Boat ownership costs - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 30 Old 03-30-2007
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Part of the issue with costs is how much "sweat equity" you are able to put into the boat. If you are fairly handy, and can spend the time taking care of routine maintenance and repairs, then your costs are going to be significantly lower than if you have to pay the boatyard to do all the work.

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her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #12 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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IF you have lots of money - the boat will take some of it. If you have an average amount of money - the boat will take all of it. You will find a way to make it work if you have to.
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post #13 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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Since this is where the big boys play, I thought I should throw in the idea of purchasing the smallest boat you can and still fulfill MOST of your needs. Lin and Larry Pardey subscribe to this thoery and they've logged more offshore miles sailing than most of us know are offshore. Their logic, which I find compelling, is that the larger the boat you have, the more you have to maintain and the greater the cost for the items involved in that maintenance. For instance, I'll be painting my boat's bottom next week. I used that as an excuse to buy a pressure washer. I'll be out of pocket $500, including the pressure washer. Some of the big boys spend that on the bottom paint alone.

As the Dog mentioned, you can save a lot of money with sweat equity. I believe tjk was making the same point. Again, a project on a larger boat requires a lot more sweat than on a smaller boat. My boat yard is my driveway. I can accomplish projects on the boat in a reasonable amount of time, while still having a 'life', and not ever feeling like the boat owns me. Of course, I never get the boat in the water on time, I'm always finishing up one last little thing. But, at least, I'm doing all those little things. Confronting a bottom job on a 36 footer is a lot more daunting than on my 21 footer. You're a lot more likely to do it yourself if an end is in sight. For me, the option of paying someone else is difficult. I have other financial responsibilities and it just goes against my Dutch to pay somebody for something I can do myself.

If you think you need a big boat to go out on the ocean, you haven't educated yourself enough on boat design. For instance, my dream boat is a 20' Flicka, a foot less LOA than what I currently own. That's the only thing that will be less I might add.

My advise is, think small. Ever notice how all the little boats are out sailing, while the big boats are sitting tied up? Their owners are probably out putting in overtime to pay for that bottom job on the boat they ain't sailin'

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.
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post #14 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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Just remember in terms of sweat equity, a larger boat is a lot larger... if you go from a 30' boat to a 36' boat you're not going up by 20%, but by more like 73%... as the boat gets larger in length, beam and height—so it is a lot more work.

Financial responsibilities mean you have to look at how fast you can complete the work yourself, and whether it is more responsible (efficient) for you to pay someone to do it or to do it yourself. If you're a guy working the checkout counter at the local Wal-mart, it probably makes sense to do it yourself. If you're a cardiologist, it may make more sense to pay someone to do it...

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-31-2007 at 07:02 AM.
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post #15 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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Small is better and of my first three trans-atlantics two crossings were in a 22 and a 27 foot boat and the third was in a 100 ton ketch. It was easer and much less work to sail the small boats and the ketch was a lot of work compared to the other two trips. Everything was larger, heaver and harder to handle on the ketch. It took four to raise the gaff rigged main and two to cat the anchor using block and tackle. I have a 34 footer now and don’t sail as much as I would like and I am looking for a small boat to sail day to day while I live aboard the 34 and use her just for longer trips.
All the best,
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post #16 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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Well..you might expect a contrarian view from me right?!!
Actually I agree with just about everything said about smaller boats above.
Still...I wouldn't want to cruise and liveaboard something smaller. I like my comforts...I like to stretch out...I like to have air conditioning...I like the ease and safety of a big boat at sea etc. etc. etc.

I've owned boats from 22' to 52 ft. and been happy on all of them...but for cruising and living aboard I firmly believe bigger is better as long as you and your crew can handle the boat and handle the additional expense.

If $$ were an issue...I'd rather cruise on a smaller boat then stay at home!
If NOT in a cruising/livaboard situation, I think a smaller, responsive boat that you can get out of the slip easily and enjoy makes a whole lot of sense.
Guess that's why they make 'em in different sizes!
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post #17 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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Plus, if I may add, cost of ownership is relative to the use and satisfaction you receive from boat ownership.

Tax benefits can be used to offset paper costs of boat ownership, such as in my case where this is my studio, office, home, and means of transport 10 months out of the year. Not only interest on the mortgage, a portion of dock slip, maintenance, depreciation, fuel usage, etc.

All considered, I think I can deduct approximately 45-50% from actual costs on a 45' hardin under these conditions. I've never stopped to figure it out, but every year I see some big deductions on my tax report.

Just checking in.
Where ya'll keep'n the wimmin 'round here?
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post #18 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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Very good point Ian. That is part of our plan in the future. It is very easy to have your office just about anywhere now with the internet and laptops.

Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley


Vaya con Dios
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post #19 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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I'm always amazed at the boats at my marina... the small ones, like mine are out a lot... the larger ones seem to stay at the dock a lot more... they may make a long passage once or twice a season, but my boat is out at least once or twice a week... even if it is just for an afternoon daysail.

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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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post #20 of 30 Old 03-31-2007
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33 feet is considered mid-size, neither small or very large - and we are out of the marina every chance we get. Our dock friends come up to us if they see us relaxing on deck on a nice day - typically asking "What are YOU guys doing in on a day like this?"

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