A good friend and former boat owner recently asked me the same question as he is contemplating making the plunge into boat ownership again. I've pasted what I sent him below.
"As for budgeting boat expenses, that's not so easy and is certainly subject to a lot of "what if's"; however, I'll give it a go.
The basics for Chula every month:
Slip $ 270.00
Insurance $ 100.00
Sea Tow $ 12.00
Registration $ 4.50
I've put off a quite a few repairs this year due to wedding expenses and could easily throw several thousand dollars at things I'd like to do. The most pressing for me right now would be the following:
Roller Furler $ 2,300.00
Chain Plates $ 1,000.00 - $ 1500.00
Might need a bottom job in another year $ 1,200 - 1,500.00
I've spend about $ 300.00 to 400.00 every year on basic sail and bimini repair due to wear and tear
Probably another $ 500 - $ 1,000.00 on other misc. items
Hopefully you wouldn't need to repower like I did, but if you do consider $ 10,000 - $ 15,000.00
Would like to replace my Windows $ 1,000.00
New Ports would be nice too $ 1,000.00
And air conditioning $ 2,000.00
I think a new Mainsail would be Awesome $ 1,500.00
With a Stackpak $ 800.00
A new main wouldn't really look right without a new jib $ 1,500.00
And a new bimini and dodger...Along with new matching sailcovers....With my boat's name stitch on them $ 3,000
The boat now looks like crap now compared to the new sails and other new canvas....New paint job $ 10,000.00
A great looking boat deserves some updated electronics (New GPS, radar, chartplotter, wireless instruments, LED lighting, refrigeration, solar panels, wind generator, and kickass sound system) $ 20,000 plus
Now that the boat is finally ready to go cruising guess I need to splurge on a dingy $ 10,000.00
And now that I have a new dinghy guess I'll need some davits too $ 3,000.00
Can't be hauling that anchor up by hand, I'll need an electric windlass $ 3,000.00
Now that my boat is looking like a yacht I'm going to need to become more active in the yachting community
Yacht Club Membership $ ?????????
Are you sure you want to venture down this road again?
Good luck on the boat purchase.....I will support you 110% on your decision!"