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Old 08-05-2020, 08:25   #1
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Cost Per Year

Okay, so try not to be too brutal with me but I am completely new and wanting to learn. My wife and I would really love to be one of those families who sells everything buys a boat and sets sail. We have two young girls (6,8) and we think sailing around the world would be an excellent way for them to learn about life, culture and the world is general. I have started looking at cats as our boat of choice, primarily given the layout and size I think the cats will work best for us.
My question is, is there a general rule of thumb that you can use to estimate costs per year? I know on the big yachts operating costs are around 10% of purchase price per year I didn't know if this was the same for small catamarans as well.
Thank you. I appreciate the help.
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Old 09-05-2020, 02:41   #2
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Re: Cost Per Year

10% only really applies if you own a boat for maybe 10 years so you might, at some stage, have to have replaced pretty much everything. Having said that I owned a boat for 12 years and worked it very hard. At the end of that time the engines had around 10,000 hours on them but were still reliable if a little leaky and smokey.

Routine maintenance will probably only cost maybe 1 or 2 % a year. The problem comes when your sails wear out and something mechanical goes wrong in a short period. I had one year when sails were both replaced and then my generator failed. That was a $20,000 month!

Small boats don't always cost that much less to maintain. For instance, a Beta Marine 25hp engne such as you might use on a small cat would cost, here in the UK, around 5000. A 40hp for maybe a 40-45 ft cat is around 6250 so not a huge price difference.

My main recommendation would be find what looks to you to be a good boat, pay for a very good survey to find out if it is any good and don't spend too large a proportion of your cash on the boat. You really need ready cash to be sitting there in case things go wrong. You really won't enjoy life if you are terrified of a large bill coming in.

Good luck.
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:09   #3
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Re: Cost Per Year

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoonerCruisin View Post
Okay, so try not to be too brutal with me but I am completely new and wanting to learn. My wife and I would really love to be one of those families who sells everything buys a boat and sets sail. We have two young girls (6,8) and we think sailing around the world would be an excellent way for them to learn about life, culture and the world is general. I have started looking at cats as our boat of choice, primarily given the layout and size I think the cats will work best for us.
My question is, is there a general rule of thumb that you can use to estimate costs per year? I know on the big yachts operating costs are around 10% of purchase price per year I didn't know if this was the same for small catamarans as well.
Thank you. I appreciate the help.
I've followed a few threads on this topic trying to answer same question.

My ballpark: Cruisers with modest itineraries, spend 1/3-1/2 of their time in marinas, with numbers seem to aggregate in the $40k-$50k per year all-in (boat and living expenses, including modest land based travel). Pure boat related expenses are around 40%-50% of that and sounds like most leave with a well found boat. I suspect most have spent at least $50k in fitting out costs before leaving . Many pundits chime in with general observations about doing it for much less, or it takes as much as you have. With children that age, you will probably spend more time in marinas and more time on excursions.

But if I were looking for an initial number, above would be my starting point

I admire your dream. Given a now-traditional smartphone based childhood, cruising would be a great way to raise a couple kids that age. Don't wait too long - they will bee keen at this age. That may change in a few years. You may want to surf the liveaboard subforum as I'd guess there are some tips on that topic.

Good luck and welcome to CF

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Old 09-05-2020, 04:10   #4
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Re: Cost Per Year

i've always worked on 10% per annum as an average. spend less one year and you are going to spend more the next

one thing's for sure : if you try to cut corners on maintenance, it will come back and bite you harder !

there is a lot of truth to the old adage : if you have to ask how much it is, you can't afford it

buy a boat which is as big as you can afford to maintain - not as big as you can afford to buy

cheers,
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Old 09-05-2020, 04:41   #5
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Re: Cost Per Year

Maintenance costs depend on if you are a fixer or a get it fixed by someone else person.

Other costs and savings are not always so obvious.

Fixers save in that they can fix things at anchor, can identify and order replacement parts instantly and chase deliveries.

Fix it professionals will usually require you to be tied to a dock, require an assessment visit, quotation time, acceptance, ordering, excuses for items not arriving or being on another job all while you are paying marina fees. Not to mention them getting it wrong.

Haulout costs need to be included
Boat insurance costs need to be included
Medical insurance / evacuation insurance
Marina fees when you are visiting family back home

- Imagine your preferred boat and get some quotes locally for the above.

Air fares to make family visits (covid permitting) is a cost out side of normal living expenses.

Food and drink costs are "pretty" much the same all around the world so no difference than living at home.

It always surprises me that poorer cruisers on cheep boats waste so much money in marinas because their on-board facilities, showering, laundry are so terrible.

Learning curve. If you haven't owned a boat before then 10% would be a good guide to how much it will cost.
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Old 09-05-2020, 12:29   #6
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Re: Cost Per Year

Plenty depends on your skills, sweat, and your sailing lifestyle.


Also, what actually is understood as 'cost per year'. Is it paint, boatyard and fuel? Fuel only? Sail replacement? Insurance?


It may be much easier for you to first name and understand the many and varied costs there are. Then to try and estimate their ranges. Then, cross your fingers, and try to make a very general average, or approximation, for your specific case.


Boat ownership/maintenance costs (annual haulout, repairs&replacements, storage, insurance) can easily exceed 10% of your boat's initial (purchase) cost. Especially so, if it is done for you (outsourced rather than DYI). You will notice in some places DYI is no longer allowed too.


Start small, build experience, go only into undertakings that you feel comfortable with.


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Old 10-05-2020, 02:58   #7
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Re: Cost Per Year

My budget shows 10% for repairs, maintenance, replacements and upgrades.. but excluding marinas and insurance...which I budget another 10%..

avoiding marinas is the #1 way to reduce costs.

Figures of 1% are pretty laughable..as accruing that would not even cover the standing rigging and sails.

Whatever boat you purchase, and I assume it will be used.. expect to spend up to $100k to get it outfitted and updated for a world cruise.. so pick your purchase price accordingly
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:07   #8
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Re: Cost Per Year

'avoiding marinas' works only IF:


- there are no marinas,


or


- your cruising style / lifestyle is a 'non-marina' one.


In my experience, there are the marina people (about 95% of humans) and the non marina one off people. Very rare. Nearly non existent in a family of father mother and growing kids. The non marina guy is typically an older male cruiser or maybe an ageing couple.


The 100k figure mentioned by Mystic will be correct for a specific boat size and style.


Our boat face cost was roughly 15k and we spent roughly 5k getting her ready. Mind our ship is only 27x9'. And we fitted out for young and very fit two of us (back then, 17 years ago).


So to say different folks, different strokes.


Expect relatively high figures for a couple +2 kids as you will be transferring your land mindset to the water world. This will work but it will cost extra.


No marina style is dead boring to most modern people. Your kids will hate you too.


Cheers,
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Old 10-05-2020, 09:55   #9
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Re: Cost Per Year

Gee, I much prefer being on the hook to being in a marina, but I guess I am half of an aging couple.
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Old 10-05-2020, 11:19   #10
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Re: Cost Per Year

It is not about you or me.


It is about how many people like you or me there are compared to the general public.


Vast majority of cruisers use marinas where marinas exist.


Vast majority of growing up kids and young adults will prefer hanging out with their peers and roaming around to sitting with their folks, in a confined space, doing things their parents do.


Otherwise ... there would not be so many marinas, nor bars and discos filled up with the young dancing crowd.


A cruiser anchored out is a picturesque outlier of the cruising scene.



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Old 10-05-2020, 12:09   #11
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Re: Cost Per Year

Not mentioned so far it the boat itself; some boats seem to be designed to maximize the cost to maintain them while others to minimize them.

My Seawind cat has two long high thrust 9.9 Yamaha outboards last time I was hauled out the marina said they could replace them for $US6,000; on the other hand the cost to replace two Yanmars would probably be $US30,000 at a minimum. Not to mention it might take a day to replace the Yamahas while a week would be a quick time frame for inboards. Since I can tilt the outboards up with a simple block and tackle (much cheaper than an electric tilt) this means no shaft, struts, prop, and zincs to deal with; something else that greatly reduces costs. Combine this with a composting head (which has a great weight advantage, something important in multihulls) means no through hull fittings; something else that reduces how much it costs to maintain the boat.

Things like a design that promotes good air flow means less need for AC, or even fans; so smaller battery bank and smaller solar array which again reduces costs. Washing clothes in a bucket, or one of those hand powered spinner things, instead of an electric washing machine again reduces costs. So in addition to boat design life style is also a consideration. I tend to wash the decks and salon top on a regular basis. Also probably spend $US100 a year on 303 and spray it everywhere above deck to minimize sun damage and the need to repaint. Keeping things clean both above and below decks really reduces how much it costs to maintain a boat and soap/cleaning stuff is very cheap. I also wipe down stainless steel all over the boat on a regular basis which makes it last a lot longer.

While sails do need to be replaced how often is related to things like how often you luff them or fly them when the wind is too strong and blows them out. Lots of folks get ten years out of a set of sails while other need to replace them in a couple of years. Same goes for engines if you motor over 50% of the time you will need to replace engines more often than if you are like me and try and run the engines every two weeks or so just to make sure they will run.

Bottom line is boat design and how the skipper maintains the little things are the most important factors in how much it costs to maintain a boat.
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Old 10-05-2020, 18:53   #12
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Re: Cost Per Year

Very true.


I have worked on a number of boats, at times as a supervisor/owners' representative for refits (and much more often as a workforce in refits).


When supervising, I had to prepare haulout budgets. When working, I had to remove, replace, clean, scrub and make 'look like new'.


Some boats were reasonable and pleasure to work on, others were money and sweat hungry monsters!


;-)



From the more recent boats, I can give you the example of an ex-generation Oyster vs same age Amel.



Think of ageing teak decks, with planks screwed to the deck ... vs. a plain and easy to clean plastic deck.


etc etc


Some boats are 'designed' to cost you plenty maintenance (time,effort,money). Others not all that much.


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Old 10-05-2020, 19:12   #13
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Re: Cost Per Year

we live now full time on board and costs do not come remotely close to 10 %. I do diesels regular maintenance, we changed white sails added WM, added code 0. After 6 years of ownership still costs closer to under 5 % p/a of purchase price including upgrades, insurances etc.

We have 1150 hours each engine in 8 years of boat life. Keep it light, less equipment, less electricity means less corrosion, less windage, better movement thru water. And then it is lighter and sails better and less motoring and more enjoyment.
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Old 10-05-2020, 20:04   #14
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Re: Cost Per Year

While much of it depends on the condition of the boat you start with, I think 10% of hull value is a good base line. One of the earlier respondents talked about 30-40%... that’s just crazy unless you’re a complete nincompoop that needs to live like many powerboaters do from marina to marina. This lifestyle is one of learning to fix the basics of your boat to minimize maintenance, because there will ALWAYS be something broken and you will need to assess whether it’s serious enough to prevent you from continuing on and can wait until your next major refit.
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Old 10-05-2020, 21:15   #15
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Re: Cost Per Year

Just to add some color to the aforementioned comment about sailing without a boat that’s 100%. We were near the San Blas, Panama when we got hit by lightning, which knocked our anemometer, among other things. We didn’t run away to the next marina. We are cruisers. I knew the strength of the of the wind on my face and the direction based on turning my face....we sailed the next 2000 miles based on my “feel”. This is not unusual, Mariners have done it for a thousand years...you can survive without instruments,,,,,,,,..
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