Boat Buying Costs - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 24 Old 03-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Boat Buying Costs

Hi,

The Sailnet Community was very helpful in responding to my first post, so I've decided to come back to you again for more insight. I'm trying to put together a budget plan for buying our first sailboat. Although I haven't picked a specific boat, I already know what I'll be targeting:

- 36-38 ft in length
- $85,000 maximum price
- mid-1990s
- 2-cabin
- aft cockpit

What I'd like to do is nail down all my potential costs. I've already got the price target of $85k + tx. I've picked a local marina that will cost around $3k + tx per year, including pumpout/haulout/launch and 30 amp hydro access. I still need to identify the following:

- Survey cost
- Any additional purchase fees
- Annual Insurance
- Annual Maintenance

I live in Toronto so the prices I'm talking about would all be in CDN $. Also, my intention is to get a boat with only a freshwater history, which will hopefully reduce maintenance issues.

So? Thoughts? What other numbers should I be looking at? My wife is an accountant so if I miss anything, she WILL skin me and roast me alive.

Thanks in advance!

Cheers!

G
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post #2 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

An old rule of thumb for a fully functional boat (no restoration needed) was 10% of the NEW cost per year for total operating costs. That would put you in the $15 - $20K range. With a sailboat it isn't linear though - you can have several cheap years and then need new sails - $$$$$.

Edit: the reason there are so many beaters going cheap is that people didn't believe that. When they found out it was true, the boat suffered. A similar thing used to happen to Jaguars - the low buy in deceived people into thinking they could afford it.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.

Last edited by SloopJonB; 03-14-2013 at 01:31 PM.
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post #3 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

Glad to see you are going into this with your eyes open. You stand a much better chance of sticking with it if your know that it is "a hole in the water that you poor money into" the bigger the boat the bigger the hole.
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post #4 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

A boat built in the mid '90s will be closing in 20 years old. Some big ticket items come due for replacing around the 10 year mark. Make sure you know when these kinds of things were done. If they were not done, factor that into your pricing calculations or at least your additional cost estimates. Examples - standing rigging; running rigging; sails; lifelines; shaft seal; re-bedding the hatches and portlights.

Insurance will run you about $1000/yr depending on your levels of liability, if you race, etc. Maybe less, if you have a low agreed upon hull value.

Maintenance for a well maintained boat will run about 10% of the original price, as stated already. That can be averaged out over the years to some degree and you can lower that cost the more you can do the work yourself.

Survey will be about $500, i'd guess. Been a few years since I had one done for a purchase.

You'll have to pay taxes on the sale, and you may need to budget delivery charges if you are looking beyond local boats.

Other costs: Hauling/blocking and winter storage - around $1000 or more. Periodic professional inspections - few $100 bucks every few years. Dinghy, dinghy motor - $5000 or so if you go with a good new set up.

And then all the bells and whistles your budget can afford, and some that it can't.

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post #5 of 24 Old 03-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

Hi Sloop!

I've seen that figure before, and I'm prepared to work with it if all else fails, but at best it represents a vague number. What I'm trying to do is hammer down fixed costs.

- Insurance, marina costs, winter wrap, basic maintenance... these things are predictable, annual expenses that I'd like to identify.
- Transfer fees, surveys and such are one-time purchase costs that I'd like to identify.
- Longer term maintenance costs like new sails depend largely on rate of use, conditions and quality of care. If I'm not out there racing every Wednesday evening, I don't think it'd be appropriate to anticipate the same rate of spending.

Anyway, I've had another talk with the Marina and narrowed down their costs: $84 / ft for the slip, haulout, launch, pumpout and hydro. $4 / sq ft for winter storage. (she conveniently failed to mention that part the first time we spoke) That works out roughly to $4k + tax per year for a 37 foot boat.

Specifics are good. I like specifics.
Generalities are for people who aren't married to accountants.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-14-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

Thanks Johnny!

10% for maintenance only? The number I've seen is 10% for total cost of ownership. If maintenance were truly 10% of cost, then it'd actually be cheaper to not maintain it at all and simply buy a different boat every 5 yrs or so.

A dinghy isn't necessary. I'm already married.

Cheers!

G
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post #7 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

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Originally Posted by mysterybee View Post
...
Specifics are good. I like specifics.
Generalities are for people who aren't married to accountants.
Put the accountant on the title. That way, if the costs are too high, someone else will be liable.
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post #8 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

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Originally Posted by mysterybee View Post
Thanks Johnny!

10% for maintenance only? The number I've seen is 10% for total cost of ownership.
G
Yes - total operating costs. Here are some examples of my personal costs so far this year, and my boat is only 8 years old:

-- restocking spare fuel filters: $98
-- Short haul: $500
-- New Dinghy: $850
-- New pelican hooks: $100
-- Oil change (did it myself) $50
-- Purchase updated chart book: $95

Some upcoming near term (12 months) expenses:

-- Slip fee: $3400
-- Insurance: $980
-- Shaft seal and PSS Shaft seal replacement: At least $700
-- Replacing two stanchions (myself): $280
-- Winter storage: $1000
-- Paint job: $800

Am also looking to replace my mainsail ($4000) and get a new A-spinnaker ($5000); and replace my cockpit canvas ($2000) in the next 18 months.

My annual costs are between $10-15k a year, and I have a relatively new boat.

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post #9 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

You're going to get varied responses... I would have said $7-800 for survey, more if you're planning on a mechanical and/or rigging survey too. We pay about $500 for non-racing insurance but on a relatively low/realistic resale value (obviously not replacement value)

As SJB indicated the actual annual costs can vary dramatically depending on what need reared its head.. haulout and bottom paint? $1500 - 2000, but often that can be spread over a couple of years. New sails? lookout! , this year we're replacing our headsail and our charging sytem to the tune of $3-4K - and of course this will be on top of the regular haulout costs, also due this year.

Last year was a 'tween haulout year, a quick lift and pressure wash was all that was required outside of some structural upgrades we undertook by choice. Our biggest annual cost that never goes away (or down) is over $5K for moorage. That more than covers the "10%" of value for us, never mind insurance and other incidentals.

Ron

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post #10 of 24 Old 03-14-2013
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Re: Boat Buying Costs

Quote:
Originally Posted by mysterybee View Post
Hi Sloop!

I've seen that figure before, and I'm prepared to work with it if all else fails, but at best it represents a vague number. What I'm trying to do is hammer down fixed costs.

- Insurance, marina costs, winter wrap, basic maintenance... these things are predictable, annual expenses that I'd like to identify.
- Transfer fees, surveys and such are one-time purchase costs that I'd like to identify.
- Longer term maintenance costs like new sails depend largely on rate of use, conditions and quality of care. If I'm not out there racing every Wednesday evening, I don't think it'd be appropriate to anticipate the same rate of spending.

Anyway, I've had another talk with the Marina and narrowed down their costs: $84 / ft for the slip, haulout, launch, pumpout and hydro. $4 / sq ft for winter storage. (she conveniently failed to mention that part the first time we spoke) That works out roughly to $4k + tax per year for a 37 foot boat.

Specifics are good. I like specifics.
Generalities are for people who aren't married to accountants.
You are going about it the correct way. Keep shopping around yourself for the things you will need. Prices vary drastically by location and individual business.

Doing all/most of your own labor will keep your costs way down. Then again, if you make more per hour than the yard charges and have limited free time it makes sense to pay someone else.

HANUMAN
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NOANK, CT
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