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Old 03-29-2007
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Boat ownership costs

I'm looking to buy my first boat. I'm leaning towards something in the 30'-34' range for approximately 50k-70k which means boats about 10-15 years old. I've priced boats on Yachtworld and I've priced slips in my area (Southern California). I looking for information on what typical monthly or yearly additional expenses I can expect to arise beyond the slip fee. Is 10% of the cost of the boat accurate? I understand these costs to include insurance, bottom cleaning, electricity, engine service, etc. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-30-2007
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In a state where you can't do things like paint your own bottom...I would estimate costs other than slip costs to be a minimum of $5k per year with 7-10K more likely over time. Things break in addition to general maintenance chores.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Mike, I have a boat in that range. It is was in very good condition when I bought it. I am spending about $300 a month just to keep my head above water, fixing things that are broken, or break. I will need to spend more to actually do projects to improve things that are not broken. Time wise, I am falling behind. I do not pay utilities at my marina and have not had the bottom cleaned yet since it just got painted. It will be more than you expect, expect that. Kind of a catch 22, eh. Its still well worth it though.
Heres an example this month.
The surveyor suggested replacing the raw water pump and hoses. The pump was leaking both water and oil. It needed to go. The hoses were corroded through. the zinc was gone. So, cost wise:
Hoses-12 feet of Trident =70 bucks
Raw water pump - sherwood = 325 bucks ( I am not a fan of the rebuild. I like to save that for the road.)
Zinc - 3 bucks
New fenders - Taylor made = 100 bucks

Wait, did I say $300 a month?
See what I mean.
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Last edited by bestfriend; 03-30-2007 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Cam seems correct again, $5,000 minimum more like $7,000.
Bottom cleaning $40/month
Property Tax, 1% of boat value/year
Insurance $350 to $600 a year for coastal (< 50 NM)
Exterior detailing $400 twice a year
Wash twice a month $50
Transient slips/moorings $25 a night almost everywhere
Bottom paint $1200 every 3 years or $400 a year
Halyards $75 to $125 depending on taste, every piece of rope you buy $100
Oil, Oil filters, fuel filters, Impellor, $100/twice a year
Recently lost the plastic kill switch for the dinghy engine, $13 at the local marine store, Hospitals, Defense contractors & Marine parts all use the same price structures.
I'm sure there is more but this is a good start, Good news is that insurance is much cheaper here than the other coasts it seems. Is it worth it ? For me, Yeah, but everyone has their own tastes.

Last edited by capttb; 03-30-2007 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 03-30-2007
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If you're still working for a living there is another, more obscure expense that most new boat owners don't factor into their annual budget. Whenever you are away from the boat, you will find yourself thinking about your next sailing experience, each hour of every day.

On certain days (when wind conditions are perfect for a day sail) breaking away from income producing obligations will become second nature, while productivity at work will begin to plummet. In my self-employed situation, there is little to persuade me to stay in the office on a nice weekday. Or, to prevent me from extending that weekend cruise for an extra day or two.

All in all, the obcession is extremely gratifying - in spite of the inevitable depreciation of your bank accounts.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Mike, costs are probably a bit higher than you're

expecting, at least if you have on the rose colored glasses I was wearing when I bought my boat.

In 2000, I purchased a nine year old 32' semi-custom sailboat. My prior ownership experience was a 21' Freedom (purchased new), and a 17' Boston Whaler (likewise).

I completely underestimated what it would cost to bring the boat back to the level I wanted as the prior owner hadn't been very diligent. Over the last 7 years I have spent, exclusive of insurance and slip, approximately 90% of the initial purchase price of the boat for maintenance and upgrades and replacements. This calculates out to about 10-15% per year, but most of it was spent the first two years of ownership.

I discovered that at about 10 years of age, there are lots of things that will need replacement: sails, standing and running rigging, lifelines, most electronics, etc., etc. There are also many things you may want to replace that aren't as mandatory, such as exterior canvas, interior cushions and foam, etc., or that you want to add and that the boat didn't already have, such as cockpit cushions, dinghy, SSB, etc. Then there are the repetitive maintenance issues such as bottom paint, oil changes, etc. that you never get ahead of...you just keep up with.

I now have a very nice looking boat in very nice condition, but after 7 years of ownership in Florida (admittedly a tougher environment than most other places in the US) I'm starting to see parts I replaced soon after the purchase that will need to be replaced again fairly soon.

Try to find a boat where much of this stuff has already been done, as I believe the marketplace undervalues this work considerably and you'll be doing it anyway so why not buy it already done at a discount?
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Old 03-30-2007
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There is another cost, all the sailing magazines, manuals that you just got to have. It does add up.
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Old 03-30-2007
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mikepxx,

Good advice all, take the highest budget estimate and double it! You'll always find something else either you or the boat needs.

With maintenance, slip, insurance, tax, etc., I'm about 18K, and then there's always the new stuff, add 6K. SoCal will screw you on the slip fees and if you're in LA county, the tax is outta sight (school tax???).

Other than that, well. . . .just other than that.
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Old 03-30-2007
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Am I ever glad I sail the great lakes. I couldn't afford those prices! I sail a Catalina 30 tall and I spend maybe 5K if my wife lets me buy something foolish.
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Old 03-30-2007
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I just took a close look at this thread.
The original poster stated "beyond the slip fee."
Slip fee's and for me dry dock fee's are the largest part of our annual budget.
Beyond slip fee, sure the usual, insurance, maintenance, repairs, etc...
But like most, I try to do the work myself.
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