Cost of Ownership, Bow Thrusters & Bottom Paint
Years ago I had a Beneteau 32 First and then a Pearson 36. I am getting back into sailing after a 10 year absence. My husband sailed with his family as as a kid, the last boat was a Tartan 37. Last year my husband and I bought an 04 Formula 27PC cruiser and had a magical summer in Long Island Sound and Block Island. We often had guests and we spent three 10 day vacations on the boat and almost every weekend as well. In the fall we decided we really liked the boating experience and wanted a bigger boat, we sold the boat.
In retrospect, the power boat ownership came at a big expense. Logging 130 hours last summer we spent over $7500 in gas. We had major repairs nearly every month, sticking gears, the AC, the generator and smaller things, a door that fell off, a sump pump motor had to be replaced. We came to the conclusion that sailing would be a much better way to enjoy the water, at least there was no fuel and we liked the sailing community better. The decision comes with some concessions. Last year we kept the boat on the CT river 30 minutes from home. After checking out various ports we have settled on New London, 50 minutes away. It offers us an easy sail to Block Island (we hope about 4 hours) and Greenport (3?) as well as the closer Mystic and RI ports.
I have a few questions to the group. We have narrowed down our purchase to the Beneteau 393 or 423. We love the lines of the boat, the accommodations and the ease of sailing with all lines running aft and the in mast furled main. I love the idea of a big galley with an oven, too, as I cooked most of our meals on board last summer. A surveyor friend gives the brand a heads up for good construction and value. We stay mostly on docks so we want the AC. How much maintenance is there on a newer boat, we are looking at 04s to 06s? Should we be prepared, for say $1000 worth of repairs each summer. We know with just one engine and the ease of access we should be able to change the oil and fuel filters and any easy things. On the Formula it seemed like something always was breaking.
We had several close docking calls with the Formula. Wind, current and inexperience frazzled us a few times. For a boat in the 40 foot range we are thinking we need a bow thruster. Only one boat we are looking at has one. To add them, we got a quote, from one dealer of $8500. That seems very pricey. Do we really need one. How hard are these boats to get into a tight slip. On Block Island they raft everyone which can get tricky too.
Being on the river we used an ablative paint. Now that we will be on the sound and salt water can we still use that or do we need to do the every 3 year scraping and bottom painting.
I'd just like some idea what to expect and to budget for it all. thanks