Hi Guillermo and Melanie,
We're not too different than you. In our early 50s, moved to FL 8 years ago, purchased a Manta
40 five years ago and working towards retirement
. We take frequent day/weekend trips, and a few weeks to FL Keys each year now. Have been constantly working on the boat, learning
systems, improving our mechanical, electrical, problem solving, navigation
, and general sailing abilities. We've both been sailing since childhood.
We plan to start first few years in the Bahamas
and go from there. Circumnavigation
is a possibility.
Depending on what you get, how it was used, age of major systems, can all impact the first couple of years cost. Recommend you don't do too many upgrades the first season. Fix what's necessary, go out and use the boat, and then upgrade. You'll be surprised how many decisions change once YOU and your better half figure out what works for you... not for others.
Health insurance and boat insurance are two biggies. We are likely to get high deductible plan for catastrophic coverage, but not cheap
either. Figure that until Medicare! Boat insurance will vary but figure 1-1.5% of agreed upon hull
value with hurricane
Other maintenance will depend on who and where you do it and how much you do yourself. Waxing a 40 foot catamaran in the Ft. Lauderdale area is in the $1500-2,000 range. Bottom painting with haul out
over $5k. Bottom cleaning
about $4 foot every 3-4 weeks (we're divers and do our own).
on a cat this size (jib, mail, code zero
or similar) can range $15-$25k or more. Check the prices on "spare" parts
engines ranging from about 20HP to 50HP each. Will give you an idea of costs.
If like us, it's mainly just the two of you, really think about your needs, wants, and maintenance.
The bigger you get, the bigger the equipment
gets and the more expensive parts
, labor, etc become.
We also wanted an Intracoastal friendly mast
, so stayed below the 64 foot general guide (Julius Tuttle bridge between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami
is 55 feet). Our Manta
with "stuff" on top is 61 feet.
Ease of sailing for 1 person on watch, large/huge fridge/freezer, good storage
, excellent dinghy storage
, and owner's layout with galley
up were primary MUSTS for us.
We spent 4 years looking at Lagoons, Leopards, Admirals, Catana's, FPs, Manta's, etc. Early on, the first Manta I saw turned me off. It took about 2 years until I put it back on the list as it checked off a lot of boxes. Ended up losing two Manta's to other buyers before the third one finally worked out. Passed on 3 additional ones along the way.
Don't get in the trap of "only 1 boat" is right. If you stay a bit flexible, you'll likely end up finding a high quality boat, with good refits, spares, and maintenance was taken care of. Be careful not to "fall in love" with one boat. They all have flaws (new and old).
There's also some folks who have documented their costs on this site. Do some searches. One of the Manta's documented their first 3 years of cost. You can find it here. They are very budget conscious but have sailed half way around the world and spent the last 3 seasons in Australia/New Zealand and other fantastic places. Check out their site... What it costs | Escape Velocity
Good luck and hope to meet you out there sailing!