagine there is one somewhere on this forum) or provide me some information on the general costs to keep and maintain ~50' catamaran?
I am looking into the Moorings purchase program (for the Moorings 5000) which means I would receive the boat in about 5 years. At that time I plan on some retiring and doing some extensive sailing with my wife and kids, but I want to have a handle on how much maintaining the boat would cost. Please exclude food etc, just focusing purely on boat maintenance etc.
Thanks for your help!!!
Sincerely,
Dan
The rule of thumb I use is 15% to 20% of the original cost of the boat. It works for us. I am a do it yourselfer, so I don't spend a lot on other people's labor. On the other hand we do race our boat, so the costs go up (things get broken).

That figure does not include berthing, insurance, fuel, sails, but does include annual costs such as haul-out.
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Old 12-04-2019, 22:47   #7
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

I can never get my head around using a % of the boat value for strictly maintenance costs - I have a low value boat (under 50K) which I have had for several years and I have never spent 10% let alone 15 to 20% on only maintenance per year - Yes I do all the simple jobs myself and the systems are pretty simple. I have not been hit for new sails or engine though and the standing rigging is still good.


So say i had a 500K boat - That's $50,000 per year in maintenance or $250,000 over 5 years at 10% - I don't see anyone spending that, that reports their costs on the internet and even over 5 years if I replaced the 3 big ticket items (Engine(s), Sails and Rigging) I can't see how it can cost $250k on maintenance alone?


Help understanding this % for maintenance only costs would be appreciated as I just don't see it.
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Old 12-04-2019, 22:49   #8
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

I see the 10% of cost estimate a lot but I haven't been able to back into that number. I'm looking at a 50' cat as well. A 50' Moorings is approx $1 mil which would translate to $100k per year maintenance using the 10% estimate.

I ballparked the maintenance & replacement costs of the major systems divided by their lifetimes (excluding non-maint items like insurance, mooring, etc) to come up with a per year expense.

Sails 7, $6500
Standing Rigging 10, $600
Running rigging 4, $500
Blocks, winches, cleats, $500
AGM batteries 6, $600
Generator 8, $1250
Electrical motors, $1000
Inverter 10, $250
Haulout and bottom 1, $3000
Engine oil/filter change, $500
Engine overhaul 7, $750
Engine rebuild 12, $1000
Saildrive, $500
Toilets 3, $500
Seacocks, hoses, valves, $300
AC 14, $2000
Fridge/freezer/microwave/stove 8 $500
Watermaker 10, $1500
Anchor chain 5, $300
Dinghy + outboard 8, $500
Bedding, curtains 6, $750
Nav/electronics, $1000

My guestimate is 3% per year.

However, I'm an armchair sailor who's limited to small inland sailboats. Feel free to let me know if I am way off on any of these items.
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Old 12-04-2019, 23:01   #9
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

New boat 5% a year for the first 10 years, then a couple of big years then back to 5% a year.........you bought the wrong boat if a 1-3 year old boat costs you 10% of the purchase price, just saying......
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Old 13-04-2019, 00:38   #10
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

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Originally Posted by NPCampbell View Post
I see the 10% of cost estimate a lot but I haven't been able to back into that number. I'm looking at a 50' cat as well. A 50' Moorings is approx $1 mil which would translate to $100k per year maintenance using the 10% estimate.
I agree the 10% is a bit of a nonesense for pure maintenance.

If you buy a used cat, let's say something in the €200.000 region you aren't in anyway going to be spending €20.000 a year on maintaining it. You might spend that on fancy new toys and upgrades, but not on general maintenance like engine servicing, outboards, dinghy repairs, paint/gel coat, sail repairs etc.. Even when factor in rigging replacement every 10-15 years if you ever own the boat long enough.
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Old 13-04-2019, 04:16   #11
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

I think most of you are missing the point. This is going to be an ex charter boat and depending how much use it gets I can see some big expenses once it is out of charter. There could easily be 5-6000 hours on the engines (half their life), upholstery had a over a thousand different people sit on it, there might have been over 4500 meals cooked on the stove, the toilets flushed who knows how many times in 5 years, the cupboards opened and closed countless times. The list goes on and on, the anchor winch up and down a 1000 times plus.
The reason I say this is that I have surveyed a few well used charter cats here in Australia and they have been half flogged to death.
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Old 13-04-2019, 04:44   #12
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

you should look for blogs that have a cost section, or review threads here that have real cost break downs in them

this % of costs is one of the most ridiculous myths about boating (in my opinion of course because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings)
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Old 13-04-2019, 10:27   #13
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

If it was 20% per year.......run the boat ragged, 0 maintanace and buy a new one every 6th year.......
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Old 13-04-2019, 11:16   #14
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

Yes the assumption is you want to keep the boat's appearance and functionality up to at least as good as when you bought her.

Many restore projects get to "better than new" in key areas, but maintaining at that level is much more expensive.

Letting your boat deteriorate until most of the value is in the keel's scrap lead is certainly an owner's prerogative, but not germane to the topic IMO.

Same with smart timing in buying and selling replacement boats, assumption is you love your boat and want to keep her.

If you haven't yet replaced all your sails through hulls, chain plates, tanks, replaced / overhauled the engine, major work on hull / deck, keel or rudder, then you're just in the "low average" part of the cycle.

And as stated up front, really no one formula applies generically.

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It's a blindfolded dart throw guesstimate
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Old 13-04-2019, 18:11   #15
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Re: Sailing Maintenance Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
I can never get my head around using a % of the boat value for strictly maintenance costs - I have a low value boat (under 50K) which I have had for several years and I have never spent 10% let alone 15 to 20% on only maintenance per year - Yes I do all the simple jobs myself and the systems are pretty simple. I have not been hit for new sails or engine though and the standing rigging is still good.


So say i had a 500K boat - That's $50,000 per year in maintenance or $250,000 over 5 years at 10% - I don't see anyone spending that, that reports their costs on the internet and even over 5 years if I replaced the 3 big ticket items (Engine(s), Sails and Rigging) I can't see how it can cost $250k on maintenance alone?


Help understanding this % for maintenance only costs would be appreciated as I just don't see it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by UFO View Post
I don't see anyone spending that,
I know it sounds outrageously high, and someone with a smaller, simpler, boat who does their own work can surely get by for less, but this figure (15%) is, I think, typical for many boat owners who cruise full time and/or live aboard, and many people out here confirm it to me. And it's not the big items, it's the myriad of small items, every month.

I have kept exquisitely; some might say obsessively, detailed boat maintenance records for 32 years since we bought this boat and for the 23 years that we have been cruising, (AND we have complete records of ALL of our cruising and liveaboard expenses for this time as well, not just boat maintenance).

I could, and will if you ask, give you the gory details but here is the summary:

In 2018 alone we spent nearly $9000 in maint, plus $7600 in berthing. We are berthed about 9 months out of the year, otherwise we are anchored. This figure does not include sails, fuel, etc. Since the boat originally cost about $135,000 (previous owner) that is around 12%

In 2008 (ten years ago)the figures were $6440 plus $5400 in berthing.

In 1998 (20 years ago) the figures were $6122 plus $1654 in berthing.

Overall, in 22 years since we started cruising we’ve spent $224,942 on maint and $113,648 on berthing for an average of $15,390 per year, or 11%.

This does not include $52,800 on sails during that time.This does not include the new engine we had installed for $7000 in 1993. We have never replaced the mast, or surprisingly, the electronics so our figure may be low. Nor do we have genset, bow thruster, or many of the modern cruising necessities. Those might also bring up the cost.

What we have is a 43ft semi-production fiberglass sloop. We have lived aboard the entire 32 year time. We have circumnavigated between 1996 and 2014 and that is 55,000nm. The boat is raced as well as cruised. We do virtually all of our own work. Factor all of this into the cost figures.

I frequently ask other cruisers and liveaboards about their costs, and they confirm that 15% - 20% is about right, so I feel like I have gotten off lightly.

You may not want to believe it, and if you are thinking of buying and trying to calculate you future costs you will not want to believe it.

And if your experience is different, good on you.
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