I started out thinking that the boat purchase price was the key to sailing. I now realize that one is looking at $15k per year, almost irrespective of boat condition and size, mostly in berthing/winter storage, fuel and wear and tear.
The cost of the boat itself is just the price of admission.
Buying a used boat, it almost certainly will need *something* done. Some kind of "deferred maintenance" item or neglected issue that you'll need to catch up on, or something(s) repaired or replaced.
I don't know how you came up with $15K per year for a 28-foot boat. I have a 30-footer and I'm not paying anything like that, nor would I.
One of the more expensive expenses will be a dedicated slip at a marina. Shop around - they do vary in cost, based on location and amenities and services offered. I found a small, low-key marina with very few amenities, but a great location, for about 60-70% of what the fancier marinas wanted.
- Equipment (USCG required stuff - PFDs, etc., plus maybe new radio, GPS chartplotter, etc.)
- Supplies, tools, spare parts for the engine
- Sales tax
- Property tax (at least down here in VA, we have to pay personal property tax on cars and boats)
- Yard fees if you haul it every now and then (as you should) for painting and maintenance
- Bottom paint and other maintenance items
There is little wonder that "yachting" generally is regarded as a rich man's past time. You don't really have to be "rich", but it definitely does incur a few thousand bucks per year. I wouldn't peg it at $15,000, though.
I've dumped several thousands bucks into my boat in the first year of ownership, but then again I'm doing a ton of work on it. Once I'm done, it should settle down, and I'll be looking at maybe $3,000 - 4,000 per year in recurring costs - the largest of which is that slip fee.
I can see the beauty of a smaller sailboat that can live on a trailer and be launched and retreived that way. But if you're talking comfortable, longer-distance cruising with wifey, then yeah, you're going to need more space - and a head with a door.