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Old 07-10-2020, 00:41   #1
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Critique of costs

I've decided to stop being a boat charterer, and become a boat owner, probably as of April 2021. For the first few years, I want to coastal cruise around the Mediterranean and northern Europe for six months a year, and then leave the boat up on the hard over winter. After that, I might want to travel further afield, and perhaps live on board all year round. I've started a comparison of estimated costs for different styles of doing this, on a variety of boats from the very affordable to the really-not-so-affordable:


https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...pFDBx-Asc/edit


As you can see, there's a pretty wide variety of boat sizes and crew options, from single-handing, to sailing with friends and the occasional paid crew to help me out, to a professional crew of skipper and chef to look after the boat.


Are my cost estimates roughly correct? Costs in green I'm fairly confident of, but your corrections are welcome. Costs in white are rough estimates that I could use help pinning down. Costs in red, especially for boat maintenance, are wild guesses that I could really use help in even estimating.


Your input is most welcome. Please tell me where I'm being a fool, and idiot, or a lunatic!
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Old 07-10-2020, 00:46   #2
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Re: Critique of costs

A note on internet access: I own an internet-based business, so internet access is important. Mobile data on my phone has always been fine in the Mediterranean when chartering in the past, so for the Europe options I've just put this.


For worldwide sailing, I need something else. Hopefully by the time I'm ready to venture long distance Starlink will be available and will provide high quality internet access everywhere at moderate cost. However, I can't be sure of this, so have priced in 20GB per month of FleetBroadband just in case. It's a big expense, but might be a necessary evil to run my business.
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:03   #3
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Re: Critique of costs

It seems that no-one has any thoughts on this! I guess my plans are too out of the ordinary
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Old 09-10-2020, 08:30   #4
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Re: Critique of costs

That silence you're hearing is usually a good sign that you're not grossly off target. 60,000 euros for a year on a 40 footer seems reasonable, and from a SWAG perspective, you seem to account reasonably for the increase in LOA.

Your costs in red (MX costs) are largely dependent on the exact vessel you select so anyone's guess is going to be about as good as yours. Your guestimates don't look wildly off base, but you could lose the raw water supply to your engine while motoring and torch it, and you just threw that guestimate out the window.

I would just go ahead and budget for the 20GB plan. Starlink is a fun idea, but if your livelihood depends on it, the existing method is the most credible option to plan on.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:02   #5
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Re: Critique of costs

The silence, I think, is more because what you're asking is just for other people's guesses. For example, you've budgeted mooring ranging from 270 up to 3650 with the comment 'wild guess'. That cost is of course based on the number of days spent in a marinas? How would anyone else know your preference? Similarly when you'll sail or motor.

Same with food & drink. It's dependent on taste and preference; yours. And when adding a chef, I'd have expected a significant increase, unless your chef is dishing up beans, lentils and rice day after day. And in respect to restaurants, you use the term 'my share'. So you're never going to shout the crew or friends out for dinner/drinks?

And you have either 200 or 30000 for internet. Why bother? What's wrong with a sat phone when on passages?

And the age old argument about maintenance costs is never ending. But Creedence is quite correct, forget to turn the water on just that one time could cost thousands, picking up an old rope around the prop might do considerable damage. Touching bottom hard, might require an emergency haul out/hard stand for a month or two, and mooring fees budget will be blown out of the water.

Perhaps rather than offering up a spreadsheet with such a wide variety of options, you'd be better to ask forum members to comment on individual columns one at a time. And perhaps include some information in respect to what you have preferred to do on your charters over the past.
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Old 09-10-2020, 09:55   #6
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Re: Critique of costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creedence View Post
That silence you're hearing is usually a good sign that you're not grossly off target. 60,000 euros for a year on a 40 footer seems reasonable, and from a SWAG perspective, you seem to account reasonably for the increase in LOA.
Thank you, that's reassuring to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creedence View Post
Your costs in red (MX costs) are largely dependent on the exact vessel you select so anyone's guess is going to be about as good as yours. Your guestimates don't look wildly off base, but you could lose the raw water supply to your engine while motoring and torch it, and you just threw that guestimate out the window.
Good point. I guess that's a strong argument in favour of choosing a smaller, cheaper boat than is affordable purely based on a budget.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Creedence View Post
I would just go ahead and budget for the 20GB plan. Starlink is a fun idea, but if your livelihood depends on it, the existing method is the most credible option to plan on.
Very much so. I hope it proves to be unnecessary in a year or two.
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:13   #7
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Re: Critique of costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
The silence, I think, is more because what you're asking is just for other people's guesses.

And there was me hoping to learn from other people's real-world experiences



Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
For example, you've budgeted mooring ranging from 270 up to 3650 with the comment 'wild guess'. That cost is of course based on the number of days spent in a marinas? How would anyone else know your preference? Similarly when you'll sail or motor.

I've calculated the amounts based on an assumption of paying for moorings or anchoring 30% of the time in Europe, and 50% of the time worldwide, and a cost of between Ä5 and Ä20 per night based on boat size. You can see this if you double-click on the spreadsheet cells to see the formula. Are these numbers realistic? I don't really know, and welcome input.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
Same with food & drink. It's dependent on taste and preference; yours. And when adding a chef, I'd have expected a significant increase, unless your chef is dishing up beans, lentils and rice day after day.

That's a very good point; thank you. I've updated the spreadsheet to Ä20 per person per day (which is still a guess) when there's a chef.



Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
And in respect to restaurants, you use the term 'my share'. So you're never going to shout the crew or friends out for dinner/drinks

I'm actually fairly confident of the restaurant figures, as this is an area I have personal experience of. I do expect to treat crew and friends, but I've found that friends tend to treat me even more often as a thank you for inviting them sailing. Maybe I'm just not pulling my weight


Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
And you have either 200 or 30000 for internet. Why bother? What's wrong with a sat phone when on passages?

I wish a satellite phone was sufficient for when away from mobile coverage, but sadly it won't cut the mustard. I run a software company, and frequently need full, proper internet access. I check code in and out of online repositories on a daily basis. I sometimes need to connect into customers' systems using SSH. Services like Iridium Go don't provide anywhere near the facilities I need. Hopefully Starlink will provide what I need at reasonable cost in a year or two. Until then I need to stick to Europe (which I probably will anyway), or shell out for FleetBroadband or similar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
And the age old argument about maintenance costs is never ending. But Creedence is quite correct, forget to turn the water on just that one time could cost thousands, picking up an old rope around the prop might do considerable damage. Touching bottom hard, might require an emergency haul out/hard stand for a month or two, and mooring fees budget will be blown out of the water.

Yes, a tricky issue. Perhaps it has no correct answer, and the only cure is to be extra prudent when choosing how much to spend on a boat in the first place?


Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
Perhaps rather than offering up a spreadsheet with such a wide variety of options, you'd be better to ask forum members to comment on individual columns one at a time. And perhaps include some information in respect to what you have preferred to do on your charters over the past.

To a large extent, I'm planning to buy a boat because I'm dissatisfied with the limitations of chartering!
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Old 09-10-2020, 10:21   #8
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Re: Critique of costs

You can have the best plan ever created, but the moment you untie the dock line, you can throw it out the window...as anything and everything will change...
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Old 10-10-2020, 06:44   #9
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Re: Critique of costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHughV View Post
You can have the best plan ever created, but the moment you untie the dock line, you can throw it out the window...as anything and everything will change...

Oh indeed.The first casualty of war is always the battle plan. However, to get to the point of untying the dock line, I need to buy a boat. That requires at least some planning, and the more accurate the better.
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Old 19-10-2020, 07:38   #10
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Re: Critique of costs

Back in the day, when I first decided I wanted to do some globe girdling, I could not afford to buy a boat, if I wanted one of these things, I had to build it myself.
With pen in hand, I jotted down what it would take to build one, where I could not determine the cost, I took a WAG.
Tabulating all this, I came up with the grand sum of $9,000 for a 38' boat....ok....this was in the 70's....not only the $9K, but figured I could knock it out in a year.
$9k was a lot of coin....for me anyway....but I scraped and scrounged....and when this amount arrived in my bank account, I set to work. It was the innocence of youth, being in my 20's back then.
It didn't take long before the cold reality arrived that I was not going to build this boat for $9K nor was I going to do it in one year.
Nonetheless, I preserved, and some three years later, and many more $K's, I did finally splash the boat.
Then with $400 in hand I set off. My boat was equipped with little more than sails, a fiberglass dink with a 2 hp outboard (which also doubled as my liferaft), no electronics, other than a vhf.....if the weather looked good the day I left, that was good enuff for me. After that, I took the weather as it came, and never worried about it too much.
I had a blast. I earned a few dimes here and there, fished and dived for my food..and when I could get ice, I enjoyed a cold beverage. In this way, I carried on for nearly 15 years. Each new day was an adventure. Surprisingly, there were a lot like me out there. I made many lifelong friends and we all looked out for each other. In those days, if I had $10 in my pocket I was a rich man.

Fast forward to today. Boats today are slathered with electronic gear, a/c, solar panels, refrigeration, wifi, electric toilets, generators, land based weather routers, and a gazillion other things, but despite all this, few of them go anywhere as trying to maintain all this gear is a burden.

I think you can "over plan" something. Sometimes it's best to just go. A fancy boat is not required, just a good old reliable boat is what you need.

Off course, this is strictly my opinion and what can work for me may not work for you, but I thought I would relate my experience to demonstrate the other side of the coin so to speak.

I'm in my social security years now and will readily admit that a few shipboard luxuries are nice...nice, but not paramount to my enjoyment of sailing or going anywhere.
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Old 19-10-2020, 08:00   #11
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Re: Critique of costs

I suspect your maintenance costs are on the high side. The best guesser of maintenance costs I have seen is the spreadsheet on the Morgan's Cloud website, which calculates the costs by looking at displacement, complexity, who does the work, how well the boat is kept, miles used per years, etc.

The spreadsheet and conversation is here, https://www.morganscloud.com/2014/07...ging-sailboat/.

You have to pay for most access on the website but it is well worth the money.

Later,
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Old 19-10-2020, 08:11   #12
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Re: Critique of costs

"sailorboy1" has posted 49 months of cruising expenses. Each month a unique thread. Review all 49 threads to get a feeling for the patterns of costs and expenses. However, this is just how one person lives. You might live life completely differently.

My parents never go out to eat. We eat out 1-2 times a week. I have friends that don't drink at bars. I have friends that drink at bars daily. It doesn't matter whether it's a house or a boat, you can't draft a budget based on someone else's income and lifestyle.

Make sure to read the replies in each thread and you'll begin to see how people vary widely in their lifestyle and spending habits. Once you've reviewed the thousands of posts across hundreds of pages of this one users 49 months of expenses you'll have a better idea of what to expect, and why so few have responded to this particular thread.
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Old 19-10-2020, 11:31   #13
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Re: Critique of costs

it's all relative....

my first boat had a two burner kerosene stove and I had oil lamps inside...wifi.....ha ha...never heard of it....folks back home got a postcard once in a while, when I could afford to buy a postcard and stamp...I used " Post Restante" to receive mail from home....but as a cruiser, you were basically on your own....it was not uncommon to be " out of touch" for months at a time....
at a later time, I added Ham radio to my boat, that was serious " connectivity" for me....very upscale !!!

using a marina was an extremely rare occasion....walking 5 miles to find a grocery store....no problem...

it's very different today.....that's for sure...the internet and cell connection is a "have to have" item these days..

as the previous poster says...different strokes for different folks...you gotta find a happy medium...but not be a slave to gadgetry...

still ,by simplifying things, I think even in today's time, one can cruise on relatively little...staying " connected" 24/7 is possible, but will come at a price, but why "work" in the first place while cruising ?...seems to flow diametrically opposite to the whole concept of cruising....???

100's of folks have successfully completed a rtw trip with very little...

mind you, at that time, I speak as a "single" sailor....having a wife or significant other is likely to have considerable input to decision making....ask me, I know
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Old 19-10-2020, 14:09   #14
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Re: Critique of costs

I think laundry fee is minuscule in the whole picture, but say starting from what size that you can have a washing machine on your boat?
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Old 19-10-2020, 21:04   #15
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Re: Critique of costs

I am curious by the wide range of estimates. Why would you consider both a 30' and a 75' boat?

I would start by figuring out what you want first, then research that option more closely.

Also, if you can afford to run a crewed 75' yacht @ over $400K a year, why worry about how much it costs to cruise on a 30 - 50 footer?

Just figure out if that's what you want. And if yes, just go!

Btw, I have no clue if your estimates are in the ballpark range or not, except I would budget more for boat maintenance and refits if you cruise 12 months a year and plan a RTW trip then if you do seasonal cruising in Europe.
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