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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Cost of Ownership, Bow Thrusters & Bottom Paint
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Thread: Cost of Ownership, Bow Thrusters & Bottom Paint Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-12-2009 06:04 PM
NickPapagiorgio I don't own a boat (at this time) but I have chartered quite a bit. We took out a Hunter 44 one year and it had a bow thruster. I have to admit that it was nice because I am less-than confident in my docking abilities. I think if you own the boat however, you would probably only use it in the beginning when you're still "learning" the boat. Once you get used to everything you'd probably not use it at all.
02-12-2009 10:28 AM
39512 There is an industry rule of thumb; it takes on average 10% of the original cost of the boat to maintain as new, pay dockage, fuel, etc. This rule is based on moderate use (12-15 days a month), annual haul out/launch and outside storage with the mast in. It includes the cost of most materials but assumes that the general maintenance is done by the owner except for painting the bottom.. There are higher and lower exceptions of course but I have found this to be a good starting point in planning a basic budget for a late model production boat in the 40 foot range.

The single most important piece of equipment to me other than the basics of gps, vhf, depth sounder, speedo is an auto pilot. Second is a good dodger.
02-12-2009 02:30 AM
CalebD Nika,
Don't forget a chart plotter AND paper charts for your areas. Chart plotters can leave out some very pertinent information that is on the paper charts; things like shoals and rocks come to mind.
You should think about getting a SAT phone as well since you might want to email your friends or get weather info. In most areas of the LIS you will have cell phone connections but it is nice to have the backup and computer hookup.
Did I mention an auto pilot? Below decks control of the rudder seems to be quite a lot better then the wheel pilots (had the below deck auto pilot going from Tortola, BVI to TCI (Turks & Caicos) with no problem over 400 ocean miles).
As for bottom paint, I do it every year with a cheap ablative paint. If you want multi-year performance you will need to spend about $200+ a gallon for the better stuff.
The marine growth on things like the propeller are always a problem. Plan on having someone dive the boat to give it a good cleaning at least once in season. The cleaner the water is the more critters there are to attach to your boat's bottom. It does not take a huge barnacle build up on the prop to reduce it's efficiency.
Average yearly cost for a 40' sailboat would be conservatively $4K/year not including upgrades, fixes and fuel. I would budget for more if I could afford a bigger sailboat then my Tartan 27'.
02-12-2009 12:23 AM
nika44 We definetely want rader and and a GPS. It gets very foggy in LI sound. I am less firm on the in main furl in the mast as a requirement.

Good advice on getting some pricing for winter storage and shrink wrap and all.
Do people still paint the bottom every year. I thought the newer paints give you 2 years of wear?
02-11-2009 11:54 PM
CalebD I have sailed on both a Bene First 51' (for 400 nm offshore) and a Bene 505 of which NEITHER had a bow thruster. Slow and steady usually wins the race when docking, with some practice.
Having never had in mast main sail furling I am not a fan of it, perhaps without good reason. If it ever jams in a real blow you are in worse shape then with a traditional set up with Lazy Jacks.
Have you thought about having Radar on the boat for when it gets a bit foggy out on LIS (and you know it does)?
It will be your boat so I hope that all your extra gear provides you with the safety and comfort you desire.
Changing the engine oil is not all that difficult either.
02-11-2009 11:01 PM
SVlagniappe Actually, replacing a bilge pump is considerably easier than changing the oil...

We are usually just the two of us on the boat, but my daughter and her husband live in England, so when they visit, they tend to be here for a good period of time.

We wanted a boat that was comfortable for the two of us, but big enough for two couples for at least a couple of weeks. So far, our longest time aboard with two couples has been 10 days. It was fine. It's probably worth considering that we all like one another...
02-11-2009 10:55 PM
Snboard976 Go to a boatyard in the Area and get a quote for winter storage including hauling and painting the bottom (which they usually require you pay them to do now.) Don't forget about covering the boat. You will probably want to shrink wrap a boat that new. You could save 200 or 300 dollars doing it your self but it is 2-3 days of labor. Some boat yards make you unstep the mast as well.

On the south side of the sound you might be looking at 4000 worth of storage fees, before any repairs or up grade, maybe a little cheaper where you are.
02-11-2009 10:52 PM
nika44 Our kids are in their 20s and we'll probably not have more than another couple overnight. But we do have guest often. We like to entertain so extra guests for dinner will be common. Both the 393 and the 423 have similar galleys it appears. And the seating seems close to the same. It does not seem hugely different for dining.

I think we will do some of the easy, non mechanical things like waxing and changing oil. I can't imagine replacing a bilge pump or anything like that.

I am curious that you said the 423 will sail better, how so? We are leaning towards the 423 anyway, as this is probably as big as we will go unless we sell our business one day and opt for some long range cruising.

I never had a lazy jack so I am curious as to if that has to be done at the mast and how about with the furled main, can that be done in the cockpit?

How about a generator. Is it necessary on a mooring if you just want some lights and a stereo?

Does anyone know how much the 423 or 393 sold for new in 05 and 06?
02-11-2009 10:36 PM
danielgoldberg You raise a number of interesting questions, but I also think you may need to think a bit more about what you want to do with the boat.

As a start, are you planning on sailing with just you and your husband, or do you have kids? Do you plan on overnight guests, or will it be just the two of you sleeping on the boat? If it's just the two of you, then I would think the 393 would be fine for size and might save you a few bucks. If you will be sleeping more, however, then I would strongly recommend going with the 423. Another consideration is sailing ability. The 423 will sail MUCH better than the 393. Just another thought.

In terms of costs, sailboats do cost less than powerboats to maintain. Obviously fuel is less expensive, but it seems as though they are less expensive in other ways. That said, maintaining sailboats is not cheap. If you do the work yourselves, you can reduce the maintenance costs dramatically. Unfortunately, there is no real way, in my opinion, to determine in advance how much it will cost to maintain a boat in the abstract. If you tell me what will break, what upgrades you want, and what work you will do yourself, then I can give you a better understanding of what the costs will be. Obviously you can't do that in advance, which is why it's very difficult to predict. I will say that $1,000 per year seems low, unless you will do ALL the work yourself (including commissioning and decommissioning). Just to pull a number out of thin air, and assuming you do at least some of the routine maintenance (oil changes, some decommissioning, etc.), I would say that $3,000 to $5,000 is probably are more realistic number.

On the bow thruster, you certainly can get by without it. You might have a few exciting moments your first few times docking, but you would learn to live without it. That said, if the money is not an issue, you will like having the thruster. Even if you choose not to use it all that often, when you need it, you will find it invaluable.

In terms of a place to keep the boat, there is nothing wrong with New London in terms of its proximity to other places, but it's not the nicest place. I would consider some of the places on the Mystic River, south of the bridges. Or maybe somwhere on the Conn. River. Westbrook also is nice, and there's a great Brewer's there (Pilot's Point). Again, nothing "wrong" with New London, and it is a convenient to Block, Shelter Island, etc., but there are nicer harbors in that area that also are convenient to these points of attraction. Just my opinion.

One other thing about Block. You might find that taking a mooring is preferable. This is entirely personal preference, but the moorings there are very close to shore, you easily can dink in, or even take the launch. Yet, when you're on the boat, you have more privacy on the mooring, it is more quiet, and more pleasant, IMO. But if you really feel you NEED to be dockside, I'd go with the Boat Basin over Champlains to avoid having other boats rafted. The last thing I want when staying on the boat is having numerous strangers climbing over my decks to get to/from their boat, and many of them are a little light on etiquette, so they go through the cockpit, look in the hatches, and stuff like that.

Good luck!
02-11-2009 10:34 PM
SVlagniappe We don't plan on living aboard for a long time. We are planning on migrating to the east cost, and thought we might just do it this way.

We have had no repairs to deal with, other than work on the heads. I like to tinker, but when it comes to the head, I turn it over to others if possible.

We have the in mast furled main. We've had no problems with it. I was inclined to worry about the possible problems with a furled main, but so far, we're happy.

As far as a bow thruster. it would be nice at times, but so far I've not missed the fact that I don't have one. And of course, it's another system to fail. I'd probably love it if I had it, but ao far, there hasn't been a time where I thought "If I just had a bow thruster!".
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