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Old 26-09-2010, 23:06   #1
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After the Purchase and Prep, Does Size = Cost ?

Hello all.

I've lurked for years, picked up the bug, and am posting for the first time to see if some of you can help with a problem that I haven't really seen covered here.

First, a little background. We have sold our house and we are fortunate enough to have two boats, a 45' center cockpit (our liveaboard), and a 29' aft cockpit (for when we want to sail but don't want to prep the big boat). "We" are my wife and I, plus our infant son. We are comfortable sailing/docking/anchoring both boats, although the 45' is certainly more work (and about 8x more space/comfort!). We are planning a cruise within the next few years that will take us from Ventura, CA (our home port) to the PNW, then down through Mexico to the Carib, and at some point over to Europe. We won't be in a hurry, and plan on spending anywhere from 3-? years on the trip.

I'm an engineer by trade, and have spent plenty of time trying to understand the tradeoffs between the larger vs smaller boats, esp as far as cost goes. I have a good handle on what it would take to fit out each boat, and what a reasonable budget would be for spares for either (based on systems installed). What I DON'T see much of is the relative costs of actually traveling/ in the different sized boats. For instance, I've noticed on noonsite that there's a couple of marinas in Turkey that charge a flat rate, regardless of boat size. Score one for the larger boat! On the other hand, there are other places in Europe that charged based upon square footage (length*beam), which means I'd be paying much more for the bigger boat. In Sardinia's Porto Rotundo marina, for instance, my 45' would cost me 76 Euro/night on June 1, vs 33 Euro/night for my 29'. Maybe we should go small? On the other hand, the difference between prices in Cork, Ireland, is almost insignificant.... This is important for us because, once we dump the day jobs and push off, we'll be on a fixed monthly budget, where every dollar will count. We are cruising for the experience, enjoy anchoring, but want to be able to get off the boat and see the sites in the places we are visiting.

What I'd like some help with is what people have seen in the real world regarding disparities in cruising costs based upon boat size. In the Carib, we've heard that there are places that are actually charging for anchoring. Has anyone seen this, and if so where? Are the charges based upon boat length?

What I don't want is the same old advice about larger boats = larger rigging/bigger sails, etc. I have read it, I have lived it, and I get it. What I really need help with is the blanks around AFTER we push off, what and where would we find differences in costs based solely on size of the boat.

Thanks

John
Ventura
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Old 27-09-2010, 01:31   #2
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Old 27-09-2010, 03:35   #3
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G'Day John,

Mate, I think that you have answered your own query: in most places bigger boats cost more to deal with... marina/mooring berths, slipping/haulouts, painting, etc. There may be the odd spot that differs, but in our experience (west coast US to Mexico to South Pacific/NZ/Oz) this is the case. How much more?? How long is a bit of string?? Too many variables to allow a generalized answer.

So, you have to decide if the markedly greater comfort and livability of the larger boat compensates for the added and unknowable expenses.

In our case, we'd rather have the bigger boat (and do) and spend most of our time at anchor, avoiding at least the bigger marina fees. For us this works, YMMV.

Good luck with your decision.

Cheers,

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Old 27-09-2010, 04:00   #4
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Dock fees seem to be proportional to length everywhere I've been. Mexico, Med, SE Asia.

If you're on a budget skip the Med. Head direct to SE Asia. Many Malaysian marinas are free or nearly free. Even in extraordinary places like Kuching, Borneo.
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Old 27-09-2010, 09:10   #5
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we are fortunate enough to have two boats, a 45' center cockpit (our liveaboard), and a 29' aft cockpit.
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John
Ventura

Hi John,

Firstly, I think you would be a lunatic to take the 29 footer.

Secondly I don't understand people when they say "what it would take to fit out". Nothing. The cost of 2 suitcases to drag your crap on board.

Spares: What spares will you absolutely, definitely need? Oil filters, fan belt, Impellor. Well you can buy them most anywhere. So one of each. What else? Nothing.

The costs you probably worry about are the normal maintenance costs on an old boat with teak decks, 4 sails, 2 masts, all varnish, etc etc etc. But they are the same costs whether you are at home or abroad.

I myself would sell both boats and buy a maintenance 'free' boat like mine (ok bigger than mine, but similar).

Now, the costs in REAL terms of cruising a fair slab of the world are adjustable in the sense that if you can not afford the marina you can anchor next to the marina for free. You dinghy for 100 meters instead of walking your gangplank.
If you can't afford the restaurant on the water front you walk back 2 streets and find a restaurant full of locals that is in your budget. If NO restaurant is in your budget then you eat great food from the supermarket! If the supermarket is too expensive for you, then you will be dissatisfied with that cruising area and go elsewhere. Why? Because you will enjoy the elsewhere better because you find it affordable

Every country and every different boat size in one way or another associates itself with your budget.
If you have a budget to cruise at all, then you have the money to cruise no matter if its a 30 footer or 45 footer. You will just learn to economize when its necessary to do so.

I hope this is making sense... I know what I mean - I just dont know if its coming across clearly!



Mark
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Old 27-09-2010, 09:14   #6
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If you're on a budget skip the Med. .
The Med is not that expensive! We had a great time! I still need to lose more kilos than Britany Spears!
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Old 27-09-2010, 19:56   #7
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All the places in Singapore that I have looked at charge by the foot. Prices range around here from US 6-15 per foot per month for members rates. Double(?) that for visiting?
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Old 27-09-2010, 20:17   #8
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Why use marinas? Anchor away and use your dingy. The assumtion is that since you crossed the atlantic, you have a self sufficient bouat, right? No?
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Old 28-09-2010, 11:02   #9
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Thanks to all who have taken the time to reply.

Here's what I have heard from the responses:

1. Marina prices generally tend to increase as boat size increases. This is no different than here in So Cal.

2. I should investigate Borneo and, based upon 6dollars/foot/month, Singapore as well. Not sure where to go 'from' Singapore, though. But that's another thread entirely...

3. MarkJ fancies bigger boats, doesn't seem to be a 'Pardey-ite'.

4. It seems to be taken for granted that if marinas are too pricey in a given area then anchoring out a short distance away tends to be quite possible. That's somewhat different here in So Cal, where 'free anchorages' are just about unheard of. Is this truly the case in the Med? For us, 'skipping the Med' is not a happy choice -- we understand that its perhaps not the best cruising grounds in the world, for us it represents an easy way to create a 'base' from which to explore inland southern europe.

Again, my thanks to all who have helped me get a little smarter.

John
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Old 28-09-2010, 16:03   #10
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G'Day John and welcome,
Despite the crowding and excessive costs in high summer at the chic places, the Med is really a not-to-miss cruising ground. I'm not sure you'd find such a diversity of culture, such a wealth of history, so much action, in any other area of similar size.
Others have said it - you can always find a place to anchor if you want to - so I'd sail with the biggest boat you can and enjoy both the locations you visit and the space you'll carry with you!
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Old 28-09-2010, 16:27   #11
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. Is this truly the case in the Med? For us, 'skipping the Med' is not a happy choice -- we understand that its perhaps not the best cruising grounds in the world,
Read my posts from a few months ago...ok, from 1 month ago
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Old 29-09-2010, 10:11   #12
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Bonaire charges per mooring. The island off Bequia (Mystique?) charges for anchoring. And so on and so forth. We have been charged for anchoring everywhere from Scotland to Canary Islands and the Indian Ocean.

I believe the biggest saves one can make is by going for a shallow draft cat, living always at your own anchor and painting in between tides. But a good cat is expensive to buy too.

Probably just balance it all for your lifestyle. Do not go in too small a boat.

b.
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Old 19-10-2010, 13:24   #13
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
I think you've gotten the answers already and won't add more.
Good to have you here.
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Old 19-10-2010, 21:52   #14
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The med can be done quite cheaply because while marinas can be expensive, food drink public transport, etc, is quite inexpensive. Just anchor out as much as you want and afford Marinas if you can, there's no way you can skip the cradle of civilisation and some of the world greatest cities

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Old 19-10-2010, 23:43   #15
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Nobody mentioned maintenance costs (other than painting during low tide).

I don't know if it is still true but the rule of thumb used to be that for similar equipment the cost would go up as the displacement, or as the cube of the DWL. That is obviously a crude rule of thumb but it is worth considering.



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