Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
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Maintenance costs also will vary quite a bit depending on who does the work. If you do the work yourself, you will save a considerable amount on the cost... since most boatyards are charging $85+ per hour for work done.
Another major variable is how complicated the systems on your boat are...the more systems, the more maintenance... smaller simpler boats are far less expensive.
As a good rule of thumb, a boat's maintenance costs will double for every 10' feet of LOA. A 30' boat will cost twice as much as a 20' boat, and half as much as a 40' boat.
Some costs are linear, like haulouts, marina slip fees, bottom painting, which are often charged per foot of boat length. Other costs are not—like sails, replacing equipment, etc. Sails are more expensive for larger boats, since the sails require more material, more labor and often heavier material. A sail for a 35' mast is going to be significantly less than one for a 45' mast—since the area of the sail is almost doubled on the latter.
Given that you haven't done a whole lot of sailing, at least from your OP, I would highly recommend that you spend some time sailing and look at boats that are not pure bluewater cruisers. Most bluewater cruisers have less space than comparable LOA coastal cruisers.
Also, getting your wife and son on different boats will give you a better idea of what you need in a boat. My friends, who are in a similar situation to you, bought a Gemini 105Mc catamaran to cruise on, since it gave a good mix of space, stowage, comfort, performance, and cost. They're currently cruising the Bahamas.
BTW, I'm not a real big fan of composting toilets, especially for boats that are going to be cruising longer term.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Last edited by sailingdog; 02-02-2010 at 10:15 AM.