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Old 07-10-2007
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Another New-v-Old Question

I like debate and feel I learn bits and nuggets from it even if sometimes I often end up more confused than when I started. So, here goes another one for you.

I am not ready to buy my "big" boat yet. I am researching and learning to sail now and plan to buy in 2 or 3 years. Lets say I want a 34ish foot boat to sail the ICW, Bahamas and the Caribbean. I can buy a 2 year old Catalina 34' for $120,000-$140,000 Or I can buy 25-30 year old Tartan 34 for under $30,000 (lets assume in average to good condition for it's age, original engine, sails 10 years old etc etc). Which do you believe will cost me more if I keep my boat for 25 years? I love the looks of the older boats, but lets talk financial costs only. I will pay cash do don't figure in interest.

Just another hypothetical question for discussion If I hang around here, you'll find I like these.
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Old 07-10-2007
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Just an opinion...but the Catalina still will have a lot of depreciation left in her as a 2 year old. A 20 year old cat34 is worth about 50K...so you are looking at roughtly 80-100k of depreciation alone. Not much depreciation left in an old boat so that gives a lot of room for repairs and maintenance on the Tartan and of course you would have repairs on a Catalina over 20 years as well. One thing you won't have on a newer Catalina is blisters so if the Tartan hasn'tbeen treated you might want to reserve some bucks for that in your calculations...but otherwise, one might expect the Tartan to hold up a bit better over time due tothe intial fitting out quality.
So...on a purely financial basis...my guess is that the Tartan will cost you less over the long haul.
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Surely the newer Catalina will not depreciate that much? I mean, how much did a 1985 Catalina 34 cost new? Anyone Know? How much did a 1975 Tartan 34 cost new? I assume most boats depreciate about 35%-40% then basically stop? Is this incorrect?
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Old 07-10-2007
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New Vs Old

I've got a 1969 Cal 36 Cruising. I spent 18 months renewing the interior structure and furniture with modern materials so she's good for another 40 years. The hull is over a half an inch thick of solid GRP laminate .... not bad. My problem is that a boatyard down here in Trinidad allowed another yacht to fall on her when she was on the hard ..... she's a constructive total loss.

Modern built boats with internal mouldings that are part of the hull structure have very thin hulls. If the bonding breaks down between the inner and outer hulls you might not have a boat worth a $1. I doubt if these boats are going to last 40 years .... so depreciation can be quite large if you're the one left owning the boat with the hull mouldings separating ..... a little like 'pass the parcel'?

Any boat I own will be single skin FRP, composite, or metal. Hidden structural joints are not acceptable to me, especially as I cross oceans in my boats.
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Old 07-10-2007
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You cannot ignore cost of money even if you do not finance. You would still have lost revenue if you spend more. Insurance costs will be more too.

But in reality I think any discussion trying to rationalize a boat choice based on cost analysis is silly. You buy a boat because you like it and can afford it, not because it makes financial sense because buying a boat never makes any kind of financial sense.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene T
You cannot ignore cost of money even if you do not finance. You would still have lost revenue if you spend more. Insurance costs will be more too.

But in reality I think any discussion trying to rationalize a boat choice based on cost analysis is silly. You buy a boat because you like it and can afford it, not because it makes financial sense because buying a boat never makes any kind of financial sense.
But money WILL make a difference unless you have unlimited funds. (I Don't) If I spend all my money maintaining the boat, then I won't have the money to sail her. What would be the point in that?

I guess what I am trying to figure is Total Cost of Ownership over 25 years for an older versus a newer boat.

Is that 2 year old Catalina is going to end up costing me $150,000, $250,000 or much more in 25 years. Is the cheap to buy upfront older Tartan going to cost me $80,000, $150,000, $250,00 or even more in 25 years. I keep hearing that keeping an older boat going can be extremely expensive.

As far as financing goes, someone mentioned financing a $125,000 boat would add on another $25,000+ or so to the price of the boat and I wanted to take that out of the picture since I won't be financing.
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But you really shouldn't take financing/initial cost out of the equation totally, because if you buy the new Catalina, all that money is gone; if you buy the $30K Tartan, you would have alot of cash left over to invest wisely, which could pay your annual mooring costs and some of the maintenance.
People have done similar analysis on buying a new car vs. buying a good used car, and financially, the used car usually wins out. But people still buy new cars for various reasons. I think the same holds true for boats--a used boat in good condition will likely cost less in the long run--you save on initial cost, insurance, fitting out/customization cost, depreciation. Once you get the used boat into the kind of shape you want, the annual maintenance cost will likely only be a bit higher to replace the odd pump or fitting. You may face an added initial cost for new sails or engine on the used boat, but I think will still come out ahead.
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Old 07-10-2007
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Another thing to consider in money terms is your hourly rate. If you make less twenty dollars an hour, spending 100 hours to do a job that would have cost $4000 dollars makes since, you can purchase an older boat and invest your sweat and labor in it. If you make $60 an hour you might rather go in to work for the exta 100 hours. Then pocket the difference.

That's the problem with these hypothetical discusions. It's debatable whether you could find the two boats in the conditions you've stated, for the prices you've stated. Then you have to consider what you will be earning ten years from now and how huch time you'll have to spend with your boat.
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OK, this is what I am asking. Can boats compare to cars in this way? Gives me a frame of reference to work with.

My commuter car is a 15 year old Camry with 200,000+ miles on it. Still runs great. I bought it as a 2 year old car to offset some depreciation and plan on driving it another 100,000 miles if I can. So, cost per year is VERY VERY small. I also usually have had a sport/convertible car for fun but I know going into them that they WILL cost me big bucks. I might loose $5,000-10,000 per year average. BUT, A boat could loose a GREAT deal more than that...

Whatever "big" boat I get I will probably keep like my Camry. Pamper it and make it last till I can't sail anymore.
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Old 07-10-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danjarch
Another thing to consider in money terms is your hourly rate. If you make less twenty dollars an hour, spending 100 hours to do a job that would have cost $4000 dollars makes since, you can purchase an older boat and invest your sweat and labor in it. If you make $60 an hour you might rather go in to work for the exta 100 hours. Then pocket the difference.

That's the problem with these hypothetical discusions. It's debatable whether you could find the two boats in the conditions you've stated, for the prices you've stated. Then you have to consider what you will be earning ten years from now and how huch time you'll have to spend with your boat.
I won't be making anything "per hour" I plan on sailing!! I will rent out both my houses and use the boat as my home full time. Having said that, I don't even have a clue how to change the oil in my car so not sure how much labor I can do on a boat, but I am betting that I become a quick study
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