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Old 14-02-2019, 02:37   #46
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

If you are worried about costs BEFORE buying, then the boat is not for you. As in most things in life, the fineprint always asks for more $$$.
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Old 14-02-2019, 04:28   #47
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

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Wow. So many great replies, thank you to everyone for your input. I'm always amazed at the kindness of strangers to take the time to help someone new to sailing. I think the thing that I have learned here is that I need to save up some more for a kitty before I invest in a boat, and then get a smaller, older boat than I was originally intending. I'm thinking I would feel comfortable with a 20k kitty, while leaving enough to put 50k down on a 100k boat in a few years. That would hold us, and we could still add at least some to the kitty every month. While I'm eager to go sailing, I don't want to jump into something I'm not ready for. In the meantime, my wife and I can do a charter to get the feel for it, and then go ahead and complete some ASA courses.

I think part of the reason I was in a rush, was because my wife and I have actually put an offer on a new house that they are currently building. We haven't closed, but would be out a deposit if we backed out. I think we just realized, through this sailing dream, that we might not be ready to commit to a normal, sedentary life just yet.
Just because you own a house doesn't mean you have to commit to a normal sedentary life.

That seems more for those stuck at anchor or at a marina on a sailboat.

Why not get the house and a boat especially if both are going to be near the Chesapeake Bay. The Bay is at least 150 miles long by 30 miles wide in places and is an excellent training ground for sailors. (especially the lower bay with the waves are influenced by the ocean then there's the all the shipping traffic)

You can get a decent boat for $25,000. I paid $2,000 for mine. Many years I spend less than $200 on Maintenance. This year after owning the boat almost 8 years I will spend around $2,000 for a new dodger, running rigging, interior paint, bottom paint, mainsail cover, etc

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...te-209846.html

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ds-147098.html
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Old 14-02-2019, 06:30   #48
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

To me it seemed the choice was either live on the boat - lack of other housing costs helping to pay for that life

or buying a house

and then you're trying to pay for both, and then maybe not living in the house for long stretches?

The boat's living comfort may be a key factor in the admiral getting aboard, compromising on that may be recipe for a bigger disaster than financial stresses.
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Old 14-02-2019, 06:46   #49
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

$175K invested wisely, say in real estate, will grow and in 10 or 20 years be worth more, maybe $200K, possibly $350K.

$175K spent on a used boat in 10 or 20 years will be worth less, probably a lot less, maybe $80K, possibly zero.

If you don't have an abundance of eggs, a boat is a tough basket to keep them in. Just something to keep in mind when making your decision.
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Old 14-02-2019, 06:50   #50
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

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To me it seemed the choice was either live on the boat - lack of other housing costs helping to pay for that life

or buying a house

and then you're trying to pay for both, and then maybe not living in the house for long stretches?

The boat's living comfort may be a key factor in the admiral getting aboard, compromising on that may be recipe for a bigger disaster than financial stresses.
You can own a boat and a house a lot cheaper than the way the OP was planning.

Also, if they are on the bay, they can sail almost anytime during the season and take a week to two week vacations on the boat also.

You pay cash for the boat then you just have slip fees and maintenance when you feel like doing it. There's nothing that says you have to do all the maintenance all at once. Most of it can wait. I went years spending less than $200 - $500 a year on maintenance

In this way, they can be sailing and learning the boat while working and living at home. They can also do overnights or weekends on the boat to learn that which can take some getting used to

Except for the engine, I've waited months to years before doing certain maintenance to my good old boat that was on the hard for 5 years. (and I only paid $1550 for the new outboard)

I still haven't replaced the rigging, thruhulls, or rudder bearings some say you should replace at once. I've been sailing the boat for about 8 years
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Old 14-02-2019, 07:03   #51
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

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Originally Posted by brettrae View Post
My wife and I are deeply researching buying a catamaran, docking her in a nearby marina in the Chesapeake Bay, and learning to sail and maintain her while we keep our day jobs during the week. I initially thought that we could afford this, because the cost of the cats we're looking at are around $175k, which is less than the house we thought about purchasing before this crazy idea.



However, after crunching some numbers, I'm getting a little more nervous when I add in the estimated monthly maintenance costs (10% of the cost of the boat per year). My question is this: if we were to buy a good, well-surveyed boat, can we really expect to pay an average of $17,500 on maintenance costs every year (or $1,500 a month)? Or would it be okay to live on the boat while fixing things as we can afford them? We are complete newbies, so it might be okay to learn the ins and outs of the boat slowly...we aren't trying to leave the Bay as quickly as possible.



Thanks, as always!


Dear Brettrae,
The 10% maintenance cost is probably a long term average cost base on a large number of boat in different conditions.
If you use your boat seasonally as a weekender and the boat you’re interested to buy is in a perfect condition, chance are that you will never spend the 10% you mentioned. However, if you live aboard and you’re traveling a lot, you gonna spend more money.

In our case, 10 years ago, we bought a 20 years old boat in need of TLC, we invest 60 % of the price we initially paid for a total refit.
15 years later, we have been 5 times back and forth in the Caribbean and I would say that later on, the only times we were spending significant money in maintenance was before and after each trip.

The anti fooling, the sails and engine maintenance, the batteries replacement and boat yards fees count for the most important expenses. Even if it is not a part of the maintenance, the insurances when you travel within the hurricane box became in the last years a significant expense.
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Old 14-02-2019, 07:24   #52
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

The insurance thing is for those that buy a high priced boat.

If you buy a lower priced boat, you can just get liability insurance. While on the Bay, that would be about $10.00/month

You can worry about long trips in 5 to 10 years. In the mean time, you will have gained tons of experience sailing your boat all over the bay.
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Old 14-02-2019, 07:26   #53
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

This plan is good for you, thomm, even fits me pretty well. We can't leave because of our autistic child and his education and development are way more important. And I couldn't afford to if we did.

They said they wanted to leave the bay as soon as possible. Your Bristol is tough, a good old boat, but would you take it south if could leave your day job and cruise.

I don't think the OP has said whether or not they have the passive income or savings to sustain long term cruising. If you can't take off and cruise long term, it doesn't make sense to me to buy and maintain a boat suitable for long term cruising. Having a catamaran with radar, watermaker, tons of solar, huge battery bank, generator, etc.. but only sail on the weekends, what's the point.

Bret, can you afford to maintain it AND afford to leave and use it?
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Old 14-02-2019, 08:05   #54
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

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This plan is good for you, thomm, even fits me pretty well. We can't leave because of our autistic child and his education and development are way more important. And I couldn't afford to if we did.

They said they wanted to leave the bay as soon as possible. Your Bristol is tough, a good old boat, but would you take it south if could leave your day job and cruise.

I don't think the OP has said whether or not they have the passive income or savings to sustain long term cruising. If you can't take off and cruise long term, it doesn't make sense to me to buy and maintain a boat suitable for long term cruising. Having a catamaran with radar, watermaker, tons of solar, huge battery bank, generator, etc.. but only sail on the weekends, what's the point.

Bret, can you afford to maintain it AND afford to leave and use it?
I plan to use the Bristol first going South because I'm not sure how long I'd last stuck on any boat for more than a few weeks. I won't buy a larger boat until I'm sure because I've seen too many folks plan the cruising life for many years only to last 6 months or so

I'd like to go back to Pensacola first and maybe visit the Dry Tortugas along the way. I won't be hanging out at anchor or marinas but will move constantly unless I need a few days to rest

This is part of the reason I just put another $2,100 into my $2,000 boat. (new dodger, mainsail cover, running rigging, 4 stroke outboard bracket, bottom paint, topside touchup paint, deck paint ;in process, interior paint, shades) She's about to go back in the water.

In a few more years when I do my next bottom job, (if things go as planned) I'll replace the rigging and maybe add HD TV, possibly a composting head, and maybe some sort of fridge or electric cooler
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Old 14-02-2019, 08:34   #55
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

My most recent boat, a 1988 Mason 44, was pretty expensive to keep. For starters, insurance was $1800/yr. Slip fees were $7200/yr. Property tax was $3100/yr. Those three expenses alone were $12,100 on the year, and did not involve one cent of maintenance. That's over $1000/month just to own the boat and have it in a slip. Then you can throw in a diver at $88/month to keep the bottom clean and the zincs in order. Bottom has to be antifouled every 3 years at an expense of about $3500, so that's another $100/month right there. This is just scratching the surface of long-term boat upkeep. Get the point? Boat ownership is absolutely expensive. The bigger the boat, the higher all of those expenses are.
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Old 14-02-2019, 11:20   #56
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

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My most recent boat, a 1988 Mason 44, was pretty expensive to keep. For starters, insurance was $1800/yr. Slip fees were $7200/yr. Property tax was $3100/yr. Those three expenses alone were $12,100 on the year, and did not involve one cent of maintenance.
Yes, to be clear that "10%" mythical ballpark guideline has never been meant to include those sort of ongoing overhead costs.

They vary widely by location, tax policies, type of insurance desired etc.

Whereas keeping the boat functional and respectable looking - maintaining its mythical "market value" needs to be kept up with, no matter what or where the boat is based.

I think everyone responding assumed the OP was on the same page, and aware that those non-maintenance costs,

analogous to taxes and common fees on a home,

are separate and can be much higher.
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Old 14-02-2019, 13:14   #57
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

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That all well and good, but that's not the Chesapeake. My advice to them still applies, price out what a slip is going to cost them FIRST. No point in getting all excited about a particular type of boat if there's no viable place to keep near where they are now.
Yes, it is good advice. But in my twelve years of catamaran ownership and travels, we have stayed in a dedicated SLIP only a couple of times. All other times - as I said previously - the boat was tied alongside a long dock, or on a T-head. We take up no more dock length than a monohull of same length, and have never been charged a premium for extending 19 ft away from the dock, vs 9 ft for a monohull. On a floating dock, there really is no advantage to being in a slip vs tied one side to a dock.

So check out the alternatives, don't be stuck on requiring a slip, and you might find out dock costs are not going to be at a premium vs a monohull.
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Old 16-02-2019, 18:11   #58
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

I'm not sure where your jobs are, or what kind of a commute you are looking for. Some counties in Virginia do not charge a property tax on boats. It's worth researching that when deciding on a home marina for your boat. Not sure what different Maryland counties charge for tax. But you should research that.


As for general boat maintenance, IMHO, I have been comparing stated costs, gracefully given by people on this forum, against my maintenance costs on a small home in northern Virginia. I'm convinced living on a boat would be more economical.


This month collecting quotes to take down 1 problem dead tree? $1,700. So in boat equivalent that would be what? A haul out and mast drop? A bottom paint job? I don't know why people think boat maintenance costs more than property maintenance.



I think you need to crunch some numbers and the decide what's best for you. I just want to point out, in spite of a lot of people pointing out to you that it's expensive to live on and maintain a boat, it's equally if not more expensive to own and maintain a house.
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Old 16-02-2019, 18:32   #59
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

OK so to further state my point of view.....I'll spend $1,700 to drop a tree and have it hauled off. No joy for me, just an expense. Verses $1,700 on new electronics, new bottom paint, new canvas, etc.



I don't even own a boat yet but I make these justifications and comparisons.



I'm in the column as everything is relative. In my mind it can not be worse or more expensive than living in a money pit of a house. And dumping money into a house does not "spark" joy for me.
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Old 17-02-2019, 00:11   #60
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Re: Worried About Affording Maintenance Costs

Why not do a bit of research on this forum in the dollars and cents part and see what folks really pay for maintenance? I do not believe in rule of the thumb approach but actual data. And there is a lot of data out there if you do the research.


We bought our boat - 40DS Jeanneau - new 15 years ago. We have used her extensively and keep her in top condition. We have to keep her up as we use her a lot and do not need failures in places where maintenance and parts are not inaccessible. We publish our cost data each year for the past 10 years and break down all the expenses. These are real world numbers.


http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ta-213259.html


There are other guys out there putting their data there also. Some years are good and some a disaster like ours was last year.
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