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Old 17-08-2016, 00:39   #1
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10 humble questions from a newbie ...

Wish this forum had a 'no stupid question' thread so I won't get beaten up (too badly). There's a lot to learn about buying a boat / living full time aboard. Still have a few newbie questions that I haven't found complete answers to:

Paragraph bio: Western, 40yo - moved to Asia (middle of no-where) 10 years ago and built a compound, running on 50% solar. Love the house and lifestyle but not happy with being stuck in place. Dream is to get a boat and hop from location to location in Asia and Europe.

1) Electricity: Lots of charts but difficult to understand without the proper background. Essentially I'd like to be able to run my computer, Tv, router, refrig, freezer and other general appliances in a normal-ish (land) way. Is it possible that solar and wind combo can deliver adequate reserves if I have enough batteries? (southern europe and asia mostly)

2) Internet: I'm a tech geek, run my own small company (remotely) - I'd like to be able to make and take Skype calls on a regular basis from wherever I'm anchored. Be it Thailand or Greece. (not while bluewater). Are there decent options for global satellite net, or is it just a matter of discovering what you can get on the ground in each country (like 3g and SIM). I need at least 5mb down and 2.5 up and ability to Skype to make this work.

3) New vs Used: Great with a computer, sig. less great with an engine (oil goes where? - but willing to learn) Was looking at a Dufour 412 (Overview 412 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts). My idea was that a new boat would require less maintenance and work the first 5-7 years, and (somewhat) justify the extra purchase cost? Thus giving me a chance / time to learn.

4) Registration: Thinking about buying either in Greece or Thailand. The first few years will be learning the boat and taking it out on ever longer trips before I try any kind of serious sailing. On the for-sale forums I always see the 'boat registered in' message - why does this matter? What do the 'taxes not paid' (for used) mean?

5) Marinas: Shocked at the prices of Marinas internationally. For instance a marina in Thailand won't let you live on your boat full-time and they still want to charge you $900usd a month (non-member), $550 member ($2.5k members fee annually). Quite a bit considering a 1br apt in same location would cost around $600. Other locations in Italy and France are equally expensive. Is there a membership you can join that gives discounts to a number of marinas? Why so high prices?

6) Upkeep: Keep reading that 10% annually is a good figure for upkeep (cleaning the hull, repairs) for a 200k (new) boat that's 20k a year ($1,700 a month) that seems awfully high - almost as much as the 1br apt I left 10yr ago in NYC.. Would it really cost this much for a new yacht?

7) Safety: So you're parked off a Greek or Thai island and you dinghy into port to go do some evening dinner/drinking or for a weekend inland. You've just left your 200k ship unprotected. Seems like a fantastic target for thieves to either grab equipment off the boat, or the ship itself. An issue or paranoia?

8) I've currently got a 6,000sqft house with pool and all the rest, but honestly i just live in my bedroom (computer, tv, books on ipad) I don't need alot to be happy. Still the confines of a boat can seem daunting. Does it ever feel like you bought your dream boat only to feel later like you bought your prison?

9) Visas for countries: I 'think' I've noticed that the visa situation is a bit better for yachts? For Thailand for instance it's 30 days on arrival via a plane, but believe I read that for a yacht you get 6 months. Are visas an issue when traveling or is it pretty easy to deal with.

10) Insurance: I've read 2.5% is normal annual for full insurance including damage / theft. Sound right?

12) Going to see some boats next month in Europe, looking to buy next April. In Asia everything can be discounted, paying by cash can get you even better discount. However I'm viewing in Greece. Can I expect any type of discount for cash or are the prices for new boats purely fixed?

Thanks so MUCH for anything you're willing to answer.
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Old 18-08-2016, 21:48   #2
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Re: 10 humble questions from a newbie ...

OK, I'll give this a crack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthesea View Post
Wish this forum had a 'no stupid question' thread so I won't get beaten up (too badly). There's a lot to learn about buying a boat / living full time aboard. Still have a few newbie questions that I haven't found complete answers to:

Paragraph bio: Western, 40yo - moved to Asia (middle of no-where) 10 years ago and built a compound, running on 50% solar. Love the house and lifestyle but not happy with being stuck in place. Dream is to get a boat and hop from location to location in Asia and Europe.

1) Electricity: Lots of charts but difficult to understand without the proper background. Essentially I'd like to be able to run my computer, Tv, router, refrig, freezer and other general appliances in a normal-ish (land) way. Is it possible that solar and wind combo can deliver adequate reserves if I have enough batteries? (southern europe and asia mostly)
No. Refrig and freezer typically run amperes of electricity. Most efficient method is to run eutectic units mechanically off the diesel engine. The rest of your needs can be met with about 300W of solar panels, a wind generator and 400AH of house batteries.

Quote:
2) Internet: I'm a tech geek, run my own small company (remotely) - I'd like to be able to make and take Skype calls on a regular basis from wherever I'm anchored. Be it Thailand or Greece. (not while bluewater). Are there decent options for global satellite net, or is it just a matter of discovering what you can get on the ground in each country (like 3g and SIM). I need at least 5mb down and 2.5 up and ability to Skype to make this work.
That's only just becoming possible, and it isn't cheap. Try GYMSIM - International mobile phone sim cards.

Forget Skype, a mobile phone will be cheaper and more reliable inshore, and as useless offshore as the internet. And forget satphones completely unless you have money to burn.

Quote:
3) New vs Used: Great with a computer, sig. less great with an engine (oil goes where? - but willing to learn) Was looking at a Dufour 412 (Overview 412 Grand Large - Dufour Yachts). My idea was that a new boat would require less maintenance and work the first 5-7 years, and (somewhat) justify the extra purchase cost? Thus giving me a chance / time to learn.
If you can afford new, go for it.

Quote:
4) Registration: Thinking about buying either in Greece or Thailand. The first few years will be learning the boat and taking it out on ever longer trips before I try any kind of serious sailing. On the for-sale forums I always see the 'boat registered in' message - why does this matter? What do the 'taxes not paid' (for used) mean?
This is all about GST/VAT payments. Local taxes need to be paid in the "home port" ... unless you never visit there. By this loophole most commercial shipping avoids paying it, and this is why you see so many registered in places like Panama.

It gets more complex. If you stay in a place beyond a certain time these taxes may come due anyhow. Moving constantly avoids them.

Quote:
5) Marinas: Shocked at the prices of Marinas internationally. For instance a marina in Thailand won't let you live on your boat full-time and they still want to charge you $900usd a month (non-member), $550 member ($2.5k members fee annually). Quite a bit considering a 1br apt in same location would cost around $600. Other locations in Italy and France are equally expensive. Is there a membership you can join that gives discounts to a number of marinas? Why so high prices?
Marinas are for people who live on land and need a place to moor their boats. If you anchor off, or get a swing mooring, prices are affordable even in major cities. I agree they are outrageous, and there are few discounts. Why? Opportunism, exlusive licence, because they can. Pick one.

Quote:
6) Upkeep: Keep reading that 10% annually is a good figure for upkeep (cleaning the hull, repairs) for a 200k (new) boat that's 20k a year ($1,700 a month) that seems awfully high - almost as much as the 1br apt I left 10yr ago in NYC.. Would it really cost this much for a new yacht?
This rule of thumb is, in my view, invalid at the extremes. A cheap boat could cost 100% a year while a new one could cost very little in maintenance. If you buy new, don't defer too much maintenance though, it's a common error to run a yacht down to junk then sell it for peanuts.

What it really costs depends on how much of the work you do yourself, where you do it, how well you can negotiate and many other factors.

Quote:
7) Safety: So you're parked off a Greek or Thai island and you dinghy into port to go do some evening dinner/drinking or for a weekend inland. You've just left your 200k ship unprotected. Seems like a fantastic target for thieves to either grab equipment off the boat, or the ship itself. An issue or paranoia?
Yep, it's an issue. There are people who are so poor and/or so stupid that they will steal a dinghy from the shoreline, leaving the owner unable to return to their yacht. It's all part of yachting and you need to take precautions, always.

Quote:
8) I've currently got a 6,000sqft house with pool and all the rest, but honestly i just live in my bedroom (computer, tv, books on ipad) I don't need alot to be happy. Still the confines of a boat can seem daunting. Does it ever feel like you bought your dream boat only to feel later like you bought your prison?
Nope. You can't sail a condo somewhere else if the neighbors are annoying. It's a good life, but it isn't for everyone. Have you considered simply downsizing your accomodations?

Quote:
9) Visas for countries: I 'think' I've noticed that the visa situation is a bit better for yachts? For Thailand for instance it's 30 days on arrival via a plane, but believe I read that for a yacht you get 6 months. Are visas an issue when traveling or is it pretty easy to deal with.
No direct experience with this, I'll let someone else answer it.

Quote:
10) Insurance: I've read 2.5% is normal annual for full insurance including damage / theft. Sound right?
Don't know, I'm not a gambler and I consider insurance as a form of gambling.

Quote:
12) Going to see some boats next month in Europe, looking to buy next April. In Asia everything can be discounted, paying by cash can get you even better discount. However I'm viewing in Greece. Can I expect any type of discount for cash or are the prices for new boats purely fixed?
Almost everything is negotiable.

Quote:
Thanks so MUCH for anything you're willing to answer.
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Old 18-08-2016, 22:28   #3
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Re: 10 humble questions from a newbie ...

All of the answers you seek can be found on this furum by doing a search of each topic.
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Old 18-08-2016, 23:33   #4
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Re: 10 humble questions from a newbie ...

Electricty: with the right inverter, enough battery capacity and room to store them you can have house appliances. I use dual magnum inverters that can deliver about 8kw. They produce 120/240 volts @ 60 hrz. USA power.
My appliances include double door reefer, freezer, washer, dryer, dishwasher, 50 gallon hot water tank, AC, all house type. Reefer and freezer always on line. Usually when using the hot water heater or dryer I run a generator and charge the batteries, but sometimes I use the inverter. I am thinking of adding solar. I've gone 5 years w/o docking at a marina.
I usually can go 24 to 48 hours between charging. I have 2 banks of 8dd batteries.
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