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Old 01-09-2017, 11:03   #1
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Small Stuff Adds Up!

As a side thread to the monthly budget threads I've been doing:

I've kept track of the money I have spent on my boat since I've had it and the small and miscellaneous stuff really adds up! I think that boaters don't really understand the amount of money they spend on their boat. When I do the monthly budget reviews I include in the boat category anything that was in some way boat repair/maintenance or boat living related. So if I decide the boat needs a curtain, that's a boat cost. If I get a new rolly cart to get things to/from the boat, that's a boat cost. If I buy a new rug, that's a boat cost.

On a $500/mo thread on another forum a few years ago I commented that I had spent more than $500 that month on just maintaining my boat. I questioned how a boat really could be maintained in these low end budgets. I remember asking one of the posters how much he spends maintaining his boat and he said $50/YEAR. I'm sorry but I don't believe any boat is maintained for $50/yr, or even $50/mo, and feel what those really are is a free fall into derelict boat condition.

I think that lots of cruisers and wannabes only think about big major things when they think boat maintenance costs and don't consider all the little small things that are like a "death by a 1,000 paper cuts" far as a budget goes. For the last 2 weeks just the small stuff have added up to $218.99 as follows:

$85.22 oil and fuel filters for the main, including a couple of spares and a spare seawater impeller

$31.62 drinking water filter for the sink, including a spare

$15 for a new rolly cart (that was a great buy)

$29.99 for a thermostatic mix valve because the hot water is just way too dangerous at it's temperature

$50.32 fittings to install the mix valve, zinc for outboard, fuel filter for the outboard

$1.49 empty spray bottle (if you don't keep a few around you should)

$5.35 gear oil for the outboard

And this is just the new unaccounted for money as lots of projects/maintenance got done with spares and items I had brought earlier.

Just saying!
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Old 01-09-2017, 12:58   #2
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Yes, what you're saying definitely has merit for the most part. And it's something which I try to make glaringly apparent to new boat buyers/those new to sailing. Since the cost of the boat, & "big ticket" items are but a fraction of the cost of ownership. Especially if you use the boat a lot.

That said, much of what percentage of such operating costs run depends on the number, type, & complexity of the systems on the boat. And by watching what systems you add to her (or don't), & those which you remove (gasp, yeah, I know ), it's easy to cut these costs by a HUGE margin.

If you skip the pressure water, an AC electrical system, lots of electrical toys, etc. you can run a boat quite cheaply, comparitively speaking. So much so that these costs for a simple 40'er can be significantly lower than those on a complex 30'er. Which tends to be my preference. Especially as there's more than enough in terms of other things for the boat which want for $.

On the cheap side of the budget numbers you're quoting, boat size is an obvious issue as well. Geometrically so. And regardless of boat size, Annie Hill's Voyaging On A Small Income is a good reality check. Along with being full of ideas on how to save coin on upkeep (& initial outlay). The Pardeys have some sharp ideas on this as well. Ditto many a racing boat, where minimalisim in terms of gucci comfort items is the norm.

I mean what do you really Need (to have) on a boat? Make a list & then compare it to what systems & equipment that you do have, & seeing where the money goes/will go, is much, much easier.

Systems upkeep & initial outlay costs can easily exceed those for the boat herself, & her primary (essential) systems.
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Old 01-09-2017, 13:33   #3
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

I'm sorry but that was blah blah blah with the standard story line and no numbers to back it up. You may as well just say that one doesn't "need" to maintain your boat. For the most part the complex "systems" people think they are going to save money on by not having barely cost anything in the bigger picture. I bet I spend as much on cleaning supples as these systems really cost and which increases boat life enjoyment greatly.
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Old 01-09-2017, 13:47   #4
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I'm sorry but that was blah blah blah with the standard story line and no numbers to back it up. You may as well just say that one doesn't "need" to maintain your boat. For the most part the complex "systems" people think they are going to save money on by not having barely cost anything in the bigger picture. I bet I spend as much on cleaning supples as these systems really cost and which increases boat life enjoyment greatly.
Hmmm.... Pot,, meet kettle...

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Old 01-09-2017, 13:52   #5
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

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Hmmm.... Pot,, meet kettle...

Jim
So you don't believe I provide numbers and instead just make sweeping statements.

You I take it are the fire!
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Old 01-09-2017, 14:25   #6
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Small Stuff Adds Up!

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you.
Same thing living on land, think how much you spend on a car, the yard, upkeep of the house.
I was astonished many years ago on how much we spent on cleaning supplies when I was a lowly Army Private, so we didn't buy windex, I made our own, same for 409 and or any other liquid cleaner, but we did buy laundry detergent, but used rags and washed them as opposed to paper towels etc.
We don't do that now, but I do remember how if we have to.

I believe it to be a pay me now or pay me later scenario, many people who have to put off bottom jobs etc. will have a hard time when they finally do one and pay now in increased fuel consumption and a slower boat under sail.

Boat is a lot like an automobile, a car it's very easy to keep for 20 years if you maintain it, however most don't, many buy a new car every few years and do not maintain it.

Any machine will nickel and dime you to death, the more complex the machine, the more nickels and dimes.
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Old 01-09-2017, 16:47   #7
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Take the average non-poor American and track what they spend on just three categories: food & drink prepared outside the home, entertainment and communications subscriptions.

A lot more than the average **family** spends on **all** living expenses.

And such things become completely subconcious, just background, part of "the way things are"
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Old 01-09-2017, 17:11   #8
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
On a $500/mo thread on another forum a few years ago I commented that I had spent more than $500 that month on just maintaining my boat. I questioned how a boat really could be maintained in these low end budgets. I remember asking one of the posters how much he spends maintaining his boat and he said $50/YEAR. I'm sorry but I don't believe any boat is maintained for $50/yr, or even $50/mo, and feel what those really are is a free fall into derelict boat condition.
Free fall into derelict boat condition or don't know how much they are really spending on their boat?
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Old 01-09-2017, 19:00   #9
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Unless you keep a journal with all your expenses, you will never get a true picture of where your money goes. There have been three or four times in my life when I couldn't figure out where my money was going - writing EVERYTHING down was the only way to track things and each time it was a huge eye opener.
People these days can't be bothered. That and the ease of paying with credit/debit cards and there is no way you can oversee things properly.
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Old 01-09-2017, 20:20   #10
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

I think Jim is just pointing out that didn't supply numbers either, the very thing you were complaining about. Just an observation
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Old 01-09-2017, 22:54   #11
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
So you don't believe I provide numbers and instead just make sweeping statements.

You I take it are the fire!
Ahh, come on SB, we all know that you post lots of budget numbers, and that they are apparently of use to many and are appreciated.

But, the two bolded sentences are kinda amusing to me, where you criticize a post for not supplying numbers to back up a statement, and then do exactly that in your final sentence.

No harm, no foul, I found it kinda funny. YMMV.
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Old 01-09-2017, 23:12   #12
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

Sailorboy,

I can't help but notice on your budget related threads how many people watch and criticize you from dockside, while you're the one actually out their doing it using real numbers.

Keep up the good work and ignore the criticism. Say hello to sailorgirl for me.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:28   #13
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

It’s true, the little things can add up. But I find it’s not the necessary maintenance and boat costs that make a big difference, but the unnecessary costs we incur whenever we’re in a marina. For some reason () the money just flows whenever I’m tied to a dock. Yesterday it was for fresh cod, when my larder is still quite full of cans and dried. The day before it was burger and fries from a local stand. And good beer … that’s the killer around here. Today it will probably be for that movie I’ve been dying to see… and probably more beer .

We (well, my wife) keeps track of every penny we spend. She know what it costs to live this life the way we’re living it. Me? I just keep asking if we’re still solvent — so far, so good .
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:45   #14
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

So apparently I have been accused of not providing real numbers to support that "complex" systems aren't the real source of boat expenses. For the past 11 years I have posted the expenses with a "boat maintenance, repair, and upgrade" line item. For that line item the past 11 months the things that have been more than $100 are (in round numbers):

- $2950 autopilot drive motors (2 because 1 failed and is for sale not that it is repaired)
- $160 macerator pump
- $120 shower sump pump and fittings
- $200 head sail repair
- $220 generator seawater impeller and exhaust hose, includes the spares I got for next time

So for the testicule crushers you can go through the 11 monthly threads and add up the boat line costs and subtract the above. That is the cost of the small stuff.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:25   #15
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Re: Small Stuff Adds Up!

we donot need real numbers. we know what we spend on boat--is what is not used for cat food litter and some semblance of people chow. and rent in cane season and repair sessions
the rest is boat.
i have a fixed number to work with, and i am not able to exceed that.
i realize that is a concept most find difficulty understanding, but this is how it works.
it is items such as zincs, stainless doodads and fasteners, tools, soaps and plungers, pumps switches, breakers, electrical panels, wires, glues, paints, and little items.
funny how they all add up!!!
without worst marine and in the boonies at reasonable pricing.
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