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  #1  
Old 05-16-2009
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Sailormann will become famous soon enough
So you want to buy an "inexpensive" boat...

...because you really want to sail but are a bit short of cash right now ?

Every day there is a new "what do you think of this boat ??" type of post from someone who desperately want to sail but doesn't have much saved up. It can be very tempting to read a description of a boat - go look at it - and see that it is indeed big enough to stand up in,, that it has a mast and sails and a toilet and even a fridge ! All for $10,000.00 ! Deal of the century !

Anyone thinking about buying a boat needs to understand that there are maintenance costs associated with it.

It is easy to underestimate these. I have a 30 foot boat that was described as "in very good condition" when purchased. The surveyor told me "this is about as good as it gets". I keep track of what I spend on her. Here is the list for this spring:

188.6 Launch
137.28 Step Mast
11.3 Aluminum Swage clips
98.88 Replace Electric Buffer/Scrubber
53.53 Screws and washers
48.77 Step Ladder
100 Move Cradle
28.76 AA Batteries
267.99 Tools
134.85 Tools
97.25 Cabin lights
38.22 Bimini Straps
427.8 Fenders
94.89 Bumper
28.97 Boat Soap
135.58 Vinyl Lettering/ Fibreglass repair kit
176.8 Water Fill hose and Marinetex
101.7 Windex and Screws
187.54 Deck Light and Wire
77.78 Lazy Jacks
169.33 VC-17
114.45 Garden Hose and Rack
111.25 Pressure Water Hose / Fittings
23.2 Cleaning stuff
36.98 Chain
57.85 Screw Caps
197.75 Faucet
45.37 Bilge Cleaner
33.89 Sink Drain
20.34 Pinstripe
71.87 Pinstripe
98.72 Hose Clamps and Snap Shackle
114.25 Halyard

$3,531.74 GENERAL MAINTENANCE COSTS


Then there are the things I replaced over the last 12 months... (Costs before taxes - actual receipts are at my office)


750 Hot Water heater
700 Stereo
1100 2 Batteries
200 Starting Battery
180 Bilge Pump
130 Water Pump

$3,060.00


Then there are club/marina/mooring fees and insurance costs. These vary depending on your region and boat but find out what they are and remember that you are going to have to come up with that money every year.

You can look at this list and say "I don't need that item" or "I can do without this thing" but you're going to end up spending the money on something.

If you don't have a lot of money - don't try to buy a bigger, cheaper boat. Get something that you can afford to maintain so that you can look at her with a light heart and a smile on your face thinking about how much pleasure she brings to your life rather than the drain she puts on your finances.

HTH

Good Luck !

Last edited by Sailormann; 05-16-2009 at 11:33 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2009
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Nice post.

You might also note that owning a sailboat is an ongoing nonsensical financial arrangement, and not a one-time financial "oh, why not" sort of deal.

Just in the last couple of weeks, I've spent the following in pounds sterling:

Epirb: 390
Ditch bag: 50
Lifesling: 85
Charts: 30
Pilot Book: 20
Diver to scrub bottom of boat: 100
Teflon boat polish: 70
boots: 35
Letters for horseshoe float: 4
Rolling flat water hose (for French docks): 35

The list goes on, in an insane sort of way, but at the same time it's rewarding (the new horizons opening up, that is).
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Old 05-16-2009
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On the one hand, owning a sailboat is one of the dumber things you can do. Financially, there is no justification. Not to mention all the time you spend working on it (I've always looked at the ratio between work-time and tiller-time, and haven't always been pleased with the ratio).

On the other hand, you're born, and then one day you're dead. Might as well do something fun and irrational in-between.
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Old 05-16-2009
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Jim H:

I just have to ask you this: in your avatar (I assume it's a picture of you), what is that black thing in the background?
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Old 05-16-2009
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I'd like to sell you two more batteries for what you paid for the last two.
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Old 05-16-2009
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This year for me....

Insurance renewal $1,200
3 Day Haul/Bottom Paint/Zincs/Buffing/Waxing/Bulbs $1,600
New Standing Rigging and Furler $6,000
Sail repair and new luff tape $160
Misc tools/supplies at West Marine $470
Fuel and Oil filters and oil $61
Mooring Paint and Drop $145
Mooring Tender Service for season $800
Dingy Repair $200

TOTAL $10,636

And this is for a 1983 32' boat in immaculate condition. This is just parts and labor for the rigging and bottom paint. It doesn't count the 50+ hours I spent doing maintenance, cleaning and repairs this season to get her ready as well.
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Old 05-16-2009
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If you can get by on 10% of your original purchase price for annual costs, you are lucky.
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Old 05-16-2009
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There is no such thing as a cheap boat. I bought a 30 footer 3 years ago for about half of the going rate. I currently have as much invested as a good one would have cost and am still fixing it. I am not counting the typical yearly costs just repairs.

My advice, decide what you want and find one that has be well looked after by someone who loves boats. Pay a premium and go sailing.

Gary
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Old 05-16-2009
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Me Too@!!!

Yea my last boat was a very simple Starwind 19. Cabin big enough for two to spend a couple nights on easily. No engine, electronics or head. I loved that boat! Sailed more than I ever have. Fast forward a couple months, bought a Catalina 27 for $8,000. $1,500 for rigging, about $350 for engine parts not counting my labor. $425 on the head and pump for pump out and it's still not fixed. Waiting on yard bill that will prob be over $2,500 easy and I need new sails. Except the yard bill everything else I've done myself and its still like throwing money away hand over fist. If I could ever design my own boat it wouldn't have any of these systems, hopefully when I et everything done I acan do some sailing, but then its time to update the mainsheeting rig and the traveller, more cash!!!
Its real easy to underestimate costs. I bought a Pacific Seacraft 25 that I planned to refit, had to bail after several weeks and several thousand dollars.

I alsmost stepped up to a Starwind 223 instead of the Catalina, wish I had sometimes. I could be sailing now with about $7,000 in my pocket! Not to mention the dockage would be cheaper too.
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Old 05-16-2009
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Yep!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary M View Post
.
My advice, decide what you want and find one that has be well looked after by someone who loves boats. Pay a premium and go sailing.

Gary

I AGREE!!!!!!
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